18 Best Cilantro Companion Plants for Your Herb Garden

Growing cilantro can sometimes feel like a battle, especially when my garden is full of pests. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, aphids and undernourished soil reduce my cilantro plants to almost nothing.

This is why I spent time researching and testing companion planting strategies that would help increase my cilantro’s health and yield. I’m going to share some of the best and worst companion plants for cilantro, and how to ensure you find the right cilantro companion plants that complement your backyard garden.

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with cilantro can improve its health and yield by optimizing space, improving soil health, and reducing pests naturally.
  • Good companions for cilantro include legumes like beans and peas, leafy green vegetables like kale and collards, tall flowers like cosmos and zinnias, and herbs like anise, basil, and parsley.
  • Some of the worst plants to plant near cilantro are dill, fennel, lavender, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Tips for successful companion planting with cilantro include choosing compatible plants, timing your plantings together to establish a strong root system early on, and rotating crops to maintain soil fertility and prevent disease buildup.

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Understanding Companion Planting

cilantro companion plants

Companion planting, at its core, is a practice that pairs beneficial plants together. While this strategy may be grounded in more anecdotes than scientific research, many gardeners stand by its effectiveness for optimizing space, improving soil health, and reducing pests naturally.

What if when you planted beans or peas next to your cilantro you began to notice your plants more lush and healthier plants? Legumes like beans and peas enrich the soil—giving cilantro (coriandrum sativum) all the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Also, companion plants provide an organic approach to pest control. Let’s say you plant sweet alyssum or coreopsis alongside your Mexican parsley; these enchanting flowers attract ladybugs and green lacewings which are known for their appetite for aphids.

This can also help significantly reduce green peach and coriander aphid populations without resorting to harmful chemical insecticides. So not only does companion planting improve cilantro growth but it also guards against destructive pests.

Benefits of Companion Planting with Cilantro

cilantro companion planting

Cilantro as a companion plant brings a wide array of advantages to your herb garden. Also known as Coriandrum sativum or Mexican parsley, This delightful cool-season herb plays a vital role in natural pest control.

It works tirelessly to keep common pests like aphids and spider mites at bay. You could say cilantro is the unsung hero of our gardens!

But that’s not all! It doesn’t only repel harmful insects; Cilantro also attracts beneficial insects as well. Hoverflies, ladybugs, lacewings – you name it! These helpful creatures can’t resist cilantro’s fragrant leaves and delicate flowers, leading them straight into your garden space where they where they get to feast on those pesky pests.

Nourishing nitrogen-rich legumes such as beans and peas make excellent companions for cilantro due to their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil providing essential nutrients needed by both plants.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale collards lettuce also get along famously with cilantro; their collective presence often results in an abundance of friendly insect visitors.

Another undeniable benefit that comes with growing this versatile plant is how quickly it forms flowers which attract a variety of pollinators and other beneficial insects adding life and balance to your garden ecosystem.

Not many people know this but another trick up cilantro’s sleeve is its uncanny power to discourage potato beetles making it a great addition among potato growers too!

You will need to regularly water your cilantro while being careful not to overwater since well-drained soil conditions are preferred along with full sunlight.

Your reward will be a continuous supply of healthy fresh leaves ready for harvest. Your kitchen will love you, plus you’ll be supporting biodiversity within your very own backyard garden! It’s pretty impressive for one humble leafy green.

Characteristics of Cilantro

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep soil consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 1-2 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Well-draining, fertile soil; pH 6.2-6.8
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to light shade
Temperature Tolerance
Cool-season herb, sensitive to heat; thrives in USDA zones 3-11
Growth Habit
Annual herb
Flowering Period
Late spring to early summer
Flower Color
Foliage Characteristics
Soft, green, feathery leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing)
Pruning and Maintenance
Regular harvesting of leaves before flowering to prolong growth
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, whiteflies, powdery mildew
Companion Planting
Basil, mint, dill, and other herbs
Edible Parts
Edible leaves and stems (cilantro); seeds (coriander)
Wildlife Attraction
Cilantro flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies
Special Care Instructions
Cilantro bolts quickly in hot weather, so provide shade or plant it in the cooler season; plant successively for continuous harvests

5 Best Companion Plants For Cilantro

Cilantro thrives when planted alongside legumes, leafy green vegetables, tall flowers, herbs, and various vegetables and fruits. All of these plants provide several benefits that improve the overall health and growth of cilantro.

1. Legumes

As a gardener, you will appreciate the magic of legumes in your herb garden. The beauty of these nitrogen-bearing plants like beans, peas, alfalfa, clover, and lupines is that they enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen—a vital nutrient for cilantro growth.

Whether it’s string beans, pole beans, runner beans, or wax beans, all of them can be a great neighbor to your cilantro when planted in early spring. Also, consider incorporating peas, an early garden crop, in your cilantro patch as they help prep the soil while penetrating deeper strata with their roots which aids the shallow-rooted companion herbs.

2. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like kale, collards, and spinach are fantastic companion plants for cilantro. Not only do they add beauty to your herb garden with their vibrant colors and lush foliage, but they also attract beneficial insects that feed on pests.

These leafy greens provide a habitat for hoverflies, lacewings, and ladybugs – natural predators of aphids and other harmful insects that can damage your cilantro crop. By planting these leafy greens alongside cilantro, you create a balanced ecosystem that helps control pests without the need for chemical pesticides.

Planting leafy green vegetables will help create delicious cilantro leaves for your favorite recipes while creating a balanced garden and promoting biodiversity and natural pest control.

3. Tall Flowers

Tall flowers, such as cosmos, zinnias, and sunflowers, make excellent companion plants for cilantro in your herb garden. They add a touch of beauty to the space and also provide some much-needed shade to cilantro plants when it gets too hot.

These towering blossoms create a protective canopy that helps shield cilantro from scorching sunlight or harsh weather conditions. Additionally, tall flowers like cosmos and zinnias attract beneficial insects like ladybeetles and green lacewing larvae.

These helpful bugs are natural predators of aphids, which can be a common pest for cilantro. By planting tall flowers alongside your cilantro, you’re creating an eye-catching display but also enlisting nature’s own pest control team to keep those pesky aphids at bay!

4. Herbs

Planting certain herbs near cilantro can provide multiple benefits for your herb garden. Anise, basil, and parsley are all great companion plants for cilantro. These herbs not only complement each other in flavor but also help deter pests that could damage your cilantro plants.

Anise has a strong aroma that repels insects like aphids and spider mites, while basil emits oils that keep pests at bay. Parsley attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies, which feast on garden pests, making it an ideal partner for cilantro.

Including these herbs alongside your cilantro plants creates a harmonious and pest-resistant environment in your herb garden.

5. Vegetables and Fruits

Some delicious vegetables to consider would be plants like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes are all delicious additions to any garden. The fragrant leaves of cilantro help repel pests and also attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings.

Tomatoes can provide shade to cilantro plants when grown. The eggplant vines can act as living mulch to help control weeds that pop up. Even potatoes can help improve soil conditions for your cilantro.

So if you’re planning your vegetable garden layout, consider these vegetable companions for a successful growing season without compromising the health of your cilantro plants.

The 6 Worst Companions When Growing Cilantro

There are a few plants you should avoid because of how much they don’t like cilantro. Dill, fennel, lavender, rosemary, and thyme would all be on the list of cilantro companion plants to 100% avoid. Here’s why they shouldn’t be planted together.

1. Dill

Dill is not the best companion plant for cilantro in your herb garden. These two herbs can interfere with each other’s growth and even cross-pollinate, resulting in less flavorful and hardy offspring.

It’s important to keep dill separate from cilantro to ensure both herbs thrive and maintain their distinct flavors. Instead, consider planting dill alongside other beneficial plants like basil or parsley, which can attract helpful insects such as hoverflies that feed on aphids and other harmful pests.

2. Fennel

Fennel, while a beloved herb on its own, is considered one of the bad companions for cilantro in a herb garden. This is because fennel competes with cilantro for nutrients and can hinder its growth.

The presence of fennel can actually inhibit cilantro’s growth due to the natural chemical it secretes. Moreover, fennel has different soil and water needs compared to cilantro, which means they may not thrive when planted together.

To ensure optimal growth for both plants, it’s best to avoid planting fennel near your cilantro in your herb garden.

3. Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme

In my experience, I have learned that lavender, rosemary, and thyme are not the best companion plants to grow with your cilantro. Although they may all be herbs, they are from sunny Mediterranean regions and have different soil and water requirements compared to cilantro.

These differences can potentially hinder the growth and development of cilantro if planted nearby. It’s important to consider these factors when planning your companion planting strategy to ensure optimal conditions for each plant’s success.

Lavender, rosemary, and thyme can be spectacular herbs to incorporate into your garden, unfortunately, it’s best to keep them separate from your cilantro plants.

6 Tips for Successful Companion Planting

companion plants for cilantro

Successful companion planting can greatly enhance the health and productivity of your cilantro and herb garden. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose compatible plants: When selecting companion plants for cilantro, consider their growth habits, nutrient needs, and pest-repellent properties. Look for plants that thrive in similar conditions and have complementary characteristics.
  2. Timing is key: Plant your cilantro and companion plants together at the same time to ensure they establish strong root systems and develop a symbiotic relationship. Avoid transplanting mature plants into established beds, as this can disrupt the harmony between companions.
  3. Rotate your crops: To maintain soil fertility and prevent disease buildup, practice crop rotation by changing the location of your cilantro and its companions each year. This will help break pest cycles and improve overall plant health.
  4. Plan for diversity: Incorporate a diverse range of companion plants to create a balanced ecosystem that attracts beneficial organisms while deterring harmful pests. Mix flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits to provide a habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
  5. Regular monitoring: Keep a close eye on your garden for signs of pests or diseases that may impact your cilantro or its companions. Early detection allows for prompt intervention, such as manual removal or using organic pest control methods to safeguard plant health.
  6. Adjust watering schedules: Consider the water requirements of different companion plants when planning your watering schedule. Some may prefer dry soil conditions while others need consistent moisture. Proper irrigation will help prevent stress-related issues in both cilantro and its companions.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right companions for your cilantro plants can make a world of difference in your herb garden. By selecting plants like chervil, sweet alyssum, and nitrogen-producing legumes, you can prevent pests like aphids from feasting on your cilantro.

Not only will these companion plants provide protection, but they’ll also add beauty and nutrients to your garden. Start creating a harmonious community of herbs, vegetables, and flowers by practicing companion planting with cilantro.

FAQs About Cilantro Companion Plants

What Should Not Be Planted Next To Cilantro? 

The worst companion plants for cilantro are fennel and coriander (cilantro seeds), as they can inhibit its growth. They belong to the same family and may cross-pollinate which could affect the flavors of each plant.

Can You Plant Cilantro With Anything? 

Cilantro is a relatively flexible herb that can be grown alongside almost any plant in the garden. Some compatible companions for cilantro include:

1. Basil: Cilantro and basil can be grown together, as they have similar sun and water requirements. Plus, they make a flavorful combination in many dishes.

2. Spinach: Cilantro can be planted near spinach, as they have similar growing conditions. The cilantro can provide some shade to the spinach, which can be beneficial in hot climates.

3. Chives: Chives and cilantro can coexist well in the garden. They both thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them suitable companions.

Can You Plant Cilantro Next To Peppers? 

Yes, cilantro and peppers can be planted together. Cilantro acts as a beneficial companion plant for peppers, attracting pollinators and beneficial insects. Also, cilantro can help repel pests like aphids and spider mites, which are common issues for pepper plants.

Can Cilantro Grow With Tomatoes? 

Cilantro and tomatoes can be grown together in the garden. They have similar sunlight and water requirements, making them compatible companions. Cilantro can help attract beneficial insects that can assist in pollinating tomato flowers. However, something to keep in mind is cilantro has a relatively short lifespan and may bolt and go to seed before tomatoes fully mature. To ensure a continuous supply of cilantro, successive plantings might be needed.

What are the best companion plants for cilantro in an herb garden?

The best companion plants for cilantro would be basil, dill, parsley, chives, and marigolds. These herbs have similar growing requirements and can help deter pests when planted together.

Can cilantro be planted next to other vegetables in a garden?

Yes, cilantro can be planted next to other vegetables in a garden. It is particularly beneficial to plant cilantro near tomatoes, peppers, and beans as it can attract beneficial insects that help with pollination and pest control.

How far apart should I space my cilantro plants from their companion plants?

For the best results, make sure to space your cilantro plants at least 6 inches apart from their companion plants to allow airflow.

Does cilantro provide shade to other plants?

No, cilantro does not provide shade to other plants as it is a low-growing herb.

Does cilantro attract any bad bugs?

No, cilantro does not attract any bad bugs in your garden. In fact, it has been known to repel some harmful insects.

Can cilantro grow in full sun?

Yes, cilantro can grow in full sun, but it also tolerates partial shade. It is a versatile little herb.

Can cilantro help keep bad bugs away from other plants?

Yes, cilantro can help repel bad bugs away from other plants when planted nearby.

What are some benefits of planting cilantro near other plants?

Some benefits of planting cilantro near other plants include attracting beneficial insects, repelling harmful bugs, and enhancing the flavor of neighboring crops.

What makes a good companion plant for cilantro?

A good companion plant for cilantro is one that does not compete for resources, has similar water and sunlight requirements, and benefits from the presence of cilantro.