Companion Plants For Potatoes – Plant This Not That!

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As a gardener, if you want to increase your potato yields while promoting a healthy ecosystem, it is essential to understand the concept of using the proper companion plants for potatoes. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of companion planting for potato cultivation and provide practical insights and strategies for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

A pile of harvested white potatoes in the ground in a garden.

By strategically pairing certain plants together, gardeners can harness the power of nature to achieve optimal results in their potato crops.

Companion planting offers a holistic approach to sustainable gardening, from deterring harmful pests to enhancing soil structure and nutrient uptake. In the following article, we will delve into the science behind companion planting for potatoes, uncovering a wealth of knowledge to empower you on your journey to bountiful harvests and thriving gardens.

Table of Contents

    The Best Potato Companion Plants

    See these vegetables, herbs, and flower crops for good companions to add to your potato patch:


    Potatoes grow down, and corn grows up. The two plants can share garden space without stepping on each other’s toes (or, in this case, roots). Planting potatoes with corn is a great way to maximize garden space. The two plants will not compete for nutrients as their roots grow at different levels.

    Wooden crate with fresh ripe corn on field.  The image is intended to illustrate the types of crops that make good potato companion plants.


    The pungent aroma of garlic can help confuse and deter many insects and pests, including fungus gnats, Colorado potato beetles, spider mites, cabbage loopers, coddling moths, Japanese beetles, and even ants. 

    Potatoes are prone to late potato blight, along with potato scab. Garlic companion plants have antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce the occurrence of blight and potato scab.

    Lush green garlic leaves growing in a garden bed of dark black soil. The image is intended to illustrate the types of crops that make good potato companion plants.

    Onions, Leeks, Chives, and Shallots

    All allium family members, such as onions, leeks, chives, and shallots, are known to be insect-repelling, making them good companion plants for potatoes.

    The heady aromas from these plants both confuse and repel harmful insects.

    Alliums are generally shallow-rooted and will not use the same space as potatoes in the garden.

    Chives in bloom can help attract beneficial insects.

    Onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, and chives spread on a white tablecloth.

    Peas, Green Beans, Bush Beans, and Pole Beans

    Like bean crops and peas, members of the legume family make good companion plants for potatoes.

    Their relationship is symbiotic; the legumes will provide much-needed nitrogen for the potatoes, and potato plants deter Mexican bean beetles.

    Legumes are also generally shallow-rooted and will not interfere with the growing potato crop.

    Bush beans interplanted with rows of potatoes will drastically decrease the number of Colorado potato beetles on the plants.

    Leafy Greens

    All leafy greens, such as spinach and lettuce companion plants, are shallow-rooted and won’t compete for nutrients or water, making them good potato companion plants.

    Green leaf crops, planted densely, will help shade out weeds and help keep the soil cool and moist around the potato plants.

    The tall potato plants can help shade the lettuce, preventing leaf burn and early bolting.

    Lush green lettuce growing in a garden bed. The image is intended to illustrate the types of crops that make good potato companion plants.


    Basil is an aromatic herb that makes a great companion for potatoes. Planted densely, it can act as a living mulch, providing shade for the soil and keeping it cool and moist.

    All types of basil will also deter common pests such as thrips, flies, and hornworms.


    Thyme is a good companion for potatoes because it will attract beneficial predatory insects like hoverflies, which will help drastically reduce aphid populations.

    • Learn More: Thyme can be challenging to grow from seed, but we put together a foolproof guide to growing and harvesting a thyme plant. Check out the article if you consider growing more herbs this year.


    Nasturtiums are pretty flowers that attract harmful insects like aphids and potato beetles. While this may seem counterintuitive, many gardeners grow nasturtiums as a trap crop a short distance away from their potato crops.

    In addition, the brightly colored flowers help attract beneficial insects to the garden.

    Trailing nasturtium with yellow and yellow flowers growing in a vegetable garden. The image is intended to illustrate the types of crops that make good potato companion plants.


    Marigolds are an essential companion plant that you can add through the vegetable patch.

    French marigolds help deter pests, are helpful in attracting beneficial insects and pollinators, and help prevent root-knot nematodes.

    But their claim to fame as a potato companion plant is their ability to repel potato beetles. As a result, we consider marigolds a must-have companion in our potato beds every year.


    Yarrow is an exceptional companion plant for potatoes because of its numerous benefits.

    First, its clusters of small, fragrant flowers are highly attractive to beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. These insects are natural predators of common potato pests like aphids and potato beetles, making them an excellent addition to the garden ecosystem.

    Yarrow’s deep, fibrous roots also help break up compacted soil, allowing water and air to penetrate more easily, and improving soil structure. This enhances nutrient uptake for both yarrow and neighboring potato plants, leading to healthier and more robust growth. Additionally, yarrow is a dynamic accumulator, which means it can draw up nutrients from deep in the soil and accumulate them in its foliage. When trimmed and left to decompose, it releases these nutrients back into the soil, enriching it for nearby plants like potatoes.

    Yarrow’s dense foliage helps suppress weed growth around potato plants by shading the soil, thus reducing the need for manual weeding and maintaining a tidy garden.

    Avoid These Poor Potato Companion Plants

    Bad companions for potatoes will share similar diseases and pests and compete aggressively for water and nutrients. When planted alongside potatoes, these plants will cause stunted potato crop growth.

    Avoid planting cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and root crops such as turnip, carrots, and parsnips and any member of the nightshade family such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.

    Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, and Kohlrabi

    We often see brassicas listed as companions for potatoes, but we’ve never had success with the two, and for an excellent reason.

    Potatoes require slightly acidic soil, whereas brassicas want the pH to be slightly alkaline. Unfortunately, there is no way to grow this pairing without negatively impacting at least one of the crops.

    There are far better companions for brassicas -we have guides for each:

    Close up Assorted Healthy Fresh Vegetables on Wooden Table. Emphasizing Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout. The image is intended to illustrate all the brassicas that make poor companions for potatoes.


    Cucumbers make poor companion plants for potatoes. Cukes require lots of water, are heavy feeders, and compete aggressively with potatoes.

    Additionally, cucumbers can increase the chance of late blight.

    Learn More: See our guide on the best companion plants for cucumbers before you plant.

    Cucumbers on a vine.

    Pumpkins and Squash

    Pumpkins and squash are both susceptible to blight and, like cucumbers, can increase your potato crop’s chance of becoming infected.

    Big growers like squash and pumpkins are also heavy feeders with roots that will compete with potatoes for both water and nutrients.


    Fennel does not play well with others. It will inhibit the growth of your potato crop, causing the plants to be stunted, with a significantly reduced yield. It is best to plant fennel on its own, away from your potatoes.


    Raspberries are another crop that is susceptible to late blight. Therefore, it’s best to keep raspberries away from your potato crop.

    Bright red raspberries against a green background.  The image is to illustrate plants that make bad companions for potatoes.

    Turnips, Parsnips, and Carrots

    Root crops like turnips, carrots, and parsnips will cause competition for space and decrease the growth potential for both crops.

    Tomatoes, Eggplants, and Peppers

    Members of the nightshade family, like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, should never be grown alongside potatoes. All plants will compete for water and nutrients. In addition, nightshades share similar pests and diseases like late blight.

    Fruit Trees

    Keep your potato plants away from fruit trees. Like many plants listed here, fruit trees like peach, apple, and cherry trees can attract blight. Plant potatoes far away from fruiting trees.

    Ripe apples hanging from a tree in a fruit orchard.

    Expert Tips

    1. Choose Companions Wisely: Select companion plants that offer benefits such as pest control, weed suppression, or nutrient enhancement without competing for resources or harboring diseases that affect potatoes. Good companions include beans, corn, cabbage, and marigolds.
    2. Rotate Crops: Practice crop rotation to prevent soil depletion and pest buildup. Avoid planting potatoes in the same location year after year and rotate them with different companion plants to maintain soil fertility and minimize disease pressure.
    3. Utilize Trap Crops: Plant trap crops like nasturtiums or calendula around potatoes to attract pests away from the main crop. These sacrificial plants can help protect potatoes from insect damage.
    4. Interplant Strategically: Alternate rows or clusters of companion plants with potatoes to maximize their benefits. For example, plant rows of beans or peas between rows of potatoes to fix nitrogen in the soil and provide structural support for the vines.
    5. Benefit from Diversity: Integrate a variety of companion plants to create a diverse ecosystem in your garden. Incorporating flowers like marigolds, daisies, or yarrow can attract beneficial insects that prey on potato pests, contributing to natural pest control.
    6. Consider Aromatic Herbs: Plant aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or sage near potatoes to deter pests with their strong scents. These herbs can help repel pests like aphids, potato beetles, and other common potato pests.
    7. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly inspect your potato plants for signs of pests or nutrient deficiencies. Adjust your companion planting strategy based on observations and crop performance throughout the growing season.
    8. Maintain Proper Spacing: Ensure adequate spacing between companion plants and potatoes to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to increased competition for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Follow spacing recommendations for each crop to optimize growth and yield.


    How do companion plants benefit potatoes?

    Companion plants can benefit potatoes in various ways, including pest control (repelling harmful insects), weed suppression (reducing competition for resources), and nutrient enhancement (fixing nitrogen in the soil). Additionally, certain companion plants attract beneficial insects that prey on potato pests, contributing to natural pest control.

    What plants should not be planted near potatoes?

    Plants from the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, should not be planted near potatoes due to the risk of spreading diseases like late blight. Additionally, plants that compete heavily for resources or harbor pests detrimental to potatoes should be avoided as companion plants.

    How do you rotate companion plants with potatoes?

    Yes, herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and dill can serve as companion plants for potatoes. These aromatic herbs can help repel pests with their strong scents and attract beneficial insects that contribute to pest control in the garden.

    Are there companion plants that attract beneficial insects to potato crops?

    Yes, companion plants like marigolds, daisies, yarrow, and certain herbs can attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies to potato crops. These insects prey on common potato pests like aphids, potato beetles, and caterpillars, providing natural pest control.

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    Final Remarks

    Companion planting is a strategic approach where certain species are planted alongside potatoes to improve productivity and promote pest control and soil health.

    Gardeners can create diverse ecosystems supporting potato crops by carefully selecting and interplanting species like beans, corn, marigolds, and yarrows. Adopting companion planting enhances the efficiency and sustainability of potato cultivation and promotes a harmonious balance that benefits both growers and the environment.

    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 article was originally published on April 21, 2024. It was updated on February 28, 2024 to remove unrelated information and add a table of contents, expert tips and FAQs.

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