11 Best Pepper Companion Plants That Boost Harvests

If you’re looking to boost your pepper yield and improve your garden’s overall health, understanding companion planting is important. Companion planting is a scientifically-backed strategy that uses plant partnerships for increased productivity.

In this post we’re going to cover the ideal pepper companion plants, offering practical tips on pest deterrence, soil improvement, and efficient usage of garden space.

You’ll also learn about some of the best companion plants for peppers, the worst plants you should avoid, and how to get the most out of your garden this season.

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with basil, chives, carrots, onions, sunflowers, and sweet alyssum can significantly enhance the growth and yield of pepper plants.
  • These companion plants provide various benefits such as natural pest deterrence, improved soil health, efficient use of garden space, and increased overall productivity.
  • Selecting the right companions for peppers can attract beneficial insects that feed on pests threatening pepper plants while deterring harmful ones.
  • Smart interplanting strategies can maximize garden space without sacrificing other crops and create a resilient ecosystem that supports healthier pepper plants.

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Understanding Companion Planting

companion planting peppers

Companion planting creates a smart, healthy garden ecosystem. It’s a seasoned gardening strategy that pairs specific plants known to benefit each other in one way or another when planted close together.

This symbiotic relationship can enhance growth, increase yield, protect against pests, or improve soil conditions—leading to more robust and flourishing pepper plants.

This planting method encourages biodiversity where companion plants provide diverse functions for increased productivity and reduced pest damage.

For example, tall sunflowers can act as windbreaks to protect smaller crops like peppers from harsh winds while their nectar attracts beneficial insects that keep the unwanted ones at bay.

Similarly, onions and chives naturally deter aphids—a common pepper plant nemesis, protecting your valuable crops from harmful viruses.

It’s this harmonious interaction between different species that sets companion planting apart as a tool of resilience every gardener should add to their repertoire.

Benefits of Pepper Companion Planting

Companion planting offers several benefits for peppers, including increased yield, improved soil health, efficient use of garden space, and natural pest deterrents. Knowing which plants pair the best with peppers will help you see better results this season.

Increased Yield

Companion planting peppers with the right plants can significantly boost your harvest yield. The strategy involves selecting partner plants that encourage each other’s growth, improve nutrient absorption, and create a harmonious ecosystem within your garden bed.

Basil, for example, deters thrips which are known to damage pepper crops. Similarly, flowering herbs from the carrot family such as dill or fennel attract predatory insects that feed on pests threatening pepper health.

By enhancing plant protection and ensuring optimal nutrient intake, companion planting helps in not just maintaining but increasing yields of flavorful peppers season after season.

Using trap crops like hot cherry peppers or Pak Choi also safeguards bell peppers against pests like flea beetles and pepper maggot flies by drawing these destructive creatures away from your main crop.

This strategic placement reduces plant stress leading to healthier plants better equipped for growth, which produces more peppers in your garden.

Through this science-based companion planting strategy for vegetable gardens, you could expect an abundant harvest of plump and vibrant peppers year-round!

Improved Soil Health

Healthy soil is the cornerstone of successful gardening, and companion planting can significantly contribute to this desired state. Utilizing certain companions like cowpeas not only boosts your pepper plant’s growth but also enriches the soil by fixing nitrogen.

As a legume, cowpeas convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, enhancing the overall fertility of your garden beds. Planting herbs such as chives, oregano, or parsley near peppers offers another layer of benefit.

These culinary favorites improve soil structure while releasing essential nutrients for their neighboring plant’s benefit.

Similarly, edible flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums multitask by deterring pests and improving soil health with their high biomass and root exudates that feed beneficial microbial life in the ground.

Efficient Use of Garden Space

One of the important benefits of companion planting for peppers is the efficient use of garden space. By strategically interplanting your pepper plants with compatible companions, you can maximize your garden’s productivity and make the most out of limited space.

For example, planting basil or chives alongside your peppers not only enhances their flavor but also acts as a natural pest deterrent.

Additionally, carrots and onions can be planted between rows of peppers to utilize space efficiently and create a diverse growing environment that supports healthy plant growth.

With smart companion planting, you can optimize your garden layout and achieve more fruits without sacrificing precious space for other crops.

Natural Pest Deterrent

Planting companion plants alongside peppers not only enhances the overall health of your garden but also acts as a natural pest deterrent.

By strategically selecting certain plants, you can create an environment that repels pests and reduces the need for chemical pesticides.

For instance, onions, scallions, garlic, and chives are excellent companions for peppers because they deter green peach aphids – common pests that can damage pepper plants.

Additionally, basil is another effective companion plant for deterring thrips – small insects that feed on pepper leaves.

By incorporating these natural pest deterrents into your garden, you can protect your pepper plants without relying on harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Characteristics of Peppers

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Mature Size
Varies by variety; typically 1-3 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Well-draining loamy soil; pH 6.0-6.8
Sunlight Needs
Full sun
Temperature Tolerance
Warm-weather crop, sensitive to frost; thrives in USDA zones 9-11
Growth Habit
Annual or perennial, depending on variety
Flowering Period
Flower Color
White or yellow
Foliage Characteristics
Green, simple leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing)
Pruning and Maintenance
Support may be needed for taller varieties; prune to improve air circulation and shape
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, pepper maggots, flea beetles; bacterial spot, powdery mildew
Companion Planting
Basil, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and other vegetables
Edible Parts
Edible fruits (peppers)
Wildlife Attraction
Pepper flowers attract pollinators like bees
Special Care Instructions
Provide consistent moisture, especially during flowering and fruiting; protect from strong winds

6 Best Companion Plants for Peppers

pepper companion plants

It’s important you pair the best plants with your peppers so that you give your garden the best chance of success. Finding companion plants to grow with peppers might get a little overwhelming because there are many.

Here is a detailed list of some of the ideal companion plants for peppers.

1. Basil

Basil is a fantastic companion plant for peppers, providing both practical benefits and culinary advantages. When planted around pepper plants, basil acts as a natural pest repellent, deterring harmful insects and attracting beneficial ones like bees and butterflies.

The aromatic oils in basil also enhance the flavor of peppers, making them even more delicious when harvested together.

Additionally, basil helps improve soil health by increasing nutrient uptake and reducing weed growth.

By incorporating basil into your pepper garden, you can create a thriving ecosystem that not only boosts yields but also adds beauty to your space.

2. Chives

Chives are another great companion plant for peppers, and they offer many benefits to your garden.

These versatile herbs not only add a delicious onion-like flavor to nearby plants but also help deter green peach aphids from settling on your pepper plants and potentially transmitting harmful plant viruses.

By planting chives alongside your peppers, you can create an environment that is both visually appealing and beneficial for their growth. So don’t forget to include these flavorful and pest-repelling chives in your garden plans!

3. Carrots

Carrots are not only delicious and nutritious, but they also make excellent companion plants for peppers. When planted alongside pepper plants, carrots provide several benefits that can boost your pepper harvest.

For starters, carrots act as living mulch, shading out weeds and reducing the need for constant weeding in your garden beds.

Additionally, their deep root systems help improve soil structure and increase moisture retention, which is beneficial for both carrot and pepper growth.

Carrots also attract beneficial insects such as predatory wasps and parasitic flies that feed on aphids and other pests that may plague your peppers.

Plus, planting carrots around peppers maximizes space in your garden by making efficient use of available areas between plant rows or pathways.

4. Onions

Onions are fantastic companion plants for peppers due to their ability to deter green peach aphids and prevent the transmission of plant viruses. By planting onions alongside your pepper plants, you can help protect them from these destructive pests.

Onions emit a strong odor that repels aphids, making it less likely for them to infest your pepper plants. Additionally, research has shown that onions can also help reduce the risk of viral infections in peppers caused by aphid feeding.

By incorporating onions into your garden bed or container where you grow peppers, you’ll not only enhance their growth but also decrease the chances of pest-related damage.

5. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are not only a beautiful addition to your garden, but they also make excellent companion plants for peppers.

These vibrant flowers provide nectar and pollen that attract beneficial insects like bees and predatory wasps, which in turn feed on pests that may attack your pepper plants.

What’s even more impressive is that sunflowers produce extra floral nectar, even when they’re not in bloom, ensuring a steady supply of food for these helpful insects throughout the growing season.

Planting sunflowers alongside your peppers creates a visually stunning display and also improves pest control and boosts the health and yield of your pepper harvest.

6. Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is an absolute gem when it comes to companion planting for peppers.

Not only does this delicate flower attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, syrphid flies, ladybugs, and lacewings, but it also acts as a natural pest deterrent against common pepper pests like aphids, whiteflies, and thrips.

By interplanting sweet alyssum with your pepper plants, you can create a diverse and resilient growing environment that leads to healthier and more productive pepper plants.

3 Pepper Companion Plants That Deter Pests

companion plants for peppers

Another great benefit of companion planting is the ability to deter unwanted pests. Plants like onions, scallions, and garlic are excellent companion plants for peppers as they effectively deter green peach aphids.

Here are a few more that might help.

1. Onions, Scallions, and Garlic for Green Peach Aphids

Onions, scallions, and garlic are not just flavorful additions to your meals; they also serve as fantastic companions for your pepper plants.

These alliums emit a pungent aroma that repels green peach aphids – those pesky little insects that can spread plant viruses.

By planting onions, scallions, or garlic near your pepper plants, you create an invisible shield against these unwanted pests. Plus, it adds a delightful layer of flavor complexity to your garden bed!

2. Basil for Thrips

Basil is an essential companion plant when it comes to protecting your pepper plants from the damaging effects of thrips. These tiny insects can wreak havoc on your peppers, causing stunted growth and deformed leaves.

However, by planting basil near your peppers, you can naturally deter thrips and keep them at bay.

Basil’s strong aroma masks the scent of the peppers, making it difficult for thrips to locate their favorite prey.

In addition to its pest-repellent properties, basil also adds a flavorful punch to many culinary dishes.

Not only will you be controlling pests in your garden but you’re also enhancing your kitchen creations with fresh basil leaves straight from your backyard!

3. Nasturtiums for Aphids

Nasturtiums are a fantastic companion plant for peppers because they attract aphids and divert them away from your precious pepper plants.

These vibrant flowers serve as a sacrificial option, luring aphids to feast on their leaves instead of damaging your peppers.

By doing so, nasturtiums act as natural pest control, protecting your pepper harvest from these pesky invaders. Including some beautiful nasturtiums in your garden is a great way to keep aphids and other harmful bugs at bay!

2 Pepper Plant Companions That Improve Soil and Pollination

Maintaining healthy soil is crucial to plant growth. Cowpeas, for example, are excellent companion plants for peppers as they improve soil health through nitrogen fixation and enhance pollination by attracting bumble bees.

1. Cowpeas for Nitrogen

Cowpeas are great companion plants for peppers because they have the amazing ability to improve soil health and provide an essential nutrient – nitrogen.

These legumes are known as “nitrogen fixers” due to their unique symbiotic relationship with bacteria in their root nodules.

The bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, enriching the soil with this vital nutrient.

By planting cowpeas alongside your pepper plants, you’ll be ensuring that they have access to an ample supply of nitrogen throughout the growing season.

This boost in nitrogen promotes healthy growth and vibrant foliage, ultimately leading to larger and more productive pepper harvests.

Plus, cowpeas also serve as a living mulch, protecting the soil from erosion and weed growth.

To maximize the benefits of cowpeas as companion plants for peppers, simply interplant them throughout your garden beds or grow them in between rows of peppers.

As they grow, these versatile legumes will naturally release nitrogen into the soil, creating a sustainable and self-sufficient system within your vegetable garden.

2. Large or Hooded Flowers for Bumble Bees

Companion planting with large or hooded flowers can be a game-changer when it comes to enhancing the pollination of your pepper plants. Bumble bees, known for their excellent pollination skills, are particularly drawn to these types of flowers.

Flowers like monkshood, lupines, snapdragons, and certain legumes have unique structures that require bumble bees to open them up and access their nectar.

Additionally, broad flowers with a heavy center such as zinnias, cone flowers, tithonia, and cosmos also catch the attention of bumble bees.

These busy buzzers perform what is called “buzz pollination” by vibrating their flight muscles near the flower’s reproductive parts – effectively aiding in fertilizing pepper flowers.

To make sure your peppers receive ample pollination support from bumble bees, consider planting a variety of these bumble bee-friendly flowers around your garden beds or in containers.

6 Plants to Avoid Planting Near Peppers

bell pepper companion plants

Planting certain plants near peppers can have negative effects on their growth and health. As a result, don’t plant peppers next to these plants if you want optimal pepper harvests.

I have included a list of plants as well as the potential dangers of planting incompatible crops with peppers.

1. Leeks

Leeks can be a valuable addition to your garden, but when it comes to companion planting with peppers, it’s important to keep them apart. Leeks serve as trap crops for carrot flies and can actually attract these pests away from your pepper plants.

By growing leeks in separate areas of the garden, you can help protect your peppers from potential damage caused by carrot fly infestations.

Plus, leeks don’t take up much space and can fill in empty spots in the garden while providing a natural deterrent for these unwanted insects.

So remember, while leeks have their benefits, it’s best to keep them away from your pepper plants for optimal growth and harvest.

2. Radishes

Radishes are not recommended to be planted near peppers as they can disrupt the growth and development of pepper plants. Radishes belong to the brassica family, and planting them close to peppers can attract unwanted pests such as flea beetles that can cause damage to both radishes and peppers.

Instead, it is best to keep radishes in a separate area of your garden away from your pepper plants. This way, you can ensure that both crops thrive without any interference or risk of pest infestation.

By avoiding planting radishes near peppers, you can create an optimal environment for each crop to flourish independently.

Focus on providing proper care and attention tailored specifically for each plant’s needs so they can produce bountiful harvests without any complications or setbacks.

3. Beets

Beets may be a tasty and nutritious vegetable, but when it comes to companion planting with peppers, it’s best to keep them apart. Planting beets near peppers can potentially hinder the growth and health of your pepper plants.

To maximize productivity and ensure optimal results for your peppers, it’s important to consider compatible companion plants.

While beets have their own benefits, they are not recommended as suitable partners for your pepper plants.

4. Corn

Corn is not recommended as a companion plant for peppers. While both crops belong to the nightshade family, they have different growth habits and nutrient requirements that can result in soil mismatch.

Pepper plants require adequate sun and nutrients. Corn’s tall structure shades out pepper plants, reducing their access to sunlight. Additionally, corn has extensive root systems that compete with peppers for nutrients and water.

Planting corn near peppers can lead to stunted growth and reduced yields for both crops.

It is best to keep these two vegetables separate in your garden beds to ensure optimal performance and harvest from each plant.

5. Beans

Beans, such as fava beans, should not be planted near your peppers due to soil mismatches. Although companion planting offers many benefits, it’s important to consider the specific needs of each plant.

Beans and peppers have different preferences when it comes to soil conditions, with beans preferring slightly acidic soil while peppers thrive in more neutral pH levels.

This difference can lead to nutrient imbalances and hinder the growth of both plants.

Therefore, it is best to keep beans and peppers separate in your garden for optimal results.

6. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and peppers may be beloved members of the nightshade family, but when it comes to companion planting, they can actually cause some compatibility issues. It’s best to keep these two plants at a distance from each other in your garden beds.

The reason behind this lies in their susceptibility to similar diseases and pests. For example, both tomatoes and peppers are vulnerable to bacterial spots and tomato spotted wilt virus.

By keeping them apart, you can reduce the risk of cross-contamination and protect your plants against potential infections.

So while tomatoes and peppers make great ingredients for salsa or pasta sauce, it’s best to give them their own separate spaces in the garden.

Final Thoughts

Companion planting is a science-based strategy that can significantly boost your pepper harvest. By choosing the right companion plants, you can improve soil health, deter pests naturally, and increase overall yields.

Planting basil, chives, carrots, onions, sunflowers, and sweet alyssum alongside your peppers can enhance their growth and provide numerous benefits.

Remember to avoid planting leeks, radishes, beets, corn, beans, and tomatoes near your pepper plants to prevent potential issues.

With these ideal planting companions in mind and the proper care techniques detailed in this guide – you’re well on your way to a bountiful pepper harvest!

If you’re looking for more information on companion planting, check out our comprehensive companion planting guide.

FAQs About What To Grow With Peppers

What Plants Grow Well With Peppers?

Some ideal companion plants for growing peppers include basil, parsley, marigolds, onions, and tomatoes.

These plants can help deter pests, attract beneficial insects, and enhance the overall health of your pepper plants. Some of the best companion plants for peppers include basil, squash, hot cherry peppers, and tomatoes.

These plants can improve the flavor of peppers and benefit their growth.

What Should You Not Plant Near Peppers?

When it comes to planting peppers, there are a few companion plants that should be avoided due to potential negative effects on their growth and health.

Peppers do not like to be planted near other nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants), fennel, brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale), and beans.

Can You Plant Peppers And Cucumbers Together?

Yes, you can plant peppers and cucumbers together, however, you will need to be mindful of each plant’s requirements.

For example, cucumbers have sprawling vines which are great as a living mulch, but if not controlled, could hinder your pepper’s growth.

What should I plant next to hot peppers?

There are several great options. For example, you can plant basil next to hot peppers to repel unwanted pests like aphids. You can also plant marigolds next to hot peppers to help deter pests and attract pollinators.

You can even plant carrots next to hot peppers to help improve the soil and plant health. 

Can I plant basil with peppers?

Yes, basil makes a great companion plant for peppers. Planting basil near your pepper plants can help improve their flavor.

What are the benefits of companion plants for pepper plants?

Companion plants for pepper plants can help improve the flavor of peppers, enhance their growth, and provide natural pest control.

Can I plant tomatoes and peppers together?

While you can plant tomatoes and peppers together, it is not recommended. Because they are both part of the nightshade family they tend to compete for nutrients in the soil and attract similar pests and diseases.

There are better alternatives that make great companion plants.

What is the role of mulch in planting peppers with companion plants?

Using green mulch or organic mulch around your pepper plants and companion plants can help conserve moisture, suppress weed growth, and provide a favorable microclimate for their growth.

You can also look at companion plants that act as living mulch to help control weeds.

Can companion plants for pepper plants deter pests?

Yes, some companion plants can help deter pests that are harmful to pepper plants. For example, planting basil near pepper plants can repel squash bugs.

Can peppers be planted alone without any companion plants?

While peppers can be planted alone, planting them with companion plants can provide numerous benefits such as improved flavor, enhanced growth, and natural pest control.