Mints are favorite herbs commonly found in many home gardens and grown occasionally to harvest for culinary and medicinal purposes.
In fact, many gardeners add mints with other garden plants to boost fragrance, deter pests, and attract pollinators.
However, it may quickly spread and smother companions, which may require growing defensive plants around it.
In general, the best Mint companion plants include vegetables, flowers, and herbs like Brassicas, Carrots, Tomatoes, Oregano, and Marigolds which share many similarities in terms of soil, moisture, and lighting, but avoid growing common herbs.
Other herbs require different soil and moisture conditions which your mint plants will take over too quickly.
Read on to find out what grows best with mints and ways to grow them effectively.
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Why does Mint Need Companion Plants?
Mints (Lamiaceae) are perennial herbs that thrive in light soil that is moist but well-draining soil that resembles their native habitat along river banks.
You would find almost 25 different species of mints available around the world, including peppermint and spearmint.
Most varieties prefer full or partial shade and rich organic soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.0.
Remember, they would do well in USDA hardiness zone 3 to 11 with cool to warm temperatures and grow almost 4-inch per month.
Although they are easy to grow, mints are known to be invasive and run over companion plants.
Basically called “runners,” their roots will suck nutrients and moisture meant for other plants. They steal water from the top inch of soil, starving neighboring plants.
Some companion plants, such as hardy herbs, are known to prevent the invasive growth of mint roots.
Other plants will enjoy many pollinators attracted by mint’s fragrance and benefit from deterring harmful pests, such as aphids, spider mites, flea beetles, repel houseflies, cabbage moths, ants, squash bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, and even mice.
Therefore, growing mint and other plants together are best to obtain more benefits.
Moreover, growing mint also stabilizes the soil; the densely matted runners will prevent erosion and sediment runoff.
13 Best Mint Companion Plants
Mints can peacefully coexist with various herbs, vegetables, and flowering plants.
These versatile herbs exchange many benefits with accompanying plants to keep flourishing.
Here are a few plants that you can grow with mints without hesitation.
Companion Vegetables for Mint
Growing mint and vegetables together will help repel most soil-borne pests like aphids and battles.
Most vegetables require slightly acidic soil to neutralize that matches mint plants; therefore, they would make great companion plants.
Kale is a popular vegetable that also makes the best mint companion plant. Both kale and mints prefer light yet moist and well-drained soil.
Moreover, Kale and Mint thrive in moderate temperatures ranging from 60 to 65°F (16 to 18°C) and can survive long winters.
A part of the Brassica family, kale attracts many pests like cabbage moths and aphids.
Growing mint a few feet from kale will help deter these pests, thanks to its robust, pungent smell.
Cabbage belongs to the Brassica family, which is prone to many harmful pests, including cabbage moths (cabbage looper).
The pungent aroma of mint deters flea beetles and the white cabbage moth from nibbling the leaves of any brassicas.
Mint is believed to flavor cabbage family plants. In addition, they both do well in full sun with temperatures ranging up to 70°F.
When planting cabbage, leave 12 to 24 inches between each seed to avoid overcrowding the space.
3. Chili & Bell Peppers
Both bell peppers and chili need a temperature of at least 50°F (10°C) to grow.
Many chili and bell pepper variety sprout within 7 to 10 days in late summer and spring, at the same time as the mints.
The aromatic mint fragrance will help repel pests like aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites from chili and bell pepper shrubs.
Remember to plant chili and bell peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date.
However, do not grow them closer; keep 18 to 36 inches of space in between.
Eggplants (Solanum melongena) are warm-weather vegetables that thrive in climates similar to mints.
Growing mint and eggplants will help amend the soil to make it lighter and well-draining.
A temperature between 75 to 85°F (24 to 30°C) is more appropriate, where they will grow within a short span. Similarly, they prefer full sun and organic, well-draining soil.
However, plant mint and eggplant 18 to 20 inches apart to prevent the mint from absorbing the soil moisture.
Tomatoes are nightshade plants that are prone to various pests and diseases.
Growing mint around tomatoes will help deter harmful pests like aphids and spider mites. In addition, mint is known to improve the vigor and flavor of tomato plants.
To keep the soil moist, you can use a similar soil mix with organic matter for tomatoes, but remember to water it well.
Mint may not enjoy watering much; hence, keeping some distance may help. Remember to provide full sun with an average temperature of 65°F (18°C).
Companion Flowers for Mint
Despite mint’s invasive behavior, you can plant it around your flowers to deter flower pests like ants, spider mites, and aphids.
However, ensure to plant mint in underground pots to prevent it from taking over the flower bed.
Here are a few examples of flowers that make great mint companions.
Marigolds are lovely flowering plant that thrives in full sun and hot summers.
In fact, many Marigold species are drought tolerant and can withstand mint’s less watering requirement.
Marigolds prefer the same environment as mints, so you should not have a problem with the soil condition, moisture, and humidity levels.
The colorful marigold flowers attract many helpful bugs like bees, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and ladybugs.
Inviting these beneficial insects will help deter pests from the mint plant. However, ensure to grow these plants at least 10 to 12 inches apart to prevent overcrowding.
Read more about best Marigold companion plants.
Like marigolds, roses make great mint companions because these two plants are much alike.
Roses do well in sunny locations with well-draining soil rich in organic matter.
They both prefer warm temperatures ranging between 60 to 70°F and relative humidity of 60 to 70%.
The rich-colored roses will encourage many beneficial bugs to roam around the garden, which will benefit mint by keeping the pests away.
On the other hand, mint will cover the ground to keep the soil cool and well aerated for the roses.
Remember, roses often spread wider than average and may cover the mint garden entirely. Therefore, keep a distance of 8 to 12 inches between the two plants.
8. Blanket Flower
Blanket flowers, also known as Gaillardia, are flowering plants that give out a cluster of richly colored flowers.
The flowers may look like daisies clustered, giving an impression of a flower blanket.
These colorful flowers will attract many pollinators like bees and beetles and deter predators like deer.
Care to provide full sun, warm temperature between 50 to 65°F, and well-draining soil preferable to mint plants.
Begonia is a flowering plant with about 2,000 sub-species and boasting colorful flowers.
The colorful Begonia flowers and deep, green mint will perfectly contrast, creating a lovely shade.
When growing Begonia, consider growing them indoors in a pot and placing them close to mint grown in another pot.
The flowers will invite many beneficial pollinators towards the mint, and the mint will help ward off common houseplant pests.
They both share a similar watering need and enjoy an optimal temperature of around 72ºF.
Companion Root Plant for Mint
Growing root plants and mint together can become a great idea as one benefits the other.
However, you should place either plant away from their proximity to prevent mint roots from taking over the root plants.
Here are a few examples of root plants that go well with mints.
Beets are delicious root plants that grow in small spaces like garden corners.
They do great in well-drained soil that is not too heavy for large roots to grow, similar to mint plants.
Roots plants are prone to soil-borne pests like aphids and root flies. The pungent scent of mint will effectively help deter these pests.
If your garden soil mainly contains clay, consider amending it with organic mulch to make it sandier.
Consider planting them in winter when the temperature is around 40°F (4°C).
Beet roots will expand 3 to 6 inches in length; hence, consider keeping at least 8 to 12 inches of space from the mint.
Carrot is a favorite root plant often grown in most house gardens. However, this delicious root plant is prone to pests like carrot root flies and aphids.
As a solution, you can grow the mint plant in its periphery to deter these pests.
Like other root plants, they grow best in cool temperatures around early spring and late fall.
Ensure the temperature is around 55°F (13°C) and the soil is enriched with organic compost to ensure healthy growth.
However, remember to soften and aerate the ground before planting as you would for mint plants.
Read about planting carrot seeds in a pot.
Radishes are popular root plants that you can consider growing with mints in your garden.
The crop grown since ancient times boasts over 35 species, where most radish species are found in cool temperatures ranging from 50 to 60°F.
Growing them closer to mint plants will help deter root insects.
The plant grows best in moist soil appropriate for mint plants but avoids overwatering them to prevent root damage.
Onions are another favorite root plants that grow well in most house gardens and make perfect mint plant companions.
A part of the Allium family, they are related to garlic and chives. Ensure to provide full sun with well-draining yet slightly moist soil.
Most onion species prefer soil temperatures of around 55 to 75°F, while some hardy species can withstand temperatures up to 20F.
Remember to grow them 12 to 15 inches apart from mint plants.
What Not to Grow With Mints?
Not all plants complement mints as their companions because they require different soil conditions, pH levels, and moisture.
As a quick spreading plant, Mint can overtake the entire garden soil and nutrients, overwhelming the growth of accompanying plants.
One common species that hate growing along with mints is herbs; therefore, you should avoid planting them close together or growing them in separate containers.
Here is a table highlighting the herbs that will falter as mint companions.
|Lavender||It does not do well in moist soil conditions meant for mint plants.|
|Rosemary||Rosemary prefers drier sandy soil without much organic mulch, which may be unfavorable to mints.|
|Sage and Oregano||Mint roots can invade the space meant for sage and Oregano; hence they are best grown in separate containers.|
|Parsley||Parsley requires similar soil conditions to mints, but the latter is more likely to take up the space meant for Parsley|
|Thyme and Basil||These herbs share many similarities with mints and can be grown if kept in different parts of the garden.|
Proven Tips for Companion Planting of Mint
Growing companion plants will make your mints and garden look happy.
However, ensure a conducive growing environment for each plant, so they do not deter each other’s growth.
This saying is accurate with mints because they are known for their invasive behavior.
Always keep ample space between mint and other plants, at least 1 to 2 feet. Here are some effective tips for companion planting.
- Keep mints in their own space by growing them in raised garden beds or containers dug inside the ground.
- Moreover, turn in-ground mint pots after every growing season so their roots do not escape.
- Prune mint leaves regularly to keep them from climbing on companion plants.
- When growing indoors in separate containers, you can keep them close to other plants to exchange benefits easily.
- Growing them close to other herbs can offset their fragrance, which can be a big letdown.
- Mints tend to take up a lot of water through the soil; hence, you should avoid growing drought-loving plants with mints.
- Consider growing tall-growing or deep-rooted plants close to mint to prevent them from taking over other plants.
- Otherwise, plant mints at the corner edge of the garden away from other vegetables and shrubs or high foot traffic areas.
Watch the video for more care tips for mints,
Mints will add lovely decor to your home garden with their strong fragrance and deep-green leaves.
Care to harvest mint leaves regularly for kitchen, culinary, or medicinal purposes, so they do not outgrow themselves.
Follow this guide to keep a tab on your garden mints and from harm’s way.
Related Article: What is eating my Mints?