Celery is one of those garden vegetables that taste far superior when homegrown. That crisp fresh taste isn’t the same as grocery store-bought celery. Growing celery can be challenging with its long growing season and particular needs. But there are ways to make growing this crop easier, and one of my favorite ways is adding companion plants for celery to the garden plan.
We’ve got the complete list of the best companion plants for celery. These companion plants will help you grow strong, healthy, tasty celery right in your backyard. Keep reading to find out what you can plant and what you can’t plant near your celery crop.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
There are Many Great Companion Plants for Celery
Celery has a number of wonderful companion plants that grow well side by side with it. These plants will help shade and shelter, repel bad insects, and also help improve the taste of your celery plants!
Green Beans, Peas, Pole Beans, and Bush Beans
Legumes such as green beans, bush beans, pole beans, and peas fix nitrogen into the soil. Celery requires an abundance of nitrogen for healthy growth, making legumes one of the best companions for celery.
Celery plants require lots of nitrogen to grow healthy and robust, so planting beans is good.
The pungent aromatic smell of celery will also mask the smell of the beans from whiteflies.
Onions, Leeks, Shallots, Green Onions, and Garlic
Members of the allium family like onions, leeks, shallots, green onions, and garlic will improve the sweetness of your celery crop.
Alliums are superstars in the companion gardening world because they are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and help prevent diseases before they take hold in your garden beds.
Leeks specifically will make great celery companion plants as they help prevent celery leaf miners and provide shade for the celery during hot summers.
- Learn More: We have complete guides for companion planting with leeks and companion planting with garlic. Check them out if you plan your garden and want to know the best companions for these wonderful alliums.
Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Radishes, Kohlrabi, Turnips, and Cauliflower
Celery plants make good companion plants for cabbage family members because it deters cabbage moths. Cabbage moths will chew through the leaves of cole crops and can decimate a harvest.
Members of the cabbage family like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radishes, kohlrabi, turnip, and cauliflower all make good companions for celery.
- Learn More : We have an entire article dedicated to Turnip Companion plants. It’s a great guide to help you plan and grow a healthy turnip crop.
Spinach and celery both require similar growing environments. Both require moisture and similar watering needs. If planted densely around your celery, Spinach will help choke out weeds and keep the soil cool and moist.
- Learn more: There are so many great spinach companion plants you can add to your spinach patch. Check out our spinach companion guide to see what you should and should not plant side by side with spinach.
Tomatoes & Peppers
Pepper plants, tomato plants, and celery all like to grow in a similar types of soil and prefer the same environmental growing conditions, so they grow well together without much fuss.
Celery prefers shade during the hottest part of the day, and taller plants like tomatoes and peppers will oblige.
Aromatic Herbs Like Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, and Basil
If you want healthy celery stalks adding a few aromatic herbs can provide many benefits:
Heavily scented herbs like thyme, rosemary, hyssop, oregano, sage, basil plants, lavender, summer savory, and mint act as insect repellants. Thyme is a great deterrent against garden moths and pesky aphids.
Flowering aromatic herbs also attract beneficial pollinators like butterflies and honey bees. Pollinators will help increase the yields in your gardens as they assist with pollination. The flowers also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, lacewings, and garden beetles which will help control infestations of pesky harmful insects.
Learn More: We have loads of guides for growing healthy robust herbs right in your own garden (or even in your home). If you are interested in growing herbs check out these popular posts:
- The Best Herbs to Grow On Your Window Sill
- How to Grow Healthy Rosemary
- Growing Lavender from Seed to Harvest
- The Complete Basil Growing Guide
Geraniums emit a strong scent that repels and deters worms, slugs, and flea beetles that can be very destructive to celery plants. They are also known to prevent and destroy Japanese beetles.
The geranium flowers also attract beneficial pollinators for other plants in the garden, creating a healthy ecosystem. The flowers also look lovely and add charm growing along the rows or inside a garden bed.
Cosmos flowers attract predatory insects like parasitic wasps, which will destroy many common garden pests, making them a good celery companion.
- Learn More: Cosmos are incredibly easy to grow if you know what condistions they like. Check out guide on how to grow cosmos for all the information you need to grow these lovely flowers.
Some gardeners claim nasturtiums can help repel pests like aphids, Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, and squash bugs.
Nasturtiums can also be grown as a ground cover to provide welcoming environments for beneficial ground beetles and spiders and act as a mulch crop to keep the ground cool and moist for your celery plants. The flowers can also act as a trap crop.
- Learn More: We have an entire article dedicated to the benefits of companion planting with nasturtiums. You may find it helpful while planning out your vegetable garden this year.
- Related: We also have a post with all the information you need to grow healthy, happy nasturtium flowers in your gardens.
Marigolds make a great companion plant for celery. Unfortunately, celery can be affected by root-knot nematodes that marigolds can help prevent.
Use marigolds against root-knot nematodes by planting them the season before and tilling them under the soil. Marigolds’ effects on root-knot nematodes only occurs when the plant is decomposing. You can also plant near your celery early and dig the marigolds under mid-season.
It is also important to note that only French marigolds are effective against root-knot nematodes. Marigolds can also help prevent spider mites and aphids.
Learn More: We have an article about the benefits of planting marigolds as a companion plant.
What not to plant with Celery?
A few plants will cause issues if planted near your celery. These are the plants that are bad neighbors :
Sweet corn is a heavy feeder, and you want to avoid planting any heavy feeding plants near your celery. Celery and corn will compete aggressively for any available nutrients in the soil.
Celery is a very long-season plant and will remain in the ground after the potato harvest. As a result, the shallow root system of the celery plant will be harmed by the harvesting of the potatoes, causing stunted growth.
This root vegetable is also a heavy feeder, and the two plants will compete for nutrients and water if planted close to one another.
Parsley will fight aggressively for the same nutrients as a celery plant and can cause stunted growth.
Carrots as celery companion plants present the same problem as potatoes. Harvesting the long carrot taproots can damage the root system of the celery.
The aroma of carrots will attract the carrot root fly, also attacking celery roots.
Zucchini is a heavy feeder and will drain the soil of nutrients that could stunt the celery’s growth. There are many viable options for companion planting with celery, but zucchini isn’t an ideal choice.
Quick Planting And Care Tips for Celery
Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae, cultivated as a vegetable for hundreds of years. It is a long-season plant that requires 130-140 days to mature.
- Seed Starting: Start your celery seeds indoors in trays late winter to mid-spring. Seeds take up to 20-30 days for germination.
- Planting out: Plant your young celery shoots outdoors when the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees F or more after the last spring frost
- Sun Requirements: Celery grows best in full sun, but partial shade is acceptable.
- Soil requirements: Celery’s ideal soil pH: 6.0-6.5. Celery is a very heavy feeder and needs rich nutrient-rich soil.
- Fertilizer: Mix 2 to 4 inches of aged manure or compost into the soil, or work in some 5-10-10 fertilizer. You can also side-dress your plants with different organic matter through the season to ensure healthy, hardy growth.
The benefits of companion planting are vast!
Companion planting brings a whole host of benefits to the home gardeners. Most garden plants have partners who can help improve health and taste, and help deal with harmful insects and diseases. Companion plants can help:
Grow Flowering Plants to Welcome Pollinators:
Brightly colored flowers with solid scents will entice pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden beds. These pollinators will help increase your yields for all plants that require pollination, like tomatoes, peppers, and squash.
Many Companions will Entice Beneficial Insects to your Gardens:
Flowers like marigolds, geraniums, and cosmos (to name a few) will attract all kinds of beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, lacewings, and ladybugs, which will help keep control populations of harmful insects.
Companions Can Also Help Repel Pesky Insects
Some companions have strong aromatic smells that can help respond against common garden pests like asparagus beetles, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, and tomato hornworms.
Companion Plants can also help Improve Your Garden Soil
Some plants, especially tagets (marigolds), can help prevent root-knot nematodes that destroy the roots of plants like celery. In addition, plants with long large taproots can help break up heavy hard clay soil. In other instances, some companions can be planted densely as a living mulch to help keep the soil cool and prevent moisture evaporation.
Companions can also Control Irritating Weeds
Densely plant crops like spinach around celery to help choke out weeds.
Companion planting can also help prevent diseases from spreading through your gardens.
Diseases like blight, mildew, or viral infections can spread rapidly through your gardens. When plants from the same family are together in densely planted groupings, it’s far easier for those diseases to take hold. Companion planting can help break up those groupings and stop infections from spreading past them.
Try Growing Some Celery Companion Plants This Summer in Your Garden!
The trick to understanding companion planting is knowing your challenges in your garden before planning out your garden beds. For example, if you have issues with insects, take a look at marigolds or nasturtiums. If the problem is dry beds, consider planting spinach around your crops.
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