Cannabis has tremendous medicinal benefits, but like everything in nature, it’s better with companions. Here’s how to landscape with cannabis to help ensure it thrives.
The plant kingdom boasts of a truly stunning array of interconnected, synergistic, and ultra-intelligent forms of cooperation and communication. Within any healthy garden, the plants present are in constant communication, where they sequester, uptake, and swap nutrients and information both above and beneath the soil. Anyone growing cannabis, whether indoors or out, should know that there’s a way to design your garden that leads to mutually beneficial relationships between plants, and thus healthier, higher-yielding plants. Here’s how to combine cannabis with companion plants in your garden landscape, in a way that synergistically benefits all the plants (and the grower too!).
Companion Planting: How to Landscape with Cannabis
Companion plants are those plants that help other plants repel pests, fight-off disease, and stimulate optimal growth. The underlying idea is that certain groups of plants growing together are stronger than they are individually. By carving out a series of symbiotic relationships, one plant provides what the other needs, be it a nutrient, or the ability to deter a problematic pest. Suitable companion plants grown together also improve soil health, support root structure, and increase drainage.
Common Companion Plants For Cannabis
Coriander has the ideal relationship with the insect world; it attracts the beneficial type, and turns pests away at the door.
Coriander repels aphids and spider mites, both of which are two potentially problematic pests that can cause real grief for cannabis growers. The plant also attracts friendly bugs like tachinid flies, hoverflies, and a variety of parasitoid wasps that eat the larvae of many common pests.
Coriander can also come to the rescue of cannabis plants already infected by spider mites. Spraying an affected plant with a tea brewed from crushed coriander seeds may even be what helps revive an ailing crop!
Yarrow is another ideal companion plant for cannabis. The plant offers multiple benefits. Firstly, yarrow sticks to itself. Its roots don’t compete for nutrients with other plants. It also attracts many beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, hoverflies, aphid lions, and mini wasps. With a big enough presence of these insects in the garden, unwanted pest populations are kept well under control.
One of the more interesting characteristics of yarrow is that it enhances essential oil production in the plants surrounding it. In a study published in Acta Scientiarum: Agronomy (2018), researchers discovered increased levels of essential oil production in lemon balm in the presence of yarrow. 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://doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v40i1.35506. This could means lots of terpenes! For medicinal cannabis patients, it’s the terpenes within that help modulate much of the medicinal benefits of the plant.
Chamomile has a unique ability to deter bugs, like whiteflies and nematodes. These two unwanted pests can wreak havoc on any cannabis plant. Whiteflies rob it of essential nutrients, while nematodes attack the root system of the plant.
Chamomile grown in the vicinity of cannabis will help deter these pests, while some conscientious growers may go a step further and spray young plants with Chamomile tea to keep fungal infections at bay.
For those growing their own cannabis to help manage symptoms of anxiety or improve to sleep, don’t forget that chamomile also exhibits many relaxing properties and may be useful to many patients looking to tone down anxiety come bedtime.
Alfalfa provides for the cannabis plant like few others. It sequesters nitrogen in the soil and also shares the essential nutrients of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium with neighboring plants.
Its root system is deep, meaning it can share moisture with other plants during dryer spells. Many growers make mineral-rich tea from alfalfa that often helps stimulate growth when given to the cannabis plant.
Most accomplished gardeners know the power of marigolds as a companion plant. They tolerate many different soil types and generally do well regardless of heat and light levels.
Marigolds help deter pests like nematodes, aphids, beetles, and leafhoppers. They also have their own potent fragrance that makes them extremely attractive to many other forms of pests. When arranged correctly, marigolds can serve as a barrier for a cannabis grow by keeping potentially harmful pests satisfied.
Composted marigolds are also a beneficial addition to soil once these wither and die. French Marigolds, in particular, are a potent insecticide – whose effects can last for many years.
How to Landscape The Ultimate Cannabis Scented Garden
Out of the fifty thousand known terpenes in nature, the cannabis plant contains over two hundred of them. Different cultivars contain varying levels of dominant terpenes, something that leads to a wide variety of scents. But, when combined with other terpene-rich plants, the resulting scent can be intoxicating in and of itself.
For those growing cannabis who want to synergise the accompanying scents produced by garden plants, then plants such as lavender, rosemary, and jasmine all work well when combined with cannabis.
The Placement of Cannabis in the Garden
Outdoor varieties of cannabis can grow to quite a height, from ten to thirteen feet in some cases. If you’re setting up a garden, then ensure you place the cannabis at the back. This makes sure it doesn’t hog all the light, or block the rest of the garden from the sun.
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|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://doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v40i1.35506.|