Companion planting is a tried and true method done because some plants have symbiotic relationships and planting them next to each other is beneficial to both of the plants.
Proof of this is The Three Sisters, grown together by Native Americans for thousands of years.
On the other hand, other plants are harmful to each other and should not be planted next to each other.
One way that plants help each other is by attracting helpful insects or repelling harmful ones that can damage a plant’s leaves or fruits.
Another way companion planting can be beneficial is that some plants can provide shade or act as a wind-barrier for other more sensitive plants.
Vining plants like pumpkins, squash, and watermelon have large sprawling foliage that can act like a living mulch, shading the soil and discouraging the growth of unwanted weeds.
Practicing companion planting can improve the health and vitality of a garden and result in higher yields and a more satisfactory gardening experience.
What Should I Plant Next To Peppers?
Peppers, sweet or spicy, are popular gardening options because they’re nice to look at and can be used in lots of dishes. Below is a list of vegetables and herbs to plant near pepper plants for beneficial results.
Basil – Basil is a fragrant herb that can deter unwanted pests such as aphids, spider mites, thrips, mosquitoes, and flies. It also may improve the flavor of peppers!
Onions & Garlic – These two plants are odiferous and keep away unwanted pests. They also take up little space and are great to cook with.
Spinach & Chard – These leafy greens grow quickly and stay low to the ground. They can help shade the soil and keep out weeds near the pepper plants.
Corn – If you’re growing area is set in an area where wind is a problem a few rows of corn can be just what you need as a living barrier between strong winds and pepper plants.
Oregano – A tasty herb in its own right oregano plants grow dense and low to the ground and can provide shade to the soil and keep weeds out near pepper plants.
Chives – Similar to basil chives can deter unwanted pests and may improve the flavor of peppers.
What Not To Plant With Peppers?
Dill – Dill may be harmful to peppers and other plants in the nightshade family.
Beans – Bean plants are nitrogen fixing, meaning they increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil. Pepper plants grown in soil with too much nitrogen may grow excessive foliage, delay flowering or not flower at all.
Brassicas – I’m not exactly sure of the reasoning but have seen that you shouldn’t plant brassicas next to peppers or other members of the nightshade family. Maybe because they are both heavy feeders or attract similar diseases.
Can You Plant Hot Peppers Next To Sweet Peppers?
You can plant your hot peppers next to sweet peppers. You can even plant them intermittently. Cross pollination between sweet and hot peppers will not affect the taste of the peppers. However, the seeds from those peppers will have mixed genetics from the two different varieties.
If you want to harvest the seeds from your peppers and don’t want cross pollination to occur the most sure fire way of preventing cross pollination is to put breathable bags over pepper flowers until self-fertilization occurs and the flower begins to grow a pepper.
Can I Plant Tomatoes Next To Peppers?
These plants both are members of the Solanaceae family, otherwise known as the nightshade family. Plants in this family are susceptible to similar diseases like verticillium and fusarium wilt.
If you haven’t had plant disease in the garden before I wouldn’t worry much about it. Also, humid and hot climates make fungal diseases a more common problem.
Here are some steps you can take to mitigate risk. There are plenty of disease resistant varieties of tomato and pepper plants. Good weeding and plant spacing can increase air circulation. Using soaker hoses or drip irrigation lines instead of sprinklers can keep plant foliage dry more often.
Companion planting is part art and part science. Please comment below with some of your own thoughts or techniques in companion planting peppers.