Is arugula a good companion plant for lilies? Are there any others?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, David in Kentucky: Planting edibles in the ornamental garden is a great way to maximize your harvest and add diversity to your beds. Arugula is a spicy, cool-season green that is best planted in the early spring and again in the fall. It can certainly be planted with your lilies, but keep in mind that lilies are bulbs and when you go to plant your arugula it may be better purchase seed rather than starts since you will not have to dig as far into the soil, potentially damaging bulbs. Of course, this depends on the space you are dealing with and if the lilies have offsets. Also, keep in mind that it will be much easier to harvest your greens if you plant them in front of your lilies. This also makes sense in terms of aesthetics and light availability. Lilies are happy growing in full to part sun but edibles are happy growing in full sun, so depending on the light conditions you could plant other edible greens or even herbs such as thyme, parsley, sage, dill, cilantro, or even basil. There is nothing better than a freshly picked salad from right outside your door. This time of year it is nice to daydream about the potentials of next year’s garden. Let me know if you would like suggestions for nonedible companion plants.