Picking the right mint companion plants directly impacts the growth and flavor of your mint. Mint is a refreshing herb with a distinctive aroma. It’s one of the most vigorous and easy-to-grow herb plants that thrives in most conditions and doesn’t need much TLC.
Consider growing mint to enhance the taste of your dishes and as a companion plant for various vegetables and crops in your garden.
In this article, I’ll talk about the best and worst mint companion planting choices, along with some frequently asked questions to help you get the most out of growing mint in your garden.
Summary of How to Grow Mint
Before moving on to our main topic, let’s briefly look at the best way to plant, grow and harvest mint.
Mint is part of the Lamiaceae family and contains up to twenty different plant species.
It has numerous health benefits and, like basil and cilantro, grows easily in a garden or a pot. Since the plant has invasive roots, growing it in a pot or bottomless bucket is the best way to help prevent mint from growing out of control in your vegetable garden!
Mint needs well-drained, fertile soil under partial or complete sunlight. While most varieties grow in partial shade and full sunlight, certain variegated types need protection from direct sun rays.
You can also keep your mint plant happy by watering it frequently and growing it at a temperature between 55F to 70F.
The best time to harvest mint is during spring when it starts sprouting from the ground. These young leaves are loaded with flavor and can be harvested twice or three times during each growing season.
Remember to cut the stems from the ground right before flowering and store them in an airtight container to dry properly if you plan to store it.
Best Conditions for Growing Mint
|Best Climate||Thrives in a warm, sunny climate.|
|Plant Spacing||Plant seeds about 18 to 24 inches apart and ¼ to ½ inch deep in the soil.|
|Time Till Harvest||7 to 16 days.|
|Position||Full sun or partial shade.|
Best Mint Companion Plants
Now that you have learned how to optimally grow mint, it’s time to explore the various mint companion plants that will bring positive results and increase the overall crop productivity of your garden.
Here is a list of my favorite combinations for this aromatic herb.
Are you tired of carrot flies attacking your garden? The simple solution to this problem is to plant carrots alongside mint.
Mint helps deter carrot flies which can be disastrous to your carrot crop. Additionally, it also helps enrich the carrot with flavor and nutrients.
Tomatoes and mint are the ultimate power duo when it comes to fighting off pesky pests and insects.
Companion planting mint with tomatoes and other nightshade family members keeps spider mites, aphids, and other harmful pests at bay.
Did you know that tomatoes also serve as a great companion plant for spinach?
The ability for mint and squash to look after each other accounts for this excellent pairing.
While squash creates mulch and protects the soil, mint helps protect it from detrimental insects with its strong scent. And since both plants grow in the same settings, they are very easy to co-exist.
Marigolds and mint work well together and are a visual treat when planted next to one another.
Mint quickly falls prey to whiteflies and aphid infestations, but growing it with marigolds helps control the spread of these infestations. This happens because marigolds attract beneficial insect predators like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and other pollinators to repel these pests.
So, use marigolds as mint companion plants and watch your plant thrive without worrying about any possible insect attacks or infestations.
Bad Mint Companion Plants
While mint grows well with a number of plants, there are certain combinations you should avoid at all costs. Here is a list of some bad companion plants for mint.
Even though parsley and mint share similar ideal growing conditions (such as full or partial exposure to sunlight and well-drained soil), companion planting parsley and mint next to each other is not a great idea.
Mint’s rapidly growing roots spread out horizontally and end up hampering the growth of the parsley and choking the plant.
Mint’s signature feature is its cool, minty scent. But, planting mint alongside chamomile can deprive it of this aroma by stopping the production of the oil responsible for its minty scent.
This lack of mint scent decreases the mint’s repellent properties and makes it vulnerable to nuisance insects.
Rosemary and mint are two very different herbs that can’t coexist in any environment. The main reason for this is the varied soil, light, and water conditions needed for growing each of them.
Rosemary plants are therefore bad companion plants for mint.
There are multiple reasons why strawberries are an unsuitable companion plant for mint.
Firstly, strawberries invite certain pests which specifically feed on the mint leaves. This, combined with their susceptibility to fungal diseases put the mint plants at a higher risk of infestation and other fungal diseases.
In simple words, growing strawberries and mint together is a big no.
Final Words on Mint Companion Plants
Now that you have learned about the best and worst combinations of mint companion plants, you are ready to embark on your journey as a gardener and make the most of this nutritious and flavorful herb.
FAQS: Mint Companion plants
What can you not plant next to mint?
Among the plants that should never be planted next to mint are lavender, thyme, sage, parsley, and oregano. This is because the invasive roots of mint pull nutrients away from these herbs when planted nearby, leading to their eventual death.
What is the best companion plant for mint?
In general, the best companion plants for mint include carrots, squash, tomatoes, eggplants, brassicas and marigolds. Planting these combinations together help keep pests away from the crops and boost their overall flavor.
Can you grow mint next to other herbs?
Despite mint’s ability to take over a vegetable garden, some herbs and flowers will grow quite happily when companion planting mint – as long as it’s contained in a pot!
There is a long list of herbs that don’t grow well alongside mint, so to be safe, I would recommend planting mint away from your general herb garden. Lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and basil are all bad companion plants from mint due to its invasive roots taking over.
Are mint and tomatoes companion plants?
Tomatoes and mint are a power duo when it comes to fighting destructive pests and flies. Just be wary of mint’s invasive nature and restrict it using a container, or it will quickly overtake the tomato bed.
Are mint and basil companion plants?
Both mint and basil enjoy different watering schedules, and when planted together, can make watering challenging to manage. Therefore, it is advisable to grow them in separate containers for better control of moisture levels.
About the Author
Elle Reed is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle. “Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.