Companion Planting to Grow Healthy Cannabis Companion planting is a natural, inexpensive and organic way to improve the quality of your marijuana crop and reduce damage from pests. All you have to do is choose a supportive plant or two (or ten) to grow alongside your cannabis. Some plants emit chemicals that act as natural pesticides. Others attract beneficial insects. Many add vital nutrients to the soil and can feed your plants for you. Companion planting is not only an option for outdoor growers. You can grow a living mulch, like that pictured below, right in your indoor containers. Marijuana Companions that Fight Pests Companion plants are best known for their pest fighting qualities. Some actively repel pests, while others attract predatory insects, also called beneficial insects. To help prevent pests in your cannabis garden, try planting these common herbs and flowers: Cilantro: Combats aphids, spider mites and potato beetles. Citronella: A type of geranium, citronella is actually a boon to the gardener, not the cannabis. It’s familiar odor repels mosquitos, making garden tasks more pleasant all around. Chrysanthemum: This popular flower contain pyrethrin, a natural insecticide that kill a variety of damaging insects as well as harmful root nematodes. Dill: Repels spider mites. Foxglove and Mullein: Both beautiful additions to the garden, these plants attract the insect dicyphus which will eat whiteflies, aphids and spider mites. Garlic: This aromatic veggie is another famous anti-pest option for gardeners. It accumulates sulfur, a natural fungicide, and repels aphids, Japanese beetles, root maggots and snails. Research has shown that garlic even repels rabbits and deer from fruit trees. Why not try surrounding your young cannabis seedlings with garlic to fight off pests both large and small? Marigold: Marigolds are the king of pest repellent plants. They have a powerfully smelling chemical that they release into the soil. Nearby plants pick it up and taste, to insects at least, like the repugnant marigold. It is especially effective against white flies. Peppermint: Fights aphids. All members of mint family contain menthol, which repels harmful insects and attracts beneficial ones. Shasta Daisy and Sunflower: More attractive flowers which will attract beneficial mites and pirate bugs to eat spider mites, fungus gnats, mites, scales. Yarrow: Attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs. Marijuana Companions that Provide Nutrients There are several ways that you can use companion plants to amend your soil and bring extra nutrients to your cannabis plants. One option is to plant a cover crop between grows. You plant something that either adds nitrogen or pulls minerals up from deep in the ground, then cut it down and allow it to decompose on the soil (or even till it in) before planting your cannabis crop. Good cover crop choices for a marijuana garden include. Alfalfa, Beans, Buckwheat & Mustard Some plants can be grown alongside cannabis to provide nutrients throughout the growing season. Alfalfa: This nitrogen fixing perennial can be grown amongst marijuana plants much like clover. It gets a bit taller, but can be cut several times during the season. Just drop the cuttings around your plants. They will break down quickly and provide nitrogen. Borage: Borage brings up trace nutrients from deep underground. It grows quickly and can be cut and left as a mulch around cannabis plants to provide nutrients. Clover (White, Red, Crimson): Clovers grow low to the ground and pull up nutrients and minerals from deep in the earth. They also form a living mulch by covering all the exposed soil around each cannabis plant. This will help hold water in the soil as well as prevent the erosion of topsoil. Comfrey: This fast growing perennial should be grown in its own space, as it tends to spread and can take over. You can cut a single plant up to six times during one season and use the leaves as both mulch and compost. Marijuana Companions that Improve your Harvest Not only can companion plants repel marijuana hungry pests and boost the nutrient content of the soil, they can also improve the resin content of your buds. Plant one of these amongst your cannabis to increase oil production. Chamomile: This herb is popular for tea, but it has value as a companion plant as well. In addition to increasing oil production in neighboring plants it also accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur. When it decomposes these minerals become available to surrounding plants. The calcium and potassium boost will strengthen marijuana stems while sulfur is a natural insect repellant. Oregano or Marjoram: These flavorful herbs grow into small, dense bushes. They don’t compete for root space and are generally unobtrusive to other garden plants. In addition to attracting beneficial insects they have been shown to increase the yield of many common garden vegetables, including squash, beans, chives and asparagus. Try planting a few amongst your cannabis; perhaps you’ll get a higher yield! Stinging Nettle: Much like chamomile, nettle will boost oil production, increasing the resin content of your harvest. Yarrow: A tough plant that is excellent at preventing soil erosion, yarrow also increases essential oil production in surrounding plants. Marijuana Companions that Camouflage your Grow Whether you are growing in your backyard or in a secret location deep in the wilderness, these plants can help you hide your grow from nosy neighbors or passersby. Lovage: This large perennial herb makes a great screen for a cannabis garden. Plus it is flavorful, resembling celery but much easier to grow. Use it mask your smaller stealth plants from the neighbors, and to season your favorite soups. Stinging Nettle: No one likes the prickly itch that comes from a brush with stinging nettle. Use this to your advantage by planting it in a thick perimeter around your grow. Anyone approaching will turn back as soon as they feel the first nettle bite. Southernwood: A type of wormwood, this bushy perennial herb can reach five feet in height and two feet across. In addition to providing thick cover for your marijuana crop, it releases a strong lemony scent when the leaves are touched which can help hide the smell of your girls. As you can see, there are many, many options when it comes to choosing a companion plant. And the relationship is not a one-way street. If you have a vegetable garden in a place where cannabis is legal to grow, try mixing a few plants in at the edges of your garden. Marijuana is actually a great companion to many vegetables. Just be careful to place your plants on the north side of the garden so they won’t shade plants that need sun. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you can take advantage of a cannabis canopy to shelter heat sensitive kale or lettuces.