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Companion Plants for Citrus Trees: A Guide to Healthy, Productive Gardens

companion plants for citrus trees

Citrus trees are a popular choice for home gardeners, thanks to their delicious fruit and attractive appearance. But like any plant, they need the right conditions to thrive. One way to ensure your citrus trees stay healthy and productive is by planting companion plants alongside them. In this guide, we'll explore some of the best companion plants for citrus trees, as well as tips for caring for your garden.

Why Use Companion Plants?

Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together in order to benefit each other. This can include improving soil health, attracting beneficial insects, and repelling harmful pests. For citrus trees, companion plants can help provide shade, reduce water needs, and deter pests. Additionally, companion plants can add aesthetic value to your garden, creating a more diverse and visually appealing space.

The Best Companion Plants for Citrus Trees

Mint

Mint is a versatile herb that can grow in a variety of conditions. When planted near citrus trees, it can help repel aphids and other pests that can damage the fruit. Additionally, mint leaves can be used to make tea, adding another layer of functionality to your garden. Be careful when planting mint, however, as it can quickly spread and become invasive.

Lavender

Lavender is another fragrant herb that can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It's also a drought-tolerant plant, making it a good choice for areas with limited water. Lavender can be used in a variety of ways, including as an ingredient in cooking and as a natural insect repellent.

Marigolds

Marigolds are a popular companion plant for many types of crops, thanks to their ability to deter pests like nematodes and aphids. They're also easy to grow and require little maintenance. When planting marigolds near citrus trees, be sure to choose varieties that are appropriate for your climate and soil conditions.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are another colorful and easy-to-grow plant that can help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies. They're also edible, with both the leaves and flowers adding a peppery flavor to salads and other dishes. Nasturtiums prefer full sun and well-drained soil, making them a good choice for many gardens.

Cilantro

Cilantro is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salsa to curry. When planted near citrus trees, it can help attract beneficial insects like hoverflies that can help control pests. Cilantro prefers cooler temperatures and partial shade, so it's a good choice for areas with mild summers.

Comfrey

Comfrey is a perennial herb that can help improve soil health by accumulating nutrients and breaking up hard soil. It's also a good source of potassium and other minerals, which citrus trees need to thrive. Comfrey can be grown from seed or propagated from cuttings, and prefers moist soil and partial shade.

Garlic

Garlic is known for its pungent aroma and delicious flavor, but it's also a powerful pest deterrent. When planted near citrus trees, it can help repel aphids, spider mites, and other pests. Additionally, garlic has antifungal properties that can help prevent diseases like root rot. Garlic prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Chives

Chives are a member of the onion family and have a mild onion flavor. When planted near citrus trees, they can help repel pests like aphids and thrips. Chives are also easy to grow and require little maintenance. In addition to their pest-repelling properties, chives can be used in a variety of dishes, adding both flavor and visual interest.

Other Companion Plants to Consider

In addition to the plants listed above, there are many other companion plants that can benefit citrus trees. Some additional options include:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

Caring for Your Citrus Tree Garden

Watering

Citrus trees need regular watering, but over-watering can lead to root rot and other problems. To ensure your trees get the right amount of water, check the soil moisture level regularly and adjust your watering schedule as needed. Additionally, consider mulching around the base of your trees to help retain moisture.

Fertilizing

Citrus trees need regular fertilization to stay healthy and productive. Use a fertilizer specifically formulated for citrus trees, and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Be sure to avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to salt buildup and damage to the tree.

Pest Control

Even with companion plants and good care, citrus trees can still be vulnerable to pests and diseases. To help control these problems, use natural pest control methods whenever possible. This can include introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, using traps to catch pests, and removing infected leaves and fruits.

Pruning

Regular pruning is important for keeping citrus trees healthy and productive. This can include removing dead or diseased branches, shaping the tree for optimal growth, and thinning out excess fruit.


Companion plants can be a valuable addition to any citrus tree garden. By choosing the right plants and caring for your garden properly, you can create a healthy and productive space that provides delicious fruit and visual appeal.

FAQs

1. Can I plant any type of mint near my citrus trees?

While most varieties of mint can be planted near citrus trees, some types are more effective than others at repelling pests. Peppermint and spearmint are both good choices, as they contain high levels of menthol, which many pests find unappealing.

2. How often should I water my citrus trees?

The frequency of watering will depend on several factors, including the climate, soil type, and age of the tree. In general, citrus trees should be watered deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather.

3. What can I do if my citrus tree has root rot?

If your citrus tree has root rot, it may be necessary to remove the affected roots and replant the tree in fresh soil. Additionally, consider reducing your watering schedule and improving soil drainage to prevent future problems.

4. Are there any companion plants that should not be planted near citrus trees?

Some plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, are not recommended as companion plants for citrus trees. These plants have specific nutrient requirements that may interfere with the growth of citrus trees.

5. Can I use chemical pesticides in my citrus tree garden?

While chemical pesticides can be effective at controlling pests, they can also harm beneficial insects and contaminate the environment. Whenever possible, use natural pest control methods to minimize the impact on your garden and surrounding ecosystem.

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