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9+ Citronella Companion Plants [Best And Worst List]

Citronella deters pests, but it needs help from other plants to be more effective, so why not try companion planting?

The best Citronella companion plants can be perennials like Lavender, Chrysanthemum, and Rose or herbs like Basil, Lemongrass, and Thyme. Remember that the growing requirements must comply and should not negatively affect Citronella.

Go through the article for a further list of companion plants and those you need to avoid while planting Citronella.

Can You Plant Citronella With Other Flowers?

A delightful addition to any garden is the Citronella which mixes well with most plants to give off a lemony flavor.

Generally, Citronella (Cymbopogon genus) is a versatile perennial plant from the Poaceae family. It is drought tolerant and prefers full to partial sun for growth.

The pungent smell of Citronella is the best natural repellent for mosquitoes and other pests. So most people try to take advantage by planting it with other garden crops.

You can plant Citronella with other flowers with similar growing conditions and a high rate of pest infestation.
The green foliage of Citronella plants
The Citronella plant is tall and clump-forming grass.

Moreover, Citronella provides other benefits, like the oil from it is an ingredient for preparing candles. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

So if you want to utilize such benefits, you can plant Citronella in your garden alongside other flowers by cross-checking growth requirements.

People often confuse Citronella grass with Citronella Geranium (Pelargonium citrosum). But know that the latter is a variety of scented Geranium and not a true Citronella grass as it lacks the oil.

9+ Best Citronella Companion Plants

The Citronella in this article is a perennial grass native to Asia. So the companionship should be according to the preference of the grass, not the scented Geranium.

Some of the companion plants for Citronella based on their lifespan and growing nature are as follows.

Perennials For Citronella

Perennials are the best choice for Citronella as they match the plant’s nature and show a similar growth pattern.

Similar qualities can be in the root system, longevity, cost-effectiveness, and low maintenance. Some of the top perennial companions for Citronella are. 

1. Lavender

Lavender and Citronella share similar growing conditions requiring sandy well-draining soil, full sun, and drought conditions.

Meanwhile, the intense fragrance of Lavender complements the lemony flavor of Citronella that works synergically to repel pests.
The purple bloom of Lavender plant
You can also use the cut flower of Lavender and Citronella to enchant your indoors.

Also, Lavender’s purple spike inflorescence contrasts the vibrant blooms of Citronella. Thus, both perennials complement each other.  

2. Chrysanthemum

The Chrysanthemum is famous for its compatibility with Citronella, as the former has a strong scent that can repel mosquitoes.

Moreover, the Chrysanthemum and Citronella have similar light and soil requirements. But remember that Citronella is more drought tolerant, while Chrysanthemum prefers frequent watering.

Nevertheless, like Citronella, you can grow Chrysanthemum as perennial in USDA zone 9 to 11. Also, Chrysanthemums can repel aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, and bugs.

3. Rose

Rose and Citronella complete each other in case of aesthetic value as the needle-like foliage of Citronella requires a contrasting bloom of Rose.

Meanwhile, both plant has similar growing requirements in case of full to partial sun, moderate temperature, and mild water need.
The reddish pink bloom of Rose
The Rose releases fragrance to any indoors and outdoors and is even better when planted with Citronella.

Also, the Rose is not invasive. Thus, you do not need to worry about competition for nutrients and water.

Even Citronella helps to protect the Rose plant from its common pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, and Rose beetles. So it is a win-win for Rose.

Annual For Citronella

Before choosing any annual, consider the pros and cons of introducing it to Citronella garden.

The points to consider include its growing requirement and compatibility test so that none of them affect each other negatively.

Here are some best annuals to plant with Citronella after evaluating everything.

1. Marigold

The top choice in the annual list is Marigold because it shares the same quality as Citronella in repelling pests.

Marigolds have a strong scent that can protect less fragrant Citronella from pests like whiteflies, aphids, and nematodes. Meanwhile, Marigold blooms attract predatory insects like ladybugs and lacewings.

Another use of Marigolds is to add visual appeal to your garden with its dome-shaped orange, red and yellow bloom.

As for the growing condition, both are full sun to partial shade lover that tolerates dry spell to a certain extent. Also, they require well-draining soil that does not suffer from water logging.

2. Sunflower

The large, showy bloom of the Sunflower is its significant feature that attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Also, the Sunflower blooms are over a long stalk with broad leaves that help to provide shade to the bushy Citronella grass.
The Sunflower and Citronella plants in a black planter
Sunflowers can go well with Citronella in both ground and pot.

Meanwhile, the roots of Sunflowers are deep-rooted and capable of absorbing nutrients and water from deeper soil layers, improving soil conditions.

The growing conditions of both are also compatible except for watering. Sunflower requires regular watering and prefers moist soil, but Citronella is drought-tolerant.

Herbs For Citronella

Citronella is a herbaceous grass, so planting it with similar members will benefit it more.

The Citronella can enjoy shade and ground cover benefits from various herbs. So look out below for the list.

1. Rosemary

Rosemary has a higher pest-repellent quality because of its intense aroma than Citronella.

So Rosemary can protect the plant from pests like cabbage worms, Mexican bean beetle, and carrot flies. Also, it attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and bees.

Meanwhile, they require plenty of sunlight, well-draining soil, and warm temperature.

Also, the upright growth of Rosemary provides shade and helps to reduce soil moisture evaporation to keep it moist.

Moreover, the aromatic foliage of Rosemary can add flavor to the neighboring plant. Thus, resulting in a unique fragrance and taste for culinary purposes.

2. Basil

Basil is another one on the list with the most similarities in the case of growing conditions. They are both sunlight and well-draining soil lovers.

Also, the Basil has insect repelling quality that reduces plant damage from pests like hornworms, Japanese beetles, flies, thrips, and mosquitoes.
The leaves of Basil on a pot
Basil is a vigorous grower that needs to be pruned occasionally to maintain its growth.

Meanwhile, Basil plants are adaptable and can grow easily alongside Citronella. It is low maintenance and makes efficient use of garden space.

They can blend each other’s fragrances to give your dishes a unique scent and flavor.

Thus, you can say Basil is one of the best companion plants for Citronella.

3. Lemongrass

People often confuse Lemongrass with Citronella for its similar fragrance and physical appearance from afar.

However, Lemongrass is entirely green, while Citronella has red to purple ting at the stem. Also, they complement each other by enhancing flavors.

The pungent aroma of Lemongrass has higher oil content that repels pests like mites, whiteflies, Japanese beetles, and aphids.

As for the growing condition, they have similar light, soil, and temperature requirements.

Citronella With Vegetables

Here the Citronella is the giver, while vegetables are the receiver of the benefits provided by Citronella.

Some famous vegetables that will not affect Citronella negatively are as follows.

1. Tomato

Tomatoes are vulnerable to pests like hornworms and certain fungal diseases. But when you plant Citronella beside it, the problem starts to decrease.

It is because of the pest-repelling quality of Citronella. Moreover, Tomatao and Citronella plantation has become an organic practice.

As for the growing condition, they prefer full to partial sun and sandy soil that does not lead to soggy conditions. So you can grow them side by side.

Meanwhile, the creamy-white blooms of Citronella act as a pollinator attractor for Tomatoes. 

2. Pepper

Another vegetable taking benefit from the Citronella without hampering it is the Pepper.

They share similar growing conditions regarding light, soil pH, and water.

Meanwhile, they benefit one another by repelling each other’s pests. Mainly, hot Pepper can deter pests like thrips, spider mites, and aphids.

Also, Pepper does not require vast space for growth. So planting both together in closeness will allow the best use of space.

Worst Citronella Companion Plants [Must Avoid]

While choosing the best partner for Citronella, you have to watch out for its enemies and bad company too. It is to avoid any hazards in the future.

Plant NamePossible Reason
BrassicasIt includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.

It can fight with Citronella for nutrients and make it vulnerable to certain Brassica related disease and pest.

Also, they share different growing conditions.
CarrotsIt has tap root that can go deep down to feed on the nutrients, creating a competition for nutrients and water with Citronella.

It can make Citronella vulnerable to Carrot fly.
MintIt has vigorous growth rate that can overtake the Citronella ground space and hamper its growth.
FennelIt has allelopathic nature that releases chemical to hamper growth of neighboring plant including Citronella.

From Editorial Team

Thing To Consider!

Remember that companion planting can vary depending on your garden conditions and the variety used for companionship.

Meanwhile, planting Citronella companion plants helps maintain biodiversity in your garden by attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.