Natural Pest Control with Companion Plants
Beneficial companion plants can be used in flower and vegetable gardens to repel insects. Many pungent herbs and aromatic flower heads serve as natural pest repellents. When used in a vegetable garden, some herbs emit an odor which confuses insects into thinking nothing edible is growing there. Companion plants are truly an asset to Organic Gardening. Plants can also be used in containers by doors or windows or in hanging baskets on porches or in trees. There are many choices.
Pyrethrum, chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, an herb in the aster family, has natural insecticidal properties. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. It can grow 24″ to 36″s tall and wide. The aromatic flower heads which repel insects resemble daisies.
Vicks Plant, Piectranthus Purpurantus, also an herb, has soft thick light green succulent leaves with tiny white flowers. It can grow in sun to part shade in well drained soil. It can grow to 30″s tall and wide. It is an excellent mosquito repellent.
Feverfew, Chrysanthemum Parthenium, a relative of Pyrethrum, is a mild insect repellent. It will grow in full sun in well drained soil. It also has clusters of daisy-like flowers. Great to plant near tomato plants.
Mexican Mint Marigold, Tagetes Lucida, an heirloom native plant, also repels insects in a vegetable garden. It will take full sun and well drained soil. It can grow to 24″s tall and wide. It produces lots of tiny yellow flowers.
Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, is a perennial flowering plant in the aster family. It has yellow button-like flowers which repel ants and mosquitos. Also known as Mugwort, it can grow to 24″s tall and wide in full sun and well drained soil.
Some other plants to consider: Society Garlic and Nasturtiums repel beetles and aphids, Dill and Borage repel horn worms (tomato worms), Artemesia repels moths. Lemon grass and Citronella Geraniums repel mosquitos. Penny Royal, an herb in the mint family, is a low lying ground cover which repels ticks and fleas.
Companion plants can be an attractive addition to your garden and an excellent alternative to pesticides. Organic gardens are good gardens.