The Best Companion Plants for Peppers

Last update: August 8, 2022

Are you excited to plant your peppers? You should be! However, amidst all the research regarding the planting of peppers, it is imperative not to miss out on what companion plants you should be planting for your peppers. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best companion plants for your peppers and some plants you’d be better off avoiding.

companion planting peppers
companion planting peppers

What is meant by Companion Plants?

Growing complimentary plants close to one another is called companion planting, also known as intercropping. It is a gardening technique that is generations old, used to boost yields and ward against pests. There are various advantages to planting specific plant combinations close together, including improved soil nutrients, pest management, cross-pollination, and enhanced production. Although this gardening method is typically employed in vegetable gardens, some flowers, like roses, can also benefit from it.

Good soil partners often have similar growth patterns, nutrient requirements, or pest-resistance traits. Onions and carrots are a pair of plants that do well in the same soil because the latter deters carrot flies. Plants have some chosen allies, just like they have some enemies. Unfavorable combinations can slow growth or destroy a crop.

How do we define Peppers?

A type of blooming plant belonging to the nightshade family’s Capsicum genus is the pepper (Solanaceae). Garden-grown peppers, which range in flavor from sweet bell peppers to hot jalapenos, are a great addition to many cuisines and liven up a garden with their vivid rainbow hues. These vegetable garden staples are a fantastic source of vitamins A and C.

Peppers do optimally in a sunny location with neutral soil and a lengthy, warm growing season. Nightshades can be planted in large pots, raised garden beds, or even in the ground. Although pepper seeds may be difficult to start with, peppers are simple to grow after they take root. Peppers have a vertical growth habit and want some trellis to ascend. These perennial plants will continue to produce peppers for you if properly cared for.

Best Companion Plants For Peppers

Consider putting your peppers next to amiable neighbors to aid with pests and enhance growing conditions, whether you produce fiery or sweet peppers. The finest plants to grow with your pepper plant are listed below.

Carrots

Carrots and peppers can be paired in the garden to offer nutritious mulching for the peppers in addition to being delicious on your plate. To make matters significantly better, they are excellent at keeping weeds under control in the garden, giving your peppers a fair opportunity to flourish strongly. Finally, they assist in properly dividing out the peppers.

Spinach

When spinach and peppers are grown together, there are advantages like weed control. When not fighting with the peppers for sunshine or water, they also aid in separating the peppers. Their slow growth rate is advantageous for peppers that may need to develop into larger plants.

Flowers

Many flowers, such as petunias, and marigolds, are great partners for peppers. These blooms provide the pepper crop pops of vivid color, draw pollinators, and ward off many pests that can destroy a crop. For example, marigolds are reported to repel Japanese beetles.

Basil

Beloved in the summer, basil grows well already. But adding pepper to it has several advantages, particularly for the peppers. The flavor of peppers is enhanced by basil, which is one of the key advantages. Most garden pests, such as flies, and mosquitoes, are also discouraged by basil. Whether growing them for your own use or selling, this is a fantastic method.

Leeks

Leeks are a part of the same plant family as onions and garlic. Despite not being as well-known as their brethren, they go well with peppers because they take up minimal room and keep pests like carrot flies away. They are excellent at spacing out the area because of their small stature.

Okra

Okra gives peppers shade and shields them from strong gusts, which promotes greater growth. They have a reputation for keeping pests like aphids out of gardens. They are excellent summertime companions for your peppers.

Onions

In addition to being one of the select plants for whom the roots and leaves are eaten, onions make excellent pepper and other plant companions. They aid in deterring pests from the garden, including slugs, aphids, and cabbage worms.

Lettuce

Given its dwarf stature compared to other pepper companion plants, lettuce is one of the greatest choices for filling in the gap between pepper plants. Additionally, they are excellent at keeping weeds from overrunning your garden.

Chives

Given that they increase pepper yields and flavor, chives are one of the best plants to grow with peppers. They also keep away pests like aphids and the majority of insects.

Radishes

It’s a fantastic idea to grow radishes and peppers together to make the most of your garden area. While they don’t provide the same direct advantages as some other plants on this post, they are fantastic space-saving plants because they grow quickly and produce a crop in just four weeks while you sit tight for the peppers to develop.

Tomatoes

Because they grow in comparable environments, tomatoes and peppers make good neighbors. However, particular consideration must be given to spacing when planting these two nightshades alongside. Because they are more susceptible to disease and bugs and shade pepper plants, tomato plants need more room than pepper plants.

Plants To Avoid Planting With Peppers

Even though peppers have far more allies than enemies, some foods don’t go well together. To prevent nutritional competition or the attraction of the inappropriate bug, do not plant peppers next to the crops listed below.

Fennel

Fennel is a fantastic plant partner for some plants since it attracts specific insects, not peppers. On the other hand, Fennel is a gluttonous plant that can prevent pepper plants from growing by devouring the nutrients they require to thrive.

Apricot

Peppers shouldn’t be planted close to apricot trees. Your fruit trees could be destroyed by a typical pepper fungal disease that is simple to propagate to your apricot tree.

Brassicas

Broccoli and cauliflower are brassica family members, which has distinct soil requirements from peppers. Whereas peppers require acidic soil, brassicas need neutral soil. Particularly kohlrabi will deprive peppers of nutrition as well while luring pests like flea beetles and cabbage worms.

Beans

Beans and peppers require different amounts of soil nutrients. Beans need nitrogen to grow, which might cause peppers to become stunted. Pepper plants are seriously at risk of suffocating from bean vines.

Improvement Of Soil

The soil can also be improved by forming plant alliances. Legumes are occasionally companion plants. These plants transform atmospheric nitrogen into a state that other plants could utilize as a growth factor. Other times, the companion plants act as cover crops that enrich the soil with nutrients and organic matter.

Cowpeas are frequently used as a cover crop. However, it can also be utilized to supply neighboring plants with nitrogen. A Californian study found that the cowpeas increased pepper production when cultivated alongside them by cutting down on weeds and supplying nitrogen. Spring is the ideal time to grow cowpeas.

Plant them alongside transplants of summer squash, tomatoes, or peppers. None of the partner crops should be planted from seed because they produce substances that may prevent seeds from germinating. Use only transplants.

Improving Pollination

Peppers grow well with annual or perennial plants that have large, broad blossoms or flowers with hoods. Despite being self-fertile, pepper flowers need to be moved or shaken in order to reproduce. This causes the anthers to discharge their pollen. Pollen release can be triggered by the wind or even just by you running into the plant.

Bumble bees, on the other hand, help pollination rates much more. Particularly important pollinators of peppers and other plants in the nightshade family, including tomatoes and eggplants, are bumble bees. This is due to buzz pollination, which is the rapid vibration of their flying muscles. The best tool for removing the pollen and fertilizing pepper flowering plants is this one.

Plant flowers that attract bumble bees to increase the number of bumble bees in your food garden. Large bumble bees require a safe landing area. One ideal choice is a plant with big, lobed flower petals. Bumble bees are required to open the flowers of hooded plants like lupines, snapdragons, and plants of the pea and bean family.

Another excellent option is broad-centered flowers with a hefty center, such as zinnias, coneflowers, and cosmos. To improve pepper pollination, plant a lot of these flowers all across your vegetable garden.

Weed Control

You can have a weed problem if you have a big garden and cultivate a lot of peppers. There are certain companion plants for peppers that really help control weed growth, in addition to mulching with straw and shredded leaves.

These plant partners also referred to as “living mulch,” are placed between pepper rows or on sidewalks, where they serve to crowd out and outcompete weeds. But be careful because if you don’t cut them down frequently as described below, they might start to grow weeds of their own.

A winter yearly cover crop that also functions as living mulch is subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum). As with peanuts, it grows by producing pegs from above-ground blossoms. In order to reach the earth where the seeds are created, the pegs grow downward. Subterranean clover is prevented from becoming weedy if you mow it before the pegs emerge if winter temperatures consistently fall below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a Maryland research, sub-clover living mulch outperformed traditional pesticide treatments at controlling weeds. Regularly cut sub clover during the growth season. Plant transplants of a fresh crop straight through the debris after the plants have been winter-killed.

White clover (Trifolium repens) lowers weeds if utilized as a permanent living mulch. It also gives neighboring plants nitrogen and, if allowed to blossom, helps feed beneficial insects and pollinators. Since it’s a perennial and won’t die during the winter, plant it between rows of vegetables or in paths. Pick a shorter type, and cut the plants down multiple times a year with a lawnmower or string trimmer.

One study discovered that the weed control offered by white clover when applied as a living mulch between crop rows was similar to that of using commercial herbicides. If grown in between raised beds, it would operate similarly. Prior to the blossoms turning into seed heads, be careful to mow them down.

Trap Crops

Plants are selected as trap crops based on how attractive they are to a particular insect. Pests are drawn away from the target crop by the presence of a trap crop, preventing harm. In a sense, a trap crop is a sacrifice made to the pest. There are several plants that go well with peppers and make great trap crops.

Radishes

One of the most difficult pest problems that gardeners must deal with is flea beetles. They can impede plant growth and lower yields by leaving behind small, jagged holes. A mature pepper plant may withstand flea beetle damage, but a young seedling would be stunted, which could delay or diminish future production.

To minimize flea beetle damage to your pepper plants, all that is required is a basic trap crop of radishes. Pak choi and radishes are far more favored by flea beetles than pepper leaves. For maximum results, interplant your peppers with any of these low-maintenance pepper companion plants. A few weeks before planting the peppers in the garden, start the radish seeds.

Nasturtiums

Consider putting nasturtiums in a companion planting close by if pests are a problem for your pepper plants. The aphids choose to eat the nasturtiums rather than your peppers. Because aphids are small and have a short range of movement, you should place these two plant partners within a foot or two of one another.

An added benefit of having many aphids on your nasturtiums is that you’ll be giving many helpful insects, such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and several others, a regular food source by having lots of aphids there. Because there will be a large number of beneficial insects in your plot, they will be able to assist in controlling any aphid outbreaks in other parts of your vegetable patch as well.

Complete Guide To Companion Planting with Tomatoes

Last update: August 8, 2022

Companion planting in a vegetable garden is all about attracting beneficial insects (natural predators of garden pests like aphids and caterpillars), encouraging growth, and optimizing overall output. It’s a delicate balancing act between providing a suitable environment for insects like beetles and ladybugs and making the most of a growing season.

tomato companion planting
tomato companion planting

Most tomato companion planting knowledge is anecdotal rather than scientifically verified, but it is a case of using common sense and discovering what works well when creating a kitchen garden.

Tomato companion planting with specific surrounding plants and flowers can provide a variety of advantages. These can include enhancing and increasing soil nutrients, attracting pests away from tomato plants, and attracting important pollinators like bees and butterflies to tomato plants. These are all beneficial to permaculture gardening and will assist you in creating a sustainable garden.

Companion plants can also help to improve the growth environment by providing shade, support for developing plants, ground cover, or by breaking up the soil.

Tomatoes pair well with a variety of popular garden vegetables. Some companion plants are said to improve tomato plant health and vigor, while others are said to improve tomato flavor and repel and deter insect pests and diseases. You’re probably going to grow some of these plants anyway, so why not experiment and use some of them as tomato companion plants?

 

Companion Plants to Grow With Tomatoes

Many plants are marketed as increasing tomato health, vigor, and flavor. All of these characteristics are difficult to quantify because there is little scientific evidence to back up the assertions, and many other factors may be at play. Still, it’s fun to experiment with them in your own garden. Companion planting tomatoes with natural defenders will help to protect them from becoming the feast of pests, and is also a good method for a wildlife garden.

Amaranth, asparagus, basil, beans, borage, calendula (pot marigold), carrots, celery, chive, cleome, cosmos, cucumber, garlic, lemon balm, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, sage, and squash are all good companion plants for tomatoes.

 

Basil and Amaranth

On and off the plate, basil and tomatoes are soulmates. This lively, pungent herb repels insects, particularly flies and hornworms, and is said to increase production.Amaranth draws predatory beneficial insects, which deters pests.

Asparagus

The reciprocal nature of effective companion planting is demonstrated by asparagus: With the help of a substance called solanine, tomatoes repel asparagus beetles, and asparagus aids in removing root-knot nematodes that are drawn to tomatoes from the soil.

Squash and Borage

Due primarily to timing, tomatoes, borage, and squash are a frequent trio in companion planting. The blue star-shaped blooms of the flowering herb borage are a huge favorite of pollinators in general, and it also deters tomato hornworms. In addition to safeguarding tomatoes and enhancing their growth and flavor, it also serves as a beautiful, eye-catching garnish. Then, the groundwork has already been done when late-summer squash, which needs pollinators to ripen, is prepared to bloom.

 

 

Winter Rye

Our cover crop is included on this list of tomato companion plants because of its capacity to control weeds around tomato plants. Winter rye has 16 distinct allelochemicals (compounds produced by some plants that restrict the growth of neighboring plants). It is one of the most well researched and used examples of a cover crop that can aid in weed control.

 

Winter rye contains allelochemicals that hinder weed seed germination but do not affect transplants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and other vegetables grown in the residue left behind after chopping down the cover crop. Sow rye as a winter cover crop in the fall for this plant relationship.

 

When spring approaches, trim the plants back to the ground just as they begin to bloom (don’t cut them too soon or they will re-sprout, and don’t wait too long or they may drop seeds). Leave the leftovers alone and plant your transplants through it. There is no need to till the soil.

Carrots

Carrots placed alongside tomatoes assist to soften the soil. If the carrots are planted too close together, they may not grow as large as they should, but they will still taste fine.

Nasturtiums and French marigolds

Marigolds (not to be confused with the delicious, ornamental calendula or pot marigold) and nasturtiums are especially good tomato companions. Marigolds have been demonstrated to repel root-knot nematodes, parasites that feed on the nutrients in a tomato’s root system, while nasturtium functions as a general pest repellent due to its peppery, bitter oils—but don’t get too close. Nasturtium spreads quickly and can engulf other plants if not kept in check.

Radish

To deter flea beetles, put radish around the base of your tomato plants. Because flea beetles don’t travel far, these tomato companion plants must be planted right next to your tomatoes. Flea insects prefer radish foliage over tomato foliage and will gnaw ragged holes in radish leaves rather than kill immature tomato plants. Mature tomato plants may resist some flea beetle damage, but immature transplants can suffer greatly. Pac choi is another great sacrifice crop for flea beetles.

Lettuce and Garlic

When the weather warms up, lettuce likes some shade. It benefits not only from being placed in the shade of larger tomato plants, but it also acts as a live mulch, keeping the soil cool and moist. Red spider mites are repelled by garlic. Garlic sprays aid in the control of late blight.

Parsley and Chives

Parsley is another popular pairing: it promotes development and attracts tomato hornworm predators such as ladybugs, but keeps it away from mint. Chives are a necessary allium in every herb garden because they fight aphids, worms, and mites.

Cowpeas

The southern green stink bug prefers cowpeas. As a result, a neighboring planting of cowpeas attracts green stink bugs away from your tomato crop, preventing serious damage. Green stink bugs are mostly a concern in the southern United States, where they feed on a variety of fruits and vegetables, producing stippling and corking of the flesh. Cowpeas should be planted several feet away from tomatoes (stink bugs are strong fliers), and they should be planted several weeks before tomatoes.

Fennel

Predatory lacewing eggs are frequently found attached to the leaves of my fennel plants. The parasitic aphidius wasps, which exploit aphids to shelter and feed their growing young, are especially significant for tomatoes. Interplanting fennel with tomato plants may help reduce the quantity of aphids, which may be a concern for tomato plants.

Thyme

If yellow-striped armyworms are an issue in your yard, thyme is an excellent tomato companion plant. Researchers at Iowa State discovered that interplanting tomatoes with thyme (or basil) reduced egg-laying by adult armyworms. Thyme works well as a living mulch around tomato plants. Just bear in mind that it’s a perennial, so the plants will need to be relocated each season when tomato plants are rotated to a new garden site.

Oats

The ideal cover crop for beginners is oats. In regions with frequent cold temperatures, they are winter-killed; in the spring, you may grow tomatoes right through the leftovers. By preserving the soil over the winter and early spring and generating an impenetrable mat, oats planted in the fall aid in weed control. In addition, the decomposition of the trash enriches the soil with organic materials.

Squash

Squash, such as zucchini, require the same growth conditions as tomatoes and can be grown alongside them. Squash’s spreading shape and huge leaves also provide effective ground cover, which reduces water loss from the soil.

Cucumber

You might be shocked to hear that cucumbers also create a number of allelochemicals that limit growth, with cinnamic acid being the most researched. When planted as a dense ground cover of living mulch around taller crops, such as maize, tomatoes, and okra, cucumbers can be utilized as a weed-management technique. They also prevent weed seeds from germinating by shading the seeds. However, since you’re starting with transplants rather than seeds, they make excellent tomato companion plants. Avoid using them if you’re starting your partner crops from seeds.

Red Clover

Bumble bees also like red clover as a nectar source. Use it as a living mulch to increase pollinator populations. It has also been demonstrated to sustain a wide range of other beneficial insects. Not to mention clover’s capacity to fix nitrogen. Definitely a win-win tomato companion plant.

Coneflowers

Plan to add some coneflowers in and around your food garden to boost pollination of various crops, including tomatoes. Their enormous, broad blossoms make excellent landing pads for fat bumble bees and they are also pretty darn lovely.

Hairy Vetch

A cover crop of hairy vetch, which has been demonstrated to prevent foliar disease in tomatoes more than plastic sheet mulches, is another deterrent for Septoria leaf spot and early blight. Hairy vetch, as a legume, also contributes nitrogen to the soil. Plant it in the autumn and trim it back by hand, or with a mower or weed whacker, when the first seed pods show on the vetch plants in late April. Don’t wait for the pods to swell. Keep the residue in place and plant the tomatoes through it. This also serves to keep weeds at bay.

Plants to not grow with tomatoes

In general, if laying out a vegetable garden, it’s a good idea to consult a companion planting guide: Additionally, it will show what not to plant next to tomatoes, as the growth of the plant will be hampered by cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi (all members of the Brassicaceae family).

The correlations aren’t always logical: whereas fennel, a related carrot, does not benefit tomatoes, carrots do. Similar to tomatoes, eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and is vulnerable to early and late blight. The soil will suffer as a result, making it more difficult to avoid the following year.

 

Eggplant, peppers, and potatoes:

These plants, like tomatoes, belong to the nightshade family and are all susceptible to early and late blight, which can accumulate in the soil and worsen year after year. For at least three years, avoid planting them next to or in lieu of each other. Hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata, the larval stage of the five-spotted hawkmoth) feed on the leaves and fruit of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants and can destroy plants swiftly. Although some gardeners recommend eggplant as a companion plant for tomatoes, it can produce disease issues that are extremely difficult to eliminate.

Tomatoes and eggplant are both susceptible to early and late blight.

Early blight attacks tomato leaves, causing brown lesions that destroy the leaf tissue and cause it to drop. While this has no effect on the fruits, it can have an effect on development (fewer leaves means less energy from photosynthesis) and expose the fruits to sun damage.

Late blight begins in the tomato leaves as well, but it can extend to other parts of the plant, including the stem and fruit.

Planting tomatoes near potatoes can also make them more prone to potato blight.

Cabbage (Brassica) family:

All cabbage cousins impede tomato plant development (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and turnip).

Walnuts:

Avoid planting tomatoes near walnut or butternut trees, which release an allelopathic toxin called juglone, which hinders tomato development (and all the members of the nightshade family). Tomatoes are prone to the illness walnut wilt as well.

Corn:

Corn earworms are the same as tomato fruitworms (Helicoverpa zea). Growing plants that are prone to the same pests in close proximity can lead to tragedy and a destroyed garden.

Dill:

Tomatoes and dill have a more convoluted connection than some of the other plants on this list, while they aren’t strictly enemies.Dill makes an excellent companion plant for young plants. According to some reports, it promotes tomato development and deters some pests, such aphids, which frequently harm tomato plants. However, the association deteriorates as the dill plant ages. Some gardeners claim that mature dill plants produce the opposite effects, stunting rather than promoting the development of tomato plants.

Plant young dill close to your tomato plants then relocate them to a different bed before they set seed in order to make the most of this complicated connection. Or, if that’s too much bother, completely avoid the dill.