Most people plant one plant per pot. So far, so ordinary, and maybe even rather lonely. In some cases you can mix your beloved plants together in one pot very successfully, creating your own miniature garden. Combining several plants in a single planter add some zing to an indoor space or patio, and allows the plants to help each other grow. This friendly approach to gardening has an equally friendly name: companion planting.
Why should I find a pal for my plant?
With companion planting you can make the most of the natural relationship between plants that have an affinity for each other, by planting them close together. The friendly plants will help one another with nutrients, shade and physical support. They’ll love it, and you’ll notice the difference.
How do you do it?
First of all, learn which plants do well together, since different plants placed together in a pot must enjoy the same growing conditions. Combining a cactus with a fern, for example, won't work, so start with a simple approach and go from there. Many succulents do well planted together, and they are also very comfortable in the company of cacti. These small plants look beautiful when artfully arranged in a larger planter. Other well-known houseplants that also work well together are Philondendron, Schefflera and Peace Lily. They all like moderate sunlight, humidity and water and will love being placed in a pot together.
Trial and error
If you have a couple of plants in mind for matchmaking, first carefully compare their growing conditions. Do they have similar requirements when it comes to soil, water, light and air? Then, give your new team a trial in the spot you’ve picked out for them. If they like their new location, find an attractive container they can all flourish in together, and get potting.
Have you tried companion planting? Share your results with us on social media using the hashtag #thejoyofplants and we'll share the best with our followers for inspiration.