Beautifully, when you grow cannabis, you expand your knowledge of horticulture. This is an invaluable experience because it allows you to keep nurturing and upgrading your marijuana growing skills while also learning tons of incredible facts about the vast world of gardening.
Growing cannabis is an art form, too, because there are no limits to the creative approaches you can apply in order to bring your weed gardening to the next level. One extraordinary way to take the most of your marijuana grow operation is to make the benefits of cannabis companion plants work in your best favor.
But what are the best marijuana companion plants and which ones will be the most helpful as a part of your unique cannabis grow journey? What exactly are cannabis companion plants anyway? Can both indoor, as well as outdoor weed growers benefit from cannabis companion planting?
Keep reading and by the end of this article, we bet that you’ll get straight down to planning your next cannabis grow adventure with a full list of awesome companion plants to help you out in many meaningful ways.
What are Marijuana Companion Plants?
There are many different plants that are suitable to grow alongside your ganja green ladies with a mind to boosting soil’s quality or keeping your cannabis garden away from the public radar.
Companion planting can be extremely helpful when it comes to repelling various pests from causing trouble to your marijuana plants without the need to spend a dime on toxic pesticides.
Moreover, marijuana companion plants can be strategically positioned as a means of destroying unwanted vegetation naturally, thus, curbing the need for using herbicides.
The very term companion plants are not limited to marijuana growing.
Companion plants is a term that is well-known and broadly used among horticulturists and agriculturists alike.
In general, companion plants refers to plants that are grown very close to each other based on selective principles which are related to reaping particular benefits from companion planting.
Quintessentially, companion plants are mutually beneficial to each other in different ways.
While growing different plants together in a certain area can lead to plants’ malnutrition issues due to the plants competing for resources, companion planting gives quite the opposite results.
Instead of completing, some companion plants can help in boosting each other’s robust development. However, certain companion plants do not provide extended benefits to each other but still, they do not compete for resources which is why they remain suitable companions.
To be as precise as possible, many experts tend to prefer alternate phrases to the broadly-used term “companion plants” because of alternate phrases being considered more suitable to describe the functions and benefits of planting particular types of plants in groupings. For example, some alternate phrases to “companion planting” used by agriculturists include polyculture and intercropping, while ecologists prefer the term “plant associations.”
Interestingly, companion planting is a very ancient practice, and it was widely used by the Native American tribes’ thousands of years ago. One of the Native Americans’ companion planting methods is known as the Three Sisters planting which refers to growing beans, squash, and corn as companion plants. The same method is traditionally used by the Ovawambo people (also known as Ovambo or Ambo people) from Namibia.
Ultimately, companion planting is a practice used by many gardeners because of various reasons, such as pollination, pests’ control, maximized use of growing space, the establishment of habitat for different beneficial living creatures, and nonetheless, for increasing the productivity of the selected crop.
And so, marijuana companion plants refers to plants that can be intentionally grown in very close proximity to cannabis plants with the goal of reaping particular benefits.
Below, we will share a complete list of cannabis companion plants you can take the best advantage of, alongside the exact benefits you can reap from each marijuana companion plant accordingly.
Now, let the cannabis companion planting party begin!
Best Marijuana Companion Plants: A-Z Overview
Guilds are how experts refer to a collection of plants selectively grown together in order to support each other’s healthy development. Acting just like diverse, micro-sized ecosystems, guilds can improve the quality of soil, the bio-availability of various nutrients, as well as water penetration and retention rates.
Moreover, guilds have the ability to attract beneficial insects and other beneficial tiny creatures that are known to pray on pests, thus, eliminating pests’ attacks from damaging cannabis plants.
For outdoor marijuana growers, the addition of small rock cairns can further provide extra benefits to companion planting by establishing a welcoming environment for large predatory spiders and/or lizards. Both of these animal species are extremely effective in hunting larger insects that would otherwise munch on your delicious cannabis plants, and hence, decrease yields.
Other companion plants can serve the important function of disguising your marijuana garden without competing with your green ladies for resources. Not the least, some companion plants have the ability to also mask the pungent smell of cannabis during maturation which can be unwanted by some growers due to various reasons.
Cannabis Companion Plants for Improving the Quality of Soil
Known as “the king of foods,” alfalfa cannabis companion planting can help a great deal in balancing the levels of nitrogen naturally, as well as ensuring the accumulation of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Alfalfa grows very quickly so it is a fantastic idea to use it as mulch placed right around your cannabis ladies. Simply trim the alfalfa and you’re good to go in using it as mulch.
Alfalfa plants grow very deep roots. Because of this, alfalfa plants break up the soil. As a result, both water penetration, as well as water retention are improved while evaporation of water is significantly slowed down.
Similarly to alfalfa, cerastium can be used as mulch once trimmed. It grows rather vigorously, so regular trimming is highly encouraged.
When planted right alongside your weed beauties cerastium acts just like living mulch. It increases water retention, as well as water penetration while it also shades the soil to prevent water from evaporating too quickly.
It is important to keep in mind that chamomile releases essential nutrients vital to your cannabis plants only after it dies. Once the chamomile’s life cycle is over, it will release accumulated sulfur, potassium, and calcium back into the soil.
Both white and red clover can work equally well in enhancing soil’s fertility. Clovers are known to be able to fix the levels of nitrogen available in the soil naturally after finishing their life cycle, similarly to chamomile. Once clovers die off, they release nitrogen to the neighboring plants, and the neighboring plants can use it on demand.
Clovers are low-growing plants, and they are extremely resilient so taking care of them is a fairly effortless process.
The Takeaway: All cannabis varieties can benefit from companion plants which are known to improve soil’s fertility. Whether you are planning to grow a legendary, balanced hybrid such as White Widow, a top favorite Indica-dominant hybrid like Green Crack, an energy-boosting Sativa-dominant like Jack Herer or a compact autoflower like Low Dwarf Flyer, companion planting can work wonders for boosting the quality of soil, and in return, the quality of the juicy buds you get upon harvesting.
Cannabis Companion Plants for Repelling Insects
Alfaalfa plants attract beneficial pests’ predators such as beetles, wasps, and ladybugs. Alfaalfa plants are also known to repelLygus bugs.
The distinct, sweetly-scented aroma of basil serves as a natural repellent to mosquitoes, asparagus beetles, aphids, whitefly, and hornworms.
The cannabis plants’ beneficial tiny friends such as bees and hoverflies are attracted to the gentle aroma of chamomile while nasty intruders such as flies and mosquitoes prefer to stay away from the distinct scent of chamomile filling the air.
Chervil plants make fantastic cannabis companion plants when grown in guilds with coriander and dill. A guild of chervil, dill, and coriander will attract the highly beneficial honeybees, as well as mini wasps to keep pests at bay. Nonetheless, this type of guild will also repel whitefly and aphids.
Coriander is best to be planted at the very frontier of your indoor or outdoor cannabis garden, and the same goes to dill and chervil. This is the most effective way to reap the full array of benefits of coriander and cannabis companion planting when it comes to repelling potato beetles, spider mites, and aphids while simultaneously attracting beneficial parasitoid wasps, hoverflies, and tachninid flies.
Part of the holy companion planting in guilds trio of coriander, chervil, and dill, dill is one of the most multi-functioning cannabis companions.
The dreaded spider mites despise dill and they will stay away from your cannabis plants if they are to be protected by dill plants.
If swallowtail butterflies cause troubles to your cannabis garden, plant dill and they will prefer to munch on it rather than on your cannabeauties.
Dill can also repel aphids, squash bugs, and cabbage looper while attracting favorable cannabis allies like hoverflies, bees, and various types of beneficial wasps such as ichneumonids.
Ticks are repelled by lavender, as so are mice and fleas. Being naturally high in the terpene Linalool, some cannabis experts claim that lavender and cannabis companion planting can boost the levels of Linalool naturally due to the ways plants are shown to communicate with each other both over-, as well as underground through complex, still little-known signals.
Plus, apart from attracting bees, the calming scent of Lavender attracts different nectar-feeding insects which also happen to feed on pests’ larvae.
8. Lemon balm
Lemon balm can make a great cannabis companion plant if you need to keep gnats and mosquitoes at bay. Lemon balm is also known to attract beneficial pollinators, however, the lemon balm does spread very, very quickly. This means that you want to monitor your cannabis garden regularly and remove unwanted lemon balm vegetation or it can easily invade your marijuana gardening space.
Marigold can work wonders in repelling leafhoppers and beetles. Its delicate scent attracts various nectar-feeding allies, and its vibrant colors are sure to bring another nuance of exquisite beauty to your marijuana garden.
You can also make fantastic Olive Oil and cannabis-based healing topical solutions adding marigold flowers.
Peppermint can help you get rid of fleas, aphids, ants, and mice invading your cannabis garden. Apart from attracting bees, Peppermint is an extremely versatile plant and it can be used for the making of refreshing drinks, for cooking, and you can also roll a fuzzy-buzzy, delicious joint with peppermint leaves.
Sunflowers naturally attract cellulose and sap voracious pests, so instead of causing damage to your cannabis plants, the pests will be attracted to the delicious sunflowers.
Nonetheless, sunflowers make a brilliant disguise for cannabis plants, no matter, if you are growing a compact-postured autoflowering strain such as Revolver autoflower, a potent Indica like Hash plant or a slender Sativa like Acapulco Gold, sunflowers, can work miracles in ensuring the privacy and discretion of your outdoor marijuana garden.
Quick Tip: Another incredibly useful companion plant that can help you keep the curious eye away from your cannabis garden while also repelling a broad range of nasty intruders is nettle. What’s more, you can make a fantastic and strong repellent for aphids, mites, and ticks that also has the properties to immensely boost plants’ growth during the phases of vegetation by using nettle to prepare fermented stinging nettle tea.
Yarrow cannabis companion plants are capable of repelling a very wide range of bugs. Meanwhile, yarrows can attract important anti-pests allies such as ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitoid wasps, and aphid lions.
However, mind that yarrow plants are long rooted so it is best to plant them around your cannabis garden, much like a fence or close to the edges of a fence as not to make them compete for resources with your green ladies.
The Takeaway: No matter if you’re planning on growing the 80% Indica-dominant gemstone Bubba Kush, a high CBD strain like CB Diesel or a wonderful, fast flowering autoflower hybrid like NYC Diesel, choosing suitable companion plants can help you stay away from encountering pests-related issues while also enjoying extended benefits such as improved discretion of your marijuana grow mission, as well as the presence of various beneficial pollinators. Plant more trees, save the bees, or better yet: plant more cannabis, save the bees, right?
Cannabis Companion Plants for Boosting Growth and Resin Production
As far as the benefits of alfalfa cannabis companion planting are concerned, it is only dried alfalfa fertilizer solutions that are known to boost growth and heavy resin production.
You can boil dried alfalfa stalks by adding these when brewing compost tea. Alfaalfa dried stalks will release a myriad of cannabis plants-friendly minerals and vitamins. If you stick with boiling only dried alfalfa stalks tea, you can spray the concoction generously all over your marijuana garden. If you have any of the alfalfa tea left over, don’t hesitate to spray it all over the rest of your garden.
The state of turgidity is what results in greatly increasing the rigidity of tissues and/or cells, which usually happens due to the absorption of fluid. It is exactly the ability of chamomile plants to boost the turgor of the neighboring cannabis plants, thus, significantly increasing the production of essential oils in cannabis.
While coriander is not known to directly boost essential oils production in cannabis plants, it can help indirectly by effectively keeping the nasty spider mites away. This is possible once you boil crushed coriander seeds and apply the coriander brew by spraying it onto your marijuana plants.By doing so, you can repel spider mites all naturally without having to expose your body to the poisons contained in commercial pesticides.
Marigold is a very powerful plant and it has been used in traditional, plant-based medicine ever since ancient times. The ancient Greeks did not only use Marigold for its medicinal properties but also for food coloring and even for make-up.
Marigold plants are known to release important chemicals into the soil. Some of these chemicals repel insects, and this effect can last for years. Other of these chemicals are believed to stimulate both healthy vegetative growth, as well as the growth of vigorous, nectar-rich flowers, which is exactly what any cannabis grower would highly appreciate when it comes to boosting essential oil content in cannabis.
Although still embraced in mystery, according to horticultural folklore, yarrow is one of the oldest companion plants as it is believed to release beneficial chemicals that increase essential oil production in neighboring plants.
The Takeaway: Any cannabis strains you choose to grow can highly benefit from an increase in essential oil production. However, considering the benefits of cannabis companion plants that are believed to boost the production of active cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes can be extremely beneficial when it comes to bringing out the full array of deliciousness of irresistibly tasty strains such as Cream Caramel, Gelato, Sweet Tooth, Bubblegum, Blueberry, and Chocolope, among others.
Benefits of Cannabis Companion Plants: The Bottom Line
The benefits of cannabis companion plants are quite alluring to any grower out there. Marijuana companion planting can help you enjoy growing cannabis plants that respond to their companions by an increase of vigorous growth, improved resistance to pests and disease, and nonetheless, boosted yields with greater essential oil production. When planting certain living creatures close to each other, they can be mutually supportive towards sustainably enhancing the well-being of their miniature ecosystem, and this is simply incredible.
Cannabis companion planting is the most cost-effective way to bring your weed gardening to the next level. Not only are the benefits of cannabis companion plants good for your wallet but they are also good, and in fact, precious,to the well-being of our beautiful planet Earth. Embrace organic cannabis growing practices to learn how to sustainably grow highest-quality marijuana.