(Image credit: firina)

Planting flowers for the vegetable garden has a couple of benefits. The additional colors, aroma, and texture entice beneficial insects and other pollinators; and when cool weather plants are finished for the season, succession plantings of flowers will fill their place in the garden. What are the best flowers to plant with vegetables? Read on to learn about companion flowers for vegetables. 

About Beneficial Flowers for the Vegetable Garden 

Incorporating flowers into the vegetable garden is an age old practice brought about by smaller European gardens situated near the kitchen. Gardeners needed easy access to not only food crops, but medicinal herbs and flowers as well. 

The same method can be used today and has many benefits to crops. Companion planting with flowers makes the garden more diverse. Diversity means that many diseases have difficulty taking hold or spreading easily. 

Again, companion flowers for vegetable gardens also entice beneficial pollinators, which are a win/win for both crops and flowering plants. This diverse grouping gives pollinators not only food but habitat as well, and in general minimizes the necessity for chemical controls. 

Simultaneously, beneficial flowers also minimize exposed soil which if left, can promote weed growth. Companion planting also keeps the soil moist and retards erosion. 

Flowers to Plant with Vegetables

Some of the most beneficial flowers to include in the vegetable garden are those from herbs. Including herbs in your garden can repel pests as well as entice beneficial insects, and can be used in cooking or medicinally. Herbs to consider adding to the vegetable garden include basil, coriander, dill, fennel, lemon balm and rosemary. 

Annual flowers such as sweet alyssum, nasturtium, and marigold are commonly used in the vegetable garden to entice beneficial predators. So too are zinnias, calendula, cosmos and sunflowers. 

Even blooming perennials planted near the vegetable garden can have beneficial effects on crops. Situate them near not in the vegetable garden as perennial plants will often have large root systems that will compete for nutrients in the veggie garden. 

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.