10 Best Pepper Companion Plants (And 5 To Avoid!)

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Companion planting is an age-old planting method that allows you to get the most out of your vegetable garden by growing different plants together. Companion planting not only promotes healthier growth of your peppers but also offers other surprising benefits. What benefits? And which plants are best? Let’s dive into the best pepper companion plants, along with some that you should avoid completely.

Table of Contents

What are companion plants?

Companion plants are those that can be grown close to each other and flourish together, usually because of their complementary characteristics like their pest-repelling capabilities, nutritional requirements, and growth patterns.

While companion planting is typically assumed to be a small-scale gardening practice, it also works well for those operating on large-scale farms. Therefore, regardless of your garden’s space, you can still practice companion planting and harvest your peppers in large numbers.

What are the benefits of companion plant gardening?

Here are the benefits you will get from growing complementary plants together.

  • Improves the plants’ health: When one companion plant absorbs some substances from the soil, it may alter the soil’s biochemistry in favor of the other plant.
  • Regulates shade: Bigger plants will provide shade for smaller plants that need protection from the sun.
  • Trap Cropping: Companion planting is one of the best ways to manage and trap pests organically. While some plants repel unwanted pests, others lure and trap them, a process known as trap cropping
  • Offers natural support: Taller plants offer support to smaller crawling plants. For instance, when sunflowers are planted close to peas or cucumbers, they offer appropriate standing support.
  • Prevents weed growth: Companion planting reduces open spaces that could instead encourage the growth of weeds. For example, planting sprawling crops like potatoes close to tall plants minimizes empty spaces that could have harbored weeds.

While all of the plants listed below make great companions for pepper plants, it’s important to consider your own geography. As with all plants, they prefer certain climates, temperatures, and soil types. Read the seed package prior to planting to make sure it will work for your specific situation.

Pepper companion plants -- basil with green peppers
Basil is one of the best pepper companion plants — here they are grown together

What are the best pepper companion plants?

There are several herbs, flowers, and vegetables suitable for growing alongside peppers. The following all make great companion plants:

Basil

Despite being a summer herb that flourishes relatively well on its own, combining it with peppers is even better. Basil boosts the flavor of your peppers and also excel at pest control. The herb repels many common garden pests, including thrips, spider mites, and mosquitoes.

Onions

Onions can be grown in small spaces, an excellent advantage for pepper companion planting. Their strong smell is a plus in pest deterring since it repels pests like aphids and rabbits. 

Dill

Dill plants are excellent companions due to their ability to attract beneficial insects and repel pests. It is also a great space saver since it can grow well in just a tiny space.

Nasturtium

These beautiful flowers are good companion plants as they deter a long list of pests including whiteflies, aphids, squash bugs, beetles, and Japanese beetles. Added bonus: Nasturtium also acts as a trap crop, luring aphids to feed on it instead of the peppers.

Marigold

Marigold is another great pepper companion flower that will attract whiteflies while repelling beetles, potato bags, aphids, and other pests, keeping your peppers clean, healthy, and pest-free.

Oregano

Oregano is a great herb that deters sap-sucking insects like aphids from your peppers. Its short stature also allows healthy growth without competing for space with your peppers.

Parsley

Not only will you get another edible herb within the same amount of growing space with parsley, it also provides shade and acts as ground cover for the bare soil. The herb also attracts beneficiary insects such as wasps that feed on destructive insects like aphids.

Chives

If you want to increase your pepper’s yield and improve its flavor, this companion plant is ideal. Chives also repel away pests like aphids and other insects.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are, like peppers, members of the nightshade family of plants. They are excellent companion plants since tomato plants deter beetles and soil nematodes. However, keep in mind that these two companion plants can easily transfer diseases amongst themselves, particularly when planted in the same bed one after another. Therefore, plant them close to each other but rotate them to a different area in the next season to avoid passing on overwintering pathogens

Carrots

These vegetables give your peppers a living mulch to thrive in. Since they are also grown beneath the soil, they disturb the soil’s composition keeping away weeds. 

What should you NOT plant next to peppers?

Avoid growing these plants close to your peppers.

Beans

For beans to thrive, they need a lot of nitrogen. On the contrary, peppers do well with less nitrogen, and excessive supply can cause stunted production of their pods.

Broccoli

Peppers cannot do well when planted with broccolis since they are heavy feeders and will complete with them for the same nutrients

Cabbage

Cabbages will not destroy your peppers, but they are incompatible since they need different nutrients. Peppers do well with a more acidic pH balance, while cabbages need more neutral soil.

Brussels Sprout

Just like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders and will compete with peppers for the same nutrients.

Fennel

As an allelopathic plant, fennel releases a chemical that hinders the growth of other plants close to it. Planting it next to your peppers will prevent its growth to maturity and production.


UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on June 23, 2023 to include new content.
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