Updated: Jun 8
Mint and marigolds are both very fragrant and help to deter pests and attract pollinators. Mint plants are often forgiving. They prefer sunny spots but have been known to do alright in slightly shady spots as well. They are easy to grow and have a wide range of uses around the house. Peppermint is used to add fragrance and flavor to everything from soaps and cleaners to food and drinks. I know for me personally mint helped me with my nausea during all three of my pregnancies.
There is no scientific evidence saying that marigolds deter pests, however, many have sworn by planting them in their gardens for years. It is thought that they help to deter aphids, cabbage maggots, potato beetles, corn earworms, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, nematodes, and squash bugs. The scent of marigolds is also thought to keep rabbits away. The most important part of planting anything as a companion plant is to make sure that they share the same growing conditions. Marigolds arent picky about their soil, but prefer sunny, well-draining spots. Marigolds generally are fairly drought resistant too which makes them an excellent hanging pot plant for fairly forgetful gardeners like myself.
The other plants that came in my tea garden pack are lemon balm, chamomile and rosemary. I have a long standing love-hate relationship with rosemary. I grew it from a seed years ago and it thrived in the very sunny, nearly drought conditions that I had it in. It was outside and after one extremely rainy week my rosemary was drowning in the pot it was in. I tried to dry out the soil but it was too late and the damage was done. The next time I attempted to grow it, I started with a plant that I picked up at the grocery store. Although I knew it needed very little water, to be able to manage the water content and the sun levels proved to be impossible for me. I kept it inside to manage how much water it received but it ended up not getting as much sun as it required and it slowly died. This time around I decided to plant it in the same pot as my lemon balm and my thyme. They are all fragrant plants but I hope that having the extra plants will help pull extra water out of the soil so the rosemary will thrive.
Lemon balm is part of the mint family and does best in sunny areas. Thyme is also from the mint family and tends to flourish near rosemary. The plant I received was a lemon thyme plant. I am hopeful that my lemon balm sprouts. When I opened the seed packet there seemed to only be three seeds. I wish I was exaggerating but there were so few seeds that I tore the package completely open at the seems checking for holes, convinced there had to be one and that my seeds fell out. That unfortunately wasn't the case, but there were at least a few seeds that I could plant. The thyme plant I have has already sprouted so I hung the pot close to my rose bush to help keep it safe from black flies and aphids.
Chamomile can be a fickle companion plant as it needs to be cared for properly. Chamomile requires a spot in full sunlight that has consistently moist soil. Lavender also needs full sun and grows to a similar height. It also seems to need less water so I thought that they may be good companion plants. I wanted to pair lavender with chamomile after harvest as well to use their essential oils in a sleep spray or its flowers as a potpourri.
As with all things in life, if you are unsure about something, do your research. Become knowledgeable in whatever it is so you can make an informed decision.
Happy Gardening! Blessed Be!