Throughout nature, plants grow better when they’re surrounded by other plants. These helpers — known as companion plants — perform a variety of critical roles in the garden or grow room, including pest control and driving vital nutrients into the soil.
Companion planting is an ancient gardening tactic that improves plant and soil health. It’s an excellent way to nurture cannabis plants, too!
Companion Plants for Insects
Companion planting is a great way to ensure a healthy, pest-free cannabis garden. This technique can help growers overcome problems like pests and poor soil quality, which will inhibit the growth of their cannabis plants and reduce their bud yields.
Companion plants can provide a range of different benefits to the cannabis plant, including preventing disease and insect infestations, boosting the amount of nutrients in the soil, and improving the flavor of the marijuana plant. In addition, many companion plants can also be used as pollinators and attract beneficial insects to your grow.
Basil, for example, is known for its medicinal value and can be grown as a cannabis companion plant to keep mites, whiteflies, and aphids at bay. Besides protecting your cannabis plant from these pesky pests, basil is also a good source of flavor and fragrance for your buds.
Peppermint is another popular choice for growers to use as a cannabis companion plant. This herb can grow quickly and has a powerful scent that will repel both pests and mice.
It can be planted in a pot next to your grow and will start growing within a couple of weeks, making it very easy to include in your garden. It can also be used as a herbal tea, and can help to boost the flavour of your cannabis plant.
Borage, on the other hand, is a fast-growing annual that spreads across the ground and works as a cover crop to improve soil quality. It’s ideal for growing in a garden bed or container and can survive temperatures as low as -20degC.
Where: Plant it as a border crop/insect buffer around your beds and greenhouse entrances, or as a cover crop over your compost pile.
Yarrow is a herb associated with healing and love, so it’s no surprise that it is a useful companion plant for cannabis cultivation. Yarrow increases the essential oil production of neighboring plants, which helps protect them against pests and diseases.
This perennial herb grows to 1m in height and has a strong odor that repels pests. It can be grown in a pot and transplanted to your garden when the weather is warm enough, or it can be grown in the ground and cut back at the end of flowering. It also makes an excellent herbal tea and can be used as a natural skin wash.
Companion Plants for Nitrogen
Companion planting is an ancient gardening technique that has proven to be beneficial for many types of crops. It provides a variety of advantages for growers, including pest control, soil health improvements, and even boosted flavor and aroma.
One of the most beneficial aspects of companion planting for cannabis is that it can help with nitrogen management. The roots of some companion plants will emit substances that attract nitrogen-fixing bacteria, resulting in improved soil quality and enhanced plant growth.
For example, alfalfa is an excellent companion plant as it helps improve soil health and works with bacteria in the soil to increase nutrient availability to plants. It is also a good choice for outdoor growers, as it can help prevent root rot and encourage stronger growth and higher yields.
Alfalfa can also be used to improve local drainage. Its deep-rooted structure can hinder evaporation, which can lead to less watering needs for your cannabis garden.
Yarrow is another useful companion plant for cannabis, as its roots emit substances that feed nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This will result in better soil quality and enhanced plant growth, according to Tenth Acre Farm.
Geraniums are also an excellent choice for marijuana cultivation, as they produce oils that repel harmful insects, like spider mites. This will decrease the threat of these pests, which can negatively impact your harvest and growers’ confidence in their garden.
Clover is another excellent companion plant for cannabis, as it has nutrients that benefit both humans and the plants surrounding it. It can boost nitrogen for other flowers and plants, and its roots help improve soil drainage and maintain overall health of the garden.
In addition to helping with nutrient management, companion plants can also enhance cannabis flavor and aroma. For example, mints, rosemary, and coriander produce terpenes that are akin to those produced by cannabis, making them an ideal complement to the flowering plant.
Other benefits of companion planting include increased biodiversity, which can lead to healthier plants and a fresh supply of kitchen herbs. For growers, this is a cost-effective way to get more out of their cannabis growing space.
Companion Plants for Water
Companion planting in cannabis cultivation can provide growers with a variety of benefits, from adding essential nutrients to enhancing soil structure and preventing pest infestations. Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, companion plants can help you make the most of your space and boost production.
One of the most common uses of companion plants in cannabis cultivation is to help with water management. These plants can shade the earth and prevent soil evaporation, as well as add beneficial microorganisms that improve the health of the underlying soil.
Basil is one of the best herbs for a cannabis garden because it can attract ladybirds and other predatory insects that help break up harmful organisms in the soil, such as fungus gnats and scales. This helps keep your crop free from invasive species like these that can damage the cannabis plant and decrease yields.
Another herb to consider in your cannabis garden is chamomile, which is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. This plant also provides added nitrogen to the soil, which can improve the root systems of your cannabis plants.
You can easily grow this companion herb from seed; it grows well in warm weather and can be planted in March or April. The lavender-like flowers will bloom in the same time that your marijuana crop is growing, and they add a lovely fragrance to the area.
It also improves soil quality by filling it with minerals and vitamins. These nutrients slow the release of potassium and calcium to your cannabis plant, encouraging photosynthesis.
Depending on the specific plant, it may even be possible to harvest its leaves or flowers as compost. This can also be beneficial for reducing stress in your marijuana seedlings and vegging crops, as the leaves and flowers will decompose over time, leaving them nutrient-rich.
Companion plants are a great way to help with water management and can also be a fun addition to any grower’s garden. Choosing the right companion plants for your cannabis cultivating needs can make all the difference in how your grow goes. With a little planning and research, you can reap all the benefits of companion planting for your cannabis garden.
Companion Plants for Soil
Companion planting, also known as combined planting or intercropping, is an incredibly useful horticultural technique for growing cannabis. It entails the practice of mixing helpful plants, such as herbs and flowers, with your primary crop to improve its health and yield, ultimately boosting the ecosystem in your garden.
Aside from attracting beneficial insects, companion plants can also help with soil management. These plants will form a protective covering over your crop, sealing in moisture and improving the soil texture and health.
For example, a cover crop of clover, chickweed or alyssum will form a mat-like covering over the ground. It will keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing. In addition, it will act as a natural fertilizer, adding nitrogen to the soil.
Other beneficial species include borage, chamomile and yarrow. These plants are known for enhancing the soil by filling it with vitamins and minerals, as well as slow-releasing potassium and calcium into your cannabis crop. They also attract bees and predatory wasps, which are able to repel or hunt down pests that could be harmful to your marijuana.
Sunflowers are another great companion plant, as they protect your buds from the elements while adding colour to your landscape. They grow up to 9 feet tall and can be planted in late spring for an extended bloom.
Marigolds, which spread their roots through the soil, produce a natural insecticide that helps steer pests away from your cannabis. They can be grown between cannabis plants or scattered throughout your garden to optimize coverage.
Stinging nettle is another great companion, as it improves the health of your cannabis and boosts the production of essential oils. This herb will keep whiteflies and mosquitoes away from your crops, while also preventing fungal infection.
Yarrow, which is associated with healing and love, has been shown to boost the production of essential oils in neighboring plants, helping them fight off insects. It also boosts essential oil production in cannabis, promoting the growth of terpenes in your harvest.
Alfalfa is another great option for weeders as it is simple to grow and works to ‘fix’ atmospheric nitrogen, which is an important nutrient for cannabis. It is a legume, which means it works with bacteria in the soil to increase available nitrogen. This helps your cannabis grow faster and healthier, resulting in a more satisfying harvest.