The peach is a self-pollinator, meaning that it doesn’t need to be paired with other peach trees. However, companion planting is an excellent way to create an environment where plants use each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses.
This article will present you with the top 15 companion plants for peach trees and also explain which plants you should avoid. Note that if you wish to grow different plants nearby, make sure that you plant them at least 15 feet away to prevent competition for nutrients.
1. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a wildflower, which makes it an excellent companion for peach trees. It attracts various beneficial insects such as pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Due to increased pollination, your peach tree will provide you with more and bigger fruits and lower fruit drops.
- Benefits provided: Increased pollination and better fruiting with lower fruit drops
- Time until the harvest: 110-120 days
- Popular varieties: Balmy Lilac, Balmy Pink, Beauty of Cobham, Raspberry Wine
Cosmos is another wildflower that is a great companion and excellent pollinator for peach trees. It acts in a similar way to an herb and provides food and shelter for honeybees and butterflies.
Besides improving pollination, it will also liven up the look of your peach tree.
- Benefits provided: Increase pollination and better-looking peach tree
- Time until the harvest: 7-10 weeks
- Popular varieties: Dwarf Cosmos, Apollo, Sonata, Cosimo
Strawberry, originally a woodland plant, is an excellent companion for any fruit tree. It encourages moths to lay eggs on the strawberry instead of the peach.
We strongly recommend that you plant some strawberries between peach trees, but note that strawberries need a lot of sunlight to properly develop.
- Benefits provided: Prevents moths from laying eggs on the peach tree
- Time until the harvest: 10 weeks after planting
- Popular varieties: Chandler, Pajaro, Monterey, Aromas, Ventana, Camarosa
Tansy is a plant that grows in Zones 1 to 24 and is a great companion for a peach tree. Not only does it successfully repels pests, but it also infuses soil with potassium, which is essential for the health of any plant.
Tansy keeps away hungry borers and insects, blooms in mid to late summer, and is effortless to care for.
- Benefits provided: Adds potassium to the soil and keeps away borers and insects
- Time until the harvest: Between June and September
- Popular varieties: Feverfew, ‘Isla Gold’, common
Believe it or not, garlic grows in all Zones and is excellent at keeping pests away. Simply plant some garlic at the base of a peach tree to keep away borers, which actually feed under the tree and might destroy it over time.
Garlic also builds up sulfur in the soil, which naturally protects the tree from fungus. Maggots and snails are also repelled by garlic.
- Benefits provided: Protects the tree from pests and prevents fungi
- Time until the harvest: About 8 to 9 months
- Popular varieties: Calabrian Red, German White, French Pink, Georgian Fire, Chesnok Red
Legumes have a unique ability to convert nitrogen in the air to a specific form that plants and trees can consume. It forms nodules at the ends, which host the converting process and then release plant-ready nitrogen into the soil.
Their roots are shallow and won’t interfere with or be a threat to the peach tree. Legumes also attract insects such as butterflies and bees, which are essential for pollination.
- Benefits provided: Provide nearly plants with nitrogen and attract beneficial insects
- Time until the harvest: Varies depending on type and location
- Popular varieties: Peanuts, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, green beans, peas
7. Red Clover
Red clover is another plant that can boost your peach tree’s fruiting. Since it is a wildflower, it significantly helps attract pollinators to the area and greatly improves pollination.
- Benefits provided: Significantly improves pollination
- Time until the harvest: Anytime between April and late September
- Popular varieties: Medium red clover, Mammoth red clover
Basil is a plant that offers multiple benefits. First, it is very easy to grow, and you can grow it in almost any climate, even indoors. It will attract various pollinators and help pollinate your peach tree and will also repel fruit flies and mosquitoes.
However, it might attract some pests that will eat basil leaves. In that case, you should buy an organic bug spray, which will do the job quite well.
- Benefits provided: Improves pollination and repels mosquitoes and fruit flies
- Time until the harvest: 3-4 weeks after planting
- Popular varieties: Sweet basil, Thai basil, lettuce leaf basil
An excellent weed suppressor during the fall, buckwheat is also a great companion plant for peaches or any other fruit tree. It helps control leafrollers without any insecticide required and also provides protection against caterpillar damage.
- Benefits provided: Controls leafrollers and protects against caterpillars
- Time until the harvest: Between 10 and 12 weeks after planting
- Popular varieties: Common buckwheat and Tartary buckwheat
Lupine is a wildflower, which automatically makes it an excellent companion for peach trees. It attracts various pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Besides, it looks great and will make your garden nice and colorful.
- Benefits provided: Improves pollination
- Time until the harvest: June through August
- Popular varieties: Lavender Spires lupine, Bigleaf lupine, Gallery blue lupine
Chicory is a good companion plant for many fruit trees, mainly due to being a dynamic accumulator, a term used in permaculture that indicates a plant that gathers certain nutrients and stores them in a more available form for nearby plants to consume.
Having that in mind, you should definitely consider planting a bit of chicory around your peach tree.
- Benefits provided: Allows nutrients from the soil to be consumed more easily by nearby plants
- Time until the harvest: September – November
- Popular varieties: Belgian endive, radicchio, puntarelle
12. Mexican Marigolds
Marigold is a popular companion for both fruit and vegetable gardens, and it’s especially good for peach trees. One of its benefits is that marigold helps manage the soil-borne populations of specific worms, such as threadworms and roundworms, known as nematodes.
Nematodes quite often afflict home gardens by making knots on the roots of the trees. However, marigolds produce the substance alpha-terthienyl, which significantly reduces the number of worms in the soil.
- Benefits provided: Manages the population of nematodes and prevents damage to the roots of the tree
- Time until the harvest: During the summer
- Popular varieties: ‘Safari Tangarine’, ‘Jubilee’, ‘Crush’
Asparagus is another plant you should definitely consider planting near your peach tree. It keeps pests away, including root-knot nematodes, and even adds healthy nutrients to the soil.
Asparagus is not as effective as Mexican marigolds, but it is an edible companion plant. You should also know that asparagus needs extra space of at least 2 feet from other plants.
- Benefits provided: Helps in keeping pests and nematodes away and adds nutrients to the soil
- Time until the harvest: Spring
- Popular varieties: Mary Washington asparagus, purple asparagus, Apollo asparagus, Atlas asparagus
14. Queen Anne’s Lace
Wildflowers, which are any flowers that haven’t been genetically manipulated, are excellent plants for boosting pollination. They also liven up the area, leading to a beautiful, colorful garden.
With that in mind, make sure to plant some Queen Anne’s Lace seeds near your peach tree.
- Benefits provided: Helps in boosting pollination
- Time until the harvest: Around 2 years
- Popular varieties: Queen Anne’s lace, false Queen Ann’s lace
Geranium is another flower that will improve the pollination in your garden. It will attract a wide range of pollinators, such as hummingbirds and butterflies.
Benefits provided: Improved pollination
Time until the harvest: 13 to 15 weeks after sowing
Popular varieties: Garden geraniums, Regal geraniums, scented geraniums
5 Plants Not To Pair With Peaches & Why
Although many different plants are ideal for growing under or near your peach trees, there are several you’ll want to avoid for best results.
Tomatoes are very sensitive to nematodes. Besides, they can spread blight, which will eventually make your peach tree decay.
Some peppers might carry verticillium wilt. This can kills peach trees by infecting the roots and blocking the absorption of water.
Similar to tomatoes, potatoes can also spread blight and cause your peach tree to decay. They are harmful not only to peach trees but to most of the other fruit trees.
Broccoli is another plant to avoid when looking for your peach tree’s companion. Like other members of the Brassica family, broccoli is a heavy feeder and might consume too many nutrients, leading to a nutrient deficit for the peach tree.
Similar to broccoli, raspberries are also heavy feeders that will compete with your peach tree for nutrients. They also need a lot of potassium, so make sure not to plant them around your peach tree.