Are you looking to boost the health and yield of your bell pepper plants? Well, companion planting can be the best solution you are looking for! By planting certain plants alongside your bell peppers, you can help repel pests, improve soil health, and even enhance the flavor of your peppers. This blog will cover some of the best plants to grow with bell peppers and how to plant them to achieve maximum yield.
Bell peppers are often more challenging to grow than other vegetables. They have demanding pollination needs and a long growing season (up to 90 days!). Further, pollinating and making them ripen is another daunting task where you must combat pests and other disease issues.
Bell peppers are a popular vegetable that adds a colorful and delicious addition to many dishes. Though many people say that growing them is easy, you can increase your farm yield if you plant companion plants along them. So let’s have a look at a few of them!
Top Benefits of Planting Companion Plants Along Bell Pepper
Companion plants are a natural way to improve the health of your garden, and they can help you grow a more abundant and healthy crop of bell peppers. Let’s have a quick look at the benefits.
1. Improved Pollination
Pollination is a critical process; without bees, bell pepper flowers will be unable to produce fruit. Pollinators like bees are vital, and you can get this done quite easily with companion flowers or herbs.
2. Pest Control
Among the significant advantages you get with companion planting is that it attracts beneficial insects that eat away bell pepper plants’ pests. Plants like marigolds and Basil have natural pest-repelling properties that can help deter pests from attacking the bell pepper plants.
3. Nutrient Exchange
Companion plants like legumes can fix nitrogen levels in the soil, which is beneficial for the growth of bell pepper plants. Along with this, some companion plants can help improve nutrient availability by breaking up the soil and releasing nutrients that may be otherwise trapped.
4. Shade And Sun Protection
Growing taller companion plants such as sunflowers can provide shade for the bell pepper plants during hot summer days while also providing support for the peppers as they grow. Though bell peppers are heat resistant, too much sun can be harmful, and providing them with slight shade adds to their protection.
5. Increased Biodiversity
When you plant various plants nearby, you can promote biodiversity in your garden. It creates an overall healthier ecosystem and increases your yield as well. You will also maximize your garden space and make it look big.
Best Companion Plants For Bell Peppers
Some plants are considered great companions for Bell Peppers, helping them grow and flourish. This section has a detailed guide on them. Read on to know more.
First on our list is Basil which is a great companion plant for bell peppers. That’s because it repels pests like whiteflies and aphids. Along with this, Basil’s aromatic oils can also improve the flavor of bell peppers. But make sure you let some of your basil bolts or flowers see these benefits.
Marigolds are another excellent companion plant for bell peppers. They have a strong pest-deterring fragrance that keeps away aphids, whiteflies, and other bugs. Marigolds also have a deep taproot that releases compounds that can help improve soil health. Research on Marigold has also shown that it has antifungal usage in suppressing the leaf blight of bell peppers.
This colorful edible companion plant is also known for its morning-glory family flowers and is an excellent option to plant along with bell peppers. It helps repel pests like aphids and whiteflies while attracting beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. You can plant nasturtiums around the perimeter of the bell pepper bed. They are commonly grown as trap crops in the garden, adding a cherry appeal to your garden.
Garlic is among those common plants used in every cuisine of cooking. This plant is known for its natural pest-repellent property and is also a great companion plant for bell peppers. It repels pests like aphids and spider mites while deterring larger pests like rabbits and deer. It is rich in sulfur content, and you can plant it around the base of the bell pepper plant or in a nearby pot and underutilize your growing space.
Onions generally are known for their natural pest-repellent properties and can improve the health of bell peppers. These green onions are quickly growing plants. They belong to the allium family and repel harmful pests like the five-spotted hawk moths. Scallions multiply, and you can grow them alongside bell pepper very quickly. They repel pests like aphids and thrips, deterring larger pests like rabbits.
Cilantro or Coriander is an excellent companion for bell peppers. This plant is another essential ingredient in our daily food. Cilantro leaves are also known to attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. They have a pest-repelling aroma and come with excellent compatibility with bell peppers. It also attracts pollinators and beneficial insects like ladybugs, hoverflies, and parasitic wasps. You can easily plant cilantro and improve your yields.
Beans are legumes that fix nitrogen in the soil. They make nitrogen available to hungry pepper plants, which can help improve the health and yield of bell peppers. Beans have shallow roots that can help break up compacted soil and improve soil structure, which can benefit the growth of bell peppers. Both of them have incompatible soil nutrient needs. Also, they work well with each as far as nutrients in the soil are concerned.
Carrots can be a great companion plant for bell pepper. Carrots have long taproots, so they can help break the compacted soil, allowing better water and nutrient absorption. It can benefit the nearby bell pepper plants as well. Carrots can also help repel pests that can damage bell pepper plants, such as aphids, carrot flies, and spider mites. Carrots and bell peppers have different nutrient needs, so planting them together can help prevent soil depletion.
Around your bell pepper plants, buckwheat will bloom and draw pollinators and predatory insects. Another claim about buckwheat is that it makes an excellent stink bug trap crop. The buckwheat can then be sliced, dropped, and placed around the plants in the growing area to help keep fertility and boost soil structure.
Bad Companion Plants For Bell Pepper
Some plants are considered bad companions for bell pepper, as they can either compete for resources, attract pests, or stunt the growth of the pepper plants. Here are a few of them:
So the plants from the brassica family, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, can easily compete with bell peppers for nutrients and water in the soil. They can also attract aphids and other pests that damage the pepper plants.
This solid aromatic herb can release chemicals into the soil and hamper nearby plants’ growth. It can suppress the growth of bell peppers resulting in poor yield.
Other plants in the nightshade family, such as eggplants, can attract pests and diseases that can also affect bell peppers. They also have similar nutrient needs, which can lead to resource competition.
Corn is known as a heavy feeder that can deplete soil nutrients. It will result in significantly less nutrient availability for the bell pepper plants. It can also cast shade over small plants, reducing sunlight availability.
This plant is known to be susceptible to a fungus named verticillium. These plants encourage verticillium, which can destroy bell peppers as well. So, do not plant strawberries near bell peppers and practice crop rotation to avoid soil-borne diseases.
How to Plant Companion Plants With Bell Peppers?
It is vital to think before planting companion plants with bell peppers. Aspects like spacing and plantation depth are the key ones to look after. You can plant companion plants at a similar depth to the bell peppers and space them far enough apart, so they don’t compete for nutrients or water. We recommend you plant companion plants at least 12 inches away from the bell pepper plants.
Alongside this, it is also vital to consider the growth habits of your companion plants. The tall ones, such as beans, should be planted on the north side of bell peppers so they do not shade your bell pepper plants. And plants like marigolds should be planted on the southern side of your bell pepper bed, so they don’t block the sun from your plants.
In conclusion, companion planting can help improve the health and yield of your bell pepper plants. Basil, marigolds, garlic, onions, nasturtiums, cilantro, and beans are all great companion plants for bell peppers. You can create a healthy and productive garden by planting these plants around your bell pepper bed. With careful planning and attention, you can create a thriving and beautiful garden that nourishes you and the environment.