The Best Companion Plants for Lavender
Echinacea and lavender make a great pairing, and not just because they look stunning next to each other.
They both thrive in very similar conditions, growing best between USDA Zones 3 and 9. Echinaceas, also known as Cone Flowers, need just as much sun and even less water than lavender. They’re considered to be more drought tolerant than their potential partner, so your watering patterns won’t need to change too much.
Just like lavender, echinacea requires soil that drains well to produce its purple blooms. In summer, if you decide to pair these together, you’ll have a stunning purple and lilac display in your garden.
Lavender and roses are a classic, pretty pairing. Shrub roses and floribunda rose varieties are prime choices as companion plants for lavender.
Roses do well in most conditions (USDA Zone 2 – 11), depending on the variety you choose. Rose bushes thrive in loamy, well-draining soil. Leave a good amount of space between the two plants though, as roses are a bit thirstier than lavender, needing water at least twice a week.
Yarrow is a perennial that makes a great partner for lavender. Interestingly, it falls under a group of hardy plants that thrive in poor soil.
This pretty plant is often considered a weed because it overgrows and spreads almost uncontrollably when planted in nutrient-rich soils. Soil on the sandier side that drains well aids in controlling this growth.
Full sun is necessary for a healthy yarrow plant, so planting it alongside your lavender won’t be an issue. Further, the pairing will do wonders for the colors in your garden. Yarrow’s small yellow flowers will complement the soft purple of lavender when they bloom in late summer.
For a companion plant that’ll look great with your lavenders, consider upright sedum (Stone Crop). You can’t go wrong pairing its various colors – including red, white, and pink – with your lavender.
This border plant thrives in full sun and requires sandy, rocky soil that drains exceptionally well. Sedum can grow in USDA Zones 3 through to 10 and is just as low maintenance as lavender. It requires water at least once a week to keep the soil slightly moist.
Full sun is a must, but it will tolerate some shade. If there is a shady spot close to your lavender that needs filling, sedum is the perfect option. Sedum flowers bloom in summer and fall, continuing the spectacle in your garden when the lavender season ends.
If landscaping is a passion, then pairing alliums with lavender is ideal. Allium’s tall bulbs complement the short lavender blooms beautifully. This is another drought-tolerant plant that does well in Zones 4-8.
Alliums and lavender can be paired together along borders or in pots, creating interesting height variations. Both need full sun, little water, and sandy soil – you won’t have to worry about planting them in the same beds or pots.
6. African Daisy
African Daisies have the same basic attributes as the common daisies we all know and love. However, they are more unique, with vibrant coloring (some varieties are even bi-colored) that looks almost hand-dyed.
They make great companion plants for lavenders as they thrive in similar conditions (USDA 9-11) and require very little care. They need full sun, well-draining soil, and some water once a week.
This pretty flower blooms throughout spring, summer, and fall, keeping your garden bright, even during lavender’s off-season. You can’t go wrong with this simple, yet stunning companion plant for your lavender.
A truly hardy annual to consider are zinnias. Zinnias have a full spectrum of flower colors to choose from. Whether you opt for pink, white, red, or lavender purple, you can be sure that they’ll look great alongside your lavenders.
Not only that, but they’ll thrive alongside lavender too. Not fearing humidity or heat and loving full sun and soil on the dry side, you can be sure that zinnias will make a great companion for your lavender.
Gaillardia, also known as the Blanket Flower, is another daisy-like flower sure to look great in your garden with lavender. The burnt reds, oranges, and yellows of these blooms bring life to subdued hues of lavender, creating an interesting color spectrum in your garden.
They love full sun and aren’t too fussed about soil, as long as it drains well. Blooming annually throughout summer and fall, you won’t be disappointed adding gaillardias to your lavender beds.
Rosemary and lavender are another classic pair. Both have roots in the rocky hillsides of the Mediterranean and enjoy climates on the warm side. If you’re looking to expand your herb garden that already has well-established lavender, Rosemary is one of your best options.
This herb grows best in Zones 9 to 11 and needs just as much sun and water as lavender. Both can be planted together as a pair of companion plants to benefit the rest of your garden. Rosemary and lavender attract a variety of pollinators and deter rabbits and deer.
Note that rosemary is not as cold tolerant as lavender, so if you live in a cooler climate, another companion may be necessary.
For a cold-hardy option, thyme is your go-to. Originating in the Mediterranean, it thrives in sandy, dry soil, and hot climates, just like lavender and rosemary. Its hardiness zones are 5 through 9, so it’s not as temperature-sensitive as rosemary.
The herb becomes dormant when the first frost hits, but if you manage to protect it, thyme can survive the winter. If colder weather is not a concern, thyme does extremely well when planted near lavender, enjoying the full sun and the occasional watering.
The pair complement each other in looks too. Thyme makes a cute ground covering plant with its paler purple flowers that will look great alongside your lavender patch.
Sage is another herb that thrives in conditions that lavender favors. No matter the variety, sage will thrive in hot climates, sandy, well-draining soil with little water or fuss.
Sage grows best in Zones 5-11. Thyme, sage, and lavender make a great group for planting together, especially in pots or containers. This herb has several purposes, from culinary to medicinal. Even better, it looks fantastic as a decorative border plant.
Increasing the spice in your life is important. So is adding multipurpose plants and herbs to your garden. By planting oregano, you get two benefits in one.
While it has fantastic uses in the kitchen, this delicious herb can be used as a companion plant, not just for lavender, but for a variety of other plants. Oregano is easy to care for, ideal as a ground cover or an edging plant. It does well in some shade, but largely loves the sun and thrives in dry soil.
If lavender isn’t drawing as many bees as you’d like, oregano is your answer. No matter your need or purpose, lavender and oregano make a great pairing for your garden.
What Not to Plant With Lavender
While we’re on the topic of herbs, let’s chat about one that just won’t do near your lavender – mint.
Mint is unsurprisingly a popular herb to grow. It grows easily, has many benefits and uses, and it smells great. Further, it’s quite a hardy little herb, with various varieties enjoying cold and hot climates. Mint generally does best in USDA zones 3-11.
Unfortunately, though, mint’s needs are incompatible with those of lavender. Mint needs rich, moist soil, completely opposed to that of lavender. While it can’t stand soggy soil, mint is extremely thirsty and requires plenty of water to flourish – much more than your lavender will stand.
There are many flowers that may have the potential to look fantastic with lavender. Camellias are one of them. These peony-like flowers can bloom in so many beautiful colors – red, white, pink, and yellow to name but a few.
In an arrangement, they complement lavender stunningly. Unfortunately, like mint, their needs are far too incompatible.
Camellias grow best in Zones 7 to 9, matching that of lavender. However, the main issues are the camellia’s light and water needs. This flowering shrub won’t enjoy the six hours of direct sunlight lavender needs, and it needs plenty of water to keep the soil constantly moist.
A favorite easy-going perennial with stunning foliage is the hosta. Hostas can grow across many climates and aren’t too particular about temperature or humidity. They can thrive in USDA Zones 3 all the way through to 11.
Hosta’s foliage is sought after – one of the main reasons they’re added to gardens. This shrub-like perennial is easy to care for, needing very little water and rich but well-draining soil. Its flowers and foliage may look great with your lavender too.
However, the pair sadly can’t grow together, even though it seems like they should. Hosta’s survive best in shade or dappled light – full sun is a definite no-go.
Impatiens are beautiful flowering perennials guaranteed to spruce up your garden. The brightly colored flowers and easy-to-care-for nature make this a highly sought-after plant across the world.
You may be hoping to surround your lavender with impatiens’ stunning pinks, whites, deep purples, and reds, yellow, and coral. And it’s sure to make a statement in your garden. But, while both need well-draining soil, that’s where their similarities end.
Impatiens need shade – light to full shade – to thrive. They are also quite sensitive to higher temperatures, needing plenty of water in warmer months and areas.