10 ideal flowers to plant in the garden that improve the harvest

Planting flowers in a vegetable garden is a smart trick to keep pests away and attract pollinators for better production. Here is a list of the best flowers to plant in the garden alongside vegetables.

flowers for the garden


Why plant flowers in the garden?

Planting vegetables and flowers in the same bed is an age-old technique for promoting a healthy harvest by attracting beneficial insects, pollinators and native bees, while keeping common pests away from your herbs and vegetables.

Additionally, growing flowers in a garden can make it more attractive, and you can also use some of them as a trap crop!

1. Marigolds (Calendula officinalis)

flowers for the garden

One thing that makes calendula a good companion plant is that it creates a sticky sap that traps pests like aphids and whiteflies. This helps keep these pests away from your vegetables.

Marigolds deter pests above and below ground as they grow and spread throughout the garden. A single marigold blossoms into a huge bouquet if you keep beheading it.

Marigolds work for a variety of pests and critters that might bother your garden. Rabbits don’t cross marigold lines, and some pests get confused when you plant marigolds near bean plants.

They also repel other pests, such as: squash bugs, thrips, tomato worms, whiteflies and root nematodes.

You can grow marigolds with all kinds of vegetables, such as tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, beans, cucumbers, melons, eggplants, pumpkins, potatoes, and lettuce.

2. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

flowers for the garden

Did you know that nasturtiums are an edible annual flower? The leaves and flowers have a delicious peppery flavor that also has a strong aroma to repel pests. Nasturtiums are known to deter: squash bugs, beetles and aphids (acts as a trap crop).

Nasturtium is a dense, low-growing flower that functions as a living mulch and cover crop as it covers the ground under taller crops. Then, when it dies, it nourishes the soil.

Nasturtiums have large seeds, so it’s easy to learn how to pick them and replant them for the following year. In some cases, they will reseed themselves. It is advisable to scarify the seeds, i.e. score them or rub them with sandpaper, before planting them as they have a hard exterior.

You can plant nasturtiums near beans, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, squash.

3. Lavender (Lavandula)

flowers for the garden

As well as being the most iconic weed you can grow in your garden, its beautiful flowering and fragrance make it a great flower to add to your vegetable patch. The scent may appeal to you – because it’s impressive – but it’s used to repel a number of garden pests.

We know deer avoid lavender at all costs, so planting it as a perimeter plant helps keep them away. Ticks don’t like lavender either, that doesn’t mean you won’t get ticks, but it does reduce the number considerably.

In addition, mice find their smell unpleasant, which keeps them away from vegetables. On the other hand, it attracts various pollinating insects that will help the whole garden.

4. Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)

flowers for the garden

If you want to attract more bees to your garden, zinnias are a fantastic option as their flowers are bursting with nectar. These flowers attract bees and other pollinators, as well as hummingbirds.

When it comes to pest issues, zinnias act as a trap crop for beetles, but make sure you don’t plant these flowers with plants that these pests love unless you’re trying to solve a problem.

The best side vegetables: Tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, beans

5. Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

flowers for the garden

It’s hard not to love growing chamomile. The plant produces adorable, delicate flowers with lacy foliage and is known to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

Chamomile plants reach 12 inches in height with very deep roots designed to find as many nutrients as possible.

6. Tagetes (Tagetes)

flowers for the garden

Marigolds are perhaps one of the most well-known flowers to use as companion plants in a vegetable garden. Their flowers attract bees and other pollinators, and they produce compounds in their root systems that can help eliminate non-beneficial nematodes from the soil.

It is possible that they also repel nematodes from the surrounding area, but science has so far not confirmed if this is the case. Either way, they still attract pollinators and other beneficial insects and look great scattered around the garden.

7. Borage (Borago officinalis)

flowers for the garden

With edible flowers and cucumber-like leaves, borage is a herbaceous flowering plant, ideal for attracting bees.

Moreover, it reseeds itself. And the best part: it helps repel tomato and cabbage maggots, inviting their predatory insects.

Be sure to plant them in an area with full sun and rich, well-drained soil.

The best companion vegetables: Tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkins and strawberries.

8. Cosmos (Cosmos)

flowers for the garden

If you have trouble growing flowers, cosmos is a great option. They grow and bloom profusely, even for the new and inexperienced gardener.

One of the best reasons to add cosmos to your garden is that they attract dozens of beneficial insects to your garden.

If you want to attract green lacewings, which repel aphids, scale insects and thrips, choose a bright orange, yellow or white cosmos variety.

Grow it with tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, pumpkins and herbs.

9. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

flowers for the garden

Besides being an amazing snack, sunflowers can serve as a trellis for climbing plants and can also attract pollinators.

However, you have to be careful with squirrels, as they also like to eat the seeds.

One way to prevent pests from reaching your sunflowers is to plant pumpkins or other thick-leaved vegetables under the plants.

Grow sunflowers with lettuce, squash, zucchini, onions, spring onions, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers.

10. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

flowers for the garden

There are many hardy annuals that can be ideal for inclusion in a mixed garden. The blueberry is a beautiful and useful example.

Like borage, it has proven to be an excellent nectary plant, another of the best plants for bees in many gardens.

It may be interesting to read: 10 types of edible flowers that are easy to grow.

It has also been shown to produce chemicals that attract the mediator Microplitis (an important cabbage moth parasitoid) so it can be used in pest control on Brassicas.

Share it on the networks:

Leave a Comment