Chamomile might be a humble flower but it’s the perfect companion for your vegetables. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties have been used for centuries in herbal gardening remedies, to support the healthy growth of trees, veg, and other annuals. Using chamomile as a companion plant for vegetables is easy, effective, and packed with benefits for you and your garden.

The Growth Habits of Chamomile

Chamomile comes in two forms but both have the same healing and preventative properties to be used as companion plants, so the choice for you is more about care, and how exactly to envisage your garden in a few years’ time. 

German Chamomile

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is the most common plant sold in garden centres, pre-potted and ready to plant. Its compact form makes it controllable in the short term, but to stop it from spreading you’ll need to harvest the flowers before they go to seed as it can take over your garden incredibly easily.

Typically, German Chamomile forms mounds of flowers around 15cm tall and 20cm wide, with a sweet aroma and sweeter flavor.

Lawn Chamomile

Lawn Chamomile, or Roman Chamomile, is a low-lying ground cover plant that spreads through seed, as well as fine rhizomes so is often used as an alternative lawn plant to grass. It’s best propagated from seed, but the plants are best bought as sections of turf, which can be laid over the surface of pots, or used directly as lawns.

One of our plans for the new allotment over the next few years (after the carboard and mulch have worked their magic on the weeds) is to grow chamomile lawns as paths between the raised beds. I’m hoping it improves pest prevention in general, as well as distracting from the aroma of the nearby manure heap…

Why is chamomile a good companion plant for your veg?

Chamomile has many characteristics that make it the perfect companion for your vegetables:

  • Chamomile has powerful anti-fungal properties
  • Chamomile attracts pollinators
  • Chamomile attracts ladybirds and wasps, which predate pests
  • Chamomile draws nutrients to the base of other plants

Chamomile tea also makes an excellent pouring feed with mild antifungal properties that help prevent root fungus, or a spray, which prevents fungal infection on plant stems.

At the end of the growing season any left-over chamomile can be cut back and left to mulch the soil. It stores all the nutrients it uses and will leech them back into the soil for whatever you grow there the following year.

What to Plant with Chamomile

There are very few things you can’t plant with chamomile, but here’s why chamomile is the perfect companion for your vegetables:

Planting Chamomile with Brassicas

Chamomile attracts beneficial insects like ladybirds, and wasps, which predate aphids, blackfly, and common cabbage pests. Its anti-fungal properties also help to prevent mildew and other fungal affectations that damage your crops. Just growing the plants next to each other is enough to work as a preventative, but if you ever find fungal issues simply cut back some chamomile and brew a tea to spray directly onto the leaves.

Planting Chamomile with Alliums

Amazingly, the sulfurs contained in chamomile actually improves the flavor of alliums. The essential oils that add sweetness to leeks, garlic, and onions are boosted by companion planting with chamomile. The chamomile also helps alliums by regulating the moisture in the soil. Because alliums are deeper rooted than chamomile, they won’t have their nutrient levels affected, but chamomile will prevent sodden ground to some extent too.

Planting Chamomile with Tomatoes, Potatoes and Aubergines

Solanum plants, but particularly tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines will benefit from the pollinators chamomile attracts. Pollinating solanums is essential for almost all varieties to fruit reliably, so using chamomile to attract bees and wasps is an easy way to ensure a good crop.

Chamomile’s anti-fungal properties are also highly beneficial to tomatoes and potatoes, which tend to suffer blight and fungal disease due to poor air circulation and wet leaves. Chamomile tea, as well as nearby chamomile, can help to prevent fungal infection.

Planting Chamomile with Squashes and Gourds

Cucumbers, Squashes, Pumpkins, and Courgettes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow, generally producing reasonably high yields, as long as they are well watered and in good light. They are all incredibly susceptible to mildew though, a powdery fungus that spreads over the leaves, eventually causing them to stop photosynthesizing. Chamomile planted next to climbing squashes and gourds helps prevent this, as well as improving the flavor of nearby fruits.

It’s probably not worth growing them as a companion for pumpkins, due to their trailing habit, as the majority of the plant will be too far from the base.

Planting Chamomile with Beans & Peas

Beans and peas, the wonderful fruit, are in fact seeds packed with the mild, earthy, plant proteins that make them so delicious. To enhance that flavor, chamomile accumulates sulfur and potassium in the soil, which is then taken up by nearby plants, giving a massive boost to their fruit production, and to their flavor.

As with alliums and brassicas, chamomile will also attract ladybirds and wasps, which predate aphids and blackflies. Because of its long flowering season, chamomile attracts bees and pollinators which will continually pollinate beans and pea flowers.

Planting Chamomile with Mediterranean Herbs

Any woody Mediterranean herb will benefit from chamomile. While they are unlikely to suffer from pests, their flavor is reliant on the essential oils they produce. By gathering and distributing sulfur around its roots, chamomile supports the production of powerful essential oils that make your Mediterranean herbs such useful additions to the kitchen garden.

Planting Chamomile with Soft Stemmed Herbs

Chamomile improves the flavor of basil and other soft-stemmed herbs like Sage or Coriander in the same way as woody Mediterranean herbs. It’s also incredibly useful to prevent damping off in seedlings, so for herbs commonly grown from seed each year like coriander, sage, or basil, a chamomile tea spray is a great way to help them out in their first few weeks.

Planting Chamomile with Fruit Trees

For centuries, fruit farmers have been growing roman chamomile lawns around their trees. For Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear, or Quince in particular, where fungal infection beneath the bark is a common risk, chamomile is a useful multipurpose fungicide to have to hand. 

Chamomile’s ability to draw pollinators from miles around also has obvious benefits on pollinating fruit, while its ability to improve sulfur and potassium content in the soil improves the flavor of fruits.

What Not to Plant with Chamomile?

Two essential warnings with chamomile are umbellifers and mint.

Planting Chamomile with Carrots

Chamomile attracts carrot root fly, the most damaging carrot pest around. There are plenty of gardeners who will advise chamomile as a companion plant for carrots to improve flavor, and they’re not wrong (it works), but it’s just not worth the risk. Chamomile won’ be affected by carrot root fly in the same way as umbellifers, which provide habitats for the pests over winter, but will attract them. Having both next to each other in your garden can lead to disaster.

Planting Chamomile with Mint

For some reason, chamomile actually reduces the flavor of mint. All the science suggests that it should enhance it, but with mint, the essential oils are reduced when planted near chamomile.


How does chamomile help other plants?

Chamomile is incredibly efficient at drawing in sulfur and potassium from surrounding soil, which it then stores and distributes to other plants to promote better flavor. Its powerful aroma also attracts beneficial pollinators and insects which predate pests like aphids for natural control.

Is chamomile invasive?

Chamomile is quick to self-seed and hardy in almost all climates, so if left unchecked can spread around the garden. However, it is shallow-rooted, and can easily be controlled by biannual division, so for any gardener with more than ten minutes per year to spare, it’s certainly not going to overrun your garden.

Should I grow German or Roman chamomile?

While both have the same benefits when used as companion plants for vegetables, they act differently in the garden. Roman chamomile is a flatter growing plant, with a fresher flavor, while German chamomile is a sweeter flavor for cooking, and spreads less quickly.

Can you use feverfew instead of chamomile?

Feverfew and chamomile are not interchangeable in any scenario. Feverfew is intensely bitter (great for a quick headache cure), while chamomile is sweet and mild. Because of its powerful bitterness, feverfew repels insects (including the good ones) and grows tall in its second year, so makes a very inefficient companion plant.


German chamomile is cheap to buy, either as young plants, or seeds, and reasonably easy to propagate, so there really is no excuse not to give it a go. 

Roman chamomile, or lawn chamomile, is a little bit more pricy as mature plants because it’s more expensive to ship turf than 9cm pots, but in the long run, can be much cheaper to maintain, as propagation from division is much more reliable than propagation from seed.

We grow both here and started it all from seed. Because chamomile is the perfect companion for your vegetables it’s worth investing your time in. It will pay you back in flavor, and saved time.

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