By Jennifer Poindexter
Flowers and vegetables make great companions in the garden. Marigolds are a common flower to grow alongside your vegetables.
However, there are many others you may grow alongside your crops. If you’re curious about the best ways to plant flowers in your vegetable garden, and which plants work best, we have you covered.
Here are the best flowers to grow alongside your vegetables in the garden:
What You’ll Learn
- The importance of planting flowers alongside your vegetables in the garden
- Where to plant flowers in your vegetable garden for the most benefits
- The top 20 flowers to grow in your vegetable garden to attract pollinators, deter pests, and add color
Where to Plant Flowers in Your Vegetable Garden
Where you plant flowers in your vegetable garden depends a lot on the vegetables or fruits that you’re growing.
For larger vegetables with smaller flowers, tuck the flowers right up against the crops. This method works well for peppers, tomatoes, or eggplants growing alongside marigolds.
Where marigolds are stockier flowers, they tuck in nicely beneath the taller veggies.
Vining plants do best with taller plants growing at the perimeter of their growing space. For instance, if you’re growing strawberries in their own bed, add borage or sunflowers to the perimeter of the bed.
Finally, you may also consider alternating your rows of vegetables and flowers. This works well when intermingling herbs with other bushy crops.
Take these tips into consideration when deciding how you want to add flowers to your vegetable garden.
Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden
Now that you understand the different planting options, consider the following flowers to grow within your garden:
Nasturtiums have colorful blooms and vibrant foliage. These plants are frequently grown in the vegetable garden sacrificially.
They’ll draw insects to themselves and away from your crops. If you’d like a natural way to catch pests, consider growing this flower. Nasturtiums need well-draining soil and ample sunlight.
Marigolds are a common flower grown alongside vegetables. They have rich green foliage and bright mounding blooms.
However, they do more than add color to your garden. The strong scent of marigolds deters a variety of pests. Be sure to plant these flowers where they’ll receive full sunlight and in soil that drains adequately.
3. Sweet Pea
Sweet pea is a beautiful flower. They produce delicate but colorful blooms. It’s these bright colors that make the plant such a great fit for your vegetables.
These bright blooms will not only draw the eye, but pollinators love them as well. Be sure to plant them where they’ll receive bright morning sun and afternoon shade. They also need well-draining soil.
There are many varieties of sunflowers. Some are extremely tall while others are shorter. Some of the heads are traditional and yellow while others are different colors or have fuzzy heads like the teddy bear sunflower.
No matter the variety you grow, they all love plenty of sun and well-draining soil. In return, these flowers are wonderful for drawing pollinators to your garden area.
Salvia is another eye-catching flower. It has mounding leaves as a base with vertical blooms filled with color.
If you’d like to add a splash of color to your vegetable garden, don’t overlook this option. They’re great for inviting pollinators. Like many other flowers, these enjoy plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil.
When I first found out that petunias made great companions in my vegetable garden, my mind was blown. Out of all the ways I’ve seen petunias grown, I never imagined them growing within a vegetable garden.
These flowers make an excellent border plant. They not only draw pollinators but deter pests. Petunias can get by in partial sunlight but do need well-draining soil.
Borage is frequently grown in the vegetable garden to invite pollinators and deter pests. It’s thought to protect your tomato plants from hornworms while also adding to the flavor.
This is a great flower to grow in your garden because it isn’t picky. It can grow in a variety of soil types as long as it remains evenly damp and receives ample sunlight.
8. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a beautiful flower with unique blooms. These flowers have dark centers and almost jagged petals.
However, they do more than bring color to your growing space. They also use their bright colors to invite pollinators. If you’d like to grow bee balm, be sure to provide plenty of sunlight, well-draining soil, and ensure the soil is nutrient-dense as well.
Calendula is a colorful flower, but it should be reserved for your early spring or fall gardens. These flowers don’t enjoy extremely hot temperatures. When grown during cooler seasons, they require full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil.
Calendula are excellent at deterring pests while inviting the beneficial insects to your growing area.
Zinnias reach heights around a foot tall and produce compact, colorful blooms. These plants do best in growing locations with ample sunlight and soil that’s rich and well-draining.
If you’re considering adding these flowers to your garden, expect them to help improve your soil, draw beneficial insects, and deter unwanted pests.
Pansies are colorful, compact flowers that are a great option to add to your early spring or fall garden as they prefer cooler weather.
However, they’ll need morning sunlight with afternoon shade and quality soil that drains well. These flowers are great for inviting pollinators to your growing space.
Some people automatically pair roses and vegetables together in their minds, while others don’t. Whether this is a natural pairing to you or not, it deserves your consideration.
Roses enjoy full sunlight and well-draining soil as do most vegetables. Also, roses serve as a trellis for vining plants, a source of shade for smaller plants, and are great for drawing pollinators.
Cornflowers have bright blue blooms that are hard to miss. For this reason, they make a great addition to your vegetable garden. If you can’t miss these flowers, neither can pollinators.
Should you decide to grow them, be sure to provide a growing location with plenty of sun and soil that drains well and remains evenly damp.
Cosmos are another plant with long stems that reach heights between two and three feet, depending upon variety. They produce daisy-like, colorful blooms. These flowers are great for drawing pollinators to your growing location.
Should this be the right flower for your vegetable garden, be sure to plant them in a location with well-draining soil and morning sunlight with afternoon shade.
Daffodils are another colorful option for your garden. Not only do they add color and invite pollinators to the space, but they also help improve the soil.
As the bulbs come up in the spring, they retain moisture and nutrients. When they fade later in the season, they release these nutrients back into the dirt. If this interests you, plant your daffodils in areas with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
We sometimes overlook growing perennial plants in our vegetable gardens, such as tulips. Yet, if you grow them along the perimeter of your garden or in the corners, you may be able to avoid disturbing them.
However, tulips can also be treated as an annual. If you’d like this bright beauty in your growing space, it’ll need full sunlight and well-draining soil. In turn, their bright colors invite pollinators.
Mums are another perennial plant that grows well in the garden. Be sure to supply these flowers with ample sunlight and soil that drains adequately.
Like a variety of other flowers on this list, the purpose of growing mums near vegetables is to draw pollinators to your garden.
Lavender is a flowering herb that could make a great addition to your vegetable garden. The reason being is it shares similar growing conditions with many vegetables.
Be sure to supply this plant with full sunlight and well-draining soil. In turn, it should repel unwanted pests. It serves your vegetable garden well as a border plant to deter insects before they ever enter the growing space.
Dahlias are large colorful flowers that make a great companion to your vegetables in the garden. This flower needs nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. They also prefer full sunlight.
If dahlias are a good fit for your garden, be sure to plant them next to larger plants (such as tomatoes) to invite pollinators to your growing space without overshadowing the plants.
20. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum is a beautiful flowering plant which grows low to the ground. This flower enjoys full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil.
It not only invites pollinators to your growing space, but it also deters one of the most common pests in the garden – aphids. Protect your plants and encourage better growth by adding sweet alyssum to your vegetable garden.
You now have twenty different flowers you may add to your vegetable garden. Don’t be surprised when you not only see more vibrant color and beauty in your garden, but you also see more pollinators and potentially fewer pests if you plant the right flower combinations.
Do consider where you should plant the flowers based upon our earlier recommendations to provide the most benefit and best layout for your gardening space.
- Planting flowers in your vegetable garden can help attract pollinators, deter pests, and create a more visually appealing space
- Some planting options include tucking flowers under larger vegetables, growing them at the perimeter of vining plants, or alternating rows of flowers and vegetables
- The best flowers to grow in your vegetable garden include Nasturtium, Marigold, Sweet Pea, Sunflowers, Salvia, Petunia, Borage, Bee Balm, Calendula, Zinnia, Pansy, Roses, Cornflower, Cosmo, Daffodil, Tulips, Chrysanthemums, Lavender, Dahlia, and Sweet Alyssum
Flowers in the Vegetable Garden: Quick Reference Growing Chart
|Flower Name||Benefits||Preferred Sunlight||Soil Requirements||Planting Position|
|Nasturtium||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Ample Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Marigold||Deters Pests, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining||Under Larger Vegetables|
|Sweet Pea||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade||Well-draining|
|Sunflowers||Attracts Pollinators||Full Sunlight||Well-draining||Perimeter of Vining Plants|
|Salvia||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Petunia||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Partial Sunlight||Well-draining||Border Plant|
|Borage||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Ample Sunlight||Evenly Damp|
|Bee Balm||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining, Nutrient-rich|
|Calendula||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Full to Partial Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Zinnia||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Ample Sunlight||Rich, Well-draining|
|Pansy||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade||Well-draining|
|Roses||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Cornflower||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining, Evenly Damp|
|Cosmo||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade||Well-draining|
|Daffodil||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Tulips||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Well-draining||Perimeter or Corners|
|Chrysanthemums||Attracts Pollinators||Ample Sunlight||Well-draining|
|Lavender||Deters Pests||Full Sunlight||Well-draining||Border Plant|
|Dahlia||Attracts Pollinators, Adds Color||Full Sunlight||Nutrient-rich, Well-draining||Next to Larger Plants|
|Sweet Alyssum||Attracts Pollinators, Deters Pests||Full to Partial Sunlight||Well-draining|
Learn More About Growing and Pollinating a Vegetable Garden
Leave a Reply