The Best Companion Plants for Garlic (Allium sativum)

Watering Garlic Plants
PraxisPhotography/Moment Open/Getty Images

Companion planting is the practice placing species adjacent to one another to take advantage of mutual benefits that help both plants thrive. Some species, for example, may have natural pest-deterrence that benefits a neighbor, while the neighbor plant might bolster nutrients in the soil that benefit the first plant. 

Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of those plants that offers considerable benefit to almost all its neighbors. It deters many pests, such as aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, Japanese beetles, snails, and cabbage loopers. And garlic actually accumulates sulfur, which is a naturally-occurring fungicide that will help protect your plants from diseases. A home-made powder or spray made from garlic powder or oil is a natural remedy for fungal diseases, and when planted in the garden, garlic is a good preventive measure. 

Garlic can even deter gnawing pests, like deer and rabbits. In all ways, garlic is a great plant to have in your garden. Best of all, it is not very picky, adapting well to all soils and all conditions, provided there is plenty of sun. 

Below are the best and worst companion plants for garlic.

Edibles that Benefit From Garlic

  • Fruit trees (all)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Beets
  • Spinach

Flowers that Benefit from Garlic

Some flowering plants also noticeably benefit from garlic, for the same reasons as edibles do. 

  • Roses
  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums

Plants that "Help" Garlic

Garlic thrives in most situations, but here are a few plants that contribute to even better overall growth: 

  • Rue (it drives away maggots )
  • Chamomile (improves the flavor of garlic) 
  • Yarrow summer savory

Worst Companion Plants for Garlic

Garlic and its allium relatives seem to stunt the growth of certain crops. Avoid planting garlic near the vegetables listed below. 

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Sage
  • Parsley

Growing Garlic

Garlic is a cool weather plant, and it is normally planted in the fall before the ground freezes. It likes soil with lots of organic material in it, which can be provided by mixing in lots of compost or decomposed manure. It is planted by breaking apart individual bulbs into its separate cloves and planting them about 1 inch deep and about 4 inches apart. In the spring, the plants should be fed in a similar manner as other plants, but stop feeding once the foliage begins to dry up and bulbs are noticeably poking up above the soil. 

When the leaves turn brown, usually in mid-to-late-summer,  you can harvest your garlic. Before eating them, garlic bulbs need to "cure" by bundling them together and storing them in a cool, dark location until they fully dry out. 

Garlic makes a great addition to all sorts of recipes, and it is renowned for being a very healthful food. 

  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese

Regular consumption of garlic bolsters the immune system, and some studies have shown that it will reduce your susceptibility to, and the severity of, the common cold and influenza viruses.