Better Together: 13 Unusual Companion Plant Pairings

You may have heard that carrots and onions grow well together, or that beans and corn are a natural match in the garden, but here are 13 less well-known companion plant pairings that can make your garden awesome!

Companion planting is one of organic gardeners’ top secret weapons for a healthy garden. Planting certain type of plants together (or in succession) can improve the health of both plants, help prevent pests and disease, maximize available space, and provide diversity and visual interest in your garden.

There are a number of common plant pairings for companion planting, but here are a few more unusual ones you may not have heard of. Try planting some of these plants together in your garden this year to maximize your results!

Roses + Garlic
Gardeners have been planting garlic with roses for eons, since garlic can help to repel rose pests. Garlic chives probably are just as repellent, and their small purple or white flowers in late spring look great with rose flowers and foliage.

Marigolds + Melons
Certain marigold varieties control nematodes in the roots of melons as effectively as chemical treatments.

Tomatoes + Cabbage
Tomatoes are repellent to diamondback moth larvae, which are caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves.

Cucumbers + Nasturtiums
The nasturtium’s vining stems make them a great companion rambling among your growing cucumbers and squash plants, suggests Sally Jean Cunningham, master gardener and author of Great Garden Companions. Nasturtiums “are reputed to repel cucumber beetles, but I depend on them more as habitat for predatory insects,” such as spiders and ground beetles.

Peppers + Pigweed
Leafminers preferred both pigweed and ragweed to pepper plants in a study at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. Just be careful to remove the flowers before the weeds set seed.

Cabbage + Dill
“Dill is a great companion for cabbage family plants, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts,” Cunningham says. “The cabbages support the floppy dill,” while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control imported cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.


Lettuce + Tall Flowers
Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) and cleome (spider flower) give lettuce the light shade it grows best in.

Radishes + Spinach
Planting radishes among yor spinach will draw leafminers away from the spinach. The damage the leafminers do to radish leaves doesn’t prevent the radishes from growing nicely underground.


Cauliflower + Dwarf Zinnias
The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs and other predators that help protect cauliflower.


For more great plant pairings, check out this free tool… 


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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