Companion Planting

Companion planting (allelopathy) is based on the principle that certain plants can attract or repel insects or provide beneficial support to other plants. It can also work the other way around, where one plant can be detrimental to another's growth.

Scientists scoff at gardeners who practice allelopathy and say that we are wasting our time. However, they are quick to mention scientific marvels like the downwind tannin response in Acacia spp when grazed on by herbivores.

Think of it a bit like plant body odour – either it's attractive or it's disgusting That, in a nutshell, is companion planting. Some plants have a good BO, others have a great BO, and yet others are downright repulsive!

This is not a bad thing, one must just learn to work with nature and use the plants to their best advantage.

Below is a comprehensive list of companion plants. Beneficial companions are listed in green and detrimental are parenthesised in red.


Apple                                   chives, nasturtium, garlic, onion (grasses, potato)

Apricot                                basil, tansy, garlic  (tomato)

Asparagus                          parsley, basil, lettuce, peppers, tomato

Basil                                     all vegetables and herbs – esp. tomato, most fruit trees

Beans (Pole/Runner)       potato, corn, lettuce, eggplant, cucumber, strawberry, celery, carrot, cauliflower,

                                               radish, spinach (onion, garlic, leek, chives, fennel)

Beans (Dwarf/Bush)         Swiss chard, beetroot, potato (onion, garlic, leek, chives, fennel)

Beans (Broad)                    potato, sweetcorn  (onion, garlic, leek, chives, fennel)

Beetroot                              bush beans, garlic, chives, onion, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard

Borage                                 strawberry, tomato, lettuce

Brinjal/Eggplant                beans (runner and bush), echinacea, peppers, lettuce

Broccoli                                onion, echinacea, nasturtium, leek, celery  (rue, tomato, strawberry)

Brussells Sprout                potato, echinacea, nasturtium (rue, tomato, strawberry)

Cabbage                               beans, beetroot, celery, echinacea, most herbs, onion, potato

                                                (rue, tomato, strawberry)

Carrot                                   peas, leek, lettuce, radish, onion, chives

Cauliflower                          celery, beans, echinacea, cabbage, onion, leek (rue, tomatoes, strawberry)

Celery                                    tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, leek, onion, garlic, beans

Chamomile                          everything, but does really well with cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprout,

                                                broccoli, onion, leek, chives

Chervil                                  dill, coriander, carrot, radish

Chilli/Peppers                     cucumber, echinacea, pumpkin, marrow, lovage, bush beans, lettuce

Chives                                   parsley, apple, carrot, tomato, potato, brinjal 

Coriander                            dill, chervil, cabbage, carrot, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower (fennel)

Corn/Mielies                       lettuce, peppers, pumpkin, cucumber, runner beans, peas

Cucumber                            radish, lettuce, beans, peas, artichoke 

Dill                                         carrot, tomato, brinjal, peppers, cabbage, fennel, coriander

Echinacea                            peppers, brinjal, tomato, potato, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower

Fennel                                   lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, cucumber

                                               (tomato, beans, coriander, dill)

Garlic                                    apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, almond, tomato, Swiss chard

                                               (peas, beans, cabbage, strawberry)

Grapes                                  basil, hyssop, sage, tansy

Hyssop                                  cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower

Kohlrabi                               beetroot, Swiss chard, leek, chives, onion

Leek                                      cabbage, celery, onion, celeriac

Lettuce                                 beetroot, strawberry, radish, corn

Lovage                                  most plants, but particularly peppers and all beans.

Marigold                              everything! 

Marrow (All)                        parsley, tomato, Swiss chard, spinach, squash, corn, capsicum 

Melon                                    corn, nasturtium

Mint                                       cabbage, tomato  (parsley)

Nasturtium                          apple, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnip, cucumber,

                                                melon, marrow, pumpkin, radish

Onion                                    lettuce, cabbage, carrot

Oregano                               strawberry, peppers, beans, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnip

Parsley                                  tomato, asparagus, carrot, strawberry, beans, mint

Peach                                    basil, tansy, garlic

Peas                                       cucumber, radish, turnip, corn, carrot, beans (onion, garlic, leek, chives)

Peppers/Chilli                     cucumber, echinacea, pumpkin, marrow, lovage, bush beans, lettuce

Potato                                   cucumber, sunflower, beans (all), peas, nasturtium (tomato, brinjal, pumpkin)

Pumpkin                               corn, pole/runner beans (potato, other pumpkins)

Radish                                   peas, lettuce, nasturtium

Rue                                         tomato (basil)

Sage                                       carrot, strawberry, grape, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnip

                                                 (basil, rue, wormwood)

Savory                                    tomato, beans (all), onion, garlic, leek, chives

Shallot                                    carrot, beetroot, mint

Spinach                                  strawberry, most plants

Strawberry                            borage, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, bush beans

Swiss Chard                           onions, beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, strawberry, turnip

Tansy                                       peach, apricot, almond, nectarine, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnip

Thyme                                     cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnip

Tomato                                   asparagus, celery, echinacea, parsley, basil, carrot, onion, garlic, chives, leek

                                                  (rosemary, potato, apricot, peach, almond, dill)

Turnip                                     peas, broad beans, nasturtiums


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