Citrus Tree Companion Planting For A More Sustainable Landscape
Citrus tree companion planting is a great way to create a more sustainable landscape. By planting certain companion plants alongside your citrus trees, you can improve soil health, deter pests, and even increase fruit yield. Here's what you need to know about landscape citrus tree companion planting:
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the practice of planting different crops together in order to benefit each other. Some plants release chemicals that repel pests or attract beneficial insects, while others fix nitrogen in the soil or provide shade for neighboring plants. By choosing the right companion plants, you can create a more resilient and productive garden.
Companion Plants for Citrus Trees
One of the best companion plants for citrus trees is the legume family. Legumes, such as clover, beans, and peas, are nitrogen-fixing plants that help to improve soil health. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for citrus trees, and legumes can provide a natural source of this nutrient. Planting clover or other legumes around the base of your citrus trees can also help to suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil.
Another great companion plant for citrus trees is comfrey. Comfrey is a deep-rooted plant that is high in potassium, an important nutrient for fruit development. Comfrey can be grown around the base of citrus trees or used to make a nutrient-rich compost tea to feed your trees.
Marigolds are another beneficial companion plant for citrus trees. Marigolds release a chemical called alpha-terthienyl, which deters root-knot nematodes, a common pest that can damage citrus tree roots. Planting marigolds around the base of your citrus trees can help to protect them from nematode damage.
Incorporating Companion Plants into Your Landscape
When incorporating companion plants into your citrus tree landscape, it's important to choose plants that have similar water and soil requirements. Group plants together based on their water needs and soil preferences, and consider adding mulch or other organic matter to improve soil health and retain moisture. Citrus trees, for instance, are fairly drought tolerant because they evolved in warm-climate conditions, so avoid pairing them with any plants that need a lot of water.
You can also use companion planting to create a more diverse and attractive landscape. Planting herbs such as lavender or rosemary around the base of your citrus trees creates a Mediterranean look, while colorful annuals such as petunias or zinnias attract pollinators and provide a classic cottage-garden aesthetic.