Fresh watermelons are delicious, juicy, and fun to grow. If you’re thinking about learning how to grow watermelon, you have to find the right companion plants to grow with them for optimal development in your garden.
You get to reap the benefits of the new plant when you plant companion plants for watermelon. These companion plants also work to keep pests away from your watermelon. They also act as pollinators, nutrient providers, and weed controllers.
Keep reading to learn all about the best companion plants for watermelon! At the end of this post, we’ll share with you the plants you should never plant next to watermelon.
Best Deter or Trap Plants
Watermelon pests are every gardener’s worst nightmare. One way to prevent pests from attacking your watermelon is to plant companion plants that deter pests away or trap pests from ever reaching your watermelon plant.
Plants from the allium family–like onions, garlic, and chives–are smelly plants that help deter the watermelon’s number one predator: aphids. These strong-scented plants also scare away rodents and deer.
Onions and other alliums do not shade watermelon, which is great because watermelon needs lots of sunlight!
Learn all about the different varieties of onions by visiting our Onions page.
Check the Hoss Tools Onion seeds selection to pick your favorites!
Ladybugs eat aphids, and dill attracts ladybugs. Other aphid-eating insects like lacewings, hoverflies, and beetles are also attracted to dill. You can say goodbye to aphids!
Dill works best between watermelon rows. Harvest it frequently, and you won’t have to worry about it growing into your watermelon rows. Check Availability.
Mint repels aphids and flea beetles. However, it is a fast grower, so you will need to contain it–ideally in a container or raised bed close to your watermelon bed. You don’t want your mint to attack your watermelon bed.
Watermelon-mint salads are a delicious concoction–another reason this makes a great companion plant for watermelon.
Catnip is a natural insect repellent and deters aphids and squash bugs because of its strong mint odor. It’s also a great companion plant for watermelon to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
The Catnip plant is also great at deterring outdoor cats from snacking on other plants in your garden due to its feline-drug qualities.
Nasturtium is a popular plant with beautiful flowers and leaves used to trap insects. It attracts many types of pests, including aphids and caterpillars, so it’s a great companion plant for watermelons to deter insects away from your melons.
It’s also a compact growth, so you don’t have to worry about your watermelon getting in the way. Although, it grows best in pots or at the end of a row.
Native Americans used the Three Sisters method by placing corn, pole beans, and squash together, though you can substitute watermelons for squash. Corn is a natural trellis that protects your watermelons from cucumber beetles.
Make sure your corn does not grow too high because tall corn casts a lot of shade–and watermelons need sun.
Sage, Oregano, and Basil
They’re also valuable companion plants for beans, making them ideal scented companion plants for watermelon in cases where you use the Three Sisters Method (since onions don’t do well with beans). Check Availability.
Radishes attract aphids to their leaves, protecting the watermelon from insects. Ladybugs will come in and eat up the aphids.
They’re also a great companion plant for watermelons due to their rapid growing speeds, offering weed protection and early harvest before watermelons need their space.
Watermelon and radish salad is also a delectable summer treat!
Marigolds are ideal companion plants for watermelons because they have a powerful scent that dissuades aphids, whiteflies, and cucumber beetles. They’re also a beautiful addition to any garden and excellent at attracting pollinators.
Cilantro is a great companion plant for watermelon because it has an atomic scent, especially when it’s flowering, that attracts lacewings and ladybugs to eat aphids.
They won’t take up much space or shade your watermelon plants. Plant them either on the ends of the watermelon rows or in between them. Check Availability.
Best for Pollination
Lavender, like Marigolds, is a great companion plant for watermelons because they’re regular bloomers, making them attractive to bees.
This plant is believed to help treat anxiety, so why wouldn’t you want it in your garden?
Poppies are short flowers, so they aren’t bushy and won’t cast shade–making them ideal companion plants for watermelons. They also attract many bees and butterflies, which will help pollinate your watermelons.
Snapdragons are gorgeous flowers that attract the attention of pollinators. It’s best to plant them at the ends of watermelon rows and away from the roots to prevent their roots from running into each other.
These flowers can reach up to 3 feet wide and can run into your watermelons if planted too close. They don’t cast much shade, though, so they’re still a good companion plant for watermelons. Check Availability.
Sunflowers are showy flowers that are great companion plants for watermelons for more than one reason. They attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, and they also attract birds that will eat any insects bothering the watermelons next to the sunflower.
These flowers come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Check Availability.
Tansies may be a toxic weed in some areas, but it’s a beautiful flower that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds adore. Keep it in a container near your watermelon plants and always use gloves when handling it, and your watermelon plants will reap the benefits of having it close by.
Best for Nutrients
Bush and pole beans are nitrogen-fixing plants and enrich the soil, making beans excellent companion plants for watermelons. Pole beans are also part of the Three Sisters method mentioned above by planting watermelon, corn, and pole beans together. Check Availability.
Best for Weed Control
Plant lettuce with watermelons to help keep the area of your watermelon plants free of weeds. Lettuce is a fast-growing plant, so you won’t have to worry about it being in the way of your watermelon when they need their space. Check Availability.
Arugula functions like Lettuce and Spinach at being a great companion for watermelons to keep the weeds out of your watermelons. Check Availability.
Which plants should you never plant near watermelon?
We’ve discussed the best companion plants for watermelon. Let’s talk about some plants you should never plant near your watermelon.
Watermelons take up too much space next to tomatoes and will crowd them out.
Like tomatoes, watermelons will invade your pepper plants, so it’s best to not plant them next to each other.
Zucchini, Squash, Potatoes, and Pumpkins
Cucumbers attract cucumber beetles, which can infect your watermelons if they’re too close. Grow your cucumbers on the other side of your garden.
Wrapping Up Companion Plants for Watermelon
Now you know the best and worst companion plants for watermelon. If you’re looking for more watermelon-growing tips, head over to our Watermelon Plant page.