Best Container Plant Combinations
Discover great veggie and herb container gardening ideas that showcase companion plants (plants that help each other grow better).
Take the guesswork out of choosing container plants with a few of our container gardening ideas. Just as with traditional gardens, beautiful container gardens begin with a just-right blend of plants. This is true whether you're designing a vegetable container garden or combination herb planter.
Of course, the success of any container garden depends on filling pots with quality potting mix. Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix protects crops against over and under-watering, which is vital for a good crop of vegetables and herbs. For the very best results, you'll also want to feed regularly (check the label!) with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, which instantly feeds to help all of your plants grow big and strong.
Over time, potting soil tends to break down, losing nutrients and becoming less able to retain water. So, if you're using the same potting mix as last year, renew it before you plant by mixing in a layer of Miracle-Gro® Refresh 1™ Soil Revitalizer (be sure to follow directions). That way, you can be sure your plants will have all the soil support they need.
As for what to put into that wonderful potting mix, choose Bonnie Plants® vegetables and herbs instead of seeds and you'll have vigorous plants in your pots from Day One, plus harvest time will come even sooner. Try a few of these fun container plant combinations:
- Pizza Garden (22-inch or larger pot - a half whiskey barrel works well): determinate (bush) tomato, oregano, chives, basil
- Lemonade Garden (20-inch or larger pot): Stevia, lemon balm, lemon mint, lemon basil
- Bouquet Garni Herb Garden (20-inch or larger pot): rosemary, thyme, sage, small bay laurel
- Mexican Herb Garden (16-inch or larger pot): Cilantro, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint*
- Ice Cream Herb Garden (16-inch or larger pot): Lemon verbena, anise hyssop, rose geranium; or mint, thyme, lemon verbena.
* Mint spreads easily, so plant it first in a smaller pot, then plant that pot in the larger container.
Some container gardens feature plants that help each other to grow better. These plant combos are known as companion garden plants. The thought behind companion plants is that one may have a scent or color that repels or helps disguise its partner from pests. In other cases, a companion garden plant may attract beneficial insects, which eat any problem pests that arrive.
Container vegetable gardens that feature companion garden plants often include herbs or flowers. For instance, plant cabbage, broccoli or Chinese cabbage with mint, which helps to deter pesky cabbage moths. These combinations can look beautiful, too. Try planting white and green variegated pineapple mint alongside red cabbage, or Artwork Stir-Fry Broccoli with lemon mint. Use an 18-inch or larger pot for either of these combinations.
Try planting bush beans with marigolds, a natural Mexican bean beetle deterrent, in a 14-inch pot. If you want cucumbers, plant a 16-inch pot with a bush cucumber (with trellis) encircled by yellow nasturtiums, edible flowers with a peppery bite that will also lure aphids away from your cucumbers and deter cucumber beetles. Dill partners well with bush cucumbers and scallions in an 18-inch or larger pot, as its flowers attract hover flies and predatory wasps, which feed on other insect pests.
A small 10-inch bowl-type planter provides an easy home for leaf lettuce and chives, which deter aphids. Or go for a classic combination of companion garden plants: tomato and basil, which repels flies, thrips, and mosquitoes. (Many gardeners will tell you the basil makes the tomatoes taste better, too.) Plant a determinate (bush) tomato and basil in an 18-inch or larger pot. Choose purple basil to add another layer of color to your container garden.
Ready to start your own container garden? Click on any of the links below for more information. You can also click on the product link to learn more about Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix, to purchase the product online, or to find a retailer near you.