If you’re struggling to grow eggplants in your garden, understanding companion planting could be the answer. After extensive research and personal experiments, I found some of the best companion plants to grow.
In this post, you’ll learn some of the best plants to grow near your eggplants for healthier crops and better eggplant yields, a few plants to avoid at all costs, and why eggplant companion plants are a much-needed addition to your garden.
- Companion planting with marigolds, garlic, and nasturtiums can effectively deter pests such as nematodes, whiteflies, and aphids from attacking your eggplant crop.
- Interplanting legumes like bush beans and peas replenishes the soil’s nitrogen levels, improving overall soil nutrition and promoting healthier growth in your eggplants.
- Growing spinach alongside taller eggplant plants provides shade for the spinach while suppressing weeds and enhancing moisture retention in the soil.
- Nightshades like tomatoes and peppers make amazing companion plants due to their similar growing conditions and ability to enhance each other’s flavor. Just don’t grow them too close together as some varieties could compete.
- Key Takeaways
- Understanding Companion Planting
- Benefits of Companion Planting for Eggplants
- Characteristics of Eggplants
- 5 Best Eggplant Companion Plants For Your Garden
- 6 Flowers and Herbs to Grow With Eggplant
- 5 Vegetable Companions for Eggplants
- Plants to Avoid Planting with Eggplants
- Final Thoughts
- FAQs About Eggplant Companion Planting
- What Should You Not Plant With Eggplant?
- What Is The Best Companion For Eggplant?
- Can You Plant Cucumbers And Eggplant Together?
- Can I plant eggplant near basil?
- Can I plant other nightshade family plants near my eggplants?
- Can I plant spinach near eggplant?
- Can I plant marigold next to my eggplant?
- Can I plant eggplant seedlings near other plants?
- What is the growing season for eggplants?
- Can eggplant and tomatoes be planted together?
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Understanding Companion Planting
Companion planting is the science of thoughtfully pairing different plants together to reap maximum benefits.
From improved soil health due to enhanced nutrient exchange, pest deterrence through the release of specific chemicals or signals, all the way through to offering physical support in some cases – companion planting has many advantages.
This practice optimizes our gardens by allowing nature’s own systems to enhance growth and crop yield.
In essence, every plant emits natural chemicals or “signals” from its roots into the soil which affect other plants growing nearby.
Things like attracting pollinators or predatory insects, repelling pests like nematodes and aphids, enhancing soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air into usable compounds in the soil, and competing for nutrients thereby preventing weed growth among others.
Certain pairs even enhance each other’s flavor when grown side-by-side! It’s absolutely remarkable how understanding these interactions can help us manage our garden resources more efficiently while promoting a sustainable permaculture farm environment free of synthetic insecticides and fertilizers.
Benefits of Companion Planting for Eggplants
There are many benefits to companion planting for your eggplants. Some of these include improved pest control, enhanced soil nutrition, and increased crop yield. Let’s take a look at each of these to see why they are important to your garden’s success.
Improved Pest Control
Growing eggplants alongside certain companion plants can significantly enhance your garden’s natural pest control. Plants such as marigolds, garlic, and nasturtiums have unique properties that strategically deter destructive insects.
The strong scent emitted by marigolds effectively repels nematodes, whiteflies, and aphids that would otherwise feast on your eggplant crop. Garlic and onions are also essential in an eggplant garden, as their pungent aroma keeps pests at bay.
Because eggplant will attract harmful bugs, integrating trap crops like nasturtiums offer another line of defense from the main crop —eggplants— which prevents potential infestations.
Borage would also be a great option because it discourages worms while luring beneficial insects to your land with its vibrant blossoms.
Brassicas like kale or broccoli blend well with eggplants too; they naturally fend off pests due to their robust foliage structure and potent scent profile.
Consider incorporating these strategic plantings into your gardening routine for more effective organic pest control solutions while cultivating healthier and more resilient eggplants in the process.
Enhanced Soil Nutrition
Investing your time in companion planting for eggplants delivers a significant punch when it comes to soil nutrition.
Interplanting with green manure crops such as legumes, which are fantastic nitrogen fixers, can provide much-needed nutrients to heavy feeders like eggplants.
Legume plants naturally improve soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen back into the earth, making this vital nutrient available for other plants.
Further benefits come from shade-tolerant lettuces and spinach that thrive under taller eggplant bushes; they act as ground cover reducing water evaporation and helping retain rich soil structure.
Beyond just moisture control, these leafy greens also return valuable organic matter back into the garden bed ensuring a nutrient-rich environment for developing fruit-bearing eggplants.
If you’re looking for deliciously healthy eggplants year after year without resorting to synthetic fertilizers, consider adding beans or peas and lettuce or spinach to your gardening mix.
Increased Crop Yield
The goal for any gardener is to maximize crop yield, and companion planting with the right plants can help achieve just that for your eggplants.
By strategically selecting companion plants, you can enhance their growth and productivity.
For instance, beets, spinach, and onions make excellent companions as they provide shade to the soil and create a microclimate that promotes healthy eggplant growth.
Additionally, legumes such as beans act as natural nitrogen fixers, replenishing the nutrients consumed by eggplants and improving their overall health.
This not only results in increased harvests but also reduces the need for additional fertilizers or supplements.
Furthermore, certain plants like marigolds repel pests while attracting beneficial pollinators who aid in fruit production – a win-win situation for both your eggplants’ health and your yield.
Characteristics of Eggplants
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Varies by variety; typically 1.5-3 feet tall
Rich, loamy soil; pH 5.5-6.5
Warm-weather crop, sensitive to frost; thrives in USDA zones 5-12
Perennial in tropical climates, often grown as an annual in temperate regions
Purple or white
Large, green leaves with a distinctive shape
Seeds (direct sowing) or transplants
|Pruning and Maintenance
Support may be needed for larger varieties; prune to improve air circulation and manage growth
|Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, flea beetles, spider mites; bacterial and fungal diseases
Beans, marigolds, tarragon, and other herbs and vegetables
Edible fruits (eggplants)
Eggplant flowers attract pollinators like bees
|Special Care Instructions
Provide consistent moisture and fertile soil; protect from strong winds and extreme temperatures
5 Best Eggplant Companion Plants For Your Garden
There are a lot of great options for companion plants. The plants I’ve highlighted here are just a few of the top plants to grow with eggplant that can enhance your garden.
These beneficial pairings will help maximize the health and productivity of your crops.
Marigolds are an excellent companion plant for eggplants. Not only do they add vibrant color to your garden, but marigolds also offer several benefits to your eggplant crop.
These bright flowers are known for their pest-repellent properties, making them a valuable addition to any garden bed.
One of the main advantages of planting marigolds with eggplants is their ability to repel pests. Their strong scent deters harmful insects such as aphids and spider mites from attacking your precious eggplants.
In addition, marigolds attract beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, which help in fruit production.
Another advantage of growing marigolds plants around your eggplants is their ability to improve soil health.
Marigolds’ roots release natural chemicals that can reduce populations of harmful nematodes, and microscopic pests that can damage the roots of plants.
2. Bush Beans
Bush beans are an excellent choice as companion plants for eggplants in your garden. These legumes have the remarkable ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which helps replenish nutrients that eggplants need to thrive.
Bush beans and nearby eggplants can create a symbiotic relationship where the beans provide a natural source of nitrogen while the eggplants offer shade and support for the climbing bean vines.
This not only enhances the growth and health of both plants but also increases overall crop yield. Plus, bush beans are easy to grow and maintain, making them a perfect addition to any vegetable garden.
Peas are an excellent companion plant for eggplants. Not only do they add visual interest to your garden, but they also provide numerous benefits.
As legumes, peas have the amazing ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which is just what eggplants need for healthy growth.
By trellising peas on the northern side of peppers, you can still get a great harvest without shading out your eggplants. Plus, peas deter pests and attract beneficial insects that help keep your eggplants free from aphids, beetles, and whiteflies.
Spinach is a great companion for eggplants in the garden. Not only does it thrive when grown nearby, but it also benefits from the shade provided by the taller eggplant plants during those scorching summer months.
Spinach acts as a natural ground cover, helping to suppress weeds while improving soil moisture retention and preventing erosion.
Additionally, it helps enhance soil fertility by drawing nutrients closer to the surface with its deep roots.
It’s a win-win for both crops: eggplants get some much-needed shade, while spinach enjoys its protective company and grows healthier and more vibrant. Plus, you’ll have delicious homegrown spinach leaves available alongside your plump and juicy eggplants!
Nightshades are a group of plants that include not only eggplants but also tomatoes and peppers. These plants share similar growing conditions and complement each other when planted together.
Nightshades enhance the flavor of one another, making them perfect plants that create more effective gardens. Plus, they provide shade for each other, which is especially beneficial during hot, humid summers.
One thing to keep in mind is while some of the nightshade plants make great companions, they can potentially compete with your eggplants. I recommend keeping them at a distance just to be safe.
So, if you’re looking to boost your eggplant harvest and create an Italian feast right in your backyard, some nightshades are great plants to grow alongside your eggplants.
6 Flowers and Herbs to Grow With Eggplant
In addition to vegetables, eggplants also have several flower and herb companions that can enhance their growth and repel pests. Here are a few great flower and herb companions for your eggplants that I know you’ll love!
One of the most beneficial companion plants for eggplants is nasturtiums. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden, but they also play a vital role in protecting your eggplant crop.
Nasturtiums are known for their ability to repel pests and attract pollinators. By planting nasturtiums around your eggplants, you can create a natural barrier against harmful insects and deter aphids from feeding on your precious plants.
Additionally, nasturtiums act as a ground cover and trap crop, blocking weeds from stealing nutrients and luring pests away from your eggplants. They even enhance the flavor of eggplants when planted nearby.
Calendula is a fantastic companion plant for eggplants. Not only does it attract pollinators and predatory insects to your garden, but it can also help trap aphids and control their populations.
Planting calendula near your eggplants can also repel pests like whiteflies and aphids, keeping them away from your precious plants.
Another benefit of calendula is that its roots can reduce harmful nematode populations in the soil, improving overall soil health.
Plus, calendula is a versatile plant that you can use for culinary purposes or even for medicinal and ornamental purposes.
It’s definitely worth adding to your garden alongside other companions like marigolds, nasturtiums, and borage!
One excellent companion plant for eggplants is borage. This flowering herb not only adds beauty to your garden but also attracts a variety of pollinators and predatory insects that can help control pests in your eggplant crop.
Borage is especially effective against tomato hornworms, which can wreak havoc on your plants.
By planting borage next to your eggplants, you’re creating a diverse and healthy ecosystem in your garden.
Borage also has the added benefit of deterring pests and attracting beneficial insects, making it an all-around superstar companion plant for your eggplants.
Dill is a fantastic companion plant for eggplant, offering multiple benefits. Its strong aroma repels insect attacks, making it an excellent natural pest control option.
Plus, it attracts beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings that help control pest populations in your garden.
These helpful bugs are nature’s own little army against pests like aphids and cabbage moths.
Planting dill beside your eggplants will not only keep harmful bugs at bay but also create a beautiful and fragrant addition to your garden.
Oregano, a versatile herb with a strong aroma and flavor, is an excellent companion plant for eggplants in the garden.
As one of the many herbs that can be grown alongside eggplants, oregano helps repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden.
Alongside mint, thyme, basil, cilantro, lemon balm, catnip, and French tarragon, oregano creates a diverse range of flavors while deterring pests from attacking your precious eggplants.
With its low-maintenance nature and similar growing requirements as eggplants, oregano makes it easy for you to create a visually appealing garden full of culinary options.
One herb that can be a helpful companion for eggplants is mint. Mint plants, such as peppermint and spearmint, have a strong scent that naturally repels flea beetles, which can be problematic pests for eggplants.
By planting mint near your eggplant crop, you can significantly reduce the number of these little invaders.
However, it’s important to note that mint has a tendency to spread rapidly and take over an area if not contained properly.
Make sure to keep it in check by growing it in containers or using barriers like landscape fabric or edging.
With its pest-repelling properties and refreshing aroma, mint is a great addition to any garden looking to protect its precious eggplants from unwanted visitors.
5 Vegetable Companions for Eggplants
Vegetables are some of the best eggplant companion plants that provide various benefits such as repelling insects, replenishing nutrients in the soil, creating diverse growing conditions, and maximizing crop efficiency.
Let’s take a look at a few vegetables that make great companions.
Garlic is an exceptional companion plant for eggplants in the garden. Its pungent odor acts as a natural pest repellent, warding off annoying aphids, fleas, and whiteflies that can damage your beloved eggplants.
By planting garlic near your eggplants, you create a protective barrier that keeps these pests at bay without relying on harmful chemicals or insecticides.
Not only does garlic deter unwanted insects, but it also works to improve the overall health of your garden by enhancing soil fertility and decreasing the risk of soil-borne pathogens.
Beans are an excellent companion plant for eggplants in the garden. Not only do they provide a natural source of nitrogen, which replenishes the nutrients consumed by eggplants, but they also help with moisture retention and weed prevention.
Beans grown near your eggplants can maximize space-wise crop management and improve overall soil health. Plus, beans add diversity to your garden and create an aesthetically pleasing mix of colors and textures.
Peppers are not only delicious additions to our meals, but they also make fantastic companion plants for eggplants in the garden.
They share similar growing conditions and complement each other’s flavors, creating a harmonious combination when planted together.
Peppers can even help promote healthy growth and development of eggplant roots, ensuring your plants thrive.
Plus, having these two nightshade plants side by side adds diversity and visual appeal to your garden.
Onions are fantastic companion plants for eggplants because they naturally repel insects that are attracted to eggplants. These pungent bulbs act as a natural deterrent, keeping pests like aphids and cabbage moths at bay.
By planting onions near your eggplant patch, you can create a natural barrier against these pesky invaders, reducing the need for chemical insecticides.
Onions also help improve the overall health of your garden soil by adding organic compounds and enhancing its fertility.
Not only do you get to enjoy the flavorful harvest from both your onions and eggplants, but you also create a healthier and more resilient garden ecosystem.
Potatoes are an excellent companion plant for eggplants in the garden. Not only do they have similar growing requirements, but planting them together also allows you to maximize your harvest throughout different seasons.
Potatoes act as a natural nitrogen source, replenishing the nutrients consumed by eggplants and improving soil fertility. This not only benefits the potatoes but also enhances the growth and productivity of your eggplant crop.
You might consider planting potatoes near your eggplants to create a diverse and thriving garden that supports each plant’s needs while maximizing unused space to grow another plant.
Plus, having fresh homegrown potatoes on hand is always a delicious bonus!
Plants to Avoid Planting with Eggplants
Not all plants are created equal when selecting companion plants. Knowing which plants to avoid planting alongside your eggplants is crucial.
These plants can have negative effects on the growth and health of your eggplants, so you might want to keep them separate in your garden.
- Fennel: Fennel inhibits the growth of eggplants, so it’s best to plant them far from each other.
- Geraniums: While geraniums may be beautiful flowers for your garden, they can host diseases that affect eggplants. It’s best to keep these two plants far apart.
- Corn: Corn and eggplants are heavy feeders that compete with each other for nutrients in the soil, which makes them difficult to grow together. Just keep them away from each other and you’ll be fine.
- Zucchini: Zucchini plants can shade out and compete with eggplants for resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients. Plant them separately to prevent any competition.
- Beans: While beans can be beneficial companions for eggplants due to their nitrogen-fixing properties, some types of beans, like pole beans, can twine around and smother your eggplant vines. Opt for bush beans instead if you want to grow them together. If you want to plant beans (which I recommend), you could also try using a trellis to grow your beans vertically.
- Lentils: Lentils are also nitrogen-fixing plants but should be avoided as companion plants for eggplants because they tend to dominate smaller plants like eggplants.
- Black Walnut: Black walnut trees produce a substance called juglone which is toxic to many vegetable crops, including eggplants. Avoid planting your eggplants near black walnut trees or their roots.
Strategically selecting plants that help your eggplant garden can enhance pest control, improve soil nutrition, and increase crop yield.
Whether it’s marigolds and nasturtiums to repel pests or beans and peppers to replenish nutrients, these companions will create a thriving ecosystem in your garden.
FAQs About Eggplant Companion Planting
What Should You Not Plant With Eggplant?
There are some plants that should be avoided as companion plants for eggplants. These include green beans, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, fennel, and tomato plants.
These crops may compete for nutrients or attract pests that could harm the growth of your eggplant.
What Is The Best Companion For Eggplant?
Some good companion plants for eggplants include herbs like basil and thyme, as well as vegetables such as peppers, and beans. These plants can help deter pests and improve the overall health of the garden.
Can You Plant Cucumbers And Eggplant Together?
Yes, you can plant cucumbers and eggplant together. They generally have similar growth requirements and can be grown in close proximity.
However, keep in mind that both plants can spread out, so plant them at least 24-36 inches apart to ensure they have enough room to grow and don’t overshadow or compete with each other.
Can I plant eggplant near basil?
Yes, eggplant and basil are often considered good companions in the garden. Basil can help repel pests that may harm your eggplants, such as aphids and spider mites.
Additionally, the smell of basil may confuse or deter certain pests. Plus, both eggplant and basil require similar growing conditions like full sun and well-drained soil, making them great plants to grow together.
Can I plant other nightshade family plants near my eggplants?
It is generally not recommended to plant other nightshade family plants near your eggplants because they may be susceptible to similar diseases and pests.
For example, avoid planting tomatoes in close proximity to your eggplant.
Can I plant spinach near eggplant?
Yes, spinach is a good companion for eggplant and can be planted near it. When planted next to each other, both plants also have the opportunity to grow better and reach their full potential.
Can I plant marigold next to my eggplant?
Yes, marigold is a great companion plant for eggplant and can be planted next to it. They are great at attracting pollinator insects that help with growth.
Can I plant eggplant seedlings near other plants?
Yes, you can plant eggplant seedlings near other plants as long as they are good companion plants.
Make sure you plant them at least 24-36 inches apart because eggplants need enough space to grow.
What is the growing season for eggplants?
The growing season for eggplants is typically from spring to fall, but it depends on where you live and which growing zone you’re located in.
Can eggplant and tomatoes be planted together?
No, tomatoes should not be planted near eggplant as they are not good companion plants. They are part of the nightshade family and generally, these plants don’t pair well together.