Citrus Tree Companions: What To Plant Under A Citrus Tree

Small lemon tree begins to bear fruit
Image by Andrew Simpson

By Liz Baessler

Companion planting is a great, easy way to improve the health of your plants. And not only is it easy, it’s completely organic, too. Fruit trees are famously vulnerable to pests and diseases, so just taking the time to figure out which plants benefit them the most will go a long way to ensuring their success. Keep reading to learn more about what to plant under a citrus tree.

Citrus Tree Companions

Citrus trees, like a lot of fruit trees, fall prey to insects very easily. Because of this, some of the best citrus tree companions are those that either deter or draw away harmful bugs.

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Marigolds are an excellent companion crop for almost any plant because their smell drives away so many bad insects. Other similar plants that deter common citrus pests are petunias and borage.

Nasturtium, on the other hand, draws aphids to it. It’s still a good citrus companion, though, because every aphid on a nasturtium is an aphid not on your citrus tree.

Sometimes, companion planting under citrus trees has more to do with attracting the right bugs. Not all bugs are bad, and some love to eat the things that love to eat your plants.

Yarrow, dill, and fennel all attract lacewings and ladybugs, which feed on aphids.

Lemon balm, parsley, and tansy attract tachinid fly and wasps, which kill harmful caterpillars.

Another good set of citrus tree companions are legumes, such as peas and alfalfa. These plants leach nitrogen into the ground, which helps very hungry citrus trees. Let your legumes grow for a while to build up nitrogen, then cut them back to the ground to release it into the soil.

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