Lemon Tree Guild
Our lemon tree always fell prey to aphids and bark lice. So I created a guild around it with aromatic, flowering and ground covering plants to attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter pests and keep the soil moist.
Rosemary is a strongly aromatic plant that deters some pests and when it’s flowering it attracts beneficial insects. This one is a creeping type which makes it a good ground cover.
Comfrey (Symphytum orientalis)
Comfrey is one of the most beneficial plants for growing under the trees. With its deep taproots it collects minerals that other plants can’t reach. By chopping and dropping its leaves,the lemon tree can benefit from potassium, magnesium,nitrogen,calcium and iron that are collected in the leaves. I think these nutrients would help boost the immune system of the tree, making it more resistant to pests.
Curry Plant/Immortelle (helichrysum italicum)
This native aromatic plant has a strong smell that is helpful in deterring pests. It has small clusters of yellow flowers that attract beneficial insects. It has many medicinal properties and can be used like rosemary in cooking.
note: Because of its curry like smell it’s called curry plant, but it has no relation to Indian curry leaf plant.
Onion and Garlic
I always plant a some garlic and onions around fruit trees to deter pests, especially aphids! Then I let them flower, so they can attract beneficial insects . Onion flowers have a strong onion smell that also help keeping away pests.
It deters aphids,whiteflies and ants. Knowing that ants are farming aphids on the lemon tree, mint is the perfect plant for discouraging them!
Their tiny beautiful flowers attract many beneficial insects.
It’s a little bit invasive, but since we use it immensely in cooking it doesn’t create a problem for us.
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
It’s a very easy plant to propagate by division. It has wonderful flowers that attract beneficial insects and spiders. I spotted lots of small jumping spiders hiding behind the petals, waiting for their prey.
Their flowers are used in dyeing , giving a green to yellow color. The best thing about this plant is that it keeps flowering all summer!
Another strong aromatic plant that deter pests, especially aphids and whiteflies! I propagate a handful of cuttings each fall and plant them all around the garden. It flowers almost all year and it attracts lots of pollinators, especially bumble bees and butterflies, as well as beneficial insects like ladybugs.
The flowers can be collected and dried for making tea, for making small scented pillows or can be put in the wardrobe for deterring moths.