The 10 Best Leek Companion Plants (And 3 to Avoid)

Ever noticed how some plants in your garden thrive while others languish? You’re not alone; I’ve seen this too. After much research and observation, I discovered the secret to healthier plants and abundant yields—companion planting.

Some amazing companion plants for leeks include carrots, beets, strawberries, rosemary, and more. I have included a full list below.

In this article, I’ll share the best leek companion plants to enhance growth, deter pests, and boost flavor. Ready for a thriving garden?

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with leeks can help repel pests such as aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage worms.
  • Certain companion plants like carrots, parsnips, chili peppers, and beets can improve the flavor of leeks.
  • Planting strawberries and apple trees near leeks can provide added protection against pests for all three crops.

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The Purpose of Companion Planting for Leeks

leek companion plants - close up of bundles of freshly-picked, vibrant light-green leeks

Companion planting is crucial for leeks as it helps to repel pests, enhance nutrients, improve soil quality, and develop their unique flavor.

Leeks Repel Harmful Pests

Companion planting can help control pests in your garden. The distinct odor of leeks naturally deters harmful insects such as aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage worms from invading your garden and harming your beloved plants.

Pairing them with other plants can essentially create a protective shield around your crop. For instance, leeks can help prevent apple scabs and repel pests from apple trees when planted nearby.

Marigolds also make excellent companions for leeks due to their pest-repelling properties. However, not all plants are beneficial partners for leeks. Beans, peas, black walnut trees, and fennel should be avoided as they do not work well together.

By selecting the right companions for your leek plants, you can naturally reduce the number of damaging pests in your garden without resorting to harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Nutrient Enhancement

Planting leeks with companion plants is a simple way to increase nutrients in your garden. Certain plants can improve soil quality by introducing essential nutrients and providing nourishment for surrounding vegetation.

For instance, leeks and strawberries grow really well together because strawberries release critical minerals into the ground and also benefit from the pest-repelling properties of leeks.

Rosemary and marigold don’t just bring color and variety to your garden; they also provide chemical compounds that enhance nearby soil composition.

If you grow leeks near rosemary and marigold, the biochemicals released by these beneficial blooms enrich the earth beneath them, promoting healthier growth for all their plant neighbors—including leeks.

Soil Improvement

Improving the soil is a central pillar of successful gardening. Leeks, in particular, play an essential role in soil enhancement due to their deep roots, which help break up heavy soils and enable deeper penetration of water and nutrients.

The presence of leeks will help increase the level of organic matter within the soil, leading to improved structure and fertility.

By incorporating leeks and other beneficial companions into your garden design, you facilitate robust cycles of growth and regeneration beneath your veggies that continue to feed them throughout their growing phase.

Every plant benefits, and the leeks do too!

Flavor Development

Companion planting isn’t just about pest control and soil improvement. It can also enhance the flavor of your leeks! Certain companion plants, such as carrots and parsnips, when grown in the same patch as leeks, can actually improve their taste.

By choosing the right companions for your leeks, you’re not only benefiting from their pest-repelling qualities and nutrient enhancement abilities but also from the taste of leeks that you harvest from your very own garden!

Best Companion Plants for Leeks

If you want to grow your own kitchen garden, I have good news for you. Some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables—carrots, parsnips, chili peppers, beets, strawberries, and apple trees—are just a few of the best vegetable and fruit companions for leeks.

Find out why these pairings work so well together in your garden.

1. Carrots

close up of healthy carrot growing in the ground near other carrots

Carrots make great companions for leeks. Not only do they repel onion flies and leek moths, but they can also enhance the flavor of your leeks when grown together. Planting leeks and carrots together can help deter carrot rust flies as well.

Like leeks, carrots prefer well-draining soil and sunny conditions, making their care requirements easier and a two-for-one deal! 

Take advantage of these pest-deterrent properties by interplanting carrots with your leeks and enjoy healthier crops as a result.

2. Parsnips

Parsnips are one of the best companion plants for leeks. They are a great addition to your garden as they can help repel pests and improve the flavor of your leeks.

When you plant parsnips near your leeks, they can attract beneficial predatory insects that control pesky pests like onion flies and carrot flies.

Additionally, planting parsnips alongside leeks can enhance soil health by bringing nutrients up from deeper layers of the soil.

This benefits the parsnips while also providing a nutrient boost to the neighboring leeks.

Moreover, parsnips help in controlling weeds by acting as living mulch around your leek plants. If you’re looking for an excellent companion plant for leeks and other alliums, look no further than parsnip! 

3. Chili Peppers

Chili peppers are excellent companion plants for leeks because they help deter pests like aphids and ants. By planting chili peppers near your leeks, you can provide them with natural pest protection.

Not only that, but chili peppers also benefit other crops, such as sweet peppers and tomato plants, when planted nearby. Their spicy nature acts as a natural repellent, keeping unwanted insects at bay.

Boost the health and productivity of your leek plants by adding some fiery chili peppers to your garden bed.

4. Beets

Beets and leeks share similar care preferences, making them excellent garden companions. The added bonus? Beets help deter pests and also bring beneficial nutrients up from deep in the soil to benefit the leek plants.

In fact, planting beets alongside carrots and leeks can create a harmonious trio of companion plants that support each other’s growth. 

So if you’re looking to create a thriving garden bed with healthy and pest-free leeks, consider adding some beets to your planting scheme!

5. Strawberries

close up of juicy-looking strawberries growing on a vine

Strawberries are great companion plants for leeks. Not only do they add a touch of sweetness to your harvest, but they also offer some great benefits.

Leeks can help keep many strawberry pests away, protecting them from common insects that can damage or destroy the crop.

If you plant strawberries alongside your leeks, you’ll enjoy delicious berries, while the scent of leeks keeps away unwanted pests. It’s a win-win situation for both plants!

6. Apple Trees

Apple trees are not only delicious but also make great companions for leeks in your garden. When planted alongside leeks, apple trees can benefit from their presence in multiple ways.

Leeks repel pests like whiteflies, cabbage white butterflies, aphids, flea beetles, and ants—all of which can harm apple trees.

So, why not consider interplanting some leeks with your beloved apple trees? They’ll both thrive together and contribute to a healthier garden ecosystem.

Plant Leeks Near These Herbs

Rosemary, thyme, and chamomile are excellent herb companions for leeks, as they help repel pests, improve the taste of leeks, and can all be used for culinary dishes.

1. Rosemary and Thyme

Rosemary and thyme are not only delicious herbs for cooking—they also make excellent companions for leeks. Planting rosemary and thyme near your leeks can enhance their flavor and attract beneficial insects like bees to the garden.

These herbs also have natural pest-repelling properties that can help protect your leeks from common pests.

Rosemary and thyme companion planting is a great way to improve the growth and yield of your leeks while adding a delightful aroma to your garden.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is a lovely herb to grow with leeks that will help improve their flavor. More importantly, chamomile can help reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial diseases in your leek crop.

This is especially important as these types of diseases can wreak havoc on the health and yields of your leeks. Additionally, planting chamomile alongside your leeks can enhance their flavor, making them even more delicious when it comes time for harvest.

Another advantage of chamomile is its ability to attract helpful insects to your garden.

When planted alongside other leek-friendly herbs like rosemary and thyme, chamomile acts as a magnet for these helpful bugs, which will prey on common pests that plague leeks.

Flowering Leek Companion Plants

Nasturtiums and marigolds are two excellent choices for flowering companions to plant alongside your leeks.

1. Nasturtiums

pretty orange nasturtium flowers growing amongst their rich green leaves

Nasturtiums are one of the best plants to grow with leeks. These vibrant flowers add a gorgeous riot of color to your garden, while their intense scent repels pests like aphids and ants that can harm your leeks.

Plus, their bright colors attract beneficial insects like bees, which increases pollination and leads to higher vegetable, fruit, and flower yields. 

Additionally, these flowering companions improve soil health by adding organic matter and controlling weeds in the garden.

Consider planting some lovely nasturtiums around the leeks in your garden for a more beautiful and productive vegetable patch!

2. Marigolds

If you’re looking to add some color to your garden, marigolds should be your go-to. Fortunately, they are excellent companion plants for leeks too!

One of the main advantages of planting marigolds alongside leeks is that they can repel pests, including root-knot nematodes.

Both marigolds and leeks require full sun exposure and thrive in lean, moist, and well-draining soil, so make sure to provide these conditions for optimal growth. Their similar care requirements make this pairing even more of a no-brainer! 

By incorporating marigolds into your leek bed, you can enjoy their pest-repellent properties while adding a splash of cheery color to your garden.

Avoid Planting These Next To Leeks

Bad companions for leeks include beans, bush beans, and peas, as they can hinder each other’s growth due to competition for nutrients.

Asparagus is also not an ideal companion for leeks as they both prefer different soil conditions and may not thrive together.

1. Beans, Bush Beans & Peas

Beans, bush beans, and peas are not recommended as companion plants for leeks. This is because both leeks and beans release biochemicals that can inhibit each other’s growth.

The same chemical inhibition occurs between leeks and peas.

It’s best to avoid planting these crops together if you want to ensure optimal growth and yield for your leeks.

It’s always important to consider the interactions between different plants when planning your garden to maximize the benefits of companion planting.

2. Asparagus

Asparagus should not be planted with leeks, garlic, and onions as it will stunt their growth. Asparagus will also suffer being planted near any of these vegetables as they release substances into the soil that can inhibit its growth.

So if you’re planning to grow a delicious batch of leeks, it’s best to keep them away from your asparagus patch.

By avoiding this pairing, you’ll ensure that both your leeks and asparagus have the opportunity to thrive.

Final Thoughts

Companion planting is a valuable technique for any gardener looking to maximize their leek harvest. By strategically pairing leeks with compatible plants, you can repel pests, enhance nutrient content, and improve soil health.

Carrots, parsnips, chili peppers, strawberries, and aromatic herbs like rosemary and thyme are just a few examples of the best companions for leeks.

So get planting and enjoy the benefits of successful plant pairings in your garden!

FAQs About Companion Planting With Leeks

What not to plant next to leeks?

Avoid planting leeks near beans and peas, as these legumes might hinder leek growth due to their nitrogen-fixing ability, which can create an imbalance in nutrient availability.

What plants grow well with leeks?

Carrots, onions, and lettuce are great companions for leeks. Carrots and lettuce occupy different soil depths, while onions can help deter pests that might affect leeks.

Where is the best place to plant leeks?

Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil enriched with compost or organic matter to ensure optimal growth and development.

What is the best month to plant leeks?

For optimal growth, plant leeks in early spring, around March or April, or in late summer, around August or September, depending on your climate.

How far apart do leeks need to be planted?

Plant leeks about 6-8 inches apart in rows spaced 12-24 inches apart to provide enough room for their growth.

Can you plant celery and leeks together?

Yes, planting celery and leeks together is suitable as they have compatible growth habits and don’t tend to compete strongly for resources.

Are there any plants that should be avoided when planting alongside leeks?

It is generally recommended to avoid planting leeks near members of the allium family (such as chives or shallots) as they may compete for nutrients or space.

Additionally, certain brassicas like cabbage or broccoli may not be ideal companions as they have different growth requirements and could hinder each other’s development.

How should I arrange my companion plants in a garden bed with leeks?

To optimize companion planting with leeks, it is best to interplant them in rows or clusters rather than segregating them into separate sections.

This encourages mutual benefits like pest control and efficient use of resources while minimizing competition between neighboring crops.

Can leeks be grown near kale?

Yes, leeks can be grown near kale as they are compatible plants and can benefit from each other.

How do leeks help other plants?

Leeks help other plants by repelling pests that may harm them and by providing shade and support.

Can leeks grow near any plant?

Leeks can grow near many plants, but it is important to choose the right companion plants to ensure their successful growth.

Do leeks like to be planted near other alliums?

Leeks have similar care requirements to other plants in the allium family, making them easier to maintain when grown near each other.

However, they may attract harmful onion maggots to the bed, so ensure a sparse method of planting, and the use of clever companion plants to ward off these harmful pests. 

Do leeks need companion plants to grow?

While leeks don’t necessarily need companion plants to grow, planting them together with suitable companions can enhance their growth, taste, and overall health.

Can leeks improve the taste of other plants?

Leeks may improve the flavor of certain plants when grown nearby, creating a positive taste-enhancing effect.