Growing peppers? You’ll be glad to know that there are many pepper plant companions that can benefit your peppers. How can companions for peppers engender healthier plants with higher yields? Read on to find out about pepper companion planting and plants that like to grow with peppers.
Pepper Companion Planting
Companion plants for peppers or other veggies work together symbiotically, each giving and/or receiving something from the other. Companion planting simply means grouping different, but complimentary, plants together. This may accomplish several things. Companion planting may provide shade or act as a wind barrier, it may succeed in retarding weeds or deterring harmful pests and disease, or it may act as a natural trellis or aid in moisture retention.
Plants That Like to Grow with Peppers
There a many plants suitable for growing alongside peppers.
Herbs are wonderful pepper plant companions.
- Basil wards off thrips, flies, and mosquitoes.
- Parsley blossoms attract beneficial predatory wasps that feed on aphids.
- Marjoram, rosemary, and oregano seem to have a benign effect on peppers.
- Dill is said to both attract beneficial insects and repel pests, and companion planting with peppers is also a great space saver.
- Chives also make great companion plants for peppers.
Tomatoes and bell peppers can be planted in the same garden, but be sure to rotate them to a different area the successive growing season so they don’t pass on overwintering pathogens. The tomatoes deter soil nematodes and beetles. Carrots, cucumbers, radishes, squash, and members of the Allium family all do well when grown in close proximity to peppers. Eggplant, a member of the nightshade family along with peppers, thrives alongside peppers. Spinach, lettuce, and chard are suitable pepper companions. They help crowd out weeds and due to their short stature and rapid maturation, are a great way to maximize garden space and get in an additional crop. Beets and parsnips can also fill in space, retard weeds around the peppers, and keep the soil cool and moist. Corn serves as a windbreak and sun barrier to peppers, while beans and peas fix nitrogen into the soil, a necessary nutrient for peppers, and also help block wind and sun. Buckwheat can be grown around pepper plants to attract pollinators and, once harvested, serves as green mulch for the garden. Pepper plants comingled with asparagus is another great space saver. Once the asparagus has been harvested in the spring, the peppers can utilize the space.
Many flowers also make terrific companion plants for peppers.
- Nasturtiums are not only stunning, but is said to deter aphids, beetles, squash bugs, whiteflies, and other pests.
- Geraniums repel cabbage worms, Japanese beetles, and other harmful insects.
- Petunias are great companion plants for peppers, as they also repel pests such as asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, tomato worms, and aphids.
- French marigolds also repel beetles, nematodes, aphids, potato bugs, and squash bugs on not only peppers but many other crops.
Plants to Avoid
As with everything, there is good with the bad. Peppers don’t like the company of every plant, although this is quite a lengthy list. Avoid planting peppers near members of the Brassica family or with fennel. If you have an apricot tree, don’t plant peppers near it since a common fungal disease of peppers may also spread to the apricot.
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Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
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