Cannabis, no matter the wonders it produces when used downstream, after being grown, properly harvested and cured is still a plant. At the basics of the growing process are fundamentals involved in the cultivation of all successful agriculture.
This starts with understanding how to create the most supportive environment for the plant’s natural surroundings, including the practice of encouraging, if not deliberately seeding plants alongside your cannabis grow both indoors and out.
In essence, the idea of companion planting is to create a mini ecosphere, that creates both natural protection from pests, that can destroy your grow, as well as stimulating the right kind of soil and grow environment to produce maximum results.
Companion planting is part of an overall agricultural practice called permaculturing, either planning or encouraging several varieties of plants to be grown in close proximity to each other to create natural benefits for one or all of them.
It is a growing practice, that predates the use of artificial chemical compounds to better protect crops. In other words, those who want to grow their cannabis organically, can also benefit from some, if not all of these practices.
This includes, for example, the ability to attract (or repel) certain kinds of insects, encouraging healthy root growth, access to sun and water, and this being cannabis of course, the added plus of creating the perfect natural shield for a stealthy grow.
In other words, companion planting is the deliberate preparation and maintenance of the most favourable ecosystem necessary to nurture your plants, starting with the soil you use and the bacteria you introduce into it, as well as how you nurture and prepare the soil in the first place.
Once these foundations are laid, you can begin to select companion plants to grow around your cannabis plants to best suit your crop’s health and your other immediate goals.
One of the first issues in deciding how to select plants to surround your cannabis babies is whether they will attract, in this case, literally the right crowd of insects. The following all help attract beneficial bugs, and more …
Yarrow: Attracts predatory wasps, ladybugs, butterflies and bees.
Chamomile: Pollinators (including bees) love these flowers, which attract them, well, like honey.
Lavender: It is not only humans who love the colour and smell. Butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects flock to the plant.
Sunflowers: Their bright flowers attract pollinators while also providing shade to other plants when planted strategically in a plot.
Dill: Honeybees, hoverflies, wasps and swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, all good pollinators, absolutely love this herb.
There are also plenty of specific plants you can surround your cannabis crop with, that mostly repel invaders of the insect or other kind. This includes:
Dill: As much as it attracts, dill also keeps invaders and pests like aphids, spider mites and squash bugs away.
Chamomile: White flies and nematodes hate chamomile, so planting it close to your cannabis is a great way to grow a “not welcome” here sign.
Coriander: Aphids, spider mites and potato beetles go out of their way to avoid coriander.
Lavender: Keeps away mice, moths and ticks. Lavender also discourages aphids and spider mites.
Chervil: Slugs avoid this plant and it keeps them away from your cannabis like a charm.
Marigold: The scent from these bright yellow-orange flowers repels aphids, mosquitoes, nematodes, and beyond the insect world, rabbits.
Mint: This herb is a terrific deterrent against deer flies and other stinging insects, roaches and ants.
Garlic: Works as great natural smell repellent for many insects and animals. Garlic can also work as a great antifungal to protect against other kinds of common plant diseases.
Basil: Promotes the oil production of neighbours, which is a great boon for cannabis farmers and also repels thrips, flies, mosquitos, snails and slugs by releasing a natural insecticide from its foliage.
Other plants help with water evaporation or add nutrients in the surrounding soil.
Cerastium and Alfalfa: Can help with local drainage.
Borage & Red and White Clover: Provide nutrients to the surrounding soil.
Marigold: On top of all of their other benefits, also help healthy root stimulation and growth.
Mint: The strong odor of mint helps mask the smell of your budding cannabis crop.
Sunflowers: Provide great foliage to hide your cannabis from unwanted surveillance of the human kind.