Geraniums have a distinctive smell, some people hate it but more importantly so do some plant pests. By companion planting geraniums your garden will benefit from less insect infestations.
Companion Planting Geraniums
The strong scent of the geranium repels many damaging insects Including mosquitoes, Cabbage white butterflies, Japanese beetles, rose chafers, and leaf hoppers. Mosquitoes might not cause problems to your garden, but they definitely cause problems to this gardener! Cabbage whites are the bane of the brassica grower, both Japanese and rose chafer beetles do considerable damage to roses and leafhoppers damage a wide range of plants.
What to Grow With Geraniums
Using geraniums as companion plants will help to protect your crops from insect attacks and add a cheerful display to your plot.
Grapes and Geraniums
There are many insects that can damage grapevines, and growing geraniums around your grapevines will deter many of them. Leafhoppers, beetles, and caterpillars, will all be confused by the strong scent of the geraniums.
Sweetcorn and Geraniums
Not such a problem in the UK but a serious threat in the USA, corn ear worm can ruin your sweetcorn. Geraniums disguise the smell of the sweetcorn, which means the moths will fly elsewhere to lay their eggs.
Tomatoes and Geraniums
The tomato horn worm or hawk moth caterpillar as it’s known in the UK can damage both the plant and fruit of the tomato. Geraniums disguise the tomato aroma and the moths will fly on by.
Peppers and Geraniums
That blighter the horn worm/ hawk moth is also partial to peppers so grow geraniums as a companion plant to keep them away.
Cabbage and Geraniums
The cabbage white butterfly is on the look out for brassicas to lay their eggs on. Once hatched the young caterpillars can decimate whole plants in no time. Grow geraniums in companion to protect your brassicas from cabbage whites.
Roses and Geraniums
The beetles that can damage roses are actually a useful garden ally, so killing them is not a good idea. Better to trick them into thinking that what’s growing are actually geraniums. Plant geraniums in companion to roses to protect them from beetles,thrips, and leafhoppers.
Geraniums can suffer from greenfly infestation. Greenfly are a type of aphid so they should keep the aphids away from your roses.
A Video Summary For Companion Planting Geraniums
What Not To Plant With Geraniums
This actually has me stumped, I cannot find any plant that is adversely affected by geraniums. So not exactly a wonder plant but one that helps without impeding any others. Apart from fennel which is an allelopathic plant and will inhibit the growth of any plant that grows anywhere near it.
Geranium Bronze Butterfly
Originating in South Africa, the geranium bronze has caused havoc to the economy of the Spanish geranium growers. The caterpillars of the geranium bronze destroy the plants. It has established successful colonies throughout most of mainland Europe so be on the watch for it to cross the channel.
They are not a serious problem in South Africa as they have a parasitic predator that has yet to be identified. Sadly they remain predator free in Europe. For more information on the geranium bronze click here.