11 Best Artichoke Companion Plants To Grow In Your Garden

Growing artichokes can be a fun experience, but getting the most from your harvest requires more than just planting and watering.

Plant pairing plays a significant role in how well your plants grow. 

In this article, I’ll share all the secrets to choosing the best artichoke companion plants that lead to better growth, pest control, pollination, and ultimately a better harvest.

I’m also going to share a few plants to avoid that might stunt your garden’s growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right companion plants for artichokes can boost their growth, help with pest control, increase available nutrients, and assist with pollination.
  • Artichokes benefit from pest-repellent companions like thyme and yarrow that emit scents to naturally deter harmful bugs.
  • Pairing artichokes with nitrogen-fixing plants like peas enhances nutrient intake and promotes healthier growth.
  • Companion plants such as tall sunflowers and corn provide shade for artichoke plants in hot regions without competing for nutrients.
  • Flowering companions like marigolds and hollyhocks attract pollinators to ensure successful pollination of artichoke buds.

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Why Artichokes Need Companion Plants

companion plants for artichoke

Gardening is a team sport, which means artichokes need companion plants to repel pests, boost nutrient availability, provide shade, and attract pollinators.

Pest Repellent

Artichokes and their companions create a “shield” against unwanted pests in your garden.

Intruders such as aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes can ravage crops mercilessly. But certain aromatic plants like thyme and yarrow can stop this from happening.

They emit an intense scent that deters these destructive bugs from making your artichokes their new home.

This symbiotic relationship between artichokes and pest-repellent companions is known as companion planting.

It’s nature’s own version of an eco-friendly pesticide strategy! So, instead of resorting to harmful chemical treatments for pest control, why not plant these bug-repelling herbs near your artichokes?

Nutrient Boosting

Artichoke plants thrive when paired with nutrient-boosting companion plants. For instance, peas are well-known for their nitrogen fixation capabilities.

They absorb nitrogen from the air and release it into the soil in a form that artichokes can use.

This enhances the nutrient intake of your artichokes (Cynara cardunculus), promoting healthier growth and a larger harvest.

Certain heavy-feeding veggies, such as members of the Brassica family, also work effectively as artichoke companions by enhancing organic matter in the soil.

They tend to leave nutrients behind after being harvested, creating an enriched environment for growing artichokes.

Whether you’re cultivating Imperial Star or Purple Italian Globe cultivars, pairing them with nutrient-rich companions ensures they receive adequate nourishment.

Shade Provision

Artichokes enjoy a little respite from the sun, especially in regions where high temperatures are common.

Companion plants such as tall sunflowers and robust corn stalks do a great job of this, stepping up to provide much-needed shade that reduces heat stress on your artichoke plants.

These towering companions cast cooling shadows over your artichokes without encroaching upon their root systems or hogging essential nutrients.

Not only do these companion crops offer solace from the scorching sun, but they also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your vegetable garden with their height and vibrant blooms—perfect for those sunny summer afternoons!

Pollinator Attraction

Flowering plants like marigolds, violets, and yarrow play a crucial role in attracting pollinators to your artichoke garden.

These beautiful blooms not only add color and beauty to the space but also help ensure successful pollination of your artichoke buds.

Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects are naturally drawn to these vibrant flowers, which means they’ll happily visit your artichoke plants as well.

By planting pollinator-attracting companions alongside your artichokes, you’re creating a buzzing ecosystem that promotes healthy growth and abundant harvests.

Characteristics of Artichokes

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 3-6 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Rich, loamy soil; pH 6.5-7.5
Sunlight Needs
Full sun
Temperature Tolerance
Moderate-weather crop, sensitive to frost; thrives in USDA zones 8-11
Growth Habit
Perennial vegetable
Flowering Period
Second year of growth, if allowed to overwinter
Flower Color
Purple or violet
Foliage Characteristics
Large, deeply lobed, silvery-green leaves
Propagation Methods
Division of offsets, root cuttings, or seeds (less common)
Pruning and Maintenance
Remove spent flower heads; cut back old foliage in late winter
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, slugs, snails; powdery mildew, crown rot
Companion Planting
Cilantro, tarragon, chives, marigolds, and other plants that deter pests
Edible Parts
Edible flower buds (artichoke heads) and tender leaf bases
Wildlife Attraction
Artichoke flowers attract beneficial insects like bees
Special Care Instructions
Mulch around the base to retain moisture; protect from strong winds and extreme temperatures

The 11 Best Companion Plants for Artichokes

artichoke companion plants

Let’s get your artichokes growing to their fullest with these perfect plant pairings.

These plants are just a few of the best companions for artichokes because they help improve pest control, nutrient availability, shade provision, and pollination for your plants.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus is a fantastic companion plant for artichokes because they have similar soil and water requirements. These two plants can thrive side by side, benefiting from each other’s presence in the garden.

Asparagus provides shade and reduces weed growth around the base of artichokes. Also, asparagus releases certain chemicals into the soil that repel pests harmful to artichoke plants.

This natural pest control makes it easier to maintain healthy artichoke crops without relying on toxic chemicals.

2. Brassica Family

The Brassica family, which includes cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, is a perfect companion for artichokes in your garden.

These vegetables share similar soil and water requirements, making them ideal companions for each other.

Planting members of the Brassica family alongside your artichokes allows you to maximize your harvest and improve the overall health of both plants.

This diverse group of vegetables forms an excellent partnership with artichokes, creating a productive and thriving garden space.

3. Corn

Corn is an easy-to-grow companion for artichokes. When planted close to artichoke plants, corn provides shade during the hot days, which shields your artichokes from excessive sun and heat.

In addition to offering shade, corn also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help pollinate the artichoke buds and ensure a bountiful harvest.

4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers make fantastic companions for artichokes. Cucumbers provide shade to the base of artichoke plants during the hottest parts of the day, ensuring they don’t suffer from heat stress.

Also, cucumbers can grow up the artichoke stalks, taking advantage of the natural trellis and keeping the cucumbers off the ground. This helps prevent any risk of rot or disease.

The strong scent of cucumbers also acts as a natural pest repellent, helping to keep pesky insects away from your precious artichokes.

5. Hollyhock

Hollyhock is another great companion plant for artichokes. These vibrant, tall flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also serve multiple practical purposes.

First, they provide much-needed shade to artichoke plants during the hot season.

This helps protect them from wilting and keeps the soil moisture levels balanced. Hollyhocks also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, which play an important role in pollinating artichoke buds for a bountiful harvest.

Finally, hollyhocks themselves benefit from some shade in the hot sun when planted near artichokes, making it a win-win situation for both plants.

6. Marigolds

Marigolds are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to companion planting with artichokes. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also serve as natural pest repellents.

With their strong smell, marigolds help protect artichokes and other nearby plants from unwanted pests.

They attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on aphids and whiteflies, keeping these damaging pests in check.

In addition to repelling pests, marigolds also attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, helping with the pollination of artichoke buds.

While planting marigolds alongside your artichokes is a great idea, make sure to give them enough space so they don’t crowd each other out.

7. Nasturtium

Nasturtiums are excellent companion plants for artichokes because their spicy aroma drives pests away while luring in helpful pollinators.

These colorful blooms will do more than just make your yard look pretty; they’ll also help keep pests away.

Planting nasturtiums near your artichokes helps deter pests like aphids and whiteflies.

Plus, the aroma of nasturtiums adds a delightful touch to your garden while providing a valuable service in protecting your artichoke harvest.

8. Peas

Peas are the perfect companion for artichokes! They thrive in a wide range of USDA zones (2 to 11), but they also have the amazing ability to improve soil quality by fixing nitrogen levels.

This means that peas can help provide essential nutrients for your artichokes, resulting in healthier and more abundant harvests. Peas also thrive in places that are on the colder side with longer winters.

9. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are great companions because they provide valuable shade for artichoke plants during the scorching heat of the day. Their large, beautiful blooms create a cooler area for your artichokes to thrive.

On top of that, sunflowers attract beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs, which can help with pollinating artichoke buds and controlling pest populations.

Their large size and sturdy stems make them an ideal support for vining crops like cucumbers, acting as a natural trellis and keeping the fruits off the ground to prevent rot.

10. Tarragon

Tarragon made the list because it is another plant that helps boost artichoke growth and overall health. This fast-growing herb thrives in USDA zones 4 to 11 and prefers partially shaded areas with regular watering.

What makes tarragon so beneficial is that it has similar soil and water requirements to artichokes, creating an ideal environment for both plants to flourish together.

Tarragon packs a punch by acting as a natural deterrent for pests, keeping them away from your precious artichoke plants.

11. Thyme

Thyme is a superstar when it comes to companion plants for artichokes. Not only does it add delicious flavor to dishes, but this aromatic herb also works wonders in protecting your artichoke plants from pesky critters.

With its strong scent, thyme acts as a natural deterrent to pests, keeping them away from your beloved crop.

Planting thyme alongside your artichokes creates an invisible barrier that pests just can’t resist staying away from.

The Worst Companion Plants for Artichokes

artichoke companion planting

Avoid planting thistles, fennel, and black walnut near your artichokes. Let’s take a look at why these plants can hinder their growth!

1. Thistles

It is not advised to cultivate thistles near artichokes. They reduce the health and vitality of artichoke plants by competing for water and food.

Thistles may also attract insects that like artichokes, such as aphids and whiteflies.

2. Fennel

Fennel is also not a good companion plant for artichokes. While both plants are from the same botanical family, fennel can negatively impact the growth and flavor of artichokes.

Fennel produces certain chemicals that inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including artichokes.

These chemicals can also alter the taste of the artichoke buds, making them less desirable. To make sure your artichokes aren’t affected, it’s best to keep fennel at a distance from your artichoke plants.

3. Black Walnut

Black Walnut is considered one of the worst companion plants for artichokes. This tree releases a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to many plants, including artichokes. Juglone can be found in the roots, leaves, and nuts.

When these parts decompose into the soil or come into contact with other plants’ roots, they release the toxin into the soil.

Artichokes are particularly sensitive to juglone and may suffer stunted growth or even die if planted too close to black walnut trees.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right companion plants for your artichokes can significantly boost your harvest and overall plant health.

By repelling pests, attracting beneficial insects, providing shade, and increasing nutrient availability, these perfect plant pairings create a thriving ecosystem in your garden.

Remember to avoid planting thistles, fennel, and black walnut near your artichokes to prevent any negative interactions.

With this ultimate guide in hand, you’re now equipped to maximize the potential of your artichoke plants and create a bountiful garden filled with delicious and nutritious produce!

FAQs About Artichoke Companion Plants

What Not To Plant With Artichokes?

Avoid planting artichokes near potatoes, asparagus, or beans, as they can compete for space and nutrients, affecting the growth of both crops.

I also don’t recommend planting cucumbers next to artichokes, as they compete for essential resources like sunlight, air, soil nutrients, and water.

What Plants Grow Well With Artichokes?

Some of the best artichoke companion plants include pea plants, cucumbers, and perennial plants like globe artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes.

Some other good companion plants include tomatoes, spinach, tarragon, and marigolds. These plants can help deter pests and provide beneficial nutrients to the artichoke plants.

Can You Plant Artichokes Next To Asparagus?

Yes, artichokes and asparagus can be planted together. They have compatible growth habits and can coexist without having negative impacts on each other.

Where Do Artichokes Like To Be Planted?

Artichokes prefer to be planted in a sunny location with well-draining soil. They perform best in areas with mild winters and cool summers, making them suitable for temperate climates.

What herbs can I plant with artichokes?

Thyme is a great herb to have as a companion for artichokes because its strong smell helps repel pests. Yarrow also helps deter pests with its aromatic scent.

Basil not only adds delicious flavor when used in cooking but also deters pests from attacking your artichoke plants.

Oregano is another excellent choice since it naturally repels pests while enhancing the overall taste of your artichokes.

Can you plant artichokes next to tomatoes?

Artichokes and tomatoes are actually great companions in the garden! Both plants have similar growth requirements, making them a perfect match.

Artichokes provide shade for tomato plants during the day and protect them from excessive heat.

Tomato plants then help deter pests that can harm artichokes, such as aphids and whiteflies.

Planting these two together maximizes space in your vegetable garden while providing a beautiful and bountiful harvest of both artichokes and tomatoes.

How large do artichokes grow?

Artichokes are large perennial plants that need a lot of space to grow. They can grow as high as 3–4 feet and up to 6 feet in diameter.

Do artichokes need any special care during harvest?

Yes, when harvesting artichokes, it is important to cut the stalk at the base of the plant, leaving a few inches of the stem attached. This will help protect the artichoke and encourage new growth.

Can I grow smaller plants next to my artichoke plant?

Yes, you can grow smaller plants next to your artichoke plant. Just make sure they don’t shade or compete heavily with the artichoke for nutrients and space.

Are artichokes heavy feeders?

Yes, artichokes are heavy feeders and require nutrient-rich soil. Adding compost or organic fertilizer can help provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

Can artichoke leaves be used for anything other than culinary purposes?

Absolutely! Artichoke leaves can be used as a natural dye, mulch, or compost to further improve your soil.

Are artichokes annual or perennial plants?

Artichokes are perennials, and if cared for, they will produce year after year. Make sure to hydrate them and keep them in cooler environments.

What are some tips for growing artichokes in my garden?

Artichokes need full light, well-draining soil, and frequent water. You should also shield them from high winds and excessive heat and cold.