Companion Plants for Cabbage: Natures Perfect Partners

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Companion plants for cabbage can be helpful in the cabbage patch in multiple ways. They can improve the growth and strength of the plants, help manage pests, retain moisture in the soil, and help improve the flavor of our harvests. Our guide provides insights into the art of companion planting for cabbages, highlighting strategic gardening tips that can transform your cabbage beds. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, learning about the benefits of cabbage and its companion plants can enhance the success of your garden.

Cabbage planted alongside dill and marigolds as companion plants.

In this article, we will explore various companion plants that can complement cabbage. These include aromatic herbs such as dill and chamomile and beautiful flowers like nasturtiums and marigolds. We will also provide practical tips on incorporating these companion plants into your garden layout to maximize the benefits of your cabbage patch. Additionally, we will discuss the natural pest-repelling properties of certain companion plants, which will help you reduce the need for harmful chemical pesticides and promote a more eco-friendly approach to gardening. Get ready to dive into companion planting and take your cabbage cultivation to the next level!

Table of Contents

    Best Cabbage Companion Plants

    When it comes to companion planting with cabbages, some plants work better than others. Here are some of the best companion plants for cabbages, including their specific benefits and how they should be planted:


    Dill plants are a great friend of cabbage crops because it attracts bugs like wasps that can help control pesky cabbage worms. These bugs lay their eggs inside the cabbage worm larvae, which then hatch and eat the larvae, effectively reducing the number of pests. This is great because we don’t have to use harmful pesticides that could impact the environment and other useful bugs.

    Not only that, but dill has deep roots that can help loosen compacted soil, which is good for the structure of the soil and the growth of cabbage plants. Plus, it can add nutrients to the soil, which is also great for the plants.

    To top it off, dill is a versatile herb perfect for cooking and pickling. It has a delicious and unique flavor that can add a new dimension to your dishes. So, if you’re considering starting a garden, dill is a great addition!

    Leaves of cabbage, marigold flowers and dill planted as companions in the vegetable garden.


    Marigolds are great companions for cabbages for several reasons. Firstly, their strong scent repels harmful insects such as nematodes, whiteflies, and aphids, which reduces the risk of pest problems for cabbage plants. The marigolds’ roots also produce alpha-terthienyl, a toxic compound harmful to certain soil-borne pests.

    Marigolds effectively suppress harmful root knot nematodes while attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. If the flowers of French tagets marigolds are tilled under the soil after blooming, they can effectively destroy root-knot nematodes.

    Marigolds are wonderful stars in our summer and fall gardens and make excellent companions for a whole bevy of fruits and vegetables. See our guide on marigold companion plants and the varieties of marigolds that do best as companions in garden settings.

    Garden with white cabbage companion planted with marigolds.


    Thyme is a great companion plant for cabbages because it repels cabbage moths and flea beetles, reducing the risk of pest problems for cabbage plants.

    Luckily, thyme will not compete for water or nutrients, making it a good companion for cabbage. With that said, thyme doesn’t like to be waterlogged, and cabbage enjoys a moist environment, so plant your thyme on the outside rim around your cabbages, where you can water the cabbages without over-watering the thyme.

    Thyme can be a picky herb to grow, and many people can struggle to get thyme plants to flourish. We have an article to help you overcome that challenge and grow lush, fragrant thyme plants inside and out!

    Fully blooming thyme plants in a garden.

    Bush Beans

    Bush beans are vegetables that can help add nitrogen to the soil, which is important for the growth of cabbage plants. To plant beans, sow seeds in the spring after the last frost or plant seedlings in a sunny spot with well-draining soil in and around cabbage plants.

    Bush beans growing in the garden.


    Chamomile is a flowering herb that can attract beneficial insects and improve soil health. It can be planted around the edges of the cabbage bed or interspersed among other members of the cabbage and plants. Chamomile prefers well-draining soil and full sun.

    Chamomile is a champ of a plant to add to your garden. They make wonderful additions to a cut flower garden and can help ward off pesky mosquitoes. But chamomile can look right at home as a stand-alone plant, added to a cottage garden, or as we did here, added as a companion to our vegetable beds.

    Chamomile flowers in bloom.


    All types of sage make excellent companion plants for cabbages in the garden due to their strong aromatic properties. Its pungent scent helps repel cabbage moths, a common pest that lays eggs on cabbage leaves. By interplanting sage among cabbage, you create a natural barrier that deters these pests, reducing the risk of cabbage worm infestations. Additionally, sage’s deep roots help improve soil structure and nutrient uptake, benefiting the overall health of the cabbage plants.

    Sage leaves against a bright white table top.


    Nasturtium companion plants are prized in the garden thanks to their multifaceted benefits in the garden. These vibrant flowers act as natural pest repellents, emitting a peppery scent that deters aphids, cabbage moths, and whiteflies. By interplanting nasturtiums with cabbage, you create a protective barrier against these pests, minimizing the need for chemical pesticides.

    Additionally, nasturtiums attract beneficial insects like bees, ladybugs, and hoverflies, which feed on aphids and other harmful pests, further enhancing pest control efforts.


    Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is an excellent companion plant for cabbages in the garden due to its pest-repelling properties and vibrant blooms. The bright orange and yellow flowers not only add beauty to the garden but also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, promoting better cabbage pollination and yield.

    Calendula’s strong aroma deters pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and cabbage moths, reducing the risk of infestations. Additionally, calendula’s deep roots help improve soil structure and nutrient retention, benefiting the overall health of the cabbage plants.

    Calendula flowers against a soft green background.


    Onions are beneficial companion plants for cabbages in the garden due to their ability to repel pests and improve soil health. The strong scent of onions helps mask the odor of cabbage, making it less attractive to pests like cabbage worms and aphids. By interplanting onions with cabbage, you create a natural barrier that deters these pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

    Additionally, onions are shallow-rooted plants that help break up compacted soil, improve drainage, and suppress weeds, creating a healthier growing environment for cabbage plants.


    Carrot companion plants are excellent in cabbage patches due to their complementary growth habits and soil-improving properties. Most carrots have long taproots that help break up compacted soil, improve soil structure, and increase nutrient availability for cabbage plants.

    Interplanting carrots with cabbage also maximizes space in the garden, as the two crops can grow together without competing for resources.

    Additionally, carrots attract beneficial insects like predatory ground beetles, which feed on pests like slugs and snails, helping to protect cabbage plants from damage.


    Celery is a valuable companion plant for cabbages in the garden due to its pest-repelling properties and soil-enhancing benefits. Growing celery emits a strong aroma that deters pests such as cabbage worms, aphids, and carrot flies, reducing the risk of infestations in the cabbage patch.

    By interplanting celery with cabbage, you create a natural barrier that protects the plants from common pests, minimizing the need for chemical pesticides. Additionally, celery has shallow roots that help improve soil aeration and drainage, creating a healthier growing environment for cabbage plants.

    The Worst Companion Plants for Cabbage

    Certain plants are known to be poor companions for cabbages, as they can compete for resources with other insect pests, attract pests, or hinder their growth. Here are some of the worst companions for cabbages:

    Plants in the Brassica Family

    Cabbages are part of the Brassica family, which includes other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Planting these vegetables nearby can increase the risk of pest and disease problems, as they can attract the same pests and diseases. Additionally, they may compete for the same soil nutrients, which can hinder the growth of each plant.

    That said, you will find contradicting information on that point on our site, as we tend to plant many of our brassicas together under row covers to help prevent damage from cabbage moths. Sometimes, you must consider what challenge will be more difficult to manage and make those decisions for you and your garden.


    Tomatoes and cabbages are not good companions, as they can attract the same pests, such as the tomato hornworm, and may compete for soil nutrients. Additionally, tomatoes prefer a more acidic soil than cabbages, which can affect the growth of both plants.

    An image of a tomato against a bright white background. The image has a giant black X through the image to indicate that this is NOT a good companion for cabbage plants.

    Pole Beans

    While bush beans can be a good companion for cabbages, pole beans are not recommended. Pole beans can grow too tall and shade the cabbages, stunting their growth. Additionally, beans can fix nitrogen in the soil, producing excess nitrogen that can harm the cabbage plants.

    Pole beans growing up bamboo poles. The image has a giant black X through the image to indicate that this is NOT a good companion for cabbage plants.


    Strawberries are not recommended as a companion for cabbages, as they can attract slugs and snails, harming the cabbage plants. Additionally, strawberries prefer a more acidic soil than cabbages, which can affect the growth of both plants.

    An image of a strawberry against a bright white background with a giant black X through the image to indicate that this is NOT a good companion for cabbage plants.

    Expert Tips

    1. Strategic Planting: Interplant companion plants among your cabbage crop or create a border around the cabbage bed. This not only maximizes space but also encourages a diverse garden ecosystem.
    2. Spacing Matters: Give each companion plant ample space to grow and develop without overcrowding. Proper spacing promotes better airflow, reduces competition for nutrients, and minimizes disease risk.
    3. Match Soil and Sun Preferences: Ensure the companion plants you choose have soil and sun requirements similar to your cabbage’s. This compatibility ensures all plants thrive in their shared environment.
    4. Regular Watering: Maintain consistent watering for cabbage and companion plants to moisten the soil. Adequate hydration ensures optimal growth and helps plants withstand stressors.
    5. Beneficial Insects: Select companion plants that attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. These insects prey on common cabbage pests like aphids, caterpillars, and cabbage worms, naturally controlling their populations.
    6. Disease Resistance: Choose companion plants with natural disease-resistant properties to help protect your cabbage crop. Certain herbs like thyme, oregano, and sage possess antimicrobial properties that can suppress soil-borne pathogens.
    7. Complementary Growth Patterns: Opt for companion plants with growth habits that complement cabbage. Tall, upright plants can provide shade and wind protection while low-growing ground covers help suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
    8. Seasonal Considerations: Rotate companion plants seasonally to optimize garden health and prevent pest and disease buildup. Consider planting nitrogen-fixing legumes like peas or beans during the off-season to enrich soil fertility for future cabbage crops.

    By following these expert tips for planting companion plants with cabbage, gardeners can create a harmonious and productive garden ecosystem that promotes the health and vitality of their cabbage crop.

    Healthy, full grown cabbage heads in the garden.


    How do companion plants for cabbage help control pests?

    Companion plants for cabbage can help control pests through various mechanisms, including repelling pests with their scent, attracting beneficial insects that prey on pests, and masking the odor of cabbage to make it less attractive to pests like cabbage worms and aphids.

    Which herbs are good companion plants for cabbage?

    Herbs like sage, thyme, dill, and chamomile are excellent companion plants for cabbage. They not only add flavor to dishes but also repel pests like cabbage moths and aphids, enhancing the health and productivity of cabbage plants.

    What flowers can I plant with cabbage as companions?

    Flowers such as nasturtiums, marigolds, and calendula make excellent companions for cabbage. These flowers attract beneficial insects, deter pests, and add beauty to the garden while supporting the growth of cabbage plants.

    What are some leafy greens that make good companions for cabbage?

    Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale can be planted with cabbage as companions. These plants act as living mulches, suppressing weeds, retaining soil moisture, and attracting beneficial insects while providing shade for cabbage plants.

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    Final Remarks

    When choosing your companions, select them wisely, give each plant the space it needs, and consider factors like sunlight and soil compatibility. Avoid planting incompatible companions and steer clear of plants that can overshadow or outcompete your cabbages.

    By incorporating these simple companion planting tips into your gardening journey, you are well on your way to nurturing healthy, delicious cabbages! Put your newfound knowledge to work and watch your cabbage patch thrive!

    Author: Laura Kennedy

    Writer & Owner of Little Yellow Wheelbarrow

    Laura is a highly skilled gardener and fervent flower enthusiast. Despite her playful battle with plant spacing guidelines, Laura’s work inspires gardeners to create thriving, beautiful spaces that reflect both creativity and sustainability.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 2, 2021. It was updated on February 21, 2024, to remove unrelated topics and add expert tips and frequently asked questions.

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