Companion planting is arguably one of the easiest and best methods to help boost both plant’s health, and many people choose this practice to get rid of pests and some plants work as deterrents for bugs that want to eat your vegetables. Other plants draw predators in to eat the nuisance pests, but what are the best jalapeno companion plants?
Some plants help to improve the flavor of other plants around them, and jalapenos are one of these plants that form mutually beneficial relationships with a host of other plants. As a result, you’ll get spicy jalapenos and your companion plants will thrive.
Plants like spinach, carrots, garlic, okra, eggplant, lettuce, radishes, chard, chives, asparagus, tomato, basil, rosemary, leeks, and many more are considered to be some of the best jalapeno companion plants available, and we’ll outline 28 great choices below.
Defining Companion Planting
Companion planting is also called intercropping, and this is a centuries-old gardening method where you put complementary plants near one another to deter pests and increase how productive they are. Planting specific combinations of plants has a host of benefits attached to it, including pest control, increased soil nutrients, increased yield, and cross-pollination. It was traditionally used in vegetable gardens, but companion planting is also useful with herbs and flowers.
Plants that make good companions usually share close growth habits, pest-repelling capabilities, and nutrient needs. For example, basil and tomatoes pair well together in the garden and on your plate, and basil will defend tomatoes from mosquitos and flies while making them more productive. Another example of great companion plants are carrots and onions because onions repel carrot flies.
However, just like there are many jalapeno companion plants out there, there are also some plants you want to avoid. Bad combinations can easily ruin a whole crop or stunt growth. For example, radishes and broccoli don’t grow well side by side because radishes attract flea beetles, and they can wreak havoc on a crop.
28 Jalapeno Companion Plants
Some plants are very beneficial to others in several ways when you plant them in close proximity. For instance, jalapeno plants will require help from other plants to help maximize the yield. Some of the jalapeno companion plants will help to shelter the plant, ward away certain pests, or prevent wind damage. They may also serve as a trellis or help retain moisture, and we’ve picked out 28 great jalapeno companion plants to consider below.
Asparagus is a hardy perennial plant, and it’s one that can find a growing space in your annual polyculture beds. While asparagus will take a while to take off and grow, it is a generally much slower-growing plant to have in your garden. Due to this growth rate, it’s common to plant tomatoes in the garden bed to help make use of the full space, but it makes a great jalapeno companion plant for the same reason.
Basil is one of the more popular herbs you can plant that will thrive surrounded by other plants or alone. However, growing them as a jalapeno companion plant will give you excellent results, particularly for the peppers. One of the biggest benefits of pairing jalapenos with basil is that it brings out a much stronger taste profile for your peppers. Another benefit of this pair is that basil will help prevent common garden pests like mosquitoes, flies, aphids, thrips, and spider mites from invading. In turn, you can grow your jalapenos without worrying about dealing with pests.
Beans are nitrogen-fixing plants, and they can help your pepper plants get all of the essential nutrients they need to grow. Bush or climbing bean plants can get planted to climb corn too, and this will help with the soil nutrient level too. Bush beans are great as jalapeno companion plants as they help to cast shade, block wind, and they can help to ward away weeds with denser plantings without sucking up too many nutrients.
Borage is a great companion plant for a host of common crops. This is an annual that will readily self-seed and come back year after year. Borage works as a jalapeno companion plant because it can deter pests. It’s also a nectar factory, and it will produce a large amount of nectar to draw in bees and other pollinators.
You want to grow buckwheat as a jalapeno companion plant because it flowers and draws pollinators and predatory insects in. Buckwheat is also a great trap crop for stink bugs. Chopping up buckwheat and dropping it in layers around your pepper plants will help improve the soil structure and retain fertility, which can increase your yields.
Along with the fact that carrots are very tasty when you pair them with spicy peppers, carrots will also give your peppers a very nice layer of mulch to help keep the roots cool and retain moisture. Carrots are also great for helping control weeds when you use them as jalapeno companion plants in your garden, so they give your peppers a much better chance for stronger growth. Another fact that makes this a great choice for pepper companion plants is that it helps give your jalapeno the proper spacing they need to grow strong and have high yields.
A lot of benefits come with having Swiss chard in your garden when you grow them as jalapeno companion plants. One of the biggest benefits is that it’ll protect your peppers both from excessive sunlight and wind and cast them in partial shade. It also works to deter weeds and inject some extra beauty and color in your garden bed.
Even though chives may not be at the top of the list for jalapeno companion plants, it’s one of the most popular and best options you have because they help bring out the taste profile of your peppers and increase your yields. They also help ward away pests, including several common ones in the garden like aphids.
Along with being a hugely popular summer vegetable, corn is a very unique option to have in your garden. This is due to the fact that it’s not common to have many giant grasses in your garden beds. Due to the tall growth habit, corn is a good jalapeno companion plant for providing a windbreak or shade for your pepper plants on hot days. Corn is also a trap crop for aphids, so it can help keep them away from your pepper plants.
Cucumbers are a sprawling plant that can help cast shade on your soil and retain moisture for your peppers in a bigger garden bed. In smaller growing areas, cucumbers still work as a good jalapeno companion plant when you grow them up a trellis or support system as they can give you pepper plants partial shelter and shade while improving water retention.
If you’re someone that is into canning, growing dill around your jalapenos is very common. Fresh dill can turn your homemade pickled jalapenos into a spicy dish. These two also work well in the garden when you plant dill as a jalapeno companion plant. Dill will help provide shade to the ground to help with moisture retention, and the scent will work to repel harmful insects like aphids and flies. However, you shouldn’t plant your jalapenos and dill near carrots as these two will stunt one another’s growth. So, if you choose to use carrots as your jalapeno companion plant, you’ll want to plant your dill far away.
Originating in the Solanaceae family, eggplants are very commonly known for producing edible fruit. Eggplants are mostly a purple-colored berry that you find in many cuisines, including cooking vegetables. Eggplants are great options to plant in combination with jalapenos because it prevents pests, deters weed growth, and adds color to your pepper garden space.
As an aromatic root vegetable, garlic is very helpful when it comes to repelling pests. Due to the sulfery, strong odor it produces, it’s the perfect ingredient to create all-natural insecticides. If your jalapenos have fallen prey to aphids, snails, slugs, worms, or mites, using garlic as a jalapeno companion plant can help save your harvest. Garlic has very shallow root systems, so you can grow it safely by your pepper plants without worrying about it competing for nutrients.
Hyssop is a herb that you may not have heard of before. But, it’s a great jalapeno companion plant. It produces flowers that draw beneficial insects in, so it will improve the biodiversity of your garden. It can also help bring in predatory insects that eat aphids.
Leeks are in the same family as garlic and onions. Even though leeks are not as popular as those two vegetables, they make great jalapeno companion plants. This is due to the fact that they only take up a small space when you plant them, and they help deter a range of insects, including carrot flies. Leeks are smaller, and this makes them great to help space out your garden.
You can fill in around your pepper plants and prevent weeds from taking off by planting lettuce as a jalapeno companion plant. Lettuce is arguably one of the easiest plants you can grow in your garden, and it’s one of the faster growing options on the list too. The leaf varieties will mature in 30 days. Lettuce comes with a very shallow root system on it, so it won’t compete with nutrients with your pepper plants. You can alternate rows of jalapeno plants and lettuce in your garden, or you can arrange your lettuce plants so they grow around the base of your jalapeno plants to help maximize your garden space and keep the root system cool.
A very popular jalapeno companion plant is okra, and it encourages better growth while enhancing how healthy your peppers are. It helps give your peppers partial shade and prevents any strong winds from reaching them. Okra is also a great pest deterrent, including aphids to stop them from tearing up your garden. So, they work very well as a companion plant for your jalapenos during the hotter summer months.
Oregano is a very strong smelling herb that will top out at two feet tall. If you trim it back regularly, you can use it for stews, soups, or other tasty dishes. Also, it’ll stop it from growing tall enough to interfere with your jalapeno plants. If you keep it short, this herb will expend its energy spreading outward, and this helps to keep the soil around your jalapeno plants cool and retain moisture. Also, the powerful essential oil that oregano produces makes it a great jalapeno companion plant because it wards off bugs. The tiny flowers it produces draws in pollinators like bees, butterflies, and parasitic wasps to increase your fruit yields.
Just like carrots, parsley works to keep water in the soil around your plants. Parsley also has very moderate water needs and shorter root systems than your pepper plants. You can water your jalapeno plants thoroughly once a week and the parsley plants will soak up the water by the top of the soil while stopping moisture farther in the ground from evaporating. Parsley is also a trap crop to keep caterpillars and worms away from your jalapenos.
Peas can be very useful as a jalapeno companion plant when you grow them early in the season. They can go into the ground much earlier and will balance the nitrogen levels in the soil before you plant your jalapenos. You can then cut the pea plants off at the base and leave the roots. This will give you peppers room to grow. Or, you can also sow them successionally between the peppers over the summer if you have a longer growing time. Peas that you grow on a support system like a trellis can provide shade for your peppers too.
Just like any gourd, pumpkins are vining plants that produce larger leaves. They’ll sprawl all over your garden if you don’t give them a trellis to climb. If you don’t have a vertical support system for your pumpkins to climb, they’ll need a lot of ground space. Fortunately for you, peppers tend to grow up and out. By plucking low-growing, stray leaves from your pepper plants, you leave a lot of space for your pumpkins to branch out. As a bonus, your pumpkin plant’s broad leaves will keep the soil temperatures cool to improve your jalapeno plant’s growth.
If you need a good jalapeno companion plant, radishes are a great option. They work to help maximize the space in your garden. Even though they won’t give your pepper plants direct benefits like other options on the list, they’re a great way to utilize as much space in your garden as you can. They have a very rapid growth rate, and they will be ready to be harvested within four weeks while you wait on your jalapenos to mature.
Rosemary is a very pretty perennial plant that has a sweet scent and beautiful coloring. For this reason, it makes a great jalapeno companion plant because it boosts your plant’s yields. It will also help to enhance the flavor profile of your peppers, and rosemary helps to prevent weeds from growing around your peppers and competing for nutrients. Rosemary will grow rapidly under optimal conditions, but it can become a nuisance if you don’t monitor it. It’ll provide your peppers with a slight shade to keep them cool during the hotter summer months.
Spinach makes a great jalapeno companion plant. You’ll get several benefits from planting them close to one another, including helping prevent weeds from growing. Spinach also helps during the spacing process with your peppers, and it doesn’t compete with them for water or sunlight.
You may not be surprised to see squash on the list since we already touched on beans and corn. The traditional three sisters planting method utilizes beans, corn, and squash, and it’s a great starting point for polycultures. But, there are no rules that state you have to stick to these three main plants when it comes to creating a polyculture.
Generally speaking, you could also add peppers to the mix to get a more diverse planting scheme where every plant provides specific benefits. The large leaves on the squash plant help to shade the soil, reducing evaporation. They can also help reduce weed growth.
Thyme is a Mediterranean herb that is a great jalapeno companion plant. It’s prized for the ability to attract an impressive range of pollinators and other beneficial insects and wildlife to your garden or yard. Thyme also does well when you plant it around the edges of your area where you have your peppers growing, and it can spread out to create a thick ground cover.
A very common jalapeno companion plant is tomatoes, and it comes with a host of benefits when you plant them side by side. The plants help to boost each other’s flavor profile. So, tomatoes will add a nice flavor to your peppers when you grow them close. Tomatoes will also prevent any weeds from taking control of your garden, and they help deter several different types of pests, like aphids.
The final jalapeno companion plant we have on the list is yarrow, and this is a very beginner-friendly flowering plant that has a reputation for attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs. Ladybugs will help to pollinate your pepper flowers and they eat aphids. So, you won’t have to buy ladybugs to introduce to your garden when you plant yarrow as it’ll naturally attract them.
Jalapeno Companion Plants to Avoid
When you plant them with the right companion plants, your jalapeno plants will produce more pepper and grow faster than when you grow them by themselves. However, it’s just as important to ensure that you have the proper plants by your jalapenos, and you want to keep them far away from:
Since they are nightshade vegetables, jalapenos tend to use a lot of nutrients. Members of the Brassica family like broccoli, kohlrabi, and cauliflower all need a lot of minerals and vitamins to grow. Growing these plants side by side can stunt the growth and lead to very poor crop production, so you want to keep your jalapenos far away from them.
Did you know that fennel is allelopathic? This means that the seeds have toxic compounds that will destroy neighboring plants to conserve any resources. If you pickle cucumbers and peppers you grow in your garden, you may be tempted to introduce some fennel to harvest and use in your recipes. However, if you do, make sure that you keep your jalapeno pepper plants far enough away from the fennel so it won’t stunt your pepper production. You want to give fennel an isolated space to grow by itself.
Even though potatoes are a member of the same plant family as tomatoes and peppers, you don’t want to use them as jalapeno companion plants. They can cause a huge range of disease and pest problems. Also, it’s easy to disrupt your peppers when you harvest your potatoes.
Even though homegrown strawberries are delicious, they are very prone to issues with a fungus called verticillium, and this causes wilt. Infected plants can contaminate the soil for up to five years, and nightshade family members, that includes tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers, are also very prone to this disease. Make sure to keep these plants far apart to prevent disease spread.
Companion planting is rarely an exact science, but picking out the correct jalapeno companion plants and avoiding certain ones can help you get a productive, healthy, and thriving crop. So, no matter which types of peppers you want to grow this year, make the most of it by using companion plants.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.