Some people love mint (like me!), and other people think mint is an invasive, noxious weed. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying that mint is a very strong-smelling and fast-spreading plant. If you want to grow mint but are worried about it taking over your garden or attracting lots of pests, consider planting mint companion plants to prevent critters and problems. Companion plants can help control mint’s growth more efficiently and aid in pest control.
What Are Companion Plants?
The term “companion plant” describes any plant that provides some sort of benefit to another plant when they are growing together. This benefit can be pest control, improved growth, or enhanced flavor. Companion planting is placing vegetables, herbs, or flowers that complement each other while growing near each other.
It’s a natural way to control pests, help with pollination, and encourage beneficial insects like bees to come into your garden. You can still benefit from companion plants if you grow your mint indoors. Simply place the plants near each other on a windowsill or in pots. This is a great way to experiment with different combinations before planting them in your garden.
Some plants also make good companions for mint because they can help control its spread. Fast-spreading plants like mint can quickly take over a garden if it’s not kept in check. By planting companion plants around it, you can help slow down its growth and keep it under control. Mint is also a companion plant for many due to its strong smell keeping certain pests at bay for fruits and veggies.
Mint Companion Plants
Here are some excellent companion plants for mint:
Eggplant: Eggplant can help repel flea beetles, a common pest of mint. Eggplant often suffers from aphid attacks, and mint can help keep these pests away.
Potatoes: Potatoes are another plant that can help to control the spread of mint. They compete with mint for water and nutrients: alternate potatoes, mint, and other companion plants for a healthy garden.
Cucumber: Cucumbers and mint go well together in salads and other dishes. They also have similar growing requirements, so they’ll do well together in the same pot or container.
Lemon Balm: Lemon balm is another minty plant that goes well with mint in dishes. They have similar growing requirements and are compatible in the same containers or grow beds.
Rosemary: Rosemary protects mint by providing shade and releasing oil that deters some pests, like cabbage moths. It is safe to plant mint and rosemary in the same container.
Sage: Sage is great to plant with mint if you’re worried about the mint taking over your garden. Sage is a very slow-growing plant, so it can help keep the mint in check.
Thyme: Thyme is an ideal choice to plant with mint as it can help prevent whiteflies, a common pest of mint. Its benefits include better flavor and essential oil production in the mint.
Carrots: Carrots and mint have similar growing requirements and benefit from each other’s company. Mint helps keep pests away from carrots, and carrots help keep mint from taking over the garden.
Beans: Mint can benefit from being planted with beans by helping to repel aphids, which are common bean pests. Beans protect mint by shading it from the hot sun.
Chives: Chives can help to keep aphids away from mint plants. They also have similar growth habits and requirements, making good companions in the garden or containers.
Onions & Garlic: Onions and mint have similar growing requirements and benefit from each other’s company. Mint helps keep pests away from onions, and garlic helps keep mint from taking over the garden.
Cabbage: Cabbage and mint have similar growing requirements and benefit from each other’s company. Mint helps keep pests away from cabbage, and cabbage help to keep mint from taking over the garden.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes and mint have similar growth habits and requirements, so they make good companions in the garden or in containers. Tomatoes can also help to protect mint from some pests, like whiteflies.
As you can see, several different plants make great companions for mint. If you’re worried about mint taking over your garden or attracting pests, consider planting some of these companion plants. You can control its growth more quickly and deter any pests.
How Mint Can Benefit Vegetables & Flowers in the Garden
Mint can be pretty beneficial to other plants in the garden. It can help to keep pests away from vegetables and flowers, and it can also help to improve the flavor of some fruits and vegetables.
Mint is a known natural pest repellent. It can help keep aphids, beetles, caterpillars, and many other pests away from your plants. If you have mint growing in your garden, it’s a good idea to let some of the leaves fall onto the soil around your other plants. This will help to keep pests away from them. Mint will also deter mice and other small rodents from a residence in your garden.
Mint can also help to improve the flavor of some fruits and vegetables. Planting mint near cabbage, for example, will help enhance the cabbage’s flavor. Tomatoes, for example, often taste better when grown near mint. If you want to try this out, simply plant some mint near your tomato plants and see if you notice a difference in the flavor of the fruit.
Mint is excellent planted alongside many flowers as well. Roses are often troubled by pests, but mint will help keep them away. This makes roses very happy!
Companion Plants to Avoid with Mint
While many plants make good companions for mint, there are also a few that you should avoid planting with it. These include:
Fennel: Fennel and mint have similar growing requirements but can’t tolerate each other. They’ll compete for space and nutrients, so keeping them separate is best.
Parsley: Like fennel, parsley and mint have similar growing requirements. They’ll also compete for space and nutrients, so keeping them separate is best.
Basil: Basil and mint have similar growing requirements, but basil doesn’t like how mint smells. It’s best to keep them separate.
Lavender: Lavender and mint have similar growing requirements but can’t tolerate each other. They’ll compete for space and nutrients, so keeping them separate is best.
As you can see, there are a few plants that you should avoid planting with mint. If you want to keep your mint under control, it’s best to plant it with other plants with different growing requirements. The mint won’t take over your garden and crowd out other plants.
Why We Love Mint
Mint is a versatile plant that can be used in many different sweet and savory dishes. It’s also a great way to add flavor to water or tea. If you’re growing mint for culinary purposes, consider planting different varieties so you can experiment with the flavor profiles.
Mint is also an excellent plant for attracting bees and pollinators to your garden. If you want to draw more bees to your garden, mint is a great choice.
Finally, mint is a straightforward plant to grow. It’s tolerant of most soil types and can even tolerate some shade. Mint will spread quickly, so if you want to keep it under control, consider planting it in a pot or container.
How to Plant Mint
When planting mint, it’s best to start with a young plant or cutting. Mint is very easy to propagate, so if you know someone who grows mint, ask for a cutting. You can also purchase young plants at most garden centers.
Mint prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. It’s also tolerant of most soil types, although it prefers well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, consider amending it with some compost or sand to improve drainage.
To plant mint, simply dig a hole twice the width and depth of the pot or container the plant is in. Gently remove the plant from its pot or container and place it in the hole. Backfill the hole with soil and water well.
Mint spreads quickly, so it’s best to plant it in a pot or container. This will help prevent it from taking over your garden. Choose a pot or container at least 12 inches wide and deep to do this. Fill the pot or container with a well-drained potting mix and plant the mint as directed above.
Watering and Fertilizing Mint
Mint prefers moist soil, so water it regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. Mint is a heavy feeder, so fertilize it every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer. You can also side-dress mint with compost or manure in the spring and fall.
If you notice your mint leaves turning brown, be sure to make sure you are not overwatering or underwatering the plant. Remove any brown leaves to promote healthy growth.
Mint can be harvested anytime, but the leaves are most flavorful before the plant flowers. To harvest mint, cut off the leaves you need, careful not to damage the plant.
Mint can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. To dry mint, cut off a few sprigs and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place. Once the leaves are dry, remove them from the stems and store them in an airtight container. To freeze mint, chop the leaves and store them in a freezer-safe container.
Uses for Mint
Mint can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. It’s a versatile herb that can be used in many different sweet and savory dishes. Mint is also an excellent plant for attracting bees and pollinators to your garden.
Some of our favorite recipes that feature mint include:
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: This classic flavor is always a hit.
- Mint Julep: A refreshing cocktail for hot summer days.
- Strawberry Mint Salad: A delicious and healthy salad perfect for spring and summer.
What are your favorite ways to use mint?
As you can see, there are a lot of plants that make good companions for mint. If you’re worried about mint taking over your garden, consider planting some of these companion plants to help keep it under control. And, if you love minty-smelling things, you can plant them near each other so that the scent will be even stronger!
Do you have any experience growing mint with companion plants? Let us know in the comments below!