We have the complete list and guide for the best companion plants for peppers. Our list contains all the best flowers, herbs, and vegetables you can interplant safely to help deter harmful insects, attract helpful ones, and improve the growth and taste of your peppers!
What are the best companion plants for peppers?
The best companion plants for peppers are the ones that will help peppers grow strong, prevent harmful insects and attract pollinators for better harvests. Grow flowers like alyssum, nasturtiums, marigolds, dill, basil, and parsley. Add companion vegetable plants like tomatoes, beets, carrots, and alliums such as leeks, onions, and chives.
Read on to see all the best companion plants you can grow alongside your peppers.
The Best Companion Plants for Peppers
There are so many wonderful pepper companion plants you can add to your garden. The trick is to understand problems or potential problems before you choose which plant will be best for your pepper beds.
If insect pests are a problem, you can plant garlic, onions, chives, and nasturtiums (to name a few). But if your problem is dry summers, consider planting a living mulch around your pepper plants like lettuce, spinach, beets, or carrots.
Alyssums make great companion plants for peppers. The tiny flowering plant will help cover and shade the ground, preventing weeds from growing. Alyssum will also help keep the soil cool and moist.
Alyssum flowers attract beneficial insects like predatory wasps and pirate bugs, which will feed ravenously on aphids. The low ground cover growth will also provide helpful spiders and ground beetles shelter.
Basil plants are great companion plants for peppers.
Plant basil around the base of your sweet pepper to help boost flavor and repel garden pests like aphids, thrips, flies, and spider mites.
You can also crust a few basil leaves and scatter them around your pepper for the same effect.
When planted densely around pepper plants, basil will also help choke out weeds and help keep the soil cool and moist.
Learn More: See how to grow robust, healthy basil plants from seed to harvest.
Beets and peppers do not compete for similar nutrients nor share similar diseases or pests, making them good companion plants for the garden.
Planting beets around the base of pepper plants help keeps the soil cool and moist and prevent weeds.
Learn More: Many plants make lovely companions for beets; see our article for the entire list.
Like other root crops, carrots will help shade the soil and keep out weeds and break up the ground to help with growth.
Growing carrots as pepper companion plants can also help maximize garden space—interplant carrot seeds around your pepper plants in bare areas.
Carrots can also help improve the flavor of peppers when grown nearby.
Learn More: Carrots have many great companions; check out our post on carrot companion plants before planting your garden space.
Learn More: Did you know that you can grow carrots in containers? You can! See all our tips and tricks for harvesting carrots from containers.
Related: Our Carrot Cake Jam is a WONDERFUL canning recipe to go along with your carrot harvest – if you like sweet, warm fall spices, this recipe is a must-try!
Grow Swiss chard around your pepper seedlings, and they will protect the young plants from winds and weeds.
Swiss chard will grow to maturity in only 40 days, so you can harvest it before it begins to shade out the peppers.
Chives will help repel aphids, and other harmful insect pests attracted to pepper plants.
Gardners report better flavor and yields of peppers when chives are planted nearby. Chives in bloom will also attract beneficial insects that will help keep pest populations down.
Chives will also help stave off diseases like gray mold and downy mildew.
Learn More: We wrote an article about growing healthy, tasty chives from seed to harvest.
Dill makes a good companion plant for peppers.
Flowering dill will attract many beneficial insects from bees, to wasps, ladybeetles, spiders, and hoverflies.
Pollinators like bees will help increase yields in your pepper patch, and insects like ladybugs, waps, and hoverflies will help to keep populations of aphids and harmful insects low.
Dill can also help improve the flavor of peppers when planted nearby.
Learn More: Learn how to grow dill from seed the easy way!
Garlic is a great companion for peppers. The plants take up very little space, and you can interplant them around the peppers to best use the gardening space.
Planting garlic can help prevent fungal and bacterial diseases. In addition, garlic has high sulfur content and will act as a strong disinfectant in the soils.
But garlic is best known for deterring pests with its pungent aroma. Japanese beetles, aphids, mites, cabbage worms, cutworms, beetles, slugs, and flies.
Learn More: Garlic is one of your garden’s best (if not the best) companion plants. We have a complete guide on all the best ways to use garlic in the garden.
Geraniums seem like an odd companion for peppers, but they offer a significant role in pest control. Zonal geraniums will repel and kill the Japanese beetles that can devastate your entire pepper crop.
Geraniums, however, can repel bees. So if you’re looking for additional pollinators for your pepper crop, geraniums may not be the best choice.
I love planting leeks in the vegetable garden. They always grow so uniformly and look lovely in a potager-style garden.
But leeks offer great benefits as a companion plant for peppers. Leeks do not take up a lot of room, and they can fill the spaces between the peppers.
Like onions, garlic, and chives, the heady aroma of leeks can also confuse or deter pests away from your peppers.
Learn More: You can find the complete list of leek companion plants by checking out our leek guide.
Lettuce can be planted densely around pepper plants to help keep weeds at bay and act as a living mulch to keep the soil cool and moist.
Small lettuce plants do not take up a lot of room and are one of the plants you can use to cover bare spots in the garden to maximize space.
Learn More: Learn how to grow romaine lettuce in your garden.
You can plant nasturtiums as a trap crop near the edge of your pepper patch. The flowers will attract flea beetles and flies, keeping them away from your pepper plants.
Nasturtiums will also deter common pests such as aphids, squash bugs, Mexican bean beetles, and Colorado potato beetles.
Companion planting nasturtiums as a ground cover will help keep the soil shaded and moist. This living mulch will also provide shelter for beneficial insects like spiders and ground beetles.
Learn More: Learn how to best use nasturtium in the vegetable garden and see our guide on how to grow nasturtium from seed to flower.
Onions do not take up a lot of space and do not interfere with the growing roots of pepper plants.
Peppers and onions share similar wants in a growing environment and will benefit from equal watering and fertilizing schedules.
Companion planting onions will also provide a great deal of pest deterrence. The plants repel aphids, slugs, and cabbage worms, making them a great companion plant for peppers.
Learn More: Did you know you can plant onions in containers? You can! Check out this guide to learn more.
Parsley is a great companion plant for peppers. It will attract predatory wasps to help control aphids in your pepper patch.
You will want to let your parsley flower for the best results.
Companion planting parsley densely around pepper plants can help shade the ground and provides shelter for helpful ground insects like spiders and beetles.
Learn More: Learn how to grow parsley indoors and out with our guide on growing and harvesting parsley.
Petunias are ideal as companion plants for peppers. They repel pests like asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, and tomato worms. Petunias can also help repel aphids and Mexican bean beetles.
Companion planting petunias around sweet peppers can also help attract bees, butterflies, and moths to your vegetable patch. These helpful insects will assist with pollination and help increase the yields of your pepper plants.
They also look charming, growing interspersed through the pepper plants.
Related Post: Love petunias? We do too. Check out our guide for growing and caring for petunias in hanging baskets.
You can grow radishes in the space between growing pepper plants. The radishes will be ready to harvest long before the peppers require that space to spread.
Radishes make a great trap crop for flea beetles when planted at the edge of garden beds.
Rosemary brings a few great benefits to the pepper garden. First, the herb can help deter pests like cabbage moths, carrot rust flies, and Mexican bean beetles.
Rosemary can also help shade the ground, help prevent weeds and keep the soil cool and moist.
The herb is also said to help improve the vigor and flavor of peppers when planted nearby.
Learn More: Learn how to grow healthy rosemary plants from seed.
Spinach makes a great companion for peppers, especially if planted densely like a living mulch under the pepper plants. Leafy spinach will help shade the ground, help retain moisture, and keep the soil cool while providing shelter for beneficial insects like spiders and ground beetles.
Spinach, in turn, can be shaded from the taller pepper plants to help prevent the plants from early bolting. Providing spinach with shade will help prevent early bolting as the season warms up.
Learn More: Spinach makes an excellent companion plant for many fruits and vegetables. See our list on how to best use spinach as a companion in your garden.
Related: See our full guide on the best shade vegetables for your garden.
As nightshade family members, tomato plants and peppers share similar environmental needs, like hours of daylight and watering schedules.
Companion planting tomatoes near bell peppers can help shade the soil and offer shade protection for the pepper plants during the hottest part of the day.
Crop rotation recommends that nightshade family members like tomatoes and peppers not follow each other in the same garden bed the following year. But you can grow tomatoes and peppers together in the same garden bed in the same year without issue.
- Related: See our post on growing cherry tomatoes in pots
- Related: If you are having issues with split tomatoes, check out our troubleshooting guide to help you prevent tomato splitting in the future.
The Worst Pepper Companion Plants
Harmful companion plants for peppers are those plants that will compete for water and nutrients. They are also plants that share similar pests and diseases and can easily pass them to each other.
Here we have listed the four plants that you want to keep away from your peppers:
Any member of the cabbage family makes poor companion plants for peppers. Avoid planting your peppers with cabbages, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and kohlrabi.
Both peppers and brassica family plants grow best in very different conditions. Cabbage family members like slightly alkaline soil, whereas peppers enjoy soil that is somewhat more acidic. Growing the two together will almost always stunt the growth of one.
The two plants will also compete for water and nutrients.
Learn More: Check out our guide to companion planting with kale!
Fennel is allelopathic. Allelopathic plants will release compounds into the soil, and it is those compounds inhibit or even kill nearby plants. So planting fennel next to your peppers will guarantee stunted crops.
It is best to plant fennel alone away from other plants in the vegetable garden.
Strawberries and peppers share a common disease called verticillium which will cause the strawberry plants to wilt and die. You will want to avoid planting strawberries near peppers or in any bed where peppers were grown the prior year.
Keep peppers away from any apricot trees. Both the apricot tree and the peppers share and are susceptible to diseases that can stunt the apricot tree’s growth and potentially kill the tree.
Benefits of Companion Plants
Companion planting has many positive benefits for the home gardener. All plants have some beneficial partners who can help improve vigor, taste, harvest, and deal with pests and diseases.
Companions Can Help Attract Pollinators
Plants with brightly colored flowers filled with pollen and nectar will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Pollinators are a vital part of our gardens to help with pollination and for improving yields.
Companion Planting can Attract Helpful insects:
Many companion plants will attract helpful beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, ladybugs, ground beetles, and spiders, which will all help reduce populations of harmful pests.
Repel Those Pesky Harmful Insects:
Some companion plants will have intense scents that control common garden pests like squash bugs, and repel cabbage worms and tomato hornworms.
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They Can also Help Improve Soil Conditions
Marigolds, for example, will help destroy root-knot nematodes. Root-knot nematodes will feed on roots and destroy plants from below. Some plants like spinach, lettuce, and swiss chard can all help shade soil to help retain moisture, shade out weeds and act as a living mulch.
And lastly, root crops like parsnips, carrots, and radishes can help break up heavy soil.
Companion Planting can Help Prevent Weeds
Densely underplanting crops like peppers with vegetables like spinach or lettuce will help choke out and prevent weed development.
Companion planting can Help Prevent Diseases
Diseases are spread quickly through gardens when plants of the same type are planted close to one another. Adding different species throughout the garden plan can help break up families and slow the spread of diseases.
Love Home-Grown Peppers? Check out these Gardening and Preserving Posts:
- How To Care For and Fertilize Pepper Plants For Big Harvests
- How to Dehydrate Jalapeno Peppers Easily At Home
- Candied Jalapeno Recipe – Canning (copycat) Cowboy Candy!
- Have Too Many Jalapeños? This is What To Do With Extra Jalapeños!
- How To Pickle Jalapenos To Last You All Winter
- How Hot are Jalapenos on the Scoville Scale?
- Quick and Easy Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Recipe
- How To Make Perfectly Crunchy Homemade Dill Pickles
- Canning Beets – Pickled, Spiced, and Easy!
- Carrot Preserves – An Easy Carrot Cake Jam Recipe
- 14 Flowers that Grow Well in the Shade
- Companion Plants for Asparagus