Best and Worst Companion Plants for Peppers


Hot peppers are a great option to add to your garden. They also lend themselves great to companion planting, which allows you to get the most out of your garden. But which companion plants are the best option to add alongside your hot peppers? And which plants should you keep as far away as possible from your hot pepper plants?

The worst companion plants for hot peppers include beans and potatoes, which should be kept as far away from hot pepper plants as possible. The best companion plants for peppers are: onions, garlic, peas, basil, carrots, spinach, and lettuce

Companion planting is a great way to get the most out of your garden, whether you are growing hot peppers or not. In this post, we will explore why you should consider companion planting and list out some of the best (and worst) companion plants for hot peppers. 

What are the Best Companion Plants for Hot Peppers?

Let’s take a look at which plants are good options to combine and grow alongside hot peppers. Remember that hot peppers are different from bell or sweet peppers, and plants that work well with one variety, might not work well with the other.

With that in mind, there are quite a few companion plants that work really well alongside hot peppers and can make your garden more efficient and bountiful.

Some of the best companion plants for hot peppers include:

  Plant    Benefits for Hot Peppers
OnionsOnions are a great option because they will deter pests that attack peppers, including beetles and rabbits.
GarlicGarlic is a good companion plant to use with hot peppers because it helps you get the maximum yield out of your garden space.   It doesn’t take up much room and can keep pests like some types of beetles and aphids away.
  PeasThis may seem like an unusual option, but peas are also a good companion plant for hot peppers.   Peas can go in the garden and they will never compete for nutrients out of the soil. Peas add nitrogen back to the soil, making them the perfect companion plant.   
BasilBasil doesn’t take up a lot of space and can fit under the peppers easily. It also helps to repel several types of pests, including spider mites.    Basil is also a good option because it may add flavor to your hot peppers, making them taste even better when you harvest.
CarrotsIf you need some weed control with your peppers, then carrots are the best option. Carrots will also add a little humidity to the environment, which peppers love.   Peppers give the carrots all the shade they need, which makes this a mutually beneficial relationship for both plants.
Spinach or LettuceBoth of these can work as companion plants for peppers. They do not compete for the same nutrients as peppers and can keep the weeds away.   Spinach and lettuce also like being near hot peppers because the peppers provide the shade they need to thrive.
ParsleyParsley can help fill in spaces around the peppers, making use of every inch of your garden.   It is also good at bringing in some helpful insects, which are perfect for keeping all the aphids away from the peppers.
CornBecause it is a tall plant, corn can provide shade and protect the pepper plants from heavy winds during the day.   Corn also protects pepper plants from aphids by trapping them.
OreganoAdding some spices to the mix is always a great option and oregano is great because it can easily grow around peppers without competing for space. It will cover up the bare soil so you don’t have wasted growing space. Plus, oregano goes well on almost any dish with hot peppers!
EggplantThe eggplant is a relative of the pepper and one of the best nightshade options to use here. While some nightshades like potatoes should be avoided, eggplants are a good companion plant for hot peppers.   Eggplants will work in the same types of soil conditions as peppers without providing too much competition.
GeraniumsIf you would like to add a little bit of color to your garden, you might decide to add some flowering plants to your garden.   Growing geraniums as a companion plant is a great way to keep some pests away, including cabbage worms.
NasturtiumThis is another flower to choose from, but it has the added benefit of being edible too.
ParsnipsParsnips are a great root vegetable that can be used as a companion plant to your peppers.   They help keep the soil shaded, which prevents water from evaporating too quickly   and can also help keep the weeds away.
CucumbersThis is a great vegetable to grow during the summer and can make a nice addition to some of the dishes you make with peppers, in addition to aiding in their growth as well.   Or you can pickle them up at the end of the summer and enjoy another yummy snack!
BuckwheatThis may seem like a strange plant to grow with your hot peppers, but buckwheat is a great option because it will attract all of the beneficial insects that your peppers need, including some good pollinators.   They can also serve as green mulch when the summer is done.

All of these are great companion plants to add to your garden alongside your hot peppers. The ones you choose will depend on what you like to eat and what may work the best with your gardening goals and the space you have. 

What are the Worst Companion Plants for Hot Peppers?

Now that we know which companion plants will provide benefits to your hot peppers and make your garden more bountiful, it is time to explore which plants you should absolutely keep away from hot peppers. 

Many people plant their gardens without focusing on companion plants. They may inadvertently put some of the wrong plants together and wonder why their garden isn’t flourishing the way they expect. When certain plants are grown together, they might compete for resources and end up stinting growth, or worse, killing each other.

Some of the worst companion plants for hot peppers include:

  Plant    Disadvantages for Hot Peppers  
BeansHot peppers and beans are not friends at all. This may come as a surprise because beans are perfect for other types of peppers, especially sweet peppers.   But beans and hot peppers do not get along and should not be placed next to each other, because they choke each other out.
FennelHonestly, nothing gets along with fennel. If you want to plant this in your garden, then it is a good idea to keep it off somewhere on its own.
Brassica Species (Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli)Don’t plant hot peppers with anything from the Brassica family, including kale, cauliflower, or broccoli.   None of the plants in that family do well with peppers, so if you do plan to add these to your garden, keep them in separate area. 
PotatoesPotatoes and hot peppers tend to spread diseases back and forth easily to one another, making them bad companion plants.   If you plant hot peppers in one area, wait two years before planting potatoes. However, potatoes are a great companion plant for pretty much anything else you would like to add to your garden!
KohlrabiAlthough an uncommon plant, some gardeners like to grow kohlrabi, however it is not recommended to have near any peppers.   Kohlrabi is similar to the broccoli and cabbage family and can bring in cabbage butterflies. You can plant kohlrabi if you would like, just make sure it is not near peppers!
SunflowersWhile these flowers are perfect for keeping the weeds away, they are not going to be the best option when it comes to peppers.   They have some toxins that can be dangerous for a variety of plants, and since they need so many nutrients to grow, they will fight and compete with hot peppers to get those nutrients.   While sunflowers can be pretty, it is best to keep them away from your hot pepper plants.

If some of your favorite produce is on this list of bad companion plants for peppers, do not fret. You do not need to give them up completely. Just don’t plant them in the same area as your peppers. Peppers do not get along with these plants and placing these options right next to the peppers will make both plants grow poorly.

Your garden can have options like potatoes and broccoli but make sure you plant them on a different side of the garden. It is just a matter of planning—there are a few companion plants that these options do in fact do well with, so plant those together and choose something else to grow with your hot peppers.  

What are Companion Plants and Why Use Them?

We have talked a lot about which plants to use, but what does it even mean to call two different species of plants companions, and why does it matter for maintaining a healthy garden?

Companion plants are any plants that, when grown together, will provide benefits to one another. While you can plant anything in your garden, certain plants tend to provide more benefits to one another and enhance each other’s natural growth. Think of it like a symbiotic relationship between the plants.

When you use companion plants in your garden, your whole garden will become more efficient and bountiful. Plants may provide shade or shelter for each other. They might also help to put nutrients back in the ground, keeping the soil fertile, so that other plants can benefit. Many companion plants are good because they keep the pests away from one another. 

Jalape_o_Pepper_Lines (4)
Jalape_o_Pepper_Lines (4)

Common Companion Planting Types

There are a lot of combinations of companion plants used in gardening. Different combinations of companion plants are used to satisfy specific needs each plant. By paring them together they grow better alongside each other vs growing apart. Companion plants can help in different ways including:

  • Tall plants can provide shade to plants that don’t like the sun. 
  • A vine plant can lay on the bottom of the garden while a stalk will grow up, which makes for great space efficiency  
  • Some plants put more nitrogen back into the soil, which can be beneficial for plants that require lots of nitrogen.
  • Some plants attract predatory bugs that can help keep pests away. 

Some Examples of Companion Planting

Companion planting is a popular gardening tool that can make life a little easier and increase your yield each year. Some simple examples of companion planting include:

  • Radishes and spinach: The radishes can draw any Leafminers away from the spinach. Leafminers like both, but only cause damage to the spinach. 
  • Corn and beans: Many of the insects that are attracted to beans like to attack the pests that cause damage to corn. Viney beans can also spend their time climbing up the corn stalks, saving soil space in your garden. 
  • Cabbage and tomatoes: The tomato plant is a good one to use because it not only adds nitrogen back into the soil but will repel many of the pests and bugs that love cabbage. 

How Does Companion Planting Work?

The whole idea of companion planting, as the name suggests, is growing two plants close together to provide benefits to one another.

The most important aspect of companion planting is making sure the plants you choose will help, and not harm one another. There are some types of plants that work well together and some that can kill each other off. 

Companion planting is a great tool for gardeners because it helps:

  • Keep water in the soil without drying it out
  • Prevent nitrogen-fixing so the soil stays healthy and fertile
  • Both plants get all the nutrients they need without a lot of competition and depletion of the soil quality. 
  • They help to bring in the right predators that go after pests which cause harm to some of the plants
  • Keep specific pests and insects away
  • Provide natural shade for smaller plants
  • Allow you to use the space in your garden more efficiently, and get the most out of small spaces

Companion Planting Means Free, Natural Pest Control

When companion planting is done right, it can even help you limit the use of pesticides and herbicides. This is because some types of plants naturally keep pest away. Companion planting is an all-natural way to keep pests away without harmful chemicals.

This can happen in several different ways:

  • The companion plant may create conditions that the pests do not like, such as drying out or increasing humidity
  • The plants may produce chemicals, scents, or oils that drive pests away from each other
  • ●        In extreme cases, one or both plants may be toxic to the specific pests that prey on their companion

Closing Thoughts

Hot peppers can be a wonderful addition to your garden. When you utilize companion gardening, you will find that you can grow hot peppers while also making your garden as efficient as possible. 

There are many great companion plants you can consider growing along with your hot peppers. Which ones you choose may depend on what other plants you have in your garden and what you would like to harvest and enjoy!

Here are Some of my Favorite Gardening Products and Tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful for growing some new plants in your home or garden. Here are some products I like that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, and I am compensated for referring traffic. But in all honesty, these are the exact product that I use or recommend to everyone.

Soil: For high-quality soil, I really like Fox Farm Ocean Forest. I do all my growing in containers and this soil has worked great for me. I like how they use nutrient-rich contents like earthworm castings, bat guano, and composted crab and fish.

Fertilizer: Currently I am using a seaweed-based organic fertilizer call Neptunes Harvest. This is a great milder fertilizer option if you want to use something organic. If you want a more powerful fertilizer, I recommend Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio, lots of people have had great growing success with this product.

Pruning Shears: Pruning shears are one of the most useful gardening tools to have because it’s important to prune your plants to keep them healthy. The pruning shears I recommend are the Gonicc 8’’ pruning shears. I like them because they are built sturdy and work both on bigger and smaller plants, so you don’t need to have multiple pruning shears.

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Supriya

Hi! I'm Supriya. I'm a home cook, bulldog mom, spicy food lover, and founder of The Spicy Trio. I have been a home cook for about 15 years and have been growing plants for the past six years.

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