Chamomile tea, one of the most popular herbal concoctions for relaxation, is derived from Chamaemelum nobile. This species, which is commonly known as ‘roman chamomile’ or simply ‘chamomile’, is a low-growing perennial. It brings a wealth of benefits to the garden and can serve as a fantastic companion plant for many crops.
When grown in the right location, chamomile can help deter pests, attract beneficial insects, produce its high-quality essential oil, and develop beautiful blooms. Its bacterial and antifungal properties are known for aiding in the growth of nearby vegetables and fruit trees. A vegetable garden or plot of herbs should flourish alongside this great companion plant.
Many gardeners favor chamomile not only for its essential oils but also for its attractiveness in a garden bed or as a ground cover plant. Chamomile flowers, which resemble the appearance of daisies, are irresistible to many pollinators.
To maximize their benefits, situate them next to the companion plants below.
What to Plant With Chamomile
Listed below are some of the best companion plants for chamomile. These share many basic requirements, so they can be grown in nearby plots. A diversity of these plants should help eliminate many pests and lure pollinators for other fruit trees and ornamental plants.
The Brassica family, which includes leafy vegetables like kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts, are ideal chamomile companion plants. Chamomile improves the growth of these plants as the compounds in its oils attract many beneficial insects that feed on common cabbage pests and prevent fungal infections.
The delicate leaves of many vegetables, particularly those of Brassicaceae species, tend to support the rapid progression of pest infestations and powdery fungus. They should thus be planted in moderate densities and alongside other crops with natural pest-repellent and antifungal properties.
Though chamomile may suppress infestations to some extent, keep members of the Brassica family separate to reduce the spread of other pests.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is a great companion plant for chamomile because both herbs share similar growth preferences and can be cultivated next to other oil-rich species in an herb garden.
A beneficial herb with a valuable aroma and taste, basil produces many aromatic compounds with insect-repellent properties. It is believed to produce more oil in proximity to other herbs.
German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Wild or German chamomile is a good companion for C. nobile. Its blooms are known to attract pollinators and bring splendid color to just about any type of garden. An annual species, this herb can also be used to produce herbal tea and a variety of botanical treatments.
German chamomile is a versatile species that can be grown in many parts of the garden due to its tolerance for both full sun and partial shade. It helps deter the same pests as roman chamomile largely due to the similarities in their phytochemistry.
Alliums (Allium spp.)
Companion planting with alliums is widely regarded as a wise strategy for biological pest control. Alliums contain essential oils with various antibacterial and antifungal properties. These are exposed when the leaves or bulbs are mechanically damaged by grazers or pests.
As chamomile can benefit from being located close to alliums, alliums may likewise thrive in proximity to mature chamomile stands. The beneficial insects that are attracted to chamomile may venture close to allium leaves and consume unwanted pests and fungi.
Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber plants make for great chamomile companions because they share similar requirements. High-quality cucumbers, which may attract cucumber beetles and aphids when present in large quantities, benefit from the presence of chamomile.
The scent and appearance of chamomile plants attract predatory insects that should feed on pests attacking your vegetables.
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)
Chamomile is known for reducing the spread of Colorado beetles, which favor vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes. These beetles are some of the most troublesome pests in potato plots, causing extensive damage to the leaves and roots of the plants. Chamomile extract should help eliminate their populations on potato plants.
Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)
Tomato plants and chamomile make for good companion plants because they can thrive in well-drained and fully sunlit parts of the garden. Gardeners use chamomile to aid in the growth of tomato fruits as its compounds deter many pests and herbivores.
Squash (Cucurbita spp.)
All types of squash, including zucchinis, pumpkins, and winter squash, should benefit from being situated close to chamomile plants. Chamomile blooms can attract beneficial insects that feed on many troublesome beetles.
When left to infest squash plants, squash beetles can bore their way into the squash fruits and organs, damaging them from the inside.
Strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa)
Growing chamomile in a fruit garden, particularly one which is used to cultivate strawberries, can improve fruit quality and aid in increasing yield. Chamomile flowers attract beneficial insects that are known for feeding on strawberry pests and those which may occur on nearby plants.
Peas (Pisum sativum)
A vegetable garden can be made more productive with the help of a few companion plants. Planting chamomile next to peas should stimulate the production of blooms and encourage more vigorous growth.
Peas are ideal legumes to plant with chamomile as they favor good drainage, full sun exposure, and ample ventilation. Planting chamomile next to their stands can improve your garden’s textural appearance.
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Planting chamomile next to dill should increase populations of beneficial insects. Companion planting with dill is often seen to have favorable effects in herb and vegetable gardens. This chamomile companion, known for its strong scent and flavor, tends to produce higher quality oils and stronger flavors when it is situated close to C. nobile.
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
Rosemary is one of the best chamomile companion plants. Its strong scent and bitter oil deters many pests and grazers. It is known for repelling insects that may attack many other plants, particularly those with fragile foliage.
To maximize the combined effects of rosemary and chamomile as companion plants, make sure to situate their stands in well-draining areas. Plant their stands in fully sunlit parts of the garden.
Planting Chamomile Next to Fruit Trees
Companion planting with compatible species is a great way to increase a garden’s diversity and reduce the chances of pest damage. Apple trees, for example, are highly susceptible to pests that are often controlled by beneficial insects. Conveniently, chamomile attracts these insects and encourages their presence on nearby plants.
Chamomile planted at the base of fruit trees and other plants should also help stifle the spread of harmful bacteria and fungi. Apart from its functional contributions to fruit farms, its presence can greatly improve the appearance of uniform stands.
Plant Chamomile Next to Flowering Ornamentals
Companion planting with chamomile also appeals to flower gardeners. Apart from being a source of leaves for chamomile tea, this herb aids in the protection and flower production of many ornamental plants.
Bad Chamomile Companion Plants
The following plants are not the best option for companion planting as they can exhibit troublesome growth rates and may attract more pests.
Here’s what not to plant with chamomile:
Carrots (Daucus carrota)
The carrot root fly, which is drawn to the scent emitted by carrots, produces eggs that hatch into carrot-eating larvae. Growing chamomile next to plots with carrots may not help mask their scent and protect them from the carrot flies. Instead the chamomile blooms may stimulate carrot fly infestations.
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Another source of flavorful and pharmacologically beneficial compounds for herbal tea, mint is one of the most troublesome companion plants for chamomile. Unless its stands are well-maintained and restricted to containers, its roots tend to spread quickly and uncontrollably. Try to opt for other members of more easily manageable herb families instead.
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