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Companion Planting With Peppers

By Mindy Baca ; Updated September 21, 2017
Companion planting with peppers can increase the quality of your produce.

Pepper plants are relatively easy to grow in the home garden, but they are susceptible to damage from a variety of pests, as well as viruses such as cucumber mosaic virus and tomato spotted wilt virus. Employ companion gardening techniques to reduce the risk to your pepper plants and improve the health and yield of your entire garden.

Companion Planting

Companion planting is a gardening technique that uses biodiversity to improve crop yield. Rather than growing a long row of a single type of vegetable, companion gardeners plant a variety of plants that have beneficial relationships together in the same bed or close by. There are different types of companion plants: plants that share similar genetics and environmental and nutritional needs; plants that help each other grow; and plants that protect each other from pests or disease. Some plants make good companions for each other because they are able to use space efficiently. For instance, for some low-growing, shade-tolerant species, a tall, sun-loving plant is the perfect companion.

Characteristics of Peppers

Transplant young pepper plants to the garden once the weather becomes reliably warm in your zone. To flourish, peppers need nitrogen, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, according to Weldon Burge, author of “Grow the Best Peppers.” Often damaged by heavy fruit or high winds, another important characteristic of pepper plants is their brittle stalks. Pepper plants like moist soil but not soggy roots, so a good companion plant should have similar requirements.

Compatible Plants

Tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, okra, onions and eggplants are traditionally regarded as good companions for pepper plants. Several perennial herbs are also compatible with peppers, including chives, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley and sweet basil. Tall companions to peppers such as tomato plants, okra and eggplant can provide pepper plants with protection from the wind. Carrots and onions share space well and enhance the flavor of the peppers.

Incompatible Plants

Just as important as knowing which plant grow well together, knowing which plants are natural adversaries is important to your success. Kohlrabi and fennel are incompatible with sweet pepper plants, and do not plant peppers near apricot trees. Avoid planting hot peppers with beans or members of the cabbage family.

 

About the Author

 

Mindy Baca has been writing about education and public health since 2009, with work appearing on various websites. Baca's interests include maternal, infant and child health, health disparities and public-health ethics. She holds a Master of Science in public health from Walden University.