Companion planting with peppers can seem intimidating at first, as it isn’t something you see done often in gardens with straight rows and crisp edges.
While it may make your garden look unorganized, it’s a great way to use the space you have to its fullest potential while supporting your crops and deterring pests.
In this post you’ll learn about common plants that you can grow when considering companion plants for peppers and why each plant is beneficial to help ensure you have the best harvest possible.
Companion Planting Peppers with Herbs
Herbs are an excellent companion plant for peppers because not only are they hardy plants, but oftentimes their strong aromas attract pollinators and help to deter pests. An added bonus is being able to use them in the same dishes that you’ll use with your pepper harvest!
Thyme is a taller plant and helps to camouflage pepper plants, its strong fragrance also aids in repelling pests like spider mites and white flies. Many claim that planting thyme close to your pepper plants enhances the flavor of the pepper when harvested, making thyme an excellent contender in companion planting with peppers.
Buckwheat is a unique companion plant option in companion planting with peppers. Not only does it attract pollinators to your pepper plants, but once tall enough, it can be cut back and its grass used to lay in the paths between rows to help stamp out weeds.
Parsley helps to provide shade for the soil around the pepper plants which keeps the soil from drying up in the sun. Its scent deters aphids and beetles which are the two main pest-enemies of pepper plants. Like Thyme, it’s said that parsley helps to enhance the flavor of the peppers.
Cilantro attracts bees that help to pollinate the pepper plants. If planted close to your jalapeno peppers, you’re one step closer to making delicious salsa!
Rosemary is an excellent ground cover that helps to reduce evaporation from the ground to help keep your pepper plant moist. Rosemary is hardy and does not require a lot of maintenance.
An herb you don’t hear of often, marjoram, is another low growing herb that aids in shading the soil around the base of your pepper plant. This is a versatile herb that is said to enhance the flavor of whatever vegetable is planted close to it.
If you like contrast to the textures and look of your garden, dill is an excellent companion for peppers. Its tall, fern-like leaves are a beautiful way to break up the monotony of rows of peppers. Dill attracts beneficial pollinators and deters pests such as aphids.
Garlic is a root herb that won’t compete with your pepper plants for space in the garden. It’s an excellent companion plant for peppers as its strong fragrance repels aphids and beetles.
Chives are said to help increase harvest and flavor of pepper plants. Aphids and other pest insects hate the smell of chives.
When planting chives, keep in mind they are perennials and will come back year after year.
Basil is a favorite companion plant for peppers, the list of pests it deters is long. It’s a hardy plant that grows to be almost the same height as pepper plants.
Have you ever heard of this uncommon herb? This tall herb helps to protect smaller plants from damaging winds and drying sunshine. It’s said that loveage increases health in the plants around it.
It’s a fun herb to use in culinary dishes as it has celery and parsley-like undertones. An added bonus is that this plant is a perennial, so you should only have to plant ones and get years of use out of it!
Companion Planting Peppers with Flowers
Sunflowers are a go-to addition to any garden. They attract pollinators and create a natural wind barrier. Because they can grow so large, it’s important to be sure to plant them on the perimeter of your garden so they aren’t in the way when you’re working in the garden.
Marigolds deter nematodes which are pests that attack the root of the pepper plant. They’re also said to increase the yield of the plants they are planted near.
Non-insect pests like rabbits and squirrels don’t like the smell of marigolds. If you live somewhere where this may be an issue and you don’t have a fence around your garden, you may consider planting a perimeter row of marigolds.
Asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, and tomato worms are just a few of the pests that petunias repel while also adding bursts of color and fragrance to your garden!
Nasturtium has a spicy scent that repels flying pests such as squash bugs and beetles. It’s a beautiful flower with fun lilypad-like leaves that will add a unique feature to your garden.
The entire nasturtium plant is edible making it a win-win in companion planting with peppers.
Looking to add a burst of color in the garden? Geraniums are just what you’re looking for! Not only are they beautiful and come in many colors, but they repel the worst of all the pests – Japanese beetles! When looking for a companion plant for peppers, geraniums are an excellent option.
Alliums are unique purple globe-like flowers that grow on the tops of long green stems. They look like something straight out of a Dr Seuss book. If that isn’t reason enough to add these to your garden, consider the fact that because alliums are part of the onion and scallion family, they deter many small garden pests that would otherwise be hard to spot on your pepper plants.
Companion Planting Peppers with Other Vegetable Plants
Peas are an easy to grow plant in the summer and spring. They are cheaper to grow than other plants as they can be direct sown from seed. They make a delicious snack while working in the garden too!
Peas make excellent companion plants for peppers as they fix nitrogen levels in the soil making better growing conditions for your pepper plants.
While this isn’t a common plant to grow, it’s an excellent companion planting option. Parsnips are root vegetables and won’t bother the growth of your peppers. Their fern-like stems will help to shade the soil and crowd out weeds.
Eggplant is in the same nightshade family as pepper plants. They require the same soil type to grow. Their plants are about the same height as most pepper plants. Eggplant makes for a unique, prolific crop to add to your garden.
Asparagus can sometimes feel like a wasted space while you’re waiting the initial three years before you can harvest your first stalk. During this time, it’s perfectly acceptable to plant peppers in the asparagus patch to help to utilize space.
Peppers and asparagus call for similar soil types, and their roots shouldn’t bother one another.
If you choose to plant asparagus, when ready to harvest, using this Asparagus Knife by Hoss Tools will make life so much easier and provide clean cuts to your crop.
Acting as living mulch from weeds, carrots also aid in shading the soil around the pepper plants so that it doesn’t dry out. Because carrots are a root vegetable, they help to keep the soil around the pepper plant loose so that the root of the pepper plant can grow deep, making for a stronger base for the plant.
Cowpeas repel stink bugs from pepper plants. They also aid in converting nitrogen from the air into the soil making a richer soil for the pepper plants to grow in.
Celery is an excellent companion plant for peppers because they protect the pepper plant from soil-borne fungal diseases while attracting important pollinators to the garden.
In turn, celery needs shady areas to grow and pepper plants can help to provide that shade.
Tomatoes are perfect companion plants for peppers. The bushy tomato plants are taller than the pepper plants and help to provide protection from the blistering sun.
26. Summer Squash
Summer squash will vine through the bases of the pepper plants serving as a weed barrier. The large leaves will help to shade the soil and keep it from drying out.
Squash and peppers are found in many of the same dishes and should be harvested close to the same time if planted together.
Plants to Avoid
Luckily, the list of plants to avoid when companion planting with peppers is much smaller than the long list of plants that strive near pepper plants. When planning your garden, keep the following points in mind.
If you have apricot trees on your property, be sure to plant your garden far away. There is a common fungal disease found in peppers that is known to ruin apricot harvests.
Vegetables found in the brassica family such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale are not safe to plant near pepper plants. These vegetables require a different level of acidity in the soil and can harm the growth of the pepper plant.
Fennel is known to stunt the growth of plants that are grown near it. Fennel also attracts swallowtail butterflies that lay eggs on pepper plants. Once the eggs have hatched, the caterpillars enjoy snacking on pepper leaves and potentially ruining the harvest.
Things to Keep in Mind
While the list of companion planting with peppers is long and diverse, it’s important to remember to only plant what you’ll use or enjoy. If you don’t like parsnips, it may not be wise to plant them. Consider how much time you’ll have when harvest time comes, be careful not to overwhelm yourself.
If you plant more than you can use and you’re unable to find someone to take it, remember that it can always be tilled under to decompose and add nutrients to your soil for the following growing season!
As you plan your garden, using the Hoss Garden Planner early in the season will help to keep your garden clean and organized throughout the entire growing and harvesting times. This planner comes with suggested planting dates and recommendations for companion planting.
Wrapping up Companion Plants for Peppers
As you’ve learned, the list of plants that are safe to use in companion planting with peppers is long. Hopefully, you’ve learned that companion planting doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s just important to know in what order to plant the things you already planned to grow.
If you have more questions about companion planting or would like to take a deeper dive into what types of peppers you should consider growing this season, take a look at our Pepper Plants page. Happy growing!