Plants, like humans, thrive when good companions surround them. And companion planting is a part of organic cultivation. Companion planting is done for various reasons, including repelling pests, improving the flavor of produce, attracting pollinators, and so on. Plants can reap the benefits mentioned above when paired with suitable companions. On the other hand, some plants do not get along. When planted in pairs, they act as obnoxious and often destructive neighbors to one another.
So selecting the right companion is critical to ensuring the growth and survival of your host plant. Bok Choy, also recognized as Chinese cabbage, is a member of the cabbage family. It is a cool-weather crop that can be harvested in the spring and fall. They are relatively simple to grow in the backyard. And combining them with beneficial companion plants can ensure their high productivity and long-term survival.
This post aims to explain the plants that can grow alongside Bok Choy. But, before we get into the meat of the post, let’s start with some Bok Choy fundamentals! That way, we can learn about this crop and eventually understand why companion planting is beneficial and what plants can be grown alongside it.
So let’s begin with the note that ‘Bok Choy needs buddies to be chubby!’
The Bok Choy Basics
Why are we stressing about learning the basics of Bok Choy? Because it is only after we learn about what Bok Choy is that we can select the right companion plants for it. We must remember that the companion planting strategy is very practical and should be accompanied by some rationality.
Bok Choy, a Brassica crop, literally translates to “white vegetable” in Chinese. It is, however, not a white vegetable and only has the white stalks near the center. Like any other cabbage family vegetable, Bok Choy thrives in direct sunlight. Although it can tolerate partial shade, it should never be planted in full shade. Bok Choy prefers fertile, well-drained soil rich in organic matter to flourish. It is a cool-season crop that thrives between 55 and 75°F.
Here’s a quick reference guide to the fundamentals of Bok Choy. Go through it to learn the basics of the crop.
|Common name:||Bok Choy|
|Scientific name:||Brassica Chinensis|
|Other names:||Chinese cabbage
|Soil:||Rich and well-drained|
|Sun exposure:||Full to partial|
|Hardiness Zone:||USDA 2-11|
|Watering:||1 inch watering per week|
|Pests:||Prone to flea beetles, cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, slugs, whiteflies, and aphids|
Top- 8 Bok Choy Companion Plants
Welcome to the crux of the article! Here, we will specifically list companion plants beneficial to Bok Choy. This section has been divided into two sections. These categories will help you understand companion plants that aid in pest control and those that attract pollinators.
Companion Plants to Repel Pests
As stated earlier, Bok Choy is susceptible to pest attacks. Hence, here is a list of plants that can help keep pests at bay from the host plant.
Celery is known as the Brassica family’s best friend. Not only for humans but also for Bok Choy, this biennial vegetable is renowned for its “healthy crunch.” This crop helps keep the cabbage worm at bay when planted near Bok Choy. The scented leaves of the celery plant will also keep the white cabbage moth away from your garden.
Planting Bok Choy and Nasturtium in your vegetable garden can produce a stunning color display. Nasturtiums keep cabbage loopers, squash bugs, and whiteflies away from Bok Choy as well. These flowers are also edible. As a result, Nasturtiums will provide you with two benefits: an insect repellent and a flavorful crop.
These flowering plants can also be planted ahead of your host plant to act as trap plants for aphids, cabbage worms, and flea beetles. When the nasturtiums are completely infested, pull them up and place them in a sealed plastic bag for disposal.
Aromatic herbs, such as mint, offer various advantages to Bok choy as companion plants. For example, their fragrance camouflages the host plant’s odor and distracts harmful pests. However, remember that mint is a fast-growing plant that, if not controlled, can choke out neighboring plants. Planting mint in containers and placing them near Bok Choy would thus be a better and more practical option. Also, keep an eye on aphid infestation, as this pest is attracted to mint.
Garlic, leeks, onions, shallots, and chives are examples of alliums. Alliums emit strong fragrances that repel harmful pests. Consider growing alliums nearby if your host plant is plagued by aphids, cabbage worms, spider mites, and other pests. Alliums can also deter deer and rodents.
Growing marigolds alongside Bok Choy will beautify your garden and keep harmful insects at bay. Marigold flowers repel insects and aid in controlling aphids, cabbage worms, thrips, slugs, and whiteflies. On the other hand, their root systems aid in eliminating harmful root-knot nematodes.
Companion Plants to Attract Beneficial Insects
Attracting helpful pollinators and predatory insects to your garden is one of the major purposes of companion planting. Here is a compilation of companion plants to attract pollinators to your Bok Choy.
Along being anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, Chamomile is an attractor of beneficial pollinators. Growing this fragrant herb in your garden will attract frequent visitors, such as honey bees. This herb attracts predatory insects such as ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings. Chamomile tea can also be used to combat plant diseases.
Tip to make Chamomile Spray:
1 cup of boiling water should contain 2-3 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and leaves. Mix them thoroughly and leave the mixture to rest for at least 24 hours. Your spray is ready. Just strain the mixture into a clean spray bottle before using.
Borage is an excellent companion plant for your vegetable garden. When planted near Bok Choy, Borage helps keep cabbage worms at bay. Furthermore, predatory insects such as hoverflies and lacewings use borage leaves as a habitat.
Among the many advantages of borage is its ability to make adjoining crops more resistant to stressors. Large leaves also serve as living mulch for your host plant and enrich the soil with nitrogen and other nutrients.
Cilantro is an excellent companion plant for luring beneficial predatory insects such as lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies, etc. These predatory insects, in turn, prey on Bok Choy pests such as aphids and cabbage maggots.
Why Pair Bok Choy With Companion Plants?
Have you ever thought about why you should use companion planting as a gardener? There could be several reasons for this organic gardening science. However, in this section, we will investigate the reasons for using companion planting with Bok Choy.
1. Pest Repellation
The first reason is that companion planting can assist Bok Choy in getting rid of harmful pests. This crop is susceptible to worms such as grubs, aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, etc. As a result, selecting vegetables, flowering plants, and herbs that send these pests fleeing could be extremely beneficial. Keep in mind that companion plants should be chosen based on the pests that most bother your Bok Choy.
2. Enriching Soil
Bok Choy, as previously stated, prefers highly fertile soil and is a heavy feeding crop. Therefore, choosing leguminous plants, such as bush beans can help enrich the soil with nitrogen. This, in turn, can help Bok Choy get more soil nutrition, allowing it to thrive better.
3. Overall Good Health
Plant your Bok Choy with garden buddies like beets, carrots, chards, cucumbers, and so on to ensure its overall health. Combining this crop with flavor-enhancing companions, such as garlic, can also be beneficial.
Companion Plants to Increase The Beauty of Your Garden
Companion plants are not only planted for practical benefits. This science also aids in the creation of a visually appealing garden. As a result, if you want to create a lovely color display in your garden, here is a list of flowering plants that work well with Bok Choy.
- Pot Marigolds
Other Good Companion Plants For Bok Choy
Apart from what we have listed above, here are some additional companion plants that can be paired effortlessly with Bok Choy.
|Garlic||Enhance the flavor of Bok Choy|
|Beans, Lettuce, Spinach, and Sweet Chard||Similar light, nutrients, and water needs as Bok Choy|
|Legumes||Fix nitrogen in the soil|
|Thyme||Repel cabbage worms, flea beetles and aphids|
|Hyssop||Deters cabbage moths|
|Mugwort||Deters cabbage moths|
Plants That Do Not Go Well With Bok Choy
After you’ve mastered the friendly plants, it’s time to focus on the plants that are a no-no for Bok Choy. Keep in mind that not all plants make good peers. So, the following list will teach you about the incorrect Bok Choy companion plants and why you should avoid them.
Let us begin with the nightshades!
Plants in the nightshade family are susceptible to verticillium wilt. So, combining your Bok Choy with tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers increases the likelihood of your host plant becoming infected with this fungal disease. It’s akin to inviting disease into your garden.
2. Other Brassicas
It stands to reason that all Brassica plants will be susceptible to the same diseases and attract similar pests. This could result in a pest infestation. In addition, their nutritional needs would be the same. As a result, if they are planted together, they will compete for soil nutrition, resulting in stunted growth and even death.
Strawberries should be planted separately from all Brassica family crops. These berries produce chemicals that can inhibit the growth of Bok Choy. In addition, strawberries, like Bok Choy, are also heavy feeders. Planting two heavy feeders together would result in intense competition for nutrition. Both plants’ growth may be hampered as a result.
One of the primary reasons for avoiding sunflowers is their height. Sunflowers grow pretty tall, and they attract sunlight towards them. This could result in your Bok Choy getting permanent shade and keeping starved for sun exposure.
Here are the related questions and answers to keep you further abreast about the Bok Choy plant.
Ans. Yes, maintain at least 1-6 inches of spacing while planting Bok Choy in a row or with any companion plant. The spacing must also be dependent on the spread of the companion plant. Be cautious not to overcrowd your garden.
Ans. Some pests that tend to affect Bok Choy include
• Cabbage loopers
• Cabbage moth
• Tarnished plant bugs
Ans. Zucchini may not be an ideal choice to be planted with Bok Choy. We say so because this crop is a heavy feeder. So if grown together, both Bok Choy and zucchini would compete for nutrition.
Ans. Yes, aromatic herbs like mint, thyme, chamomile, and lavender, among others, can be paired with Bok Choy. The fragrance of these herbs will lure beneficial insects while acting as camouflage for harmful pests.
Ans. Corns are heavy feeders and grow tall. So growing corns near Bok Choy would mean a heavy competition for nutrition and the creation of permanent shade. So, pairing these two crops is a complete NO.
We hope our interpretation of Bok Choy companion plants has helped you better understand the concept. Gardening becomes easier if you know what to plant and what not to plant with your host plant.
Have you ever grown a Bok Choy companion plant that isn’t mentioned in our post? Please tell us about your experience. We’re intrigued. And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your fellow green thumbs.