Cannabis loves company, especially as it grows. By selecting the right growing companions, the plant will thrive.
A cannabis plant that stands alone is a lonely plant. Nature is built on relationships (symbiosis), after all. By surrounding cannabis plants with the right company, these only stand to benefit. Known as companion plants, these plants can help cannabis combat pests, resist disease, and grow more quickly and efficiently. Groups of plants grown to provide mutual symbiotic support like this are called guilds. The plants act in unison and help establish an ideal and mutually beneficial ecosystem within a healing garden.
Five Essential Companion Plants That Make a Healing Garden
Happy, healthy cannabis means happy, healthy patients. Carefully choosing companion plants helps ensure the continuation of those symbiotic relationships laid down by millions of years of evolution.
The advantages of a colorful healing garden are many. The right combo of plants attracts the best company and keeps the troublemakers away. It attracts the pollinators and repels the pests. This improves soil, supports root structure, increases drainage, and injects all-important nitrogen into the soil for the optimal growth of cannabis plants. Further, it also means there are other plants with strong odors. These help conceal the pungent smell of the flourishing cannabis plants deep within the healing garden.
Here are five easy-to-grow companion plants that will help convert any cannabis grow into the ultimate healing garden.
What many associate as the “wind-down” cuppa before bed is one of the best companion plants for cannabis.
The presence of Chamomile in a healing garden helps keep whiteflies and nematodes away. Whiteflies hide on the underside of leaves and steal essential nutrients from the plant. These can lay up to 400 eggs that hatch within a week and can quickly proliferate without intervention. Some nematodes are good, however the bad ones can attack the root system of the cannabis plant.
Planting chamomile next to cannabis plants serves as a deterrent to these pests. In addition, for younger plants, spraying chamomile tea on seedlings will help keep fungal infections at bay.
Yarrow increases the essential oil production in surrounding plants. A study published in Acta Scientiarum Agronomy (2018) Silva, Thaís Cristina, Pinto, José Eduardo Brasil Pereira, Pacheco, Fernanda Ventorim, Roza, Heitor Luiz Heiderich, Lordêllo, Diogo Mendes da Silva, & Bertolucci, Suzan Kelly Vilela. (2018). … Continue readingtested the hypothesis with lemon balm. Researchers found that, “intercropping increased the lemon balm essential oil content.” When it comes to enhancing the medicinal properties of cannabis, it’s those terpenes that make up the essential oils that promote much of the medicinal benefit of the plant. Increasing their production naturally can only be a good thing for the medicinal properties of the plant.
The roots of yarrow don’t compete with those of other plants, so they are the ideal inclusion for any healing garden. In addition, these attract some beneficial insects like ladybugs, hoverflies, aphid lions, and mini wasps. Such insects offer enhanced plant protection by consuming other harmful bugs that can wreak havoc on cannabis yields.
Alfalfa is a wonderful companion plant, one that has its neighbor’s best interests at heart. Further, alfalfa has a deep root system, meaning it shares moisture with neighbors during dry spells.
Alfalfa also sequesters nitrogen into the soil, something that’s essential for the health of any flourishing healing garden. In addition, it’s a rich source of four essential nutrients for the cannabis plant: iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Brewing a mineral-rich tea from the plant and spraying it onto cannabis plants helps stimulate further growth. Lastly, alfalfa also promotes the growth of dandelions. The well known yellow flowers are welcome visitors to any healing garden, as they help to break up soil and increase water penetration within.
Marigolds, with their bright orange flowers, are one of the most well-known companion plants. These offer numerous advantages in any healing garden. Marigolds help keep certain insect pests at bay, such as aphids, leafhoppers, and nematodes. Aphids are those dark-colored bugs on the underside of leaves. They are a common cannabis pest that will happily munch on leaves if not culled. Leafhoppers, who leave trademark yellow or brown spots on the leaves, also happily consume leaves. In addition, they spread diseases if not kept in check. Having marigolds nearby helps to ensure they’re kept at bay naturally.
Marigold also stimulates the growth of other neighboring plants. They do so by releasing chemical nutrients into the soil. Their benefits are best harnessed by composting them and adding them to cannabis soil. French marigolds, in particular, function as a potent insecticide, and these effects can last for many years once applied.
Corriander functions as a real deterrent to many potent cannabis pests. It repels aphids and spider mites, the latter of which are an all too common cannabis pest and one that are very tricky to get rid of. In addition to repelling unwanted bugs, coriander actually attracts some of the more friendly bugs such as tachinid flies, hoverflies, and a variety of parasitoid wasps that eat the larvae of bad bugs.
Coriander will also help save any cannabis plants infected with the much-dreaded spider mite. Spraying the plant with a tea brewed from the crushed coriander seeds is one of the most effective natural ways to remove this unwelcome pest. And finally, coriander makes for a wonderful addition to many dishes. So who wouldn’t want it in their healing garden?
At the end of the season, your cannabis grow will reward you with terpene-rich buds and lush, healthy plants. Further, most of the companion plants are also edible! Creating a healing garden is a win for the ecosystem and your own health.
|↑1||Silva, Thaís Cristina, Pinto, José Eduardo Brasil Pereira, Pacheco, Fernanda Ventorim, Roza, Heitor Luiz Heiderich, Lordêllo, Diogo Mendes da Silva, & Bertolucci, Suzan Kelly Vilela. (2018). The growth, photosynthetic pigments and essential oil composition of monocropped and intercropped lemon balm with yarrow. Acta Scientiarum. Agronomy, 40, e35506. Epub September 03, 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v40i1.35506|