Companion planting exploits a natural relationship between plants which have an affinity for each other. ‘Companion’ plants have a beneficial effect on certain other plants. When grown in close proximity to them they will help these plants to grow, flower and fruit more successfully. The reverse of this relationship also applies, and some plants will not flourish when grown next to a species which is unsympathetic. Use the companion planting technique when planting upon your balcony and . Grouping plants both indoors and out can also create marvellous decorative effects. An exotic collection of humid-loving plants can breathe new life into a home.
Indoors, plants generally grow best when grouped together. Always choose plants which require similar cultural conditions and which grow at approximately the same rate. Grouping plants in this way not only contrasts their shapes and colours, but also makes them easier to care for. Plants which like quite a humid atmosphere grow exceptionally well in companion. Individual plants give off moisture from their and, when grouped together, all the plants help to create a humid microcliraate. Another consideration is shade; taller plants can shield low-growing species accustomed to the filtered light of a forest floor.
Companion planting outdoors
Many, including Basil, , Mint, Sage and , are valuable companion plants as they help control diseases and pests which normally attack a wide variety of vegetables and . Garlic is especially beneficial to the health of roses. bushes grown near Garlic will be stronger in growth and will flower profusely, producing very strongly scented blossoms. Garlic also helps prevent black spot, as will other members of the onion family, such as Chives, Egyptian Onion and varieties of Ornamental Allium. Conversely, all members of this family inhibit the growth of Garden Peas, and should not be grown near them.
Plants for warm rooms
- Dragon Tree, Limo
- Propeller Plant, Crassula Malta
- , Crassu argentea
- Mother-in-Law’s-Tongue, Sansevieria trifasciata
- Jelly Bean Plant, pachyphvIlum
- Century Plant, Agave americana
- Partridge-Breasted Aloe, Abie tariegata
- Prickly Pear, Opuntia species
- Crown Cactus, Rehutia species
- Ball Cactus, Notocacms species
- Coryphantha. Coryphantha crecta Mammalaria, MammiHand species
Plants for cooler places
- Cast-Iron Plant, Aspidistra elatior
- , Chlorophvtum comosum Tree , lizei , Cissus rhombi” irlia
- English , Hed era helix hybrids
- Silk Oak, Grevillea rohusta
- , Plumhago auriczdata
- , Pelargonium peltatum hybrids
- Caster Oil Plant, Ricinus communis
- Mother of Thousands. Saxijraga stolondera
Parsley is another useful companion plant for bothand Tomatoes. This plant not only deters attacks, but it will help fight soil-borne pests when planted in the same .
To get a bumper crop of strawberries, plant a tub with Borage, and place it close to yourtub. Borage also attracts bees, which help . Garden Lettuces should not be placed near either Strawberries or Tomatoes as they will inhibit their growth.
A pot of Marigolds, will not only provide a cheerful splash of colour on your balcony or, but will also prove sympathetic to both and Tomatoes.
Nasturtiums secrete a pungent substance which deters attacks fromand white fly and this substance may be taken up by plants growing in the same , and in turn make them resistant to these pests.
Avoid planting Lily-of-the-Vallev near any of thehybrids as neither will grow well.
Indoor plants for low
Many plants adapt well to being grown in dry, centrally heated rooms with low levels of humidity, and these can be grouped accordingly as companion plants. Most varieties of desertthrive in these conditions for most of the year, although some may need to be kept slightly cooler during winter. Small varieties of look and grow best when grouped in one container. Choose a container with holes or cover the base with at least 5cm (2in) of crushed charcoal to keep the sweet. Use a specialist compost and fill in the spaces between the plants with washed pea gravel. When selecting flowering cacti, choose varieties which flower at different times of the year. Low-growing succulents also look good planted in this way.
Other plants which require low humidity include Bead Plant, Desert Privet, Dragon Tree, Mother-in-Law’sTongue and Swedish Ivy. Stand thetogether on individual drip-trays, them according to size, shape and colour to make the most of their individual qualities.
Moderate and high humidity
Position plants which need medium and high levels of humidity together, creating a beneficial microclimate around them. Stand individual pots in a tray of gravel which is kept constantly moist, or plunge pots into a large container of damp peat. Plants which need moderate levels of humidity include palms, Begonias, ferns and. Humidity lovers like grow well with , and . Keep a close check on groups of plants, removing any plant which looks faded or unhealthy as soon as possible. Mist spray frequently, with the exception of plants with hairy leaves, for example, African Violet.