Are you looking for the best cilantro companion plants? For an avid home cook, having an extensive herb garden in your backyard can be convenient for leveling up your meals. Since cilantro is one of the easiest herbs to grow, it wouldn't be a surprise if you already have one growing in your yard.
But considering its flavors can be an acquired taste, learning how to grow a better-tasting plant can be beneficial for your recipes. That’s why gardeners often like to apply the companion planting method to reap the most benefits out of your plants.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a gardening technique for growing compatible plants in close proximity. With the right combination, companion plants will enhance each other’s development by preventing diseases and repelling harmful pests. Some plants even have the ability to improve the taste of certain crops!
What’s great about companion planting is that you could apply it to any type of plant – whether it's for your fruits, vegetables, flowers, or herbs, one or both companions can take advantage of this method.
Since you want to grow better-tasting cilantro, you’ll want to consider making a few adjustments for which plant to place near this herb.
Best Cilantro Companion Plants
Planting cilantro in your garden can be a double benefit for you since you can harvest its leaves for salsas, dips, or garnishes. While its coriander seeds can add a ton of flavor to curries, meat rubs, and bread. If you want to grow the best-tasting cilantro you’ll ever have, here are a few cilantro companion plants you might want to consider placing close to it:
Legumes, like string beans, green beans, and wax beans, are great companion plants for cilantro since they provide nitrogen to the soil. If you notice any yellowing leaves from appearing, planting beans in between your cilantro will help stop them from emerging. Just remember not to over-fertilize your cilantro from then on to prevent reducing its flavor.
Since beans like to climb up, make sure to provide sturdy trellises or poles. This will also provide some extra shade for hot summer days to allow your herbs to grow lush and healthy leaves.
If you frequently use anise for soups, stews, or broths, planting them in your garden can make meal prepping easier. Just make sure to plant it next to your cilantro so they can benefit from each other.
The pungent odor of anise can repel harmful bugs away from the area, so you won’t have to deal with aphids, mites, or lice from feeding on their leaves. While having cilantro next to anise can help its seeds germinate faster.
Since they require similar growing conditions, maintaining them won’t be a hassle that’s why they’re one of the most perfect pairs for cilantro companion planting.
Having asparagus next to cilantro is an ideal combination because they won’t have to compete for nutrients with each other. Since asparagus likes to extend its root system further down the soil, cilantro's shallow roots can take advantage of the nutrients that are left above.
In return, the smell of cilantro will drive away predatory insects, like asparagus beetles and spider mites, from disrupting its growth.
Onions are perfect for companion planting with cilanto. If rabbits and deer like to help themselves to your herb and vegetable garden, planting onions next to cilantro can help drive your visitors away.
Predatory insects and animals are deterred by its sulfur smell, that’s why onion juice is one of the most essential ingredients for deer and rabbit repellents. In addition, the high sulfur content of onions can also improve the flavors of cilantro.
So if you want to have the most delicious salsas and salads for your meals, you might want to consider moving your cilantro plant next to the onions.
For a delightful pop of color, growing sunflowers would be an excellent addition to any yard. Although they’re not your conventional option as a companion plant for cilantro, their flowers are actually great for attracting pollinators into your garden. In addition, they’re also a great distraction for birds and squirrels from foraging in your vegetables.
Their tall stalks will also provide extra shade for your herbs. Just be careful not to plant too much or else your cilantro plant will struggle to find sunlight. But if you enjoy having a cluster of sunflowers in your garden, choose to plant smaller varieties, like Lemon Queen or Italian White, instead.
Similar to beans, lupines can also add nitrogen to the soil to make it easier for neighboring plants to absorb their nutrients. So if you prefer to have pretty blooms next to your cilantro, lupines would be a better choice of legume.
Since they have colorful and fragrant blossoms, they also have the ability to attract pollinators, like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, into your yard. Considering a mature lupine plant can grow up to 3 feet tall, it can also provide extra shade for your cilantro.
What Not to Plant Near Cilantros
Aside from knowing what are the best companion plants for cilantro, it would also be helpful to learn which plants to avoid. If you’re creating an elaborate herb garden, you might be tempted to group all of your herbs together in one plot. But having rosemary, thyme, and oregano near cilantro may not be the best idea for their growth.
Since they have different watering requirements, it might be a nuisance to keep up with their maintenance. Since cilantro likes to keep its soil moist, while the other three herbs prefer to stay dry.
Carrots and fennel are also best kept away from cilantro if you don’t want to end up with stunted plants. Since these vegetables like to compete for nutrients from cilantro, the herb will have a hard time sprouting abundant leaves.
Putting carrots near cilantro will also increase the chances of cross-pollination, that’s why it’s best to keep them in a separate pot or plant them on opposite sides of your garden.