Read on to find out exactly what dill companion plants will work best for you in your vegetable garden, herb garden, or flower bed! This dill companion planting guide will encourage the culinary herb’s growth and will help to deter unwanted pests from moving in and snacking. Learn what plants make great companions and what plants make bad companions for dill also known as “dill weed,” “dillweed,” and “anethum graveolens.”
All About Dill
Dill is an annual herb that is hardy in USDA growing zones 2-9. It prefers well draining soil that is slightly acidic- making it a great companion for blueberries! Although dill doesn’t require regular fertilizer, it does best when grown in soil that has a good amount of organic matter. Its fine, feathery leaves can be used fresh in cooking or dehydrated (dried) and preserved for later use. Dill has medicinal uses that you can read about here.
Dill grows best when seeded directly into the ground and should have 6-8 hours of full sun. Consider planting dill next to plants that will provide shelter from strong winds as it’s stocks will grow from 2-4 feet tall.
Pro Tip: Sow dill seeds late in the fall and leave them over the winter in your garden plot. The cold stratification will help you to get a high yield of dill with earlier harvest times!
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a simple way to get the most out of your vegetable or flower garden- more specifically your dill! Whether growing your dill in a raised bed, herb pot, or your garden, it is important to keep companion planting in mind. Companion planting is a tried and true method combining science and traditional lessons handed down over multiple generations to maximize the health and efficiency of your plants.
Gardening with companion planting in mind can help you to encourage dill’s nutrient uptake, encourage pollination, deter pests, attract beneficial insects and pollinators and provide shelter or a space to climb. This method combines similar plants with similar growing needs in common like soil PH, sunlight, wind tolerance, etc… It stretches beyond the confines of small-scale conventional gardening to orchards, food forests, trees and shrubs, grains, grasses, and other field crops. If you are aiming for a bumper crop of home-grown dill, this dill companion plants guide is for you!
What Are The Benefits of Companion Planting?
Weed Prevention: Certain crops provide fast growing ground cover that help to suppress surrounding weeds. Try to alternate upright crops with sprawling plants to keep weeds at bay in your garden. In its early stages, dill is very susceptible to being damaged or “choked out” by weeds. Like most herbs, it starts off quite small. Consider planting cover crops or laying down mulch around new dill seedings to help provide natural weed suppression.
Nutrient Provision: An appeal of using a polyculture type of approach and planting different plants next to each other is that the plants wont be competing for the exact same nutrients. Certain plants add needed nutrients into the soil and help neighbouring plants to thrive. Legumes are considered “givers” and include plants like peas, beans, clover and alfalfa. They have deep roots that fix nitrogen into the soil. Planting these next to heavy or light feeders that use up nitrogen will create the perfect growing conditions for your dill crops to thrive.
Trap Cropping: Placing certain bug-appealing plants near other susceptible plants can help to attract pests away from fragile crops and allow them to feed on others that won’t be harmed or aren’t as important. Planting the trap crop ahead of your target crop will ensure the pests stay away from delicate seedlings. Once the trap crop is infested, you can remove it along with the pests. Dill can act as a trap crop for tomato hornworms- the hornworms will flock to the dill and infest it, protecting your tomatoes.
Beneficial Insect Attraction: Certain plants can help to encourage bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects to frequent the area. Dill is beneficial to many other plants, making it a great companion! Dill flowers attract hoverflies and the larvae eat and decimate aphids, thrips, and other harmful beetles. Bright and attractive plants such as borage, dill, and parsley attract pollinators and other beneficial predatory insects to neighbouring crops. Dill acts as a host plant for black swallowtail caterpillars. Check out this Turnip Companion Planting Guide to see the benefits of planting dill and turnips side by side.
Pest Suppression: Mixed scents from different plants can help to repel insects (mostly small, egg laying flies) from laying on neighbouring plants. Certain herbs and flowers (think smelly marigolds) are known to prevent worms, nematodes, repel cucumber beetles, and other fungi. The scent of dill can help to keep garden pests at bay.
Protective Shelter: Fragile plants or plants with very specific needs can benefit from the shelter that surrounding plants can provide. Companion plants can provide shade, a wind barrier, and a canopy to protect lower plants from rain, hail, and even frost. Dill is susceptible to wind damage at its earliest stages as well as when it gets bigger. Wind can snap the stocks of your dill very quickly. It is important to plant it next to companion plants that will provide shelter without blocking too much sun!
Natural Supports: Strong, tall plants such as sunflowers and corn offer trailing plants or low growing plants like peas and cucumbers a strong trellis-like support to climb and spread.
Dill is plagued by several different pests but companion planting will help. Aphids multiply and devastate dill, weakening the plant and lowering harvest potential. Many people plant dill as a trap-crop for aphids, steering the aphids away from their peppers or other plants. Dill flowers attract ladybugs which feed on aphid larvae, naturally suppressing aphids. Planting Marigolds close to dill can help to deter aphids.
Parsley worms that eventually turn into black swallowtail butterflies can cause quite a bit of damage to young dill. Simply pluck them off by hand or plant other aromatic flowers and herbs nearby to repel them!
Dill Companion Plants
Brassicas- Dill has a beneficial relationship with all brassicas! It helps to repel cabbage loopers and cabbage worms from attacking Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, collards, cauliflower, and sprouts. Dill is said to improve the health of these cole crops.
Related: Cauliflower Companion Plants
Tomatoes- Tomatoes and dill have a tricky relationship! Dill repels tomato hornworms, making it a great neighbour in its early stages. Be careful that the fast growing dill plant doesn’t overshadow and block sun from your tomato plants. Avoid letting the dill go to seed by the tomatoes – mature dill can inhibit tomato growth if left too long. Either prune or remove the dill plants once they get to this point.
Onions + Garlic- Onions + garlic help to deter aphids from taking up refuge on dill plants due to their strong odour. They make the perfect salad and soup companions. Check out this DELICIOUS Dill Pickle Soup Recipe.
Cucumbers- Dill helps to repel spider mites and cucumber beetles from cucumber plants because of both its strong odor and its ability to attract beneficial insects that feed on cucumber pests. Love dill and cucumbers? Check out these Old Fashioned Fermented Dill Pickles.
Related: Cucumber Companion Plants
Asparagus- Asparagus falls prey to aphids just like dill. Once dill starts to flower, its blooms attract lacewings and ladybugs which help to decimate the aphid population without the use of pesticides or other pest deterrents such as diatomaceous earth.
Corn- This classic crop is loved by people and insects alike! Corn suffers from corn earworms and cutworms. There are several things that can be done to protect your corn including early planting to allow it to get a good head start and planting aromatic flowers and herbs nearby. Dill’s strong scent deters the detrimental ear worms and cutworms from devastating your corn crops!
Be sure to plant dill in such a way that it doesn’t get shaded by the corn.
Select Herbs- Dill has similar growing requirements as some herbs including parsley, lovage, lemon balm, lemon thyme, basil, and chervil. As an added bonus, many of these herbs flower and attract beneficial insects that feed on dill.
Related: Parsley Companion Plants
What Not To Grow With Dill
Select Herbs- Herbs such as cilantro and caraway make bad neighbors because they can cross pollinate with dill, resulting in a weird flavored hybrid.
Carrots- Carrots are part of the Umbelliferae family and should not be planted by dill. Dill can attract carrot flies… making it a bad neighbor for carrots. They can also be confusing if planted close to each other because their appearance is very similar in the early stages.
Peppers + Other Nightshades: Hot peppers and bell peppers should be separated from dill and eggplant because mature dill can inhibit growth of nightshade plants.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dill
Dill needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Choose companion plants that won’t grow tall and shade your dill during the growing season.
Dill is an annual; however, it tends to self seed as the big flowers dry up.
No! As far as herbs go, dill is one of the easiest herbs to start and keep alive. It is fast growing, has flexible growing requirements, and self seeds. Be careful that it doesn’t take over your growing spot!