The best companion plants for oranges are nasturtiums, alyssum and lavender which will help to attract bees. Grow comfrey near orange trees use as an easy mulch to keep weeds away. Garlic and chives are great orange tree companions as they repel aphids and caterpillars. Try thyme, oregano, dill, fennel, lemon balm and legumes.
Orange tree companion plants and benefits
|Companion Plant||Orange Tree Benefits|
|Comfrey||Comfrey grows deep roots that draw up nutrients from the soil into the leaves and stems. Cut comfrey leaves and lay them on the soil under orange trees as mulch to give your tree extra nutrients.|
|Garlic & Chives||Repel aphids and caterpillars from orange trees.|
|Thyme & Oregano||Grow as a ground cover near orange trees to stop weeds and deter pest insects. They have shallow roots and are not invasive.|
|Nasturtiums||Attract pollinating insects to increase orange fruit yield. Also acts as a ground cover to stop weeds.|
|Lavender||Attracts pollinating insects to increase orange fruit yield.|
|Dill and Fennel||Attracts lacewings and ladybugs which will feed on pest aphids attacking your orange tree.|
|Lemon Balm||Attract wasps which will kill caterpillars feeding on your orange tree.|
|Tansy||Attract wasps which will kill caterpillars feeding on your orange tree.|
|Peas & lupin||Fix nitrogen and release it into the soil to feed your orange tree.|
|Alyssum||Attract pollinating insects to increase fruit production.|
Where to plant orange tree companion plants
When planting companion plants with orange trees make sure you place them outside of the root zone. This will make sure that the small feeder roots of the orange tree can get enough nutrients and water to keep the plant healthy.
To know how far away to place companion plants just draw an imaginary line underneath the tree canopy and don’t plant underneath the leaf area. This will prevent your orange tree roots from being damaged while still giving you the benefits of your companion plants
Top companion plants for orange trees
- Repels pest insects
- Attracts beneficial insects
- Long flowering and edible
- Stops weeds
- Fragrant flowers that attract pollinators
Nasturtiums are a fantastic plant to pair with orange trees as the flowers will attract pollinators. They will also ramble and grow across the ground, acting as a great ground cover without taking the nutrients from the soil of the orange tree. You can plant them outside of the orange tree root zone and they will thrive together.
Passing bees will visit the orange nasturtium flowers and will be attracted to the orange tree flowers as they come. Orange tree flowers have a fantastic fragrance that bees love.
- Attract pollinating insects
- Increase orange tree yield
- Attract diverse insects to increase biodiversity
Companion planting orange trees with flowers will give you more oranges because more of the orange tree flowers will be pollinated and set fruit. When the flowers have been successfully pollinated they will shrivel up and small oranges will form in the center slowly growing into full size fruit.
Planting a diverse range of annual flowers will also attract a range of other insects that will all interact to balance out the populations. Different flowers will attract different insects creating a natural balance in your garden to help to control pests.
- Attract pollinating insects to their fragrant purple flowers
- Increase orange tree yield
- Repels pest insects
- Non-invasive root system so they won’t take nutrients from your orange tree
Lavender is a great companion to your orange tree as they attract pollinators, repels pest insects and have non-invasive roots. Planting lavender plants slightly away from your orange tree is a good idea as they won’t need as much nutrients and water as your orange will.
Lavender will attract pollinators for your orange tree if they are planted in your yard so you don’t need to plant them too close to get the benefits. Bees will find their way from your lavender to your orange tree with ease.
Long lasting perennial flowers
- Long lasting flowers continue to attract bees to pollinate fruit
- Plant them once and they will flower year to year
Plants that grow flowers in spring and summer like Garua, salvia, society garlic have been great bee attractors for my orange tree.
A great tip is to plant small flowering plants near your orange tree that have multiple flower heads. I have planted society garlic as this forms tall, purple flowers with multiple heads which bees love.
Peas, lupin and other legumes
- Fix nitrogen in the soil to feed your plant
- Attract beneficial insects including pollinators
Legumes including lupin, peas and beans are great companion plants for oranges as they will draw nitrogen from the air and fix it in their roots. When the plant finishes growing they can be cut and placed under the orange tree as a mulch to add extra nutrients to the soil and prevent weeds.
I like to plant sweet peas near my orange tree over winter and at the end of the growing season I will trim them off and compost them to be added to the soil later. Sweet peas grow vertically so don’t interfere with the orange tree.
Companion planting orange trees with other citrus
Orange trees grow well when planted next to other citrus as they like the same soil conditions, nutrients and watering. Make sure you space your orange tree away from other citrus to give the roots the space they need to take up nutrients. I like to interplant small flowering plants between my orange tree and citrus to attract pollinators.
I have planted a lime tree and lemon tree on each side of my established orange tree. All three citrus trees are thriving and I find it easy to water and fertilize them at the same time making them perfect companions.
Deter pests by planting a range of companion plants
Plant a range of flowers and shrubs in your garden to attract a diverse range of insects which will act as natural predators to orange tree pests like aphids. Ladybugs will visit a diverse garden to eat the aphids that are trying to suck sap from your orange tree.
You could also add a insect house to give your them extra space to live.
Companion planting with orange trees – summary
Planting a range of flowers, trees and herbs in your garden will be of benefit to each plant as they help to balance out pest and beneficial insects, attract pollinators and improve the soil. Orange trees grow well with other citrus and flowering plants and together they make your garden look great.
Orange Tree Articles
- How to Save a Dying Orange Tree | 7 Easy Steps
- Can orange trees survive winter? | Protect them from a winter FREEZE!
- Are orange tree roots invasive? | How far do they spread?
- Why do my oranges taste like lemons? | How to make them SWEET!
- Why is my orange tree dropping leaves? | + Easy solutions
- Orange tree is not blooming | 10 Problems and easy solutions
- How to pick oranges from a tree | Tips & Tricks
- Companion plants for orange trees
- Oranges not ripening on the tree | Why & What to do
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.