Cannabis Companion Planting

Which plants can help your cannabis grow

cannabis companion plants to help them thrive

Hey there and welcome (back) to Free the Tree!
Today we’re going to cover companion planting with cannabis. We’ll start with a couple necessary definitions, then go into the different plants and fungi you can use to help your cannabis thrive. At the end of the article we have a couple setups shared by growers in the community to help you visualise.

Companion planting – Table of content

Companion Planting – A couple definitions

Before getting into the details of companion planting we though it was important to define some terms that are often used when reading articles on the subject. If  you already know all these terms, go straight to the next section

What is companion planting?

Companion planting is the concept of planting plants that help each other out, and/or work well together. In nature this occurs naturally but in human cultures, whether indoor or outdoor, we tend to view anything that isn’t our main crop as a problem.

This type of growing is a part of “permaculture”, reproducing a resilient ecosystems of plants, insects and animals that allow the you to stop having to input nutrients in the soil.

Before getting into each companion plant for cannabis here’s a couple important idea’s which will be useful for the rest of the article.

What are “nitrogen fixers” or “nitrogen fixing plants”

Some plants, like beans, alfalfa, peas and others have the ability to absorb Nitrogen from the air and, with the help of friendly bacteria, transform it into a plant-available form that is stored within root nodules of the plant. 
When this one dies, or if you break open some of these nodules, the available nitrogen is released into the soil for the other plants to consume.

How do Nitrogen Fixers increase the available Nitrogen in the soil

Nitrogen fixating plants, mainly from the legumes family, work in symbiosis with different types of bacteria in order to attract and transform the nitrogen into a usable form.

Here’s how it works : The plant captivates the “unusable” Nitrogen in the atmosphere and “transfers it” to the bacteria. In turn, the bacteria releases chemicals that react to the Nitrogen, creating new molecules, like Ammonia. The plants have the ability to absorb these molecules and process the nitrogen, storing them in nodules in their root system. 

Once the plant dies the nitrogen within these nodules is released into the soil, enriching it.

We made the following graph below to help visualize this process, you can also check out this short video by Britannica that explains the process very well.

graphic showing how bacteria help break down nitrogen in the atmosphere for plants

What is a “nutritive tea” or “compost tea”

We go into more depth on this subject within our organic growing article, but basically a “Compost Tea”, also call “Nutritive tea’s” is a mix of nutrient rich plants and water that is used to replenish nutrient within the soil.
One of the most common types of plants used for this is Alfalfa, as the stems and leaves are rich in Nitrogen, its flowers rich in Potassium and Phosphorus.

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Cannabis companion plants

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look into the different plants that can be used as companions for cannabis. We have decided to list a wide range of plants so that you can make your choice on what companions to pick, depending on your needs and location
On our end, we decided to start with Alfalfa, Beans and Coriander 🙂

Alfalfa

A little about Alfalfa

Alfalfa, also called “lucerne” or referred at as “The king of foods”, is a flowering plant of the legume family.
Originally from south east Asia and has been domesticated by humans for about 9000 years.
The word “Alfalfa” comes from the Arabic “al-fac-facah” which literally means “father of all foods”.

Throughout the years, it has been used as forage for cattle, green manure and as a cover crop

Alfalfa and companion planting

Alfalfa is a deep rooted plant that helps with soil composition, especially in compact soils. Its roots also increases water penetration and retention while the leaves trap moisture and reduce evaporation.

For outdoor growers, Alfalfa is also great to control the presence of unwanted plants (weeds) as well as avoiding erosion.

Nutrients provided by Alfalfa

For starter, Alfalfa is a Nitrogen fixing plant, so it will help replenish your soil of nitrogen.
Its stems, leaves are great of a Nitrogen rich compost tea, while the flowers will make a PK rich tea. It is also a source of Vitamin A, B, D, E, K and botin. 

Alfalfa also accumulates Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Phosphorus, replenishing these nutrients when decaying.

Alfalfa grows fast and with long stems, allowing you to harvest it often to make organic teas (faster) or let it decay within your soil (slower).

You can harvest this plant without needing to replant it, as long as the root system stays intact Alfalfa lives, on average, 4 to 8 years, but can survive up to 20 years in optimal climates!

Alfalfa flowering in a garden

Image credit : PxHere

Beans

A little about Beans

Beans are a widely used food crop part of the legume family and are one of the longest cultivated plant by humans. Grown as food for humans and animals for their high levels of proteins.

Beans and companion planting

Companion planting with beans is a very old practice, dating back to Native Americans “three sisters” technique. With a long list of friendly companions, beans will help a wide range of plants, while taking up very little horizontal space.

Nutrients provided by beans

The main nutrient advantage beans is its ability of fix the atmospheric nitrogen and transfert it to the soil. With the help of friendly bacteria it is transformed into plant-available Nitrogen, helping out greatly its companions.

It’s important to note that beans also store available nitrogen within root nodules, releasing it when they break or decay.

Flowering bean in a cannabis pot
Borage

A little about Borage (aka Startflower)

Borage, which is also know as “Startflower” is an annual herb part of the Borginaceae familly, a flowering plant. 

It is originally from the Mediterranean region but has been brought around the world. Once planted, it will grow back every year by self-seeding.

Borage and companion planting

Borage is used as a companion plant for legumes, spinach, brassica and strawberries, acting as a nurse plant.

It is also used with Tomatoes, and can be used for cannabis, to repel hornworms as it will attract predators, especially bees and tiny wasps.

Nutrients provided by borage

Borage leaves are rich in minerals and vitamins, especially potassium, calcium and Vitamin C, making it a good plant to use in organic tea’s.

Image credit : Wikimedia

Catnip

A little about Catnip

Catnip, also known as catswort, catwort, catmint or Nepeta Cataria (botanical name) is a plant part of the “mint” familly is native to Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of China. 

As its name suggest, the smell of catnip strongly attracts… about two thirds of cats, but not only! Its usage ranges from companion planting to a popular herbal tea ingredient.

Catnip and companion planting

Catnip is mainly used to repel unwated insects from your garden. Thanks to its strong smell, it is known to repel Aphids, Ants, Cabbage loppers, Potato beetles, Japanese beetles, flea beetles, cockroaches, weevils and squash bugs. 

What to be aware of

Catnip is an invasive plant, being part of the mint family its root system develops with rhizomes and quickly smother your other plants roots, so plant it in a seperate pot!

Image credit : Neuroscience News

Chrysanthemum

A little about Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum, also known as mums or chrysanth, is a annual flowering plant of the Astaraceae family (daisies, sunflowers, …). Native from northeastern Europe and East Asia it has been cultivated since at least the 15th century BC.

Chrysanthemum and companion planting

Companion planting with Chrysanthemum is mainly done for pest repelling purposes. Having them in your garden will keep away ticks, lice, silverfish, roaches, bedbugs and more since they contain natural insecticides 🙂  

Be careful if you’re trying to attract pollinating insects as Chrysanthemum will also repel them.

garden of Chrysanthemum plants starting flower

Image credit : Nature and Garden

Clovers

A little about Clovers

Clovers, also known as trefoil are part of the legume (or pea) family. With over 300 different species, this plant can be found almost all around the world. In the right conditions, clovers can be evergreen and are perfect to create a base for soil structure. 

Clovers and companion planting

Clovers are great for companion planting as they can be beneficial on different levels. First, as a small her herbaceous plant, it’s great to improve soil structure, improve water penetration, reduce evaporation and keep away unwanted plants (“weeds”).
Second, as legumes, they fix nitrogen into the soil improving global levels and helping out its neighbors.
Third, clovers are an abundant crop perfect to create regular Nitrogen teas.
And finally, clovers attract beneficial predators and pollinators, especially when flowering.

Nutrients provided by Clovers

Clovers is a nitrogen fixer, increasing global levels of available Nitrogen in the soil. It’s foliage is also full of Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium and vitamins, making them great for nutrition teas

Image credit : Just fun facts

Comfrey

A little about Comfrey

Comfrey, also known as Symphytum (botanical name), is a genus flowering plant belonging to the borage familly with up to 35 species, generally grown in gardens or as a herbal medicine. 

Comfrey and companion planting

Companion planting with comfrey is mainly done for organic teas and attracting pollinating insects. That said, you have to be careful since it’s also a large, invasive plant, you may want to plant it in a separate pot.  

Nutrients provided by Comfrey

When decaying, or in a tea, comfrey will provide Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium as well as high levels of calcium.

What to be aware of

Comfrey can be a large and invasive plant so planting her in a separate pot can be a good idea, especially when growing indoors. 

You can then harvest the plant to make your tea or mulch. If you fully kill the plant, you can also re-use the soil for a grow. As the root system of comfrey decays it will enrich the soil.

Image credit : The Guardian

Coriander

A little about Coriander

Coriander, also known as Chinese parsley, dhania or cilantre, is an annual herb of the Apiaceae familly, traditionally cultivated and used in cooking recipes.

Coriander and companion planting

Coriander can be a great companion for you cannabis plant, and not just for your meals!
For starters, its smell is a great pest repellent, especially to fight back against cabbage worms, beetles, carrot flies and moths, but also spidermites and thrips. If you’re planting outdoor, they will also attract pollinating insects like bees and ladybugs.

Coriander is also great as a plant cover, as it will spread slowly across the soil, reducing evaporation and protecting it from the sun and keeping the roots cooler.

Nutrients provided by Coriander

Coriander leaves and flowers contain Nitrogen, Potassium, Manganese, as well as high levels of Vitamin A, C, and K as well as niacin and carotene.

In order to enrich your soil with coriander you need to make an organic tea, which you can then spray on the foliage of your plant or add it into your watering mix.

Image credit : Love the garden

Dandelion

A little about Dandelions

Dandelions, also know as Taraxacum, is an edible flowering plant part of the Asteraceae family native to Europe, Asia and North America. It’s name comes from the french “dent de lion”, meaning “Lions tooth” and is a great plant for pollinators. 

Dandelion and companion planting

In companion planting, dandelions are great to help with soil structure, attracting pollinators and replenishing your ground.

Its root system will grow between 10 and 15 feet into the soil, pulling up nutrients from deep under. When dying out, the decaying root system will air out the soil, making it perfect to improve the quality of very compact soils.

The root system also releases ethylene gas which can cause fruits and flowers to ripen faster 🙂

Nutrients provided by dandelions

While growing, dandelions will pull up nutrients, such as copper, from deep into the soil and make it available to the plants around.
Dandelions are also a great add in your compost or organic teas, providing  high levels of Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, B complex, C and D.   

Image credit : Phys.org

Image credit : Wikipedia

Dill

A little about Dill

Dill is a annual herb of the celery family Apiacaea that is native to Europe and Asia that has been grown for centuries for culinary purposes, used widely in traditional recipes all across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Dill and companion planting

Used in companion planting, dill’s main strength is keeping away unwanted insect specifically spidermites, aphids, squash bugs and cabbage loopers.
When flowering it”s also great to attract pollinators.

Dill forest

Image credit : Use that herb

Fennel

A little about Fennel

Fennel is a flowering plant part of the Carrot Family. It is native to the Mediterranean but is now present all over the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-cost or on river banks.
It’s main use has been as a culinary herb as it’s highly aromatic and full of flavors. Growing it in your garden can be great, if you’re careful. 

Fennel and companion planting

Fennel is great to attract beneficial bugs but to your garden. Fennel plants will attract hoverfiles, ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies helping control unwanted pest population.

That said, Fennel isn’t a great companion in the soil so it can be counter productive to place it in the soil near your plants, but whether keep it in its own pot, or at the border of your garden.

What to be aware of

Fennel will inhibit the growth of your plants if placed in the same pot (for indoor growers) and too close to your plants (for outdoor).
Whether indoor or outdoor, plant them in their own pot to avoid any problems on that end.

Image credit : Grow veg

French Marigold

A little about French Marigold

French Marigold, also known as Tagetes patula, is a flowering plant part of the daisy native to Mexico and Guatemala. Since its discovery it has been naturalised in many other countries around the world, used as a bedding plant.

French Marigold and companion planting

When companion planting, French Marigold is mainly used as a pest repellent. Its flowers will keep away a wide range of insects including aphids, beetles, beet leaf hoppers, nematodes, water flies and tomato worms.

It’s also a good “honey pot” plant as spidermites and slugs prefer them to cannabis, so you can use them as “traps”. 

The roots also produce a natural pesticide that will protect your garden from unfriendly nematodes and other harmful critters.

Image credit : Garden gate magazine

Garlic

A little about Garlic

Garlic, also known as Allium sativum, is part of the onion genus, Allium, family. Its close cousins include onions, shallots, chives among others.

Native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran it has been a common seasoning all over the world. It’s been in our dishes for thousands of years now.

Garlic and companion planting

Garlic is one of the most used companion plants, mostly used for its natural pest and fungus deterrence, while having very little incompatible companions. 

Garlic will repel fungus gnats, colding moths, spidemites, cabbage loopers, japanese beetles, aphids, ants, snails, onion flies and even rabbits and deer. 
It’s also known to be very low maintenance although it does need to have direct access to the light source.

Nutrients provided by Garlic

Garlic is known to build up sulfur, which is a natural fungicide, keeping neighbors safe.

Image credit : Garden Zeus

Lavender

A little about Lavender

Lavender, also known as Lavandula, is a flowering plant of the mint family with 47 known species. It is native to Europe, Asia and Africa and mainly grown as an ornamental, as a culinary herb and to make essential oils. 

Lavender and companion planting

For companion planting, Lavender’s main strength is its strong fragrance which keeps away unwanted insects including fleas, moths and white flies, while attracting pollinators. 
When flowering it’s flowers will bring a wide range of life to your garden.

What to be aware of

Lavender is a bit special in terms of its needs. It requires little water, little to no fertilizer and direct sun access. Since its water and nutrient needs are so different from cannabis’s, it’s best to plant them in a separate pot in order to be able to give her the specific attention needed.

Image credit : How to plant your garden

Lemon Balm

A little about Lemon balm

Lemon balm, also known as balm, common balm and balm mint, is a herbaceous plant growth since the 16th century, part of the mint family native to the Mediterranean, Iran and central Asia, but have been naturalized across the world.

Its leaves are used as a herb for tea or as flavoring in traditional recipes and its oil as in perfume as well as traditional and alternative medicine.

Lemon balm and companion planting

Lemon balm is mainly used to attract friendly insects while keeping unwanted ones, including mosquitoes and gnats, at bay. It’s also known to control weeds spreading in a garden.

Pollinators will be attracted once the lemon balm starts flowering.

In case of plants infested by pests you can make a lemon mint leaf mix and spray it of the foliage of your plant. The citronella within the leaves will deter the pests from coming back to your plant.

What to be aware of

If you don’t control the flowers and seeds, Lemon balm can quickly invade your garden. Unlike it’s other mint cousins, this invasion is not linked to the root system developing but to its seeds spreading fast and everywhere.

To avoid any issues, harvest most of the flowers after pollination, doing so before will take away all that food for pollinators, that greatly need it these days.

Image credit : Gardeners path

Mugwort

A little about Mugwort

Mugwort is actually the common name for several species of flowering plants of the Artemisia family. Its name is most certainly derived from the term “mug” as it’s been used to flavor drinks since the early Iron Age.

Mugwort and companion planting

Mugwort produces a natural insecticide that will repel many insects, including aphids and slugs.

What to be aware of

Mugwort can slow the growth of nearby plants so don’t hesitate to plant her in her own pot, even outdoors.

Image credit : Hobby Farms

Mint

A little about Mint

Mint, also known as Mentha, is a genus plant part of the Lamiaceae family (commonly known as Mint, yes it’s a plant and a family of plants ^^).
Different species of Mint is grown across the world and will grow in many different environnements, although it grows best in wet and humid soils.

Mint and companion planting

Mint is great to repel a wide range of insect, including aphids, ants, flies, mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and certain types of beetles.
Simply having it in your garden will deter these insects from coming, but in case of an infestation you can also make a foliage spray with the leaves. Applying it will cover the infested plants with its smell, leading them away. 

Mint in your garden will also attract ladybugs, which are great predators of a wide range of insects, including aphids.

What to be aware of

The root system of mint develops as a rhizome and can overtake most plants, be sure to plant her in a separate pot.

Image credit : Good house keeping

Nasturtiums

A little about Nasturtiums

The garden Nasturtium, not to be confused with the Nasturtium genus plant, is a flowering plant part of the Tropaeolaceae family, native to the Andes but has since been naturalized in parts of North America, as well as parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Nasturtiums and companion planting

Adding Nasturtiums to your environnement will bring plenty of advantages. This flowering plant is great to replenish soils, attract friendly insects and repel unfriendly ones.
On top of that, its flowers will add lovely colors and the whole plant is edible, you will always be able to use it for something 🙂 

Pests repelled by Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums product an airborne chemical that repel many insects including whitefiles, squash bugs, aphids, many types of beetles and cabbage loopers. 

Nutrients provided by Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are full of nutrients, making an organic tea with them can quickly replenish your soil.

Its leaves contain high levels of Vitamin C, iron and other minerals, while the flowers are full of vitamins B1, B2, B3, C as will as manganese, iron, phosphorus and calcium. All these nutrients will be greatly appreciated by your cannabis plant

Image credit : Bush land perth

Nettle

A little about Nettle

Considered by many people as weeds, nettle has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Nettle has been used to make high quality humus and organic teas, fibers for clothing, in traditional cuisine or as livestock feed, nettle has been accompanying us for awhile 

Nettle and companion planting

Nettle is one of those “grandmother” plants in organic tea recipes, but it’s helpfulness starts well before that. When planted in a garden, nettle will increase the production of essential oils in certains plants (like peppermint) and boost the potency of herbs nearby.

Nettle is also great to be used in compost as it will increase nutrient levels and accelerate the breakdown of matter, producing a robust humus for your garden.

Nutrients provided by Nettle

Nettle leaves are fuuull of nutrients and vitamins, that’s why our grandmothers, and their mothers, used to make nettle soup, and organic tea’s.

Adding nettle to your organic teas, or compost, will increase the levels of Nitrogen, Iron, Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium as well as vitamin A, C, K, and many B vitamins.

What to be aware of

The top of nettle leaves contain little “hairs” that, when touched or rubbed, will “sting” you and irritate the skin so be careful where you plant it, it can really hurt.

Image credit : Sophie’s Patch

Onion

A little about Onions

Onions, also known as bulb onion or common onion, are vegetables part of the Allium family, closely related to garlic, scallions, chives and more.
There are several different species of onions and have been cultivated since the bronze age, at least. 

Onions and companion planting

The advantage of onions in companion planting can mainly be found in their ability to improve flavor of some plants as well as deter unfriendly insects like aphids and Japanese beetles 

What to be aware of

Onions have some unfriendly neighbors like peas, beans, sage and asparagus, so before planting them in the same soil do some research (with Cannabis they’re fine) 

Image credit : How to garden

Rosemary

A little about Rosemary

Rosemary, also known as Salvia Rosmarinus, is a woody, fragrant, evergreen and flowering herb part of the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now grown all over the world.

This herb, great in the plate, is also a very friendly add to your garden as it has many pest repellent and nutritious properties. 

Rosemary and companion planting

The main advantage of rosemary as a companion plant is its ability to repel unwanted insects. It’s known to keep away beetles, mosquitoes, flies, cabbage moths, slugs and snails. When flowering it will also attract a wide range of pollinators

Rosemary can also be a great add within your organic teas as it’s full or vitamins and minarals.

Nutrients provided by Rosemary

Using rosemary in your organic tea will enrich your soil with magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium iron and calcium as well as many vitamins. It’s also great for your health, test it out in a hot tea

Image credit: Gardeners path

Sweet Peas

A little about sweet peas

Sweet peas, also known as Lathyrus odaratus, are flowering plants part of the fabaceae legume family are native to Sicily, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands, but are now cultivated all around the world as food.
Apart from producing beautiful flowers, taking little horizontal space and producing tasty peas, they’re a great companion as they nurture the soil.

Sweet peas and companion planting

As most of its legume cousins, one of the main strengths of sweet peas is Nitrogen fixing capabilities, they will naturally enrich the soil with available Nitrogen, which your babies will love.

Nutrients provided by sweet peas

Sweet peas will naturally enrich your soil with Nitrogen while growing, but you can also make a organic tea with its foliage and flowers, which will increase the levels of nitrogen, calcium, iron, sodium as well as vitamins A and C.
It’s also great to make mulch, just make sure to chop it up first.

Image credit:  Clover home

Thyme

A little about Thyme

Thyme is a aromatic herb part of the mint familly, closely related to oregano. Thyme has been cultivated for thousands of years, mainly for its culinary and medicinal uses, but also as an ornament.

Thyme and companion planting

There are two main advantages to having Thyme as a companion plant. On the first hand, it’s a great pest repellent, known to repel cabbage worms, corn earworms, tomato hornworms and flea beetles.

Once mature, harvesting Thyme leaves and stems and adding them to your organic teas is great a great source of nutrients.  

Nutrients provided by Thyme

Thyme is known to be rich in vitamins A and C, copper, fiber, iron, and manganese. In order to enrich your soil with these nutrients just add thyme leaves into your organic tea, or compost.

Image credit:  Tenth acre farm

Yarrow

A little about yarrow

Yarrow, also known as Achillea Millefolium, the nosebleed plant or Milfoil, is a flowering plant in the Asteraceae  familly native to temperate regions across the northern hemisphere, used to feed livestock and used in traditional medicine to stop blood loss due to wounds.

Yarrow and companion planting

Yarrow can be an great add to your garden, whether indoor or outdoor, and is suggested by many growers for 2 main reasons. The first, its soil improving quality, the second, it’s ability to attract pollinating insects. 

Yarrow is known to pull up nutrients from deep within the soil and make it available to plants neighboring her. 
Yarrow is also known to mine for copper and zinc, as well as accumulate led, making them perfect to clean a led infested soil.
If this is your case, do not use the harvested plants for mulching or eating as they will have high levels of led in the foliage & flowers.  

Nutrients provided by yarrow

While growing Yarrow will increase the levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium by pulling up these nutrients from the deep soil. Yarrow is also known to accumulate copper and zinc, making it a great add to your organic teas, as long as there’s no led within your soil.

Image credit:  Toronto Garden

Companion plants by benefit

Sooo how to choose which companions to plant with all these choices? 
Well, our tip is to go with your different needs. We know we need Nitrogen, and lots of it. We also know she needs other macro nutrients, like Phosphorus, and many micro nutrients. So as good base you want plants that replenish those nutrients. 
After that a good idea can be to add pest repellent plant to stay safe.

We’ve gather the plants mentioned above by benefit to help you chose what to grow

Plants that improve nutrient levels

garden full of companion plants

Using companion plants you can create an ecosystem that actually improves the quality of your soil instead of “sucking out” all the nutrients and creating the need to constantly “feed” the soil.

Using a combination of nitrogen fixating plants and organic compost tea’s made from your plants, you are able replenish your soil and stop buying nutrients to cover for the loss.

Here’s a list of plants you can easily grow with, or around, your cannabis with the nutrients they will bring to your soil 

Plant

Nutrient benefits

Alfalfa
  • Nitrogen Fixating plant
  • Accumulates Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Phosphorus
  • Helps soil structure
  • Helps water penetration and retention. Reduces evaporation. 
  •  Frequent harvests (3/4 times a year)
  • Great for compost teas and/or green manure.
Beans
  • Nitrogen Fixer
Borage
  • Leaves and Flowers of Borage can make a very nutritive teas to fertilize your soil organically.
  • Vitamin C, Potassium and Calcium.
Clovers
  • Nitrogen Fixer
  • Able to convert unavailable Nitrogen to available Nitrogen (Nitrates)
  • Trace levels of Potassium, Calcium and vitamins within the foliage. 
Comfrey
  • Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus and Calcium
  • Deep roots that pull up nutrients from deep within the soil
  • Very good to make mulch and nutritious tea’s

    Helps prevent diseases such as powdery mildew

Coriander

Coriander added into your mix will provide:

  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin A, C, and K
  • Niacin
  • Carotene
Dandelion
  • Deep roots that bring up nutrients from deep under
  • Stores large amount of nitrogen in the leaves, making it great for tea.
  •  Potassium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A, B complex, C and D.  
GarlicKnown to naturally build up sulfur, an effective fungicide.
Nasturtiums
  • Thrives in soil with low amounts of nutrients and replenishes it.
  • Leaves: High levels of vitamin C, iron and other minerals
  • Flowers: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, C, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus and Calcium 
Nettle
  • High in Nitrogen
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A, C, K, many B vitamins
Rosemany
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A and C
Sweet peas
  • Nitrogen fixer
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A and C
  • Great to make instant mulch, you just need to chop it and lay it on the soil.
Thyme
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Vitamins A and C
Yarrow
  • The roots release chemicals that attract nitrogen-fixing bacteria
  • Pulls up potassium, calcium, magnesium
  • Copper and Zink accumulator

Be careful, Yarrow is also a led accumulator. If your soil is rich in led, it will clean it up, but this led will be within its foliage. In this case, do not use the Yarrow.

Plants that help soil structure

You often hear of the importance of an “aired out soil”, that drains well while not creating pockets of dry earth. Well, many plants will help you do so naturally thanks to different types of root systems.

Here’s a list of plants that will help structure the soil for your cannabis plant to thrive in

Plant

Benefits to the soil

Alfalfa
  • Deep root system that helps composition, especially for compacted soil and increases water penetration and retention.
  • Its leaves and flowers trap moisture and reduce evaporation
Clovers
  • Root system that helps soil composition
  • Foliage creates a cover on the soil, keeping it cool and reducing water evaporation
Dandelion
  • Deep root system (10 to 15ft)
  • Pulls up nutrients from deep under ground
  • Decaying roots air out soil, perfect for low quality and/or compact, soils
Sweet pea’s
  • Effective barrier against weeds

Nasturtiums

  • Effective barrier against weeds

Yarrow

  • Deep root system that pulls up nutrients (potassium, calcium, magnesium)
  • Helps neighbors resist against diseases

Plants that act as pest repellents

beetle feeding of foliage

Pests, pests, pests… If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know the battles we’ve had.. Spidermitesthripsfungus gnats, we’ve had our share of headaches, and tested a wide range of solutions.

One thing we’ve learned for sure, “pests” are a part of nature and the growers life, we have to learn how to deal with them. There are hardly one size fits all solutions, you can easily miss the start of an infestation and once they’re there dealing with them will take awhile.

Prevention is definitely the best tool, and here again nature can come for the save! Many plants have smells that our unwanted guest don’t like, you can use these to cover and protect your crops.

Plant

Pests repelled

Alfalfa
Borage
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Cabbage worms. 

(Cannabis & tomatoes are very similar and attract mostly the same pests)

Catnip
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Flea beetles
  • Weevils.

Be carefull to plant catnip in a seperate pot, its root system is invasive.

Coriander
  • Beetles
  • Aphids
  • Spidermites
  • Good all around pest repellent
Chrysanthemum
  • Ants
  • Ticks
  • Cockroaches
  • Silverfish
  • Pollinators

Chrysanthemum is a natural insecticide

Dill
  • Aphids
  • Squash bugs
  • Spidermites
  • Cabbage looper
Fenel
  • Aphids
  • Slugs
  • Snails
French Marigold
  • Aphids
  • Beetles
  • Beet leaf hoppers
  • Nematodes
  • Water flies
  • Tomato worms

Also know to attract spidermites and slugs, so you can use them as “traps”. 

The roots also produce a natural pesticide that will protect your garden.

Garlic
  • Fungus gnats
  • Codling moth
  • Spidermites
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Japanese beetles
  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • Snails
  • Onion flies 

Also known to keep away rabbits or deer from gardens.

Lavender
  • Fleas
  • Moth
  • White flies

Its strong smell can also help protect your crop by covering the smell.

Lemon balmLemon balm leaves are great to create a foliage spray that will deter pests like spidermites and thrips from biting the leaves
Mugwort
  • Slugs
  • Aphids
Mint
  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • Mosquitoes
  • Cabbage moths
  • Many types of beetles

Be careful to plant in a separate pots, the root system of mint can overtake most plants

Nasturtium
  • Whitefiles
  • Squash bugs
  • Aphids
  • Many types of beetles
  • Cabbage loopers.

Onion

  • Aphids
  • Japanese beetles

Petunias

  • Aphids
  • Squash bugs
  • Tomato hornworms

Be careful not to plant them too close to your plants as they also attract caterpillars and slugs

Rosemary

  • Beetles
  • Mosquitoes
  • Flies
  • Cabbage moths.
  • Slugs
  • Snails

Very strong aromas, it can mask the scents of surrounding plants and protect them from exploring pests.

Thyme

  • House flies
  • Cabbage worm
  • Corn earworms
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Flea beetles.

Plants that attract beneficial insects to protect your plant

Butterfly pollinating flower

Another way to fight back against unwanted insects in to attract their predators or have plants that these pests prefer over cannabis.

Here again there’s a wide range of plants that are great companions for cannabis 🙂

Plant

Insects attracted

Alfalfa

Attracts ladybugs, assassin bugs and predatory wasps

Beans

Unwanted insects, like spidermites and thrips, prefer beans to cannabis. Placing it around your crop will allow you to spot, and treat, infestations before they do harm.

Dill

Attracts many beneficial insects, including ladybugs, praying mantises, and parasitic wasps.

They will also attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hover flies

Fennel

Great to attract ladybugs

Draws in parasitic wasps that will pray on cabbage worms, caterpillars, and whiteflies

Also attract hoverfiles, ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies.

Plant them in their own pot (see here for more info)

Mint

Ladybugs

RosemaryRosemary attracts a wide range of pollinators
Thyme

Attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees

Naturally produces antibacterial and antifungal compounds which can protect beneficial insects and plants

Yarrow

Attract pollinators, especially bees.

Relationships with fungi – Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae

Companion planting doesn’t stop at plants! 🙂 As we have seen previously, a lot happens under ground, and as you may know, that’s also the realm of fungi. 

Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae and 2 types of fungi that have developed relationships with plants since plants left the water world and conquered the earth.

The fungi help the plants cover more space under ground, allowing them to intake water and nutrients from area’s they “can’t reach”. Fungi also help break down nutrients to make them accessible to the plants.

In turn, plants break down and release sugars that are essential to the well being to fungi, allowing them to thrive. It’s a perfect win-win situation, isn’t nature awesome? 🙂 

We are preparing an in depth article on Trichoderma & Mycorrhizae, if you need info on this quickly don’t hesitate to send us a message 

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Check out our strain and price comparison!
In a couple clicks find the perfect strain, compare prices between merchants and get back to growing 🙂   

Organizing your setup

Now that you see the different plants that can be beneficial for your setup, whether indoor or outdoor, it’s important to think up how you’re going to organise this.

Here’s a little sketch we made for you to help describe the perimeters where to put the types of plants for a good use  

Representation of a companion plant zoning

You can take advantage of the space around your pot (black border) to place pest repellent plants like coriander, french marigold, lavender and others. Closer to your cannabis baby you can place the more beneficial plants, that will nurture the soil, keep the humidity, or what ever your aim is.

Grower companion plant setups

Here’s a couple examples of actual companion planting setups so you can visualize what it looks like

Plant lovers’s companion plants

Here’s Plant Lover, one of the communities growers, setup. As we’re writing the article this setup is very young, we will be adding content as the plants grow 🙂

We decided to add 3 companions with our little critical+ strain, Beans for the Nitrogen and spidermite protection, coriander as a pest repellent and alfalfa for soil integrity, preservation of humidity and, later on, fertilizing tea’s.
Here’s some pictures of this early setup.

Transplanting Cannabis & beans together

been plant added in cannabis pot

Introducing Coriander and Alfalfa

coriander and alfalfa transplanted with cannabis

Companions are home

cannabis plant with 3 companions

6 days after the transplant

2 weeks later

companion bean plant flowering

Lifted Farms companion setup for pest control

Lifted Farms are cannabis growers that have a couple farms in Oregon, USA. Passionate growers, they have been working for many years to get to the current setup. They have shared their own companion planting with us to spread the knowledge 🙂
Don’t hesitate to check out their website or their Instagram for more.

Lifted's cannabis farm viewed from the sky

French marigold as a pest repellent

The marigolds are outside the greenhouses as a pest deterrent. They are in front of fan intakes and around the front of the greenhouses. Bad bugs hate marigolds! The goal is to keep the bad bugs away from the fan in turn getting sucked into the greenhouses.

2 french marigold plants ready to place

French Marigold freshly prepared

french marigold used to repel pests

French Marigold pots around intake

Image credit: Lifted Green Acer

Bush beans

We plant bush beans and use them as a host plant. Mites prefer the Bush bean and will choose it over cannabis. Once infested it gets thrown away along with the mites. 

Below the bean plants have been in there for 2 weeks. They are still fairly healthy. That tells me my mite population is under control! We want the Bush beans a little unhealthy so it attracts the bad bugs, so we don’t put much “care” into them.

Bush beans

Beans showing some deficiencies

Image credit: Lifted Green Acer

Beneficial insects

In addition to our companion plants we use beneficial insects like Phytoseiulus Persimilis, Amblyseius Andersoni, Amblyseius Swirskii, and lady bugs for pest management. It requires continuous upkeep to maintain the good bug populations.
It has worked well for us in both indoor and outdoor grows and eliminates spraying completely.

Ladybug larvae hunting aphid

Lady bug larvae

Grower message : Hope that helps! We love to share what we have learned!

Alright folk, hope this was useful to you! Don’t hesitate to share your techniques with us so we can keep improving the communities shared knowledge 🙂 

Until next time, be safe and grow easy

Couple words about the grower

This article was written by Plant Lover, Free the Tree's founder and a passionate grower of Cannabis, as well as all other plants.
Mostly from the city, I work on my computer all day so about 4 years ago, on my off time, I started growing to have some more green in my life.

I never imagined I would fall in love with botany and discover so much about this plant. Since then I keep learning everyday, meeting new awesome people of our community and grow constantly

You can always get in touch with me on our Instagram!

Image credits

Banner Image “Nutrient Levels”: Garden myths

Banner Image “Pest repellent”: Pxhere

Banner Image “Beneficial insect”: Wikimedia

Looking for growing tips? Check out the articles shared by growers

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