The 11 Best Kohlrabi Companion Plants (And 5 to Avoid)

Are you hoping to grow robust, delicious kohlrabi in your garden but battling with common issues like pests, soil nutrition, or overcrowding?

I’ve been there too and did some digging (pun intended), only to find that companion planting with the right crops can dramatically improve kohlrabi’s yield as well as its flavor.

In this article, I’ll share a detailed guide on which plants make great companions for this leafy crop while explaining why these pairings work so well.

So, get your gardening gloves ready. It’s time to look at some of the best kohlrabi companion plants you can grow—celery, beans, dill, rosemary, and more

Let’s help you cultivate a thriving vegetable patch!

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with the right crops can greatly benefit kohlrabi by deterring pests, improving soil nutrition, and enhancing flavor.
  • Some plants that are great companions for kohlrabi include celery, nasturtiums, bean plants, chamomile, dill, chives, rosemary, rhubarb, cucumbers, alliums, and thyme.
  • Plants to avoid planting near kohlrabi are pumpkins, tomatoes, fennel, strawberries, broccoli, and kale.

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

What is companion planting?

kohlrabi companion plants - close up of harvested kohlrabi vegetables

The essence of companion planting lies in creating partnerships between plants that mutually benefit each other. This relationship often helps deter pests, improve soil nutrition, and even enhance the flavor of some fruits and vegetables.

For instance, if you’re growing leafy plants like kohlrabi alongside nasturtiums or rosemary, expect fewer harmful insects to disturb your garden because these plants have natural oils in their leaves, which repel most common pests.

Some companion plants improve the health of the soil, benefiting all plants growing in the same area. For example, bean plants are known as nitrogen-fixers, enhancing soil conditions for better growth.

It’s also important to note that the right companions attract beneficial predatory insects into your garden, helping keep invasive pests at bay.

The Benefits of Kohlrabi Companion Planting

Companion planting with kohlrabi offers numerous benefits for your garden. First, it helps deter pests that are attracted to kohlrabi, such as slugs, snails, aphids, and cabbage moths.

By planting certain companion plants like nasturtiums or dill nearby, you can keep these pesky insects away from your kohlrabi crops.

Secondly, companion plants can enhance the flavor of your kohlrabi. For example, celery and chives have been known to improve the taste of kohlrabi when planted together. This means you’ll get even more delicious harvests from your garden.

Additionally, some companion plants attract beneficial predatory insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps. These insects help control invasive bugs that can cause damage to your kohlrabi plants.

Furthermore, certain companion plants help improve soil nutrition by fixing nitrogen in the soil or providing organic matter through their fallen leaves. This enhances the overall health of your garden and promotes better growth for all your crops.

Overall, by practicing companion planting with kohlrabi, you create a balanced ecosystem in which each plant supports and benefits others in various ways—from pest deterrence to flavor improvement and soil enhancement.

These advantages contribute to a thriving garden where both crop quality and yields are maximized.

How to Grow Kohlrabi in Your Garden

kohlrabi companion planting in soil

Kohlrabi, which is German for ‘turnip cabbage,’ is a crisp, crunchy vegetable rich in potassium, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

The great thing about this unusual-looking, nutrient-filled vegetable is that you can eat the bulb and the leaves! Kohlrabi is a fast-growing crop that is easy for beginners.

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil; keep soil consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 6–12 inches in height
Soil Requirements
Well-draining, fertile soil with good drainage; pH 6.0–7.0
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to partial shade
Temperature Tolerance
Cool-season crop; thrives in USDA zones 3–10.
Growth Habit
An annual vegetable with a thick stem that resembles a turnip
Planting Period
Early spring to early fall, depending on local climate
Stem Color
Typically light green or purple, depending on the variety
Culinary Uses
Often eaten raw in salads, slaws, or as a crunchy snack, it can also be cooked or roasted
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing); thin seedlings to proper spacing
Pruning and Maintenance
Regular watering and consistent moisture; thin, overcrowded seedlings
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil; keep the soil consistently moist
Companion Planting
Plant with other brassicas like broccoli and cabbage
Edible Parts
Edible swollen stem (bulb) and young leaves
Wildlife Attraction
Kohlrabi flowers can attract pollinators like bees
Special Care Instructions
Kohlrabi prefers cool weather and can tolerate light frosts; provide shade in hot weather

The 11 Best Kohlrabi Companion Plants

Celery, nasturtiums, bean plants, chamomile, dill, chives, rosemary, rhubarb, cucumbers, alliums, and thyme are some of the different plants that make great companions for kohlrabi.

1. Celery

Celery is an outstanding companion for kohlrabi. Its strong scent confuses pests, making it a crucial plant to include in your leafy plot while growing kohlrabi.

It’s particularly effective against the white cabbage moth, one of the most common predators of Brassicas like kohlrabi.

The benefits of celery don’t stop at pest deterrence. Celery, with its robust root system and preference for moist soil conditions, helps improve soil nutrition as well as the structure around delicate crops like kohlrabi.

As a bonus, there’s evidence that growing celery next to your kohlrabi can even enhance the flavor of your crop!

So, if you’re planning on sowing these crunchy veggies in your garden soon, don’t forget to spare some space for celery plants.

2. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums add an exciting touch to your kohlrabi garden with their vibrant blooms. Besides being appealing, these companions present a dual advantage for kohlrabi: pest deterrence and soil aeration.

These natural insect repellents draw pests away from our precious Brassicas, protecting them from unwanted infestation while improving the soil’s air circulation.

Gardeners like me find nasturtiums extremely helpful in hardiness zones 9 to 11, where, just like kohlrabi, they flourish under full sun or partial shade conditions.

As an added bonus, we can enjoy their edible flowers and leaves on our plates along with a delicious kohlrabi dish! 

3. Bean Plants

Bean plants are excellent companions for kohlrabi because they have the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. This means they can help improve the health of your kohlrabi crop by providing them with essential nutrients.

Bean plants also attract pollinating insects like ladybugs and bees, which are great for your kohlrabi (and other plants).

These insects also offer protection from invasive pests, particularly the ones that like to feast on your vegetables, helping keep your kohlrabi plants safe and healthy throughout their growth cycle.

Don’t give bean plants a miss when planning your vegetable garden! Companion planting with bean plants will help boost the growth and productivity of your kohlrabi plants and many other vegetables too.

4. Chamomile

close up of many pretty white chamomile flowers

Chamomile serves as a natural pest deterrent and also prevents fungi and bacteria from attacking kohlrabi plants. Chamomile also repels aphids—critters that love to eat kohlrabi leaves—and other plants in your veggie garden. 

Chamomile also releases certain chemical compounds into the soil, helping your kohlrabi grow faster and more bountifully while boosting their flavor compounds too!

It’s easy to see why this fragrant herb is highly recommended as a companion plant for kohlrabi in your garden. Chamomile plants also produce delightful little flowers, adding a pop of prettiness to your garden space. 

5. Dill

If you want to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden, benefitting your kohlrabi and other vegetables, dill needs to be on your companion planting list.

Dill also lures predatory ladybugs to its vicinity, protecting your kohlrabi from these invasive pests that love to eat its bountiful leaves. 

Plus, when grown together, dill enhances the flavor of your kohlrabi. With dill as a companion plant, you’re adding some tasty diversity to your vegetable garden.

It’s definitely worth considering planting dill alongside your kohlrabi crops!

6. Chives

Chives buddy up well with kohlrabi, attracting bees, which ensures that the kohlrabi gets proper pollination for healthy growth and abundant harvests.

Chives also have the added benefit of deterring deer from munching on your kohlrabi plants, keeping them safe from harm and from being trampled.

Like chamomile, chives can even enhance the flavor of kohlrabi, making it even tastier when you harvest it. The plus side?

You can add chives to your favorite German turnip meal! These non-competitive herbs are excellent companions in the garden and can provide multiple benefits to your crop of kohlrabi.

Plus, chives are easy to grow and care for, making them a great addition to any vegetable patch!

7. Rosemary

Rosemary is an excellent companion plant, not just for kohlrabi but for many plants in your garden. It has the ability to repel pests such as snails, slugs, aphids, moths, and beetles that can harm and munch on your kohlrabi and other plants in your garden.

By planting rosemary near your kohlrabi plants, you can protect them from harmful insects that commonly attack them.

The scent of rosemary alone is effective in deterring these pests, making it a valuable addition to your garden—and it helps that you’ll find the scent pleasant too!  

8. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the best companion plants for kohlrabi in your garden, serving as a natural deterrent against cabbage worms and whiteflies. These pests love kohlrabi crops—and many other vegetables!

Additionally, rhubarb provides much-needed shade for the tender, growing kohlrabi plants, helping them thrive in hot weather conditions.

Young plants are sensitive to heat, especially kohlrabi, so the shade provided by rhubarb can be a lifesaver!

Rhubarb is known to encourage successful kohlrabi growth and is highly recommended as a companion plant for this Brassica crop.

9. Cucumbers

cucumber vegetables growing on a healthy green plant

Cucumbers are another crunchy vegetable that are excellent companions for kohlrabi. Cucumbers provide shade for the heat-sensitive kohlrabi plants, and they also help control garden pests like ants, mites, and moths.

By growing cucumbers alongside kohlrabi, you can create a thriving garden with protection from pests—and these vegetables enjoy a similar soil composition, making it easier to care for them as part of the same patch. 

10. Alliums

Alliums, such as onions and garlic, are excellent companion plants for kohlrabi. These plants have strong scents that confuse and deter garden pests, making them a natural pest deterrent for your kohlrabi crop.

In addition to keeping pests at bay, alliums can also attract beneficial insects like pollinators and predatory wasps. These helpful bugs will protect your kohlrabi from invasive pests, ensuring a healthy harvest.

Chives and garlic are specifically recommended as companions for kohlrabi. With the added benefits of pest prevention and beneficial insect attraction, adding alliums to your garden is a smart choice when growing kohlrabi.

11. Thyme

Thyme repels insects like cabbage worms and works well with rosemary to keep pests away from your kohlrabi plants. Thyme also helps prevent fungi and bacteria from attacking kohlrabi, ensuring healthier plants.

Additionally, when grown with kohlrabi, thyme can deter pests, provide much-needed shade, and enhance soil nutrition.

The combination of thyme and rosemary can work wonders in repelling snails, slugs, aphids, moths, and beetles that might otherwise feast on your kohlrabi crops.

Another benefit of having thyme in your garden is that it attracts beneficial insects like predatory ladybugs that help protect the kohlrabi from invasive pests.

Plants to Avoid Planting with Kohlrabi

Avoid planting pumpkins, tomatoes, fennel, strawberries, broccoli, and kale alongside kohlrabi due to their incompatible growth patterns and the potential for pest and disease issues.

1. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are not recommended as companion plants for kohlrabi. While both belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, planting pumpkins near kohlrabi can lead to overcrowding and competition for soil nutrients.

Additionally, pumpkins tend to spread out and block sunlight, which can negatively impact the growth of kohlrabi. It is best to avoid planting them together in your garden to ensure optimal growing conditions and harvests for both crops.

2. Tomatoes

Planting tomatoes near your kohlrabi can have negative effects on both crops. Tomatoes are susceptible to pests like whiteflies and aphids, which can easily spread to nearby kohlrabi plants.

Additionally, both tomatoes and kohlrabi require similar soil conditions and nutrients, leading to competition for resources.

To ensure healthy growth and prevent pest infestations, it’s best to keep these two plants separate in your vegetable garden.

3. Fennel

Fennel is not a recommended companion plant for kohlrabi. Growing fennel alongside kohlrabi can lead to competition for resources and have negative effects on the growth of both plants.

It’s best to avoid planting these two together in your garden to ensure optimal growth and health for both plants.

4. Strawberries

Strawberries and kohlrabi will compete for space, sunlight, and nutrients in the soil. This competition can negatively affect the growth of both crops.

To ensure optimal growth for both strawberries and kohlrabi, it is best to separate them in different areas of your garden or consider planting them at different times during the growing season.

By doing so, you will give each plant enough space to thrive and maximize their yields.

5. Broccoli and Kale

These two leafy vegetables are bad kohlrabi companion plants. This is because these crops can compete for resources, such as soil nutrients and sunlight.

Planting them close together may lead to overcrowding and could hinder the growth of all three vegetables. It’s best to give each plant enough space to thrive and avoid any negative effects on their growth.

So, if you’re planning a kohlrabi-filled plot, it’s wise to keep broccoli and kale in a separate area of your garden.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right companion plants for your kohlrabi can greatly benefit your garden.

By planting celery, nasturtiums, bean plants, chamomile, and other compatible crops alongside your kohlrabi, you can deter pests, improve soil nutrition, and enhance the flavor of your harvests.

So don’t hesitate to experiment with different combinations and create a thriving garden full of healthy and delicious crops. Happy gardening!

FAQs About Companion Plants For Kohlrabi

Where should I plant kohlrabi in my garden?

Plant kohlrabi in well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade, ensuring it has enough space to develop its bulbous stem.

Can you plant peppers with kohlrabi?

Yes, you can plant peppers with kohlrabi. They are generally compatible companions in the garden.

What should not be planted near kohlrabi?

Keep kohlrabi away from other members of the Brassica family, such as cabbage and cauliflower, to prevent potential cross-contamination of pests and diseases.

What month do you plant kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is typically planted in early spring or late summer, around March to April or August to September, depending on your climate.

How late can you plant kohlrabi?

You can plant kohlrabi as a late-season crop up to about 6-8 weeks before the first expected frost date.

How many kohlrabi do you get per plant?

Each kohlrabi plant usually produces one bulbous stem, which can vary in size but typically yields a single harvestable kohlrabi.

How many kohlrabi should I plant?

The number of kohlrabi plants depends on factors like your family’s consumption, available garden space, and desired yield.

A general guideline is to space them about 6-8 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart.

Can I grow kohlrabi without any companion plants?

Yes, you can certainly grow kohlrabi without companion plants. However, incorporating compatible companions can enhance the overall health and productivity of your garden while reducing the need for chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

Can kohlrabi be grown with other vegetables?

Yes, kohlrabi can be grown with a variety of other vegetables such as turnips, Brussels sprouts, celery, and chives.

How can I keep pests away from my kohlrabi plants?

To keep pests away from your kohlrabi plants, you can introduce companion plants that repel pests, use organic pest control methods, and regularly inspect your plants for signs of pest damage.

Can kohlrabi be grown from seed?

Yes, kohlrabi can be grown from seed. It is relatively easy to grow from seed, and you can start them indoors prior to planting them in your garden.

What are the different types of kohlrabi?

The different types of kohlrabi include green kohlrabi, purple kohlrabi, white kohlrabi, and hybrid varieties.

How far apart should I plant my kohlrabi plants?

It is recommended to plant kohlrabi plants about 12 inches apart to allow enough space for them to grow. Overcrowding can lead to stunted growth.

Can I grow kohlrabi in containers?

Yes, you can grow kohlrabi in containers as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate the root system and has proper drainage.