Plant Combination Ideas for Container Gardens

Plant Combination Ideas for Container Gardens

As you start to plan out your container gardens ideas, you may find yourself thinking about plant combination ideas for container gardens. The possibilities are endless when you start using garden containers, but maximizing space can definitely be an issue.

Maybe you only have a few garden containers or less, but you want to grow a variety of plants. Instead of trying to purchase more self watering planters you decide to have a few combination planters. This is a great way to utilize your gardening containers for all your gardening needs.

This is often called companion gardening. Some plants grow well together and others don’t. In this guide we will discuss some of the basics of companion gardening and then give you some ideas of plants that can grow together well in your garden container.

The Basics Companion Gardening in Container Gardens

vegetables grown using combination planter ideas
At a glance, companion gardening may appear simple: throw some plants together and let nature do the rest. However, you can't just toss any two or three plants together and hope for the best; you have to know which combinations work and which don't, or you can have a gardening disaster on your hands.

Your local extension office or gardening center may be able to help you source some plant combination ideas for container gardens, but we also keep records of what is working for others and what isn’t here at FarmDaddy. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  • Be careful not to overcrowd your system. Be aware of the space needed for certain plants and plan accordingly as you build out a combination planter.
  • Try to use planter combination ideas that use plants with similar sizes and needs. This will make the process simpler, although you can use different plants entirely, it can be tricky to get them spaced well enough for all plants to survive and thrive.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different varieties to see what works best for your container garden as well as what plants you might actually use together!
Follow these tips and you should be able to experiment and create the perfect combination planter of your dreams! Now, let’s dive into which plants grow well together to help you generate some plant combinations ideas for your container gardens.

What Plants Go Well Together In Pots?

produce from a combination planter

As we mentioned already, some plants grow together well and can even help one another thrive, but some combination of plants can simply push one or the other to the brink and kill one or both plants. To avoid this, we have found some planter combination ideas to help you get started experimenting with, as well as a few to avoid outright.

Basil and Tomatoes

One of our favorite plant combination ideas for container gardens has got to be the companion planting of basil and tomatoes. Basil naturally repels insects with its strong smell, but the combination of tomatoes and basil actually makes the tomatoes taste better and, since they don’t fight over nutrients, they can actually help each other feed more effectively.

More importantly, though, they are a perfect match when it comes time to start preparing and eating your produce!

Broccoli and Onion
The pairing of broccoli and onion are a match made in heaven. Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables in your garden and many pests and insects actively avoid the smell of onions.

While your delicious and nutritious broccoli grows the onions will naturally keep pests at bay. Meanwhile, the nutrient-dense broccoli provides valuable nutrients for onions to grow, too.

Rosemary and Broccoli
Although rosemary does not grow well as a companion plant for other herbs, it does grow well with some vegetables, like broccoli. Rosemary is beneficial to broccoli because it protects it from insects and pests. In exchange, the broccoli improves the soil, making it easier for the rosemary to thrive.

Again, the beauty of this planter combination idea is that they can also be harvested and prepared at the same time for a delicious meal!

Carrots and Beans
Leguminous plants, such as beans, are known for their ability to enrich soil with nitrogen through the nitrogen-fixing process. This means if you plant beans beside your carrots, you can rest assured your carrots will thrive in rich, healthy soil.

When it comes time to harvest your produce, you will likely be able to prepare these two vegetables for the same dish, too.

Combinations to Avoid

Not all plant combination ideas for container gardens are successes, though. In fact, there are some that have been found to be incredibly detrimental to one another. We encourage you to avoid trying to combine these plants in the same garden container:

Tomatoes and Cucumbers

The cucumbers grow much faster than the tomatoes and can outcompete the tomatoes for nutrients, making your tomatoes less plentiful and less flavorful.

Beans and Cucumbers

The sprawling vines of both intertwine and, on paper, sound like they could support one another, but in practice the cucumbers completely overshadow the beans and can even completely kill off the bean vines.

Squash and Bell Peppers

The leaves of most squash plants can grow quite large. Without a proper structure in place, it is more likely that the leaves of the squash plants will block sunlight for the bell peppers causing them to die before they have a chance to produce at all.

Explore More About Growing Your Own Produce

At FarmDaddy, we believe that everyone should be able to grow their own healthy and organic food affordably. Read more about it over on the Our Visions and Our Story pages.

As you start to come up with plant combination ideas for your container garden, we have created a companion planting chart that can help you make the best decisions possible by seeing which plants require more or less space than others. If you have any questions, then simply contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Otherwise, explore our blog for updates and more tips, tricks, and inspiration for all things FarmDaddy gardening. 

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