The 9 Best Bok Choy Companion Plants (Plus 3 To Avoid)

Bok choy, a popular vegetable in the garden, can unfortunately be a magnet for pests.

I’ve dealt with this problem myself and found that companion planting is an effective organic solution to deter pests and promote healthy growth.

In this article, we’ll explore some perfect bok choy companion plants, including onions, garlic, rosemary, mint, celery, cilantro, marigolds, carrots, chamomile, and nasturtiums.

These plants have excellent pest-repelling properties to safeguard your crops.

We’ll also take a look at some plants you’ll want to avoid. So let’s dig into the world of companion planting.

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with bok choy can deter pests and promote healthy growth.
  • Good companion plants for bok choy include onions, garlic, rosemary, mint, celery, cilantro, marigolds, carrots, chamomile, and nasturtiums.
  • Avoid planting strawberries, other brassicas like cabbage and broccoli, and tomatoes with bok choy.

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Understanding Bok Choy: A Brief Overview

bok choy companion plants

Bok Choy, a member of the Brassica family, originated in China and has become a beloved vegetable worldwide.

Its vibrant green leaves and crisp white stalks deliver not only an appealing crunch in various dishes but also pack a punch with their rich nutrient content, including vitamins C, K, and A, as well as high fiber levels.

Bok Choy is often used in stir-fries or soups due to its subtle flavor that complements other ingredients rather than overpowering them.

Growing Bok Choy can be an exciting endeavor for any gardener because it’s both versatile and resilient.

It does well in both cool and warm climates; however, it thrives best when there’s plenty of sunlight but not extreme heat—which would cause it to bolt prematurely before yielding bountiful harvests.

For soil requirements, well-drained loamy or moist soils with a neutral to slightly acidic pH are ideal for Bok Choy cultivation.

The plant typically matures within 45–60 days after planting—making it suitable for multiple growing seasons.

The Importance of Companion Planting with Bok Choy

bok choy companion planting

Companion planting is a powerful tool in any gardener’s arsenal. It boosts the health and yield of your bok choy crop by providing natural defenses against common garden pests.

For instance, interspersing aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary alongside your bok choy can throw off those pesky moths and loopers.

These fragrant herbs produce a scent that confuses these insects, preventing them from laying eggs on the bok choy.

But it doesn’t stop with insect deterrents; companion planting also optimizes space usage for better plant growth.

Allium plants such as garlic and onion make fantastic partners for nutrition-packed bok choy.

Their expansive root structure utilizes different soil layers than the shallow roots of leafy greens like bok choy, reducing competition for nutrients while simultaneously repelling aphids and slugs.

Moreover, integrating flowering companions into your vegetable patch isn’t just about pest control; it’s about promoting biodiversity too!

Beneficial pollinators such as bees, hoverflies, and wasps are attracted to vibrant flowers like nasturtiums and marigolds planted among rows of crisp green bok choy.

This not only enhances pollination but also contributes to making your garden an ecosystem teeming with life.

Characteristics Of Bok Choy

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 1-2 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Rich, loamy soil; pH 6.0-7.5
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to partial shade
Temperature Tolerance
Cool-season crop, sensitive to heat; thrives in USDA zones 4-7
Growth Habit
Biennial (often grown as an annual)
Flowering Period
Second year of growth, if allowed to overwinter
Flower Color
White or yellow
Foliage Characteristics
Large, dark green, tender leaves in a rosette shape
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing)
Pruning and Maintenance
Regularly harvest outer leaves; thin crowded plants for better growth
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, flea beetles, cabbage worms; clubroot, downy milde
Companion Planting
Beets, carrots, onions, and other vegetables
Edible Parts
Edible leaves and stems (both raw and cooked)
Wildlife Attraction
Bok choy flowers can attract pollinators like bees
Special Care Instructions
Provide consistent moisture to prevent bolting (premature flowering); protect from extreme cold

9 Good Companion Plants For Bok Choy

companion plants for bok choy

Discover the perfect partners for your bok choy garden: onions, garlic, rosemary, mint, celery, cilantro, marigolds, carrots, chamomile, and nasturtiums.

1. Onions and Garlic

Growing onions and garlic next to your bok choy is an excellent way to deter common garden pests.

The pungent scent of these allium plants can confuse aphids and slugs, reducing their impact on your crops.

Not only do onions and garlic protect against unwanted insects, but they also enrich the flavor of bok choy, making it even more delicious when it’s time for harvest.

So go ahead and plant that line of onion bulbs or cloves of garlic alongside your bok choy for a healthier, tastier crop!

2. Rosemary

Rosemary is a fantastic companion plant for bok choy. When planted alongside bok choy, it can help deter moths and loopers from laying eggs on the crop, protecting your plants from damage.

Plus, the strong scent of rosemary confuses pests and can even improve the flavor of your bok choy.

Additionally, rosemary attracts beneficial predatory pollinators like wasps and hoverflies that help control garden pests naturally.

With rosemary as a companion plant, you can expect higher yields and healthier growth for your bok choy crop.

3. Mint

Mint is a great companion plant to grow with bok choy. Not only does it deter pests like cabbage worms, whiteflies, and aphids, but it also enhances the flavor of bok choy when grown together.

By planting mint alongside your bok choy, you can naturally protect your crop from harmful insects and enjoy a tastier harvest.

Plus, the strong scent of mint can help repel weeds in the surrounding area.

4. Celery

Celery is an excellent companion plant for bok choy because it attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps.

These insect predators help control pests such as cabbage worms, whiteflies, and aphids that can damage bok choy plants.

By growing celery alongside your bok choy, you are creating a natural defense system for your garden.

Additionally, celery has the added advantage of repelling slugs and deer, further protecting your bok choy from potential threats.

Its strong scent also helps to mask the smell of bok choy, making it less attractive to moths and loopers.

With these benefits in mind, planting celery with your bok choy can lead to healthier plants and higher yields in your garden.

5. Cilantro

Cilantro is an excellent companion plant for bok choy because it attracts and breeds parasitic wasps that eat cabbage worms and whiteflies, which are common pests that can damage your bok choy crop.

Not only does cilantro repel flea beetles and aphids, but it also enhances the flavor and overall health of your bok choy plants.

By planting cilantro alongside your bok choy, you can attract beneficial insects to your garden and improve the productivity of your entire vegetable patch.

So consider adding some cilantro to your garden bed to reap these benefits for both yourself and your bok choy plants!

6. Marigolds

Marigolds are a fantastic companion plant for bok choy. Not only do they attract beautiful butterflies and other pollinators, which can enhance the growth of your bok choy, but marigolds also play a role as pest deterrents.

They keep whiteflies and slugs away from your precious bok choy plants, protecting them from potential damage.

Another benefit of growing marigolds alongside bok choy is that they have antifungal properties, which means they can help prevent certain fungal diseases from affecting your plants.

By incorporating marigolds into your garden, you can enjoy higher yields and healthier growth for your bok choy without relying on chemical solutions or pesticides.

7. Carrots

Carrots are excellent companion plants for bok choy because they can help deter pests naturally.

By planting carrots next to your bok choy, you can avoid the need for harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Carrots have a strong scent that repels harmful insects like cabbage worms, whiteflies, and aphids. These pests are known to damage bok choy leaves and hinder their growth.

With carrots nearby, these insect predators, such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps, are attracted, keeping the garden ecosystem in balance and protecting your bok choy from infestations.

8. Chamomile

Chamomile is a fantastic companion plant for bok choy. It offers protection against diseases and invasive flies like aphids, making it an essential addition to your garden.

Not only does chamomile help deter pests and insects that can harm bok choy, but it can also be used as a natural pesticide.

Another benefit is that chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, which can positively impact the health of your bok choy plants.

Additionally, chamomile attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies, which play a crucial role in controlling pests in the garden.

So, consider planting some chamomile alongside your bok choy for added protection and overall plant health.

9. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a fantastic companion plant for bok choy. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden, but they also serve as natural pest deterrents.

When planted alongside bok choy, nasturtiums help repel aphids, which can be a common problem in vegetable gardens.

What’s even better is that nasturtiums attract beneficial insects like hoverflies, which prey on aphids and other harmful pests.

This means you can rely on these lovely flowers to keep your bok choy free from unwanted bugs without the need for chemical pesticides.

So go ahead and plant some nasturtiums next to your bok choy; both you and your plants will benefit!

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Bok Choy

Some plants to avoid planting with Bok Choy include strawberries, other Brassicas like cabbage and broccoli, and tomatoes.

1. Strawberries

Strawberries should be avoided as companion plants for bok choy. They can actually inhibit the growth of bok choy and may introduce diseases to your plants.

It’s best to keep them separate in your garden to ensure the health and productivity of your bok choy crop.

2. Other Brassicas

Other brassicas, such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, should not be planted alongside bok choy.

These plants can compete with bok choy for important resources like nutrients, root space, and sunlight.

Not only that, but they can also attract the same pests that can cause infestation problems.

It’s best to keep these brassicas separate from your bok choy to ensure optimal growth and health for both types of plants.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are not recommended as companion plants for bok choy. They can hinder the growth of bok choy and even introduce diseases to the plant.

The proximity of tomatoes to bok choy can create interference, affecting both plants’ development.

It’s best to keep these two vegetables separate in your garden to ensure the health and productivity of each plant.

Additional Tips for Successful Bok Choy Planting

For optimal bok choy growth, make sure to provide adequate spacing between plants and ensure they receive plenty of sunlight.

Ideal Plant Spacing for Bok Choy

The ideal plant spacing for bok choy depends on the mature plants’ variety and size.

Proper spacing allows enough room to ensure healthy growth and airflow, which helps prevent disease. Here are some guidelines for planting bok choy:

  • Space small varieties of bok choy, such as baby bok choy, around 6–8 inches apart.
  • Allow 10–12 inches between medium-sized bok choy plants.
  • For larger varieties, such as full-size bok choy, give them 12–18 inches of space.

Sunlight Requirements for Bok Choy

Bok choy, like many other leafy vegetables, requires a good amount of sunlight to grow properly.

Here are some important things to know about the sunlight requirements for bok choy:

  1. Bok choy needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.
  2. It is best to plant bok choy in a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
  3. If you are growing bok choy indoors, place it near a window that gets plenty of sunlight.
  4. Avoid planting bok choy in areas with too much shade, as this can result in leggy growth and poor yields.
  5. In hotter climates, providing some shade during the hottest part of the day can protect bok choy from heat stress.
  6. If you notice that your bok choy plants are wilting or showing signs of sunburn, provide them with a temporary shade cover until they recover.

Final Thoughts

Planting the right companion plants alongside your bok choy can greatly benefit its growth and protect it from pests.

By choosing aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary, as well as plants such as nasturtiums and marigolds, you can create a harmonious ecosystem in your garden.

Remember to avoid planting strawberries, other brassicas, and tomatoes near your bok choy to prevent competition or potential diseases.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a thriving bok choy crop that’s naturally protected and full of flavor!

FAQs About Bok Choy Companion Plants

What should you not plant next to bok choy?

It is best to avoid growing plants in garden soil, as they can compete with bok choy for nutrients and water.

Additionally, bok choy should not be planted near plants that eat through it, such as varieties of cabbage worms.

Can bok choy be planted near peppers?

Yes, bok choy can be planted near peppers. There are no known negative interactions between bok choy and peppers, and they can be grown together without any major issues.

Can you plant peas and bok choy together?

Yes, you can plant peas and bok choy together. There are no adverse effects of planting these two crops in close proximity, and they can be compatible in the same garden space.

Can you plant bok choy with spinach?

Yes, you can plant bok choy with spinach. Bok choy and spinach can be grown together without any significant negative effects, and they complement each other well in the garden.

Does bok choy like coffee grounds?

Bok choy prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (around 6.0 to 7.5). While coffee grounds are acidic, they are also rich in organic matter and can be beneficial when used in moderation as part of compost or soil amendment for bok choy.

However, excessive use of coffee grounds can make the soil too acidic, which might not be ideal for bok choy.

Therefore, it’s best to use coffee grounds in compost or mixed with other organic materials to improve soil quality for bok choy.

Can I grow Bok Choy without companion plants?

Yes, you can grow Bok Choy without companion plants. However, incorporating compatible companions can potentially enhance its growth and overall health while promoting a balanced ecosystem within your garden.

What are the best companion plants for bok choy?

The best companion plants for bok choy include thyme, beet, bush beans, and nasturtiums. These plants can be planted around bok choy to help repel pests and attract beneficial insects.

What are some plants that attract beneficial insects to the bok choy garden?

Some plants that attract beneficial insects to the bok choy garden include thyme, beets, and nasturtiums. These plants not only repel pests but also attract insects that can help control the pest population.

Can bok choy be planted alongside kale?

Yes, bok choy can be planted alongside kale. Both of these vegetables grow well together and make great garden companions.

Does bok choy require a specific type of soil to grow alongside companion plants?

Bok choy grows best in well-drained garden soil. As long as the soil meets this requirement, it can be suitable for growing bok choy alongside its companion plants.

Why is it important to consider the root structure of bok choy when choosing companion plants?

Bok choy has a shallow root system, so it is important to choose companion plants that have a similar root structure.

Plants with deep and invasive roots should be avoided to prevent competition for water and nutrients.