10 Best Swiss Chard Companion Plants to Grow

Do you need help finding the perfect companions for your Swiss chard? I’ve been there, too, trying to figure out which plants can help my Swiss chard thrive better.

After studying and experimenting with several gardening sites, books, and personal experiences, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on pairing up this cool-season veggie.

In this article, I’ll let you know what to plant with Swiss chard, including onions, garlic, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, and marigolds.

I’ll also cover a few bad Swiss chard companion plants, such as mint and pole beans.

Get ready! You’re about to discover the secrets of successful companion planting that could boost your garden’s productivity, health, and flavor output. So, let’s dig in!

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting is growing various plants in the same proximity to improve natural pest-repellant properties, attract beneficial insects, and even improve the flavor of certain veggies and herbs.
  • Good companion plants for Swiss chard include onions, garlic, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collards, and marigolds. They repel pests and can even improve the taste of the Swiss chard.
  • Avoid planting mint and pole beans near Swiss chard because they don’t get along well and may compete for nutrients and space.

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Understanding Companion Planting

swiss chard companion plants - healthy, luscious Swiss chard plants growing in a container

Companion planting is an intelligent way to organize and plan your garden. Some plants drive pests away, while others make each other taste better.

A few even make their friends stronger and healthier thanks to their shade-providing properties or ability to make the soil more nutrient-rich.

Just think of it as making friends for your Swiss chard! Yes, as with people, some pairings work well, while others do not get along at all.

For example, onions are great pals with chard because they scare off bugs that can hurt them, but be careful—mint and pole beans should not be planted near Swiss chard in your garden.

Benefits of Companion Planting for Swiss Chard

Companion planting helps Swiss chard in many ways. Nearby plants that have been chosen carefully may repel pests or even improve the taste of the Swiss chard.

Plants like basil also attract helpful bugs that protect this leafy veggie.

The right plants may allow more space for roots to grow, too. Onion, garlic, and celery are star pals for Swiss chard because they chase away harmful pests.

These plant friends also share nutrients well in the soil.

Characteristics Of Swiss Chard

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil keep soil consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 12-24 inches tall, with a similar spread
Soil Requirements
Well-draining soil with good drainage; pH 6.0-7.0
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to partial shade
Temperature Tolerance
Cool-season crop, tolerant of frost; thrives in USDA zones 2-10
Growth Habit
Biennial (often grown as an annual)
Flowering Period
Second year of growth, if allowed to overwinter
Flower Color
Greenish-yellow or inconspicuous
Foliage Characteristics
Large, colorful, edible leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing) or transplants
Pruning and Maintenance
Regular harvesting of outer leaves to encourage new growth; remove flower stalks
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, leaf miners, slugs; leaf spot, downy mildew
Companion Planting
Beans, carrots, onions, and other vegetables
Edible Parts
Edible leaves and stems (used in culinary dishes)
Wildlife Attraction
Swiss chard can provide a habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators
Generally non-toxic; avoid consuming large quantities of oxalic acid-rich greens
Special Care Instructions
Protect from extreme heat; provide consistent moisture for tender growth

The Best Companion Plants for Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy vegetable that thrives when planted alongside vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, and garlic.

Discover more plants to enhance your Swiss chard’s growth and overall health.

1. Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are great pals for chard. These leafy green buds fend off pests like mealworms and caterpillars.

These pests can harm your crops, so planting Brussels sprouts nearby is smart! Plus, both plants like the same kind of soil that drains well.

They don’t mind sharing space in your garden, either. Together, they make a strong team against pest attacks while growing healthy and tasty veggies for you!

2. Cabbage

Cabbage serves as a good companion for chard. Planting cabbage next to your Swiss chard can provide natural protection against pests and help retain moisture in the soil.

Your Swiss chard leaves will also taste better when grown alongside cabbage. Since cabbage belongs to the same family as chard, it offers many benefits for its growth.

So, don’t forget to include cabbage in your garden if you’re cultivating Swiss chard!

3. Collards

healthy new collard plant growing in the ground

Collards are a great companion plant for Swiss chard. They belong to the same vegetable family and work well together in the garden.

Collards add some height and provide shade for the chard plants, which helps keep them cool during hot weather.

This can prevent bolting and extend their growing season. Additionally, collards attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings that eat pests like aphids and caterpillars, helping to protect both plants from insect damage.

By planting collards near your Swiss chard, you can create a thriving and healthy garden environment for both plants to thrive.

4. Garlic

Garlic is a great companion plant for Swiss chard because it helps keep certain pests away from your garden.

When planted near Swiss chard, garlic is a natural pest deterrent, keeping unwanted insects at bay.

The good news is that Swiss chard and garlic get along well! Additionally, planting garlic alongside chard can improve its flavor considerably.

Teaming these two up means added pest-repelling benefits and much tastier greens!

Another advantage of growing garlic with Swiss chard is that it attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies to your garden.

These pollinators help ensure healthy growth for both plants.

5. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a great companion plant for Swiss chard. It belongs to the same family as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, which can help repel pests that attack chard.

Kohlrabi also has shallow roots that won’t compete with Swiss chard for nutrients in the soil.

By planting them together, you can make the most of your garden space and increase your harvest output. So, if you’re growing Swiss chard, consider planting some kohlrabi nearby!

6. Marigolds

Marigolds attract helpful bugs to our garden and can keep away pests. Marigolds also enhance the flavor of Swiss chard, making it even more delicious.

These flowers protect beetles and other insects that might harm our plants. Marigolds have a unique ability—they can repel nematodes, tiny worms that can damage plant roots.

You can create a healthier and more productive garden by planting marigolds alongside Swiss chard.

7. Onions

Onions are a great companion plant for Swiss chard. Their pungent smell chases pests away, offering a natural form of pest control that benefits all the surrounding plants, including chard!

Onions are easy to grow and can be planted directly into the ground or in containers if you have limited space.

Their ability to repel pests makes them one of the top choices as a companion plant for Swiss chard.

Why not give onions a try in your garden? They will benefit your Swiss chard and other plants nearby while adding flavor to your meals!

8. Peas

closeup of a pea pod growing on a vine - companion plants for swiss chard

Peas are a fantastic companion plant for Swiss chard because they help boost nutrients in the soil by adding nitrogen.

This nutrient is essential for the growth of Swiss chard, so having peas nearby can help make your chard plants healthier.

Another advantage of planting peas with Swiss chard is that it can enhance the flavor of the chard, making it even more delicious.

Peas attract helpful insects like bees, which are excellent pollinators and can improve overall garden productivity.

If you’re looking for a companion plant for your Swiss chard, consider adding peas to your garden!

9. Peppermint

Peppermint is an excellent companion plant for Swiss chard. It helps keep pests away, which can harm your chard’s abundant leaves.

You create a natural pest deterrent by planting peppermint near your Swiss chard.

Peppermint also attracts beneficial insects to your garden, like bees and ladybugs, that promote a healthy ecosystem.

These helpful bugs can help pollinate your plants and eat harmful pests.

So, planting peppermint alongside Swiss chard is a great way to ensure optimal growth and health for both plants.

Peppermint has the added benefit of repelling insects such as moths, spider mites, beetles, and even aphids!

10. Radish

Radish is a top companion plant for Swiss chard. It helps speed up the production and maturity of Swiss chard, which means you can harvest it sooner.

Radishes protect Swiss chard from bugs, bacterial infections, and soil nutrient deficiencies.

By planting radishes with Swiss chard, you can increase the quality and quantity of your harvests.

So, go ahead and give radishes a try in your garden—they’ll be a great partner for your Swiss chard!

Avoid Growing These Plants With Swiss Chard

Avoid planting these plants near Swiss chard:

  • Mint and pole beans
  • Beets
  • Melons, strawberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, spinach, sunflowers, and corn

Things to Remember About Swiss Chard Companion Planting

bunch of healthy leafy green vegetables including Swiss chard

I get a lot of questions about companion planting for Swiss chard, so I wanted to address some of the most common ones.

One question that often arises is whether Swiss chard can be grown alone or needs companion plants.

The answer is that Swiss chard can be grown alone and with other plants, but certain companion plants can benefit its growth.

Another frequently asked question is which plants make good companions for Swiss chard. Onions, garlic, and celery are excellent choices as they help repel pests that may attack your chard.

Basil is another good companion because it improves the flavor of the chard and attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

However, not all plants get along well with Swiss chard. Mint and pole beans should be avoided, as they can compete for nutrients and space in your garden.

Another question I often hear is, what other vegetables or herbs can be planted alongside Swiss chard?

Some good options include lettuce, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, lavender, carrots, radishes, arugula, broccoli, marigold flowers (which also deter harmful insects), cabbage (a member of the same family as Swiss chard), kale (another leafy green veggie), leeks (similarly shaped plant to onions), and nasturtium flowers (helping ward off aphids).

And finally, someone asked me if any vegetables should not be planted next to Swiss chard.

Beets should not be grown next to your Swiss chard since they belong to the same family (Chenopodiaceae), making them prone to similar diseases.

Companion planting can significantly enhance the health and productivity of your garden by attracting pollinators and biodiversity, deterring pest infestation, preventing soil nutrient depletion, and maximizing limited gardening space.

By choosing the right companions for your chard, you will reap numerous benefits and have a thriving garden.

Remember to observe the specific needs of each plant when planning your companion planting strategy. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing the right companion plants for Swiss chard can make a big difference in your garden. By planting onions, garlic, and celery alongside your Swiss chard, you can help keep pests away.

Avoiding mint and pole beans is also important to prevent overcrowding. With these tips and recommendations, you’ll be on your way to a successful Swiss chard harvest. Happy gardening!

FAQs About Good Swiss Chard Companion Plants To Grow

Is Swiss chard heat tolerant?

Yes, Swiss chard is relatively heat-tolerant, and some varieties are better suited for warmer climates.

What month do you plant Swiss chard?

Chard can be planted in early spring or late summer, around March to April, or August to September, depending on your climate.

Does Swiss chard grow back every year?

Swiss chard is typically grown as an annual, but it can survive mild winters and produce for a second year in some climates.

How often should I water Swiss chard?

Swiss chard requires regular watering to moisten the soil but not waterlogged. Aim to provide about 1 inch of water per week.

Can I grow Swiss chard in containers?

Yes, you can successfully grow Swiss chard in containers as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate its roots and has adequate drainage holes.

Can Swiss Chard and kale be planted together?

Yes, kale and Swiss chard can be planted together as they have similar growing requirements.

Is Swiss Chard an easy plant to grow?

Yes, Swiss Chard is easy to grow. It is a cool-weather plant and can be grown in most garden conditions.