With its beautiful flowers and fragrant foliage, lavender is a wonderful addition to any garden. Lavender looks and grows best when paired with complementary plants that enhance its natural beauty while supporting its growing needs. Careful selection of the right lavender companions allows you to create an attractive, thriving display.
Plants with Similar Growing Requirements
Choosing plants that share lavender’s preferences for full sun exposure and well-drained soils helps create optimal growing conditions for both the lavender and its companions.
Plants that Thrive in Full Sun
Lavender flourishes best in a sunny, south-facing location receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Companion plants that also thrive in full sunlight include:
Catmint – With its mounded shape and blue flowers, catmint makes an attractive match for lavender. It shares lavender’s drought tolerance once established.
Yarrow – The flat-topped flower clusters of yarrow bloom alongside lavender in shades of yellow, pink or white depending on variety. Foliage is finely cut.
Verbena – Low-growing verbena spreads into a mat covered with colorful clusters of flowers. Combine with English lavenders for best effect.
Salvia – With over 900 varieties, salvias offer many options to pair with lavender. Try purple-flowered types like ‘Amistad’ for complementary colors.
Zinnias – These classic, easy-care annuals add bold, vibrant colors. Lower-growing varieties work best near lavender.
Marigolds – Cheerful marigolds pair nicely with lavender and help deter pests.
Plants that Tolerate Lean, Well-Drained Soil
Lavender thrives in lean, slightly alkaline soils that drain quickly after rains. Other plants well-suited to similar conditions include:
Thyme – Like lavender, thyme prefers drier soils. Its creeping habit provides nice groundcover around lavender plants.
Oregano – Another Mediterranean herb, oregano needs well-drained soil and combines nicely with lavender for cooking.
Rosemary – An evergreen herb related to lavender, rosemary makes an excellent companion that enhances lavender’s fragrance.
Sage – Both culinary and ornamental sages appreciate lean, fast-draining soil and do well near lavender.
Agastache – Also called anise hyssop, this perennial attracts pollinators and complements lavender’s spikes with its bottlebrush blooms.
Grouping lavender with other Mediterranean herbs or drought-resistant plants ensures ideal growing conditions to help all the plants thrive together.
Plants with Height Variation
Blending lavender varieties of different heights creates appealing dimension:
Taller Lavenders – Plant a backdrop of taller lavenders like ‘Grosso’ or ‘Provence’ behind creeping dwarf types.
Delphinium – Towering delphinium makes a dramatic contrast to low-growing lavender in the front.
Daylilies – Late-blooming daylilies emerge from lavender with their colorful, recurved flowers.
Phlox – Cottage garden phlox adds its blossoms above a carpet of English lavenders.
Proper plant combinations create stunning displays that highlight lavender’s best qualities.
Plants that Deter Pests
Some plants help repel common lavender pests or mask its scent so insects are less attracted to it:
Mint – When planted near lavender, mint helps deter aphids, ants, and cabbage moths. Choose potted mint to prevent invasiveness.
Onions & Chives – The strong scent of alliums can help protect lavender from aphids and cabbage worms.
Petunias – The fragrant blooms of petunias help disguise and obscure the scent of lavender from pests.
Marigolds – Marigolds planted throughout lavender help deter aphids, nematodes, and even deer with their pungent odor.
Nasturtiums – Trailing nasturtiums provide a living mulch and barrier while repelling pests like whiteflies.
Utilizing these companions provides natural pest control for lavender without the need for chemical interventions.
Plants to Avoid with Lavender
While many plants make excellent lavender companions, a few pairings should be avoided:
Vegetables – Leafy greens and root crops may stunt nearby lavender growth due to nutrient competition. Keep veggies separate.
Shallow annuals – Fast-growing annuals compete for moisture and nutrients with lavender’s shallow roots.
Large trees or shrubs – These cast too much shade for sun-loving lavender to prosper.
Proper plant selection is crucial for growing thriving, beautiful lavender. Surround it with complementary sun-lovers, silver foliage, long-blooming flowers, and pest-deterring plants for optimal results and appealing combinations. With wise companion planting, your lavender will flourish wonderfully!