With the insects coming out in force locally and 90% of my cultivation being outdoors I thought it a good time to talk a little about companion planting for cannabis plants. It is something that I don’t think is utilised enough, if at all by many outdoor growers.
Companion planting for cannabis is used for several reasons; Sometimes to attract helpful pests, other times to repel the less helpful, sometimes even to help regenerate the soil. Some are so good at attracting pests that I refer to them as trap crops. These trap crops particularly attract the unwanted insects so much that they leave the other plants pretty much alone. Occasionally I use cannabis plants themselves as trap crops for spider mites. Ones that give off a pheromone that particularly attracts them and leaves the wanted plants untouched a bit further away in the garden.
There are many wives tales about plants and companion planting and I have listened to half of them. Some have not worked and others may have. There are also many plants and crops that are just impractical to grow around cannabis plants that are often in raised beds or containers. I will try to focus on things that I use quite often in my own grows and how despite a garden full of hundreds of types of insects the crops can still be healthy and strong. After all, I never saw an issue with pests themselves, more so an issue when one particular pest becomes an infestation. Maybe, (likely) insects are similar to ourselves when it comes to diets, variety is the spice of life, despite the occasional binge.
Okay, in alphabetical order..
Angelica attracts Ladybirds and Parasitic wasps which are beneficial insects in the garden. It also attracts Aphids and works well as a trap crop* sometimes. (*Flowers and herbs, like cannabis plants can have distinctive smell and taste differences depending upon its genetics.)
Anise also attracts some beneficial insects and repels Aphids, white-fly and fleas (we have many animals so even this type of pest control is useful, aided by guinea fowl).
Borage attracts pollinating bees and wasps, strengthens plant resistance to many common pests and diseases and adds trace minerals to the soil.
Carrots even repel insect pests. In the right containers I might plant a few small carrots around the edge once the cannabis plant is in flower.
Catnip is in the Mint family and has many of the same attributes as other types of Mint. It attracts Cats of course, who might poop in yer pots.. mm, enough said.
Chamomile will attract beneficial insects.
Chives around base to discourage insects from climbing the trunk.
Garlic produces a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic discourages Aphids, Fleas, beetles and spider mites. It can accumulate sulphur tho so in pots as oppose to the same soil is great.
Lavender Is a good around the edges of containers, it deters snails and slugs as well as many other insects
Marigolds are ideal companions through out the garden, (no not the gloves hehe) as they attract hoverflies, which prey on aphids and white-fly. (so cheap n cheerful I had to throw them in the mix as the token flower gesture)
Mint deters many insects by disrupting their ability to locate food sources within the vicinity of the plant – it literally masks the scent of surrounding plants.
Nasturtium deters many pests including Aphids, white flies, beetles n bugs.
Peppermint contains menthol and repels white cabbage moths, aphids ,flea beetles, bees too actually :o. The menthol content in mint acts as an insect repellent too.
Sage produces flowers which attract many beneficial insects.
Thyme will attract beneficial insects
Tarragon good throughout garden. Perennial Herb, very aromatic and related to Wormwood. (No not scrubs, the apparent cancer fighting herb.)
Valerian is useful anywhere in garden, it attracts earthworms and promotes phosphorous activity in the soil. Valerian can also be made into a spray to benefit the garden.
So there’s a dozen or more choices to get planting around your cannabis plants. Note that many of these are easy to grow herbs that we use for cooking and health benefits. Some of them even used in our cbd tea’s.