10 Best Broccoli Companion Plants And 3 To Avoid

If you’re looking to grow broccoli in your garden, companion planting is a great way to improve your success. Growing a lush, healthy crop of broccoli can be challenging, especially when pests and nutrient competition come into play.

In this post, I’ll share some great broccoli companion plants, a few plants to avoid, and ways to help you maximize their growth while warding off common issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with broccoli can provide protection against pests, improved flavor, nutrient balance in the soil, and attraction of beneficial insects.
  • Beets, chamomile, dill, potatoes, nasturtiums, radishes, spinach, celery, and shallots are some of the best companion plants for broccoli.
  • These companion plants offer various benefits including pest-repelling properties, attracting beneficial insects like pollinators and natural pest control agents. They also enhance flavor profiles through underground interactions and help maintain nutrient balance in the soil. Additionally, certain companion plants provide shade and conserve moisture for optimal growth.

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Benefits Of Companion Planting

broccoli companion plants

Companion planting is a strategic gardening approach that enhances your garden’s health and productivity.

This method is all about understanding the relationships between different crops and using these relationships to create an interconnected ecosystem within your garden space.

For instance, certain plants attract beneficial insects which helps control pests naturally while others repel harmful bugs or wildlife with their strong scents.

This gardening technique also considers how different plants share resources and space.

Companion plants often complement each other by having contrasting growth habits or nutrient needs – some vegetables like broccoli require ample amounts of nutrients, aligning well with celery and potatoes which are relatively light feeders.

Plus, taller companion plants can offer much-needed shade for broccoli in unseasonably warm weather, protecting them from harsh sunlight exposure.

In addition to resource sharing and pest management, companion planting affects another crucial aspect of gardening – flavor improvement; many gardeners have found the flavors of their produce enhanced when grown together with specific companions.

Benefits of Broccoli Companion Planting

broccoli plants

If you’re looking to add broccoli to your garden, understanding what makes good companions for broccoli is important.

Companion planting with broccoli offers several benefits, including protection against pests, improved flavor, nutrient balance in the soil, and the attraction of beneficial insects.

Protection against pests

Harnessing the power of companion planting, broccoli can benefit from an effective natural barrier against common garden pests. 

Aromatic herbs like dill and rosemary act as potent deterrents, repelling insects with their strong scents, which keep your broccoli plants safe from harmful pests.

Other companions such as beets and chamomile attract beneficial insects that prey on pests.

Plants that attract beneficial insects aid in controlling infestations of cabbageworm caterpillars and other unwelcome visitors known to target brassica plants.

Implementing this strategic planting method is a savvy way for gardeners to protect their precious greens without resorting to chemical pesticides.

Equally important in our pest-fighting arsenal are trap plants like nasturtiums, which perform double duty by luring destructive pests away while providing a splash of color to your veggie patch.

By providing these alternatives for persistent critters, you’re not only safeguarding your main crops but also maintaining a healthy balance within the ecosystem of your garden.

Improved flavor

Broccoli’s taste can significantly benefit from strategic companion planting. Planting broccoli alongside vegetables such as celery, potatoes, and onions enriches its flavor profile.

This is due to the natural interactions that occur underground; roots communicate with each other through the soil, creating a symphony of flavors in your garden produce.

Moreover, some aromatic herbs like basil, rosemary, or dill enhance not only the nutrient content but also improve the flavor of broccoli grown nearby.

Thus proper implementation of companion planting becomes essential for gardeners who aim to achieve the perfect blend of nutritional value and delectable taste in their broccoli harvests.

Nutrient balance

To ensure the optimal growth and yield of your broccoli, it’s crucial to maintain a proper nutrient balance in your garden. Broccoli is a heavy feeder, meaning it requires sufficient nutrients from the soil to thrive.

By planting companion plants that have different nutrient requirements, you can prevent competition for resources and improve overall soil health.

Additionally, certain vegetables like celery, onions, and potatoes are believed to enhance the flavor of broccoli when planted together.

Carefully selecting companion plants that complement broccoli’s nutrient needs allows you to grow healthy and flavorful crops.

The attraction of beneficial insects

Companion planting broccoli with certain plants can attract beneficial insects to your garden. These helpful bugs, such as ladybugs and lacewings, feed on common pests like aphids and caterpillars.

By creating a diverse ecosystem in your garden, you can naturally control pest populations without resorting to harmful pesticides. 

Nasturtiums and marigolds are particularly effective at attracting these good bugs while also deterring pests from feasting on your precious broccoli crop.

So not only will companion planting make your garden more vibrant and visually appealing, but it will also ensure that your broccoli thrives in a natural and sustainable way.

Characteristics of Broccoli

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 1.5-2.5 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Rich, well-draining soil; pH 6.0-7.5
Sunlight Needs
Full sun
Temperature Tolerance
Cool-season crop, sensitive to heat; thrives in USDA zones 3-10
Growth Habit
Biennial (often grown as an annual)
Flowering Period
Second year of growth, if allowed to overwinter
Flower Color
Foliage Characteristics
Green, large, dense, and edible leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds or transplants
Pruning and Maintenance
Harvest main head when it’s firm and tight; side shoots may continue to produce after the main harvest
Common Pests and Diseases
Cabbage worms, aphids, flea beetles; clubroot, downy mildew
Companion Planting
Basil, dill, onions, potatoes, and other vegetables
Edible Parts
Edible flower buds (heads) and tender stems and leaves
Wildlife Attraction
Broccoli flowers attract pollinators like bees
Special Care Instructions
Provide consistent moisture and fertile soil; protect from extreme cold and excessive heat

10 Best Broccoli Companion Plants

broccoli companion planting

There are some great plants to plant with your broccoli. While there are many to choose from, beets, chamomile, dill, and potatoes are some of the best companion plants for broccoli due to their harmonious nutrient needs and pest-repelling properties.

1. Beets

Beets are an excellent companion plant that grows well with broccoli. Not only do they thrive in soils that have lower calcium levels, which broccoli tends to deplete, but they also do not compete with each other for nutrients.

This makes them perfect companions, allowing both plants to grow and flourish without hindering each other’s development.

By planting beets alongside your broccoli, you can create a harmonious ecosystem where these two vegetables support each other’s growth while maximizing the use of space in your garden.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is considered one of the best companion plants for broccoli. It helps repel pests that feed on broccoli, and it also attracts beneficial pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, which are essential for a healthy garden.

With its fragrant aroma, chamomile can create a calming atmosphere in your garden space.

The best part is that chamomile requires minimal care, making it an easy addition to your broccoli patch.

3. Dill

Dill is a fantastic companion plant for broccoli in your garden. With its strong aroma, it not only adds flavor to your dishes but also acts as a natural pest repellent for those pesky insects that love to munch on your precious broccoli plants.

Its pungent smell is known to deter wildlife and insect pests, keeping them away from attacking the broccoli. Planting dill near your broccoli can help protect it from potential damage while enhancing its overall flavor.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes make great companions for your broccoli due to their many benefits. First, they provide shade and protect the soil, creating a favorable environment for broccoli growth.

Potatoes have different nutrient requirements than broccoli, so they won’t compete for nutrients in the soil.

This allows both plants to thrive together without hindering each other’s growth. Additionally, planting potatoes near broccoli can actually improve the flavor of the broccoli itself.

Potatoes also have natural deterrent properties against insect pests and wildlife, helping to keep your broccoli plants safe from harm.

Another advantage is that potatoes reduce weed growth while keeping the soil cool and moist by acting as a ground cover.

Lastly, potatoes attract beneficial insects that eat pests, serving as a natural pest control method for your garden.

5. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to companion planting with broccoli. These vibrant and low-maintenance plants offer a multitude of benefits for your garden.

One of their greatest assets is their ability to lure hungry caterpillars away from your precious broccoli and other brassicas, acting as natural trap plants.

Nasturtiums also contribute to the overall beauty of your garden, with their colorful flowers adding a cheerful touch.

Additionally, they suppress weeds and help maintain soil moisture and temperature, ensuring that your broccoli plants thrive.

With their pest-repellent properties and attractive scent, nasturtiums also attract beneficial insects while deterring wildlife from attacking your broccoli.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow companion plant that enhances flavor, prevents pests, and adds visual appeal to your garden space, you’ll definitely want to include nasturtiums in your garden!

6. Radishes

Radishes are a fantastic companion plant for broccoli, offering numerous benefits to both plants. These low-maintenance vegetables not only help maximize space in smaller gardens but also provide mutual protection with broccoli.

Radishes improve the supply, availability, and uptake of nutrients from the soil without competing with broccoli plants. They even attract beneficial insects that consume pests, promoting the overall health of your garden.

With their ability to keep the soil cool and moist while providing shade for broccoli plants, radishes create an ideal growing environment.

Plus, they’re easy to grow alongside broccoli and can be planted in small gardens or containers.

7. Spinach

Spinach is an excellent companion plant for broccoli, offering a range of benefits to both vegetables. Planting spinach alongside your broccoli helps create a thriving garden ecosystem by maximizing space and conserving soil moisture.

The lush foliage of spinach casts shade on the broccoli plants, reducing weed growth and keeping the soil cool and moist.

Additionally, spinach’s moisture-conserving qualities benefit the broccoli by preventing it from bolting prematurely.

Both spinach and broccoli have similar growing requirements and do not compete for nutrients in the soil, making them ideal companions in the garden.

8. Celery

Celery is an excellent companion plant for broccoli, offering a range of benefits to your garden. Not only does celery enhance the flavor of broccoli, but it also attracts beneficial insects while deterring pests from attacking your precious plants.

These two vegetables can be planted together without worry, as they have different nutrient requirements and won’t compete for resources in the soil.

One added advantage is that celery provides partial shade to broccoli plants, which they appreciate as the season progresses and they become more sensitive to excessive sunlight.

9. Shallots

Shallots are a fantastic companion plant for broccoli, offering numerous benefits to your garden. Like other members of the allium family, such as onions and garlic, shallots have pungent properties that naturally repel common pests without hindering the growth of broccoli.

The close proximity of these plants creates an environment that deters cabbage worms and aphids, helping to protect your precious broccoli crop.

Not only do shallots act as natural pest control, but they also enhance the flavor of your broccoli when planted together.

With their low-maintenance nature and ability to provide sustainable pest management, shallots are an excellent addition to any broccoli patch.

10. Rosemary

Rosemary is another one of many suitable companion plants for broccoli. Not only does it have a lovely fragrance, but it also helps keep common pests away from your precious broccoli plants.

The strong aroma of rosemary acts as a natural deterrent to cabbage-loving pests, helping to protect your broccoli from damage.

What’s great about rosemary is that it can be easily grown in smaller spaces or even containers, making it suitable for gardens with limited room.

By planting rosemary alongside your broccoli, not only will you deter pests, but you’ll also enhance the flavor and overall health of your crops.

3 Bad Companion Plants For Broccoli

companion plants for broccoli

Planting the wrong plants near your broccoli could cause major problems, and knowing which ones to avoid is important.

Some plants you should avoid include strawberries, corn, and tomatoes as they can compete for nutrients and space.

1. Strawberries

Strawberries are not the best companion plants for broccoli, especially if you want to ensure a successful and healthy harvest. Strawberries are heavy feeders, meaning they require a lot of nutrients from the soil.

This can create competition with your broccoli plants, leading to nutrient depletion and stunted growth. Additionally, strawberries tend to attract pests that can also harm your broccoli crop.

To avoid these issues and promote optimal growth for both crops, it’s best to keep strawberries separate from your broccoli in the garden.

2. Corn

Corn is not a good companion plant and should be kept away from broccoli. While both plants thrive in similar conditions, they can become competitors when planted too close together in the garden.

Corn is known to be a heavy feeder, meaning it will compete for nutrients with broccoli, causing both plants to suffer.

This can create competition with broccoli, which also has high nutrient needs. Additionally, corn’s tall height can cast shade over the broccoli plants, limiting their access to sunlight and stunting their growth.

It’s best to keep these two crops separate in order to ensure optimal growth and yield for both.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes may be a popular garden staple, but when it comes to companion planting with broccoli, they’re not the best match.

Tomatoes and broccoli have different growth habits and nutrient requirements, making them incompatible companions in terms of optimal garden space utilization.

Tomato plants are heavy feeders and should not be planted next to your broccoli because they can deplete the soil of nutrients that broccoli needs to thrive.

Plus, the shade cast by tomato plants can be detrimental to broccoli since it prefers cooler temperatures and excessive heat can harm its growth.

Additionally, tomatoes attract pests like aphids and whiteflies that can also damage broccoli plants.

So if you want to ensure healthy and thriving broccoli crops in your garden, it’s generally recommended to keep tomatoes and broccoli separated in terms of planting areas.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right companion plants for your broccoli can greatly enhance its growth and overall health. By attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and providing shade and nutrient balance, these companion plants create a harmonious garden ecosystem.

So next time you plant broccoli in your garden, consider including beets, chamomile, dill, potatoes, nasturtiums, radishes, or spinach as its companions for optimal results.

If you’d like to learn more about companion planting, feel free to check out our companion planting guide here

FAQs About The Best Companion Plants For Broccoli

What Should You Not Plant Next To Broccoli?

There are a few plants that should be avoided as companions for broccoli. Broccoli should not be planted near plants that belong to the same family, known as Brassicas.

These include other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Planting them together increases the risk of disease and they can compete with your broccoli for nutrients.

What Plants Grow Well With Broccoli?

Some good companion plants to grow around your broccoli are carrots, spinach, lettuce, onions, marigolds, and nasturtiums.

These plants can provide benefits to broccoli while also benefiting from being planted near your broccoli.

They can fix nitrogen in the soil, provide shade during hot weather, and thrive without competing for resources.

What Vegetables Grow Well Next To Broccoli?

Besides the plants mentioned earlier, several other vegetables can be grown next to broccoli, including carrots because they don’t compete for nutrients, beets because they are great for maximizing space, and swiss chard because it can provide some shade to your broccoli.

Can tomatoes and broccoli be planted together?

It is not recommended to plant tomatoes and broccoli together. They have different nutrient requirements, plus they are both heavy feeders which means they would be competing with each other.

Plus, tomatoes attract pests that can be harmful to broccoli like aphids and whiteflies.

What are the best companion plants for broccoli?

Some of the best companion plants for broccoli are those that repel cabbage moths, such as thyme, sage, and rosemary.

These herbs can help deter pests that are known to damage broccoli plants. There is also a full list of great companion plants in this article.

Can broccoli and cauliflower be grown together?

Yes, broccoli and cauliflower can be grown together. They have similar growing requirements and can be planted side by side without any issues.