QUESTION: I’m wanting to plant celery in my garden this year. What grows well with celery? -Kathy W
ANSWER: When you plan the layout of your garden to take advantage of the benefits of companion planting, your plants are grouped together purposefully. You may place plants close together because one repels the insects that plague its neighbor or because a tall neighbor gives shade to more delicate plants growing underneath its leaves. Some plants improve the taste of certain others when they grow close together. Often, plants are recommended as companions because they don’t vie for resources, whether they have different needs or take their nutrition from different soil depths. Here’s a list of plants commonly used as companions for celery in the garden.
- Basil: Basil fends off some of the harmful insects that could prey on other plants nearby.
- Broccoli: Partnering up broccoli and celery takes advantage of the fact that celery naturally repels the white cabbage moth that can harm broccoli plants.
- Bush beans: Bush beans are susceptible to struggling with whiteflies, and celery emits an aroma that whiteflies can’t stand. The beans also add nitrogen to the soil, which benefits the heavy-feeding celery plants. The taller beans also offer some protective shade to the more delicate celery plants below.
- Cabbage: Gardeners love growing cabbage near their celery plants because the celery’s scent defends the cabbage from the white cabbage butterfly. The cabbage plants give back by shading the young celery shoots from the sun.
- Cauliflower: The cauliflower plants benefit from celery’s natural ability to fight off the white cabbage butterfly.
- Chamomile: Used sparingly, chamomile can improve the taste of celery plants when it grows in their midst. Because chamomile can spread so vigorously, limit them to one plant every 150 feet or so among the celery.
- Cilantro/Coriander: The aroma of cilantro is a general repellent to insects that cause trouble in the garden.
- Cosmos: Cosmos flowers are particularly attractive to parasitic wasps that prey on the insects that can pose problems for celery.
- Cucumber: Interspersing your cucumber plants with celery helps fight off whiteflies, which can be a challenge for cucumber plants.
- Daisies: Daisies are used in companion planting to bring in the beneficial pollinators that will reduce the numbers of pest insects.
- Dill: Put some dill in the vegetable garden to keep pest insects away.
- Garlic: Garlic and other plants in the allium family make celery growing in its vicinity sweeter. It’s also known for its ability to naturally drive away pests.
- Geraniums: Keeping geraniums in the vegetable garden will fend off the worms, cabbage loopers [https://www.gardeningchannel.com/how-to-control-cabbage-loopers/], and flea beetles that can pose problems for celery plants. They also serve as a sacrificial trap plant to catch aphids [https://www.gardeningchannel.com/all-about-aphid-control/] if they invade the garden.
- Horehound: Horehound serves as a general deterrent to harmful insects. The tall plants, which can reach heights of up to six feet, also give the more tender celery some shade.
- Hyssop: Keeping hyssop growing nearby will fend off the insects that plague vegetable gardens by drawing in the beneficial insects that prey on them.
- Kohlrabi: Celery will protect the kohlrabi by keeping away white cabbage moths.
- Leeks: Like all alliums, leeks will make nearby celery plants taste sweeter. They also stave off the celery leaf miner and carrot rust flies that celery plants sometimes struggle with. Also, celery and leeks flourish in similar growing conditions.
- Marigolds: These pretty golden flowers are one of the natural insect repellents gardeners most commonly rely on.
- Nasturtiums The scent of nasturtiums repels the worms, flea beetles, and cabbage loopers that can harm celery plants. The flowers will also function as a trap plant for aphids, saving the food crops in their vicinity.
- Onions: Like other members of the allium family, onions will sweeten the flavor of celery growing nearby. They also defend the celery against the carrot rust fly.
- Radishes: Radish plants growing next to celery enjoy a reprieve from the white cabbage moth, which is deflected by the aroma of celery.
- Sage: Sage deters harmful insects and deer from coming near where it’s planted. Sage also stifles weeds and keeps them out of the area where it grows.
- Shallots: Shallots or any other allium will sweeten the taste of celery plants that grow next to them.
- Snapdragons: Beneficial insects like pollinators love the blossoms of snapdragons, and a healthy pollinator presence is one of the best defenses against harmful insects.
- Spinach: Spinach and celery plants both need six hours of sun per day and both thrive on lots of moisture, so they make great neighbors.
- Swiss chard
- Tansy: Companion gardening uses tansy to defend against harmful insects, especially celery leaf miners.
- Thyme: In companion planting, thyme functions as a general insect repellent and also keeps away deer and rabbits. It’s also delicious with the veggies you grow in the garden. Thyme also chokes out weeds in its vicinity.
- Turnips: Parner turnips with celery plants to save the root veggies from battling the white cabbage moth. Make sure to leave enough space between the turnip and celery plants that the celery’s roots are not disturbed when it’s time to harvest the turnips.
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