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Companion Plants for Elderberry: Enhancing Growth and Health

companion plants for elderberry

Elderberry Companion Plants

Elderberries are known for their health benefits, but did you know that they also make great companions in the garden? With their tall stature and dense foliage, elderberry plants can provide shade, shelter, and support for smaller plants. In this article, we'll explore some of the best companion plants for elderberry.

1. Blueberries

The Benefits of Planting Blueberries with Elderberries

Blueberries and elderberries have similar soil and water requirements, making them natural companions in the garden. Additionally, blueberries can help to improve the soil acidity around elderberry plants, which can lead to better growth and yields.

How to Plant Blueberries with Elderberries

When planting blueberries with elderberries, it's important to choose varieties that have similar growing conditions. Both plants prefer well-drained, acidic soils, so be sure to test your soil pH before planting. You can also amend the soil with peat moss or pine needles to increase acidity levels.

2. Comfrey

The Benefits of Planting Comfrey with Elderberries

Comfrey is a nutrient-dense plant that can help to improve the health and productivity of elderberries. Its deep roots can help to break up compacted soils, while its leaves contain high levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus - all essential nutrients for healthy plant growth.

How to Plant Comfrey with Elderberries

To plant comfrey with elderberries, simply scatter the seeds or plant cuttings around the base of the elderberry plant. Comfrey is a hardy perennial that requires little maintenance, making it an ideal companion for busy gardeners.

3. Sunflowers

The Benefits of Planting Sunflowers with Elderberries

Sunflowers are not only beautiful, but they can also serve as a useful companion plant for elderberries. Their tall, sturdy stems can provide support for the elderberry plant, while their bright yellow flowers can attract beneficial insects such as bees and ladybugs.

How to Plant Sunflowers with Elderberries

To plant sunflowers with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring. Be sure to choose a variety that grows to a similar height as your elderberry plant to ensure proper support.

4. Mint

The Benefits of Planting Mint with Elderberries

Mint is a fragrant herb that can help to repel pests and promote soil health around elderberry plants. Its strong scent can deter aphids, spider mites, and other common garden pests, while its deep roots can improve soil structure and drainage.

How to Plant Mint with Elderberries

To plant mint with elderberries, simply scatter the seeds or plant cuttings around the base of the elderberry plant. Mint is a fast-growing herb that can quickly fill in any gaps in the garden.

5. Nasturtiums

The Benefits of Planting Nasturtiums with Elderberries

Nasturtiums are a colorful and edible flower that can help to attract beneficial insects and improve soil health around elderberries. Their peppery leaves and flowers can be used in salads, while their bright blooms can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

How to Plant Nasturtiums with Elderberries

To plant nasturtiums with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring. Nasturtiums are a fast-growing annual that can provide a colorful carpet of flowers throughout the growing season.

6. Yarrow

The Benefits of Planting Yarrow with Elderberries

Yarrow is a hardy perennial herb that can help to attract beneficial insects and improve soil health around elderberries. Its white or yellow flowers can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while its deep roots can help to break up compacted soils.

How to Plant Yarrow with Elderberries

To plant yarrow with elderberries, simply scatter the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant. Yarrow is a low-maintenance herb that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

7. Beans

The Benefits of Planting Beans with Elderberries

Beans are a nitrogen-fixing crop that can help to improve soil health and productivity around elderberries. Their roots work in symbiosis with bacteria in the soil to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which can then be used by other plants in the garden, including elderberries.

How to Plant Beans with Elderberries

To plant beans with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early summer. Be sure to choose a variety that grows to a similar height as your elderberry plant to avoid shading.

8. Chamomile

The Benefits of Planting Chamomile with Elderberries

Chamomile is a fragrant herb that can help to repel pests and improve soil health around elderberries. Its small, daisy-like flowers can attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies and parasitic wasps, while its deep roots can help to break up compacted soils.

How to Plant Chamomile with Elderberries

To plant chamomile with elderberries, simply scatter the seeds or plant cuttings around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring. Chamomile is a low-maintenance herb that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

9. Calendula

The Benefits of Planting Calendula with Elderberries

Calendula is a cheerful and edible flower that can help to attract beneficial insects and improve soil health around elderberries. Its vibrant orange or yellow blooms can be used in salads, while its deep roots can help to break up compacted soils.

How to Plant Calendula with Elderberries

To plant calendula with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring. Calendula is a fast-growing annual that can provide a colorful carpet of flowers throughout the growing season.

10. Garlic

The Benefits of Planting Garlic with Elderberries

Garlic is a pungent herb that can help to repel pests and improve soil health around elderberries. Its strong scent can deter aphids, spider mites, and other common garden pests, while its deep roots can help to break up compacted soils.

How to Plant Garlic with Elderberries

To plant garlic with elderberries, simply bury individual cloves around the base of the elderberry plant in late fall. Garlic is a hardy perennial that requires little maintenance, making it an ideal companion for busy gardeners.

11. Marigolds

The Benefits of Planting Marigolds with Elderberries

Marigolds are a bright and colorful flower that can help to attract beneficial insects and improve soil health around elderberries. Their vibrant orange or yellow blooms can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while their roots can help to suppress nematodes and other soil-borne pests.

How to Plant Marigolds with Elderberries

To plant marigolds with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring. Marigolds are a fast-growing annual that can provide a colorful carpet of flowers throughout the growing season.

12. Peppers

The Benefits of Planting Peppers with Elderberries

Peppers are a warm-season crop that can help to improve soil health and productivity around elderberries. Their deep roots can help to break up compacted soils, while their spicy fruits can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

How to Plant Peppers with Elderberries

To plant peppers with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early summer. Be sure to choose a variety that grows to a similar height as your elderberry plant to avoid shading.

13. Radishes

The Benefits of Planting Radishes with Elderberries

Radishes are a fast-growing crop that can help to improve soil health and productivity around elderberries. Their shallow roots can help to break up compacted soils, while their peppery roots and leaves can be used in salads and other dishes.

How to Plant Radishes with Elderberries

To plant radishes with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early spring or late summer. Radishes are a low-maintenance crop that can be harvested in as little as 30 days.

14. Squash

The Benefits of Planting Squash with Elderberries

Squash is a warm-season crop that can help to improve soil health and productivity around elderberries. Its large leaves can provide shade and shelter for smaller plants, while its nutrient-rich fruits can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

How to Plant Squash with Elderberries

To plant squash with elderberries, simply sow the seeds around the base of the elderberry plant in early summer. Be sure to choose a variety that grows to a similar height as your elderberry plant to avoid shading.

15. Tomatoes

The Benefits of Planting Tomatoes with Elderberries

Tomatoes are a warm-season crop that can help to improve soil health and productivity around elderberries. Their deep roots can help to break up compacted soils, while their nutrient-rich fruits can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

How to Plant Tomatoes with Elderberries

To plant tomatoes with elderberries, simply sow the seeds or transplant seedlings around the base of the elderberry plant in early summer. Be sure to choose a variety that grows to a similar height as your elderberry plant to avoid shading.


In companion planting with elderberry can help to enhance the growth and health of other plants in the garden. By choosing plants with similar growing conditions and complementary benefits, you can create a thriving ecosystem that supports both you and your plants.

FAQs

Q1: What is companion planting?

Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together in a way that benefits both the plants and the gardener. By choosing plants with complementary benefits, you can create a thriving ecosystem that supports healthy plant growth and reduces the need for pesticides and other chemicals.

Q2: Why are elderberries good companion plants?

Elderberries are good companion plants because they have a tall stature and dense foliage that can provide shade, shelter, and support for smaller plants. Additionally, elderberries have similar soil and water requirements to many other common garden plants, making them natural companions in the garden.

Q3: What are some other benefits of companion planting?

Some other benefits of companion planting include improved soil health, pest control, and increased yields. Companion planting can also help to attract beneficial insects and pollinators, which can lead to healthier plants and better fruit production.

Q4: Are there any plants that should not be planted with elderberries?

Yes, there are some plants that should not be planted with elderberries. For example, plants that require alkaline soils or heavy fertilization may not do well when planted near elderberries. Additionally, plants that are prone to fungal diseases may be more susceptible when grown in close proximity to elderberries.

Q5: Can I grow elderberries in containers?

Yes, elderberries can be grown in containers, but they will require frequent watering and fertilization. Be sure to choose a large container with good drainage, and use a high-quality potting mix that is rich in organic matter.

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