Peppers can be rewarding and fun to grow, with so many different types to be explored by cultivating this vegetable on your own. What isn’t rewarding is a ruined crop from pests, disease, or poor nutrition. The likelihood of these issues can be reduced or mitigated without any added chemicals; instead, all you need are some more plants! Adding companion plants for peppers to your garden can reduce risks to your crop and may even increase the flavor and yield of your peppers, so continue reading to learn more about giving your veggies a helping hand from some friends.
Best Places to Grow Peppers
One of the best things about growing peppers is that not much space is needed if you don’t have much. Likewise, you can also dedicate a whole garden to growing these veggies. The choice depends on the gardener and the area; however, there are many popular options, such as container growing, raised bed gardening, and directly in the ground.
Container growing is best for those who are tight on usable space. Provide the peppers with bright light for at least 6-8 hours daily for the best results.
Raised bed gardening is favored by many and can be a more manageable way to start a garden than jumping right into digging holes into the ground. Plants grown in raised beds are less likely to experience soil compaction and are also less likely to be trampled over unintentionally, especially while the peppers are still small and getting established.
Thanks to the variety of peppers available, an entire garden can be dedicated to growing different kinds of peppers. Growing plants in the ground is easier with less set-up, though there are risks of damaging the roots, as more mindfulness is needed to ensure the soil stays well-aerated.
What do Peppers Grow On?
If they’re lucky, they’ll grow on a stake provided generously by the gardener. Regardless of where you grow your peppers, the plants will benefit from growing on a stake. Not only does this encourage stronger stems and gives your plant something to hold onto, but it will help to keep the fruits off the ground and away from pests or diseases that can ruin your crop.
Best Companions for Various Peppers to Grow Outdoor
Now you know you want to grow peppers, but what to plant with peppers? Peppers companion plants can benefit your veggies, from helping deter pests to making the soil more nutritive. There are tons of reasons to give your pepper plant companions, so we’ve made it easy! Here’s a list of the best friends for your juicy crops:
For Bell Pepper:
Hot peppers can be planted in a border outside of bell peppers to discourage pests from munching on the plants inside the border. This trick works well to protect other plants, too.
Cucumbers grow in a sprawling manner that can shade the soil, protecting it from getting too hot and losing moisture quickly. Additionally, this ground cover can prevent weeds from overtaking your garden or container.
These are good filler plants that won’t take up too much space but can occupy the unused space between the pepper plants so they don’t get filled in with pesky weeds. Having some ground coverage can also retain moisture better in the soil, which will keep your peppers from drying out too quickly.
The strong odor of this herb will deter pests from getting to your jalapenos. Additionally, growing some chives may complement the homegrown jalapenos in fresh salsa.
Beans and other legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth and foliage development. By giving beans a stake to climb on, they can also provide shade to your plant to prevent sunburn and wind damage.
Marigolds are pretty flowers that can also pack a punch as a companion plant for peppers. These flowers produce chemicals in the soil that can ward off harmful substrate nematodes, which can be very troublesome organisms for your pepper plants.
For Banana Pepper:
Okra and peppers grow well together because they prefer the same conditions and can be planted in the same plot with ease. Additionally, this veggie can be a shade plant for your peppers, protecting them from heat damage. Moreover, okra is also the first line of defense in case any pests get into the garden.
Borage is a gold-standard companion plant for many different kinds of plants. It is attractive to pollinators and can also discourage pests from attacking your pepper plant.
Strong, smelly alliums will always be a good plant to have around as pests are particularly sensitive to the odors they emit, keeping them far away from your plants and anything that smells oniony.
For Sweet Pepper:
Basil is another plant that is good for repelling insects from your crops, and it has many culinary applications that can be utilized. There are tons of different basil varieties that can be chosen, and many gardeners have said that adding basil near their peppers while growing improves their flavor.
Bee balm is a gorgeous flowering herb that encourages bees and other pollinators to come to your yard, which is very helpful to both your garden and pollinators. Like basil, bee balm is also said to improve the flavor of the peppers when grown next to it.
Another lovely flower, the geranium is a good companion plant for peppers if you’re not looking to add too many other complicated plants to your list of things to care for. Aside from being cute, Geraniums can help defend against beetles, cabbage worms, and other undesirables.
For Hot Pepper:
Like other members of the allium group of plants, garlic works to repel pests from aphids to cabbage worms. In fact, this fragrant veggie works well for a variety of different pests and is a good companion for many types of plants. Plus, you can always have garlic on hand if it grows in your garden!
These are quick-growing plants helpful in filling in gaps between crops and keeping the heat off the soil so your peppers don’t dry out too quickly. Radishes also can draw pests’ attention away from your peppers, saving you some frustration and the effort of treating (or disposing of) an infested pepper plant.
Oregano is an easy-to-grow and care-for herb that serves a dual purpose: it’s a useful herb to use in the kitchen and a useful herb to protect your peppers in the garden. Oregano can protect your peppers by developing a layer of ground covers around it, preventing weeds from taking over your young pepper plants.
Good Companion Plants for Peppers in Containers
Growing multiple plants in a small area may seem difficult or even ill-advised. However, there are preferred options to use as companion plants for peppers in containers.
Thyme is a shallow-rooted, low-growing plant that can deter pests from your peppers while ensuring there is no competition for nutrients or sunlight, thanks to the short stature of the plant. Plus, you can harvest it for culinary use!
The strong scent of this herb will keep pests away from your bell pepper plants. The height of this plant can also act as a wind barrier to your pepper plants which may come in handy if you live in a particularly blustery climate.
This herb can attract pollinators to your garden, which is good for the other plants in your garden and the pollinators in your area! Peppers’ companion plants don’t have to serve only one function, and calendula is a small plant that can make a big difference in the area it’s planted (even if that’s just a container).
What Not to Plant with Peppers?
Many things play well with peppers, though that’s not the case with all plants. Below is a list of plants you’ll want to avoid planting near your peppers.
Brassicas (cabbage family):
Members of the cabbage family, such as kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, should not be planted near your peppers at all. This is mostly because they will outcompete your peppers if given a chance, but many pests are attracted to brassicas, which could easily introduce these pests to your pepper plants.
Interestingly, potatoes and peppers are in the same family, commonly called “nightshades,” but planting potatoes next to your peppers is not a good idea. This is due to nutrient competition but also because when it comes time to harvest your potatoes, you may wind up disrupting your pepper’s root system, potentially damaging the peppers in the process.
Apricot trees are mostly not recommended because they can very easily catch and transmit fungal diseases caught by pepper plants, so in this case, it’s more for the health and safety of the apricot tree rather than the peppers.
What Grows Well with Peppers?
Flowers, such as petunias and marigolds, can be planted with your peppers as well as common culinary herbs like basil and rosemary.
Can We Plant Different Types of Peppers Next to Each Other?
As long as the peppers are spaced correctly, different species can be grown next to each other with no issue. Sweet peppers, like bell peppers, and hot peppers, like jalapenos, can even be planted side by side. If you harvest seeds from the second generation of your homegrown peppers, you may have some mild hot peppers and hot sweet peppers!
Do Peppers Like to Be Planted Together?
Multiple pepper plants (of the same or different varieties) can be planted together and, in some cases, can help each other out. For example, planting a border of hot peppers around sweet peppers is likely to deter any pests that thought about munching on either of those plants.
Can Peppers and Tomatoes Be Planted Together?
Tomatoes and peppers can be grown together in the same bed or plot as long as there is sufficient spacing between the plants that are suitable for their needs.
Can You Plant Peppers and Cucumbers Together?
Tomatoes and cucumbers can be planted together and grow quite well since both plants require very similar conditions and care. Cucumbers are a recommended companion plant for peppers for this reason.