It’s a good idea to start your own herb garden. But why? Why not, we say? Who wouldn’t want a steady supply of mint for their Virgin Mojitos or crushed dried oregano for their pizza and pasta?
But what if you want to grow multiple herbs simultaneously or combine herbs with other crops? In this case, you should concentrate on companion planting. It will assist you in learning about plants that grow well together. With that in mind, this post will concentrate on growing mint, a famous easy-to-grow herb, with companion plants.
Mint is a common herb that is used not only to flavor various dishes but also as a medicine. So, in this article, we’ll go over all you need to learn about planting mint with companion plants. In addition, we will list the plants that should not be grown near this herb.
So, without further ado, let us begin our journey by learning the fundamentals of the wonderful herb called mint.
Mint: The Basics
Mint, or mentha, is a member of the Lamiaceae family, which contains 13-24 species. This plant can be found widely in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America. Mint is a hardy herb that grows best in damp and moist soils. These aromatic perennial herbs grow in both shaded and open areas. Mints are said to be great companion plants because they help repel several pests while attracting beneficial insects.
The table below provides an overview of mint and the conditions in which it grows and thrives. Check out the table to get a quick overview of this herb.
|Botanical Name||Mentha spp.|
|Origin||Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America|
|Hardiness Zones||USDA 3-11|
|Mature Size||12–18 in. tall18–24 in. wide|
|Soil Type & pH||Loamy, Moist, Well-DrainedAcidic to Neutral|
|Sun Exposure||Full & Partial|
|Toxic||Toxic to Dogs, Cats & Horses|
Is Mint a Good Herb to Grow as a Companion Plant?
Now let’s narrow down our focus to only mint. If you are contemplating growing mint in your garden, you might be looking forward to learning if this herb is good as a companion plant. The answer is both- YES and NO. How? Let’s explore.
Mint is an extremely adaptable herb that can grow in almost any environment. This herb has several beneficial properties that make it an excellent companion plant. Mint, for example, is an excellent insect repellent due to its fresh and minty fragrance.
Pests such as ants, earwigs, aphids, mealybugs, snails, slugs, and spider mites will avoid your garden if you grow mint. Some claim that rodents, such as mice, also dislike the aroma of mint leaves. On the other hand, mint attracts many pollinators, especially when it’s blooming.
On the negative side, this herb is extremely invasive. As a result, mint will quickly take over the space of other plants in your garden. Mint’s root system spreads quickly and is dense enough to strangle neighboring plants. Though many pests and insects dislike its scent, interestingly, there are many that get attracted, such as flea beetles, cutworms, and spider mites.
However, if you are determined to grow mint in your garden alongside other plants, grow it in a separate pot. This way, you can enjoy the herb without worrying about choking other plants.
Herbs As Companion Plants: The Benefits
Before we delve deep into mints, let us have a precise focus on whether herbs work well as companion plants.
There is no doubt that companion planting brings with it numerous benefits when done correctly. And when it comes to planting herbs with companion plants, the benefits can be several. Here are some of the advantages you can reap via herb companion planting.
- It conserves garden space
- There will be fewer pests
- A higher chance of getting essential oil
- Increased harvest yields
- Aeration of the soil
- Increase in biodiversity
- Inviting beneficial insects and pollinators
Plants That Grow Well With Mint
Although mint has a bad reputation in the garden due to its invasive growth, growing it with appropriate companion plants allows you to make the most of this highly versatile herb. And, yes, you can interplant mint with veggies, fruits, flowers, and other herbs. So, here’s a list of 9 plants that go well with mint and can help you create a healthy and diverse garden.
1. Mint Family
Growing various herbs together could be an excellent way to ensure a steady supply of these plants. Growing them together, on the other hand, would be highly dependent on their mutual growth conditions and needs. Mint, for example, prefers fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, so growing companion herbs with similar soil requirements would be beneficial.
With that said, keep in mind that mint belongs to the family of creeping herbs, which means it will quickly take over your garden, choking other plants. As a result, it’s best to grow this herb in a separate box or planter, close to other companion plants. Here are some mint family herbs that can be garden companions for your host herb.
- Apple/ Pineapple mint
- Corsican mint
One of the primary reasons to keep a pot of fresh mint in your garden is that it repels pests. Pests such as mosquitoes, ants, bugs, and whiteflies dislike the aroma of mint and will avoid your garden as a result.
Mint has also been shown to repel carrot flies, laying their eggs directly to the root of a developing carrot. When the larvae hatch, they dig down into the vegetable and cause significant damage. These pests will not be attracted if you keep a pot of freshly grown mint near carrot plants.
Other mint family herbs, such as spearmint and peppermint, can also be planted near carrot plants to keep pests at bay.
Marigold is a versatile flowering plant with colorful blooms that can add a splash of color to your garden. This plant is also known for keeping insects at bay. Marigold plants are effective against pests such as aphids, cabbage bugs, cucumber beetles, and flea beetles.
You can easily combine marigold and mint in two ways. To begin, make a separate garden bed and plant mint, interspersed with marigold planters. The second option is to plant a marigold flower bed with mint pots or planters.
Mints have been shown to repel pests such as cabbage moths and flea beetles, which chow down through the leaves of brassica plants. As a result, pairing any brassicas with mint is a good idea. These pests will be kept at bay by the pungent smell of mint. Brassica plants that complement mint include the following.
Even if you plant mint with these plants, we recommend that you use insect nets or repellent if your garden has a high pest infestation.
Because mint repels aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites, growing it near nightshade plants such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes may be beneficial. In addition to protecting plants from harmful pests, mint can improve the health and flavor of tomatoes if planted near them.
6. Root Veggies
Growing mint close to root veggies like potato, radish, etc., can positively impact your garden and its production. Here is a list of root veggies and the impacts of mint on them.
- Onions: Mint, when planted near an onion, can help deter onion flies. Mint can also help keep this pest away from crops such as garlic and other bulbous plants.
Radishes: Anecdotal evidence shows that growing mint nearby radish plants can enhance the latter’s flavor.
- Beets: Mint near beet plants act as an insect repellent.
Planting mint near leguminous plants may deter rodents like mice, which eat these plants. The mentholated odor has also been found to repel pests such as moles and voles from your host crops. As a result, you can grow peas and beans (pole and bush beans) near mint. However, keep mint in a separate planter from the host plants.
Slugs can be extremely damaging to lettuce plants. Make room for mint plants if you want to keep this pest away from your plant. Slugs are effectively deterred by the strong aroma of mint and other garden pests.
Mint is an excellent herb to grow alongside almost any type of vegetable, flower, or fruit. Squash is one vegetable that can benefit greatly from this herb. In addition, the strong aroma of mint repels most bad insects while attracting the good ones.
What Not to Plant With Mint: Bad Mint Companions
Mint is invasive but can coexist with other plants if planted separately. However, certain crops, such as those with fine or thin roots, should not be planted near mint. In addition, because mint is invasive, it is best not to plant it alongside crops in the same garden bed.
As a result, avoid growing plants such as rosemary or parsley near mint. Also, avoid combining mint with herbs such as lavender, sage, or thyme, as these herbs prefer dry soil and sunny locations. Mint, on the other hand, prefers moist soil with some shade.
Tips to Grow Mint With Other Plants
Mint grows easily in your garden, but there are a few things to keep in mind when growing this herb. Here are some pointers to help you grow mint effectively alongside other crops in your garden.
- When planting mint with other crops, make sure to plant it in a separate container or pot.
- You can also plant mint in a separate, often elevated, garden bed to ensure its roots will not choke other plants.
- Mint attracts a few pests. Hence, avoid planting them with any plant that attracts similar pests. This would avoid any serious pest invasion in your garden.
- Check the size of the mint variety before planting them to avoid neighboring plants getting buried under them.
- Ensure your gardening site is suitable for your host plants and mint.
So there you have it: our take on mint companion planting. We hope you found this post useful and that it has aided your plan to grow mint alongside other plants in your garden. Always remember that mint is invasive. As a result, if you do not keep an eye on the growth of this herb, it may even be harmful to its hardy companions.
However, do not be worried. Go ahead and experiment with combining mint with other favorable crops. If done correctly, the result would be fantastic and aromatic!