It’s a flavorful addition to summer meals and a favorite with many types of butterflies and insects- yes, dill is a versatile garden herb. And using dill companion plants is a smart way to maximize your plant’s productivity and make the best use of garden space.
Ideal companion plants for dill include:
- Other herbs
- Leafy greens
- Tomatoes (with some special guidelines)
In some cases, the companion plant directly benefits the dill’s growth/production, while in other cases, the dill helps out the companion plant. Either way, in my experience, laying out your garden thoughtfully gets you better overall production with minimal effort.
In this article, you’ll get a look at which plants are perfect neighbors for dill and why. We’ll also cover which ones to keep away from your dill plants and answers to common questions.
Best Dill Companion Plants
Let’s get into the details of each plant that makes a top choice for dill companion planting.
The large Brassicaceae plant family includes many classic garden plants:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
Brassicas are delicious and packed with nutrients, and they definitely deserve a place in your garden. Unfortunately, they’re also prone to pests (including cabbage loopers and worms).
Most of the time, these insects are so small that you only notice them once the damage has been done. Dill has a strong aroma that’s a natural, strong repellant against common brassica pests, so they stand less chance of getting a foothold on your crop.
Here’s another large plant family that you’ll commonly find in home gardens. Alliums include:
The relationship between dill and alliums is a symbiotic one. The dill helps keep Japanese beetles and aphids from eating away at your crops, while onion can help deter pests that are likely to attack dill. It is also believed that dill can enhance the flavor of onions!
Dill’s fine fragrance and umbrella-like flower clusters attract pollinators and larger beneficial insects, such as parasitic wasps. This is a good thing for cucumbers for a couple of reasons:
- Cucumber fruit development relies on insect pollination
- Predatory insects eat up the smaller ones that are likely to attack cucumbers
Most other fragrant herbs make great dill companion plants, which makes it easy to grow a thriving herb garden for fresh use or preservation.
Here are some ideas for dill companion herbs:
Asparagus can fall prey to several pests, but planting dill near the asparagus patch can draw friendly garden predators that keep the pests under control. A few of these include:
- Aphid midges
As a tall, sturdy plant, corn is fantastic for blocking wind that could damage your delicate dill plants.
And dill is good for corn, too. When it flowers, dill attracts parasitic wasps, which help keep harmful pest levels to a minimum. Dill flowers are also a favorite for pollinators, and while corn doesn’t rely on insects for pollination, a little extra help never hurt.
Also, some growers claim that growing dill near corn can improve the flavor of your sweet corn. Dill certainly tastes good on cooked corn, so it’s worth trying!
7. Leafy Greens
Insects love leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard. And it’s no wonder- they taste delicious and are pretty easy to get through for an insect’s tiny mouth.
Dill can deter these pesky little creatures with its fragrance. And, its ability to help keep the soil moist during dry seasons will help keep your leafy greens in top shape.
Nasturtiums are bright, beautiful and edible- and they’re also one of the very best companion plants you’ll find. We’ve recommended nasturtium as a good neighbor for pumpkins and for planting near bell peppers.
Nasturtiums can specifically benefit your dill by acting as a trap crop for aphids, the primary pest to attack dill. Instead of infesting your dill plants, the aphids are drawn to the nasturtium instead, leaving your dill crop unharmed.
Marigolds and dill work together to eliminate harmful insects and aphid infestations. Both are powerful in their own right for deterring pests, but when you put them together, their effects are multiplied.
This is another nearly-universal companion plant. Also known as starflower or bee bush, these attractive plants go well with just about any plant – including dill.
11. Tomatoes (With Some Special Care)
When done correctly, tomatoes and dill make excellent companion plants. Tomato plants act as a shield from the wind, and when dill plants are young, they are effective at repelling destructive tomato hornworms.
However, when dill plants mature and produce flowers, the roots release a substance that can stunt the tomato plant’s growth.
So planting dill near tomatoes requires a delicate balance. Here are a few ways I recommend for planting dill and tomatoes together:
- Harvest your dill frequently and aggressively- this keeps the plant in grow mode and prevents it from developing flowers.
- Plant dill in its own pot placed next to your tomato plant(s).
- Plan to pull up your dill plants before they reach maturity.
- Monitor your tomatoes closely- if you see any signs of slowed growth, move the dill farther away. Just keep in mind that dill develops a deep taproot and does not transplant well, so be prepared for the possibility of losing the plant if you try to move it.
Worst Companion Plants for Dill
Not every plant makes a good neighbor to dill. Here are some plants to keep as far away as possible from the dill patch.
1. Members of the Carrot Family
Looking at dill leaves, you’ll notice similarities to carrot leaves- they’re both light and fringy. That’s because dill belongs to the large and diverse carrot family, which also includes anise, Queen Anne’s lace, fennel and parsnip.
Because they’re so closely related, there’s a high risk for cross-pollination if you grow these plants near each other. The result could be stunted dill growth or unhealthy carrots.
Potatoes and dill don’t mix. Potatoes need abundant sunshine, and tall dill plants may block too much of that precious light.
Here again, the tall heights that dill can reach could block light for sun-loving lavender. Also, lavender prefers to dry out between deep waterings, while dill does best with consistent moisture. So you’d have a hard time trying to strike a balance between the two.
Dill seems to do poorly as a companion plant to most nightshades, a plant family that includes all pepper varieties. We’re not exactly sure why, but some chemicals dill releases appear to stunt growth and production for peppers.
Like peppers, eggplant belongs to the nightshade family. Growing dill with nightshade veggies and plants can affect the crop’s health, leading to a substandard harvest.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dill Companion Plants
I love companion planting for its simplicity and the benefits it provides- I practice it in my garden whenever possible.
Dill makes a great companion for many plants. Its powerful pest-deterring properties can help save many a plant or vegetable from an early death, and it may just help your other crops taste better. Sounds good to me!
What about you? Do you have any other questions about dill companion plants, or are there any other plants you’ve found that make a good neighbor for dill? Learning from each other’s experiences is the best way to grow our collective garden knowledge, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!