Have you ever considered pairing two plants in the same container?
Growing two plants together is equally fun and challenging. I’ve been companion planting in my home garden for over ten years, and it’s helped me save space and beautify the place at the same time.
If you want to achieve the same with your houseplants, select plants with similar sunlight, water, and soil requirements.
Let’s learn more about it in detail in the following guide.
Can You Plant Two Different Plants Together?
Yes, you can grow two plants in one pot, and there is no limit on how many you can plant together.
According to the experts at the University of Minnesota, the companion planting technique also helps save space and keep insects away from the plants.
While combining different plants in a single container can make a stunning display, they will compete for resources like space, sunlight, and nutrients. And eventually, it leads to challenges in maintaining their overall health and aesthetics.
To resolve this issue, follow these helpful tips –
- Select plants with similar growth requirements, such as sunlight, water, and soil type.
- Use well-draining soil to prevent root rot.
- Get an 8-10-inch sized pot for more space.
These are the primary care guidelines for avoiding future issues when planting multiple plants in one pot.
Note: Grafting is another technique where you can combine two different plants to grow together. If you want to know more about it, read this guide from the University of Missouri.
Best Companion Plants For Growing Two Plants In One Pot
Here’s a reference table of some of the best companion plants –
|Lettuce, Peppers, Tomatoes
|Beans, Radish, Lettuce, Oregano, Sunflowers
|Onions, Chives, Peppers, Spinach, Radish, Eggplant
|Cilantro, Basil, Peas, Marigold, Beans
|Celery, Carrot, Marigold, Basil, Parsley, Onion
|Arrowhead, Pothos, Peacock Plant
|Spider Plant, Philodendron
11 Tips For Growing Two Plants In One Container
Here are the tips you need to know for this process –
1. Check The Pot Size
Pot size plays a huge role when you want to plant many plants together.
But why is it so important? Well, when you plant a single plant in the pot, it doesn’t require a lot of space in the beginning.
On the other hand, when you plant two or more plants in the same pot, the space, and soil in the pot remain the same. Ultimately, this creates a scarcity of resources in the pot.
Since each plant tries to grow at an optimum growth rate, it will continue to look for more resources and compete with the other plants in the same pot.
When this situation arises, the weaker or smaller plant often doesn’t get enough resources to grow. And it either finds it difficult to survive or remains short in size in the longer run.
Get a bigger pot for your plants.
If you want to plant two plants in one pot, it should have space for at least three plants. The excess space will always be helpful when the plants grow in size.
2. Check The Compatibility Of Plants
Like pot size, plant compatibility is very important in this type of planting technique.
If the plants are incompatible, they will compete for water, nutrients, space, and sunlight. And it will be a big issue for comparatively weaker plants.
When there is an imbalance in plants’ compatibilities, the dominant plant will always outgrow the other plants in the pot. It will also not leave much space and resources for other plants.
Apart from that, if you are going to plant the same variety of houseplants, you shouldn’t select plants with vigorous growth. Try to choose the ones that grow at a low-moderate pace.
More importantly, avoid invasive species.
For e.g. Mint and Aloe Vera
Both these indoor plants are invasive, and they often outgrow the potting medium within a few months or so. If you want to grow them in the same pot, you will have to use pruning and low-light supply methods to reduce their growth rate naturally.
Look for compatible plants only.
3. Plant Slow-Growing Plants Together
Slow-growth plants are the safest option when planting two or more plants in one container.
This type of plant does not require many resources, and they do not ask for a lot of care as well. So, you can easily neglect these plants for a few days if you are too busy with something else.
The other useful aspect of growing such plants is that they do not want more space. It means you can get away with planting them together in relatively small pots.
4. Do Not Add More Than 2-3 Plants To Your Pot
It doesn’t matter what species you wish to plant for companion planting.
Because quality is always more important than quantity.
In this perspective, the quality is pretty much related to the overall growth of the plants. And that’s what you should strive for while growing multiple plants in the same pot.
In my personal experience, the pot with 2-3 companion plants has always done great in the long run.
When you plant more plants than this number, they will struggle for all the resources irrespective of their compatibility and growing patterns.
5. Don’t Forget To Water Them Regularly
Yes, it’s important to increase the watering frequency for this specific pot.
Otherwise, the lack of moisture in the soil can lead to various issues in some plants.
Since the number of plants in the pot is more than a single-plant pot, they will need more water. So, you should ensure that these plants get enough water supply regularly.
Along with this, the pot should have 3-4 drainage holes at the bottom. These holes will prevent any water logging situation in the pot.
6. Fertilize The Plants More Frequently
Fertilizers are known to enhance the growth of plants.
When you plant more than one plant per pot, it becomes inevitable to feed more fertilizers to achieve the standard growth rate. If you don’t provide enough fertilizers, these plants will surely have lackluster growth.
So, what’s the solution?
Simply increase the dose of fertilizers or feed them more frequently. Both these techniques can be helpful if used correctly.
7. Transplant The Plants Every Year
Transplanting often helps in rejuvenating old plants. It is one of the most helpful gardening techniques to manage the growth of your indoor and outdoor plants.
When you have a pot with two or more plants, you must use this technique to revive some of the slow-growing plants. You can also separate a few plants from each other while transplanting them into a new pot.
As for time duration, you should consider doing it every year or so. If you see outstanding growth within the six months of planting two plants in one container, you can even perform this step within 7-8 months.
8. Prune Unwanted Branches and Leaves Regularly
If you don’t feel like transplanting the plants, you can use the traditional pruning technique.
For those who don’t know, pruning is an essential technique for overgrown branches and damaged leaves on plants. It not only adds to the beautification of plants but also helps increase the airflow between them.
So, get a sharp scissor or garden shears and prune the unwanted leaves and branches from the plants.
Here’s how you can trim the unwanted and overgrown leaves from the Spider plant –
Note: If the plants have not grown a lot, perform light trimming in the beginning. Try to get rid of as many branches as you can that have grown inwards.
9. Avoid Cutting The Main Stem Of Your Plants
It is the one thing you need to remember while pruning the plant.
You should never cut the main stem from the plant, as it can promote more lateral growth in the future. The plant will also stop growing upwards. Therefore, be careful when you remove the branches from the plant.
10. Put The Pot In A Sunny Place
Plants thrive when they get a good amount of sunlight.
Without sunlight, it becomes difficult for them to produce food for the entire plant. To solve this problem, you should put your multi-plant container in a sunny place.
It should also help in keeping the plant safe from fungal issues.
11. Make Sure There Is Enough Airflow In The Room
When there are more than two plants in one container, it often becomes challenging to avoid congestion between them.
As the plants grow, they become bushy and try to occupy as much space as possible in the pot. This could lead to several issues, including increased humidity, wet leaves and stems, etc.
So, if you want to avoid the resultant external issues, you must keep this pot in an airy space.
Things To Remember While Planting Two Plants Together
Here is a list of things you must consider before growing two plants in the same container –
- Place the bigger plants far away from each other while planting in the pot.
- Remove inward branches at the time of potting.
- Keep the soil surface dry and clean all the time.
- Spray neem oil as and when required.
- Do not mist the closely planted plants.
- Avoid soil that holds too much water in it.
- Use a combination of tall and dwarf plants for companion planting.
In the next section, you can find the answers to some of the frequently asked questions by the readers.
Yes, you can combine two or more plants with the help of different grafting techniques.
Plants that do not interfere with the growth of other plants should be planted together. You may refer to the chart provided in this guide.
The seeds will grow like any other seeds, provided the conditions are favorable for their growth.
If you don’t want to transplant them into other pots, these seeds will turn into mature plants in the future. Of course, it also depends on other factors that I have discussed earlier in this guide.
There is no specific number as to how many plants there should be in a container.
Having said that, it’s always better to have up to 2-3 plants in the same pot. It gives enough room for these plants to grow in their entire life cycle.
Generally, when you plant more than two plants in a medium-sized pot, the plants try to compete with each other.
It usually results in an imbalance in their individual growth. So, try to avoid planting more plants in small or medium-sized containers.