We have been strong advocates of companion planting and why not.
Not only does it add some variety to your home garden, makes it look more beautiful but also reduces your expense on pesticides, insecticides, and even fertilizers.
Yup, depending on the companion plant you choose, the benefits are many but so are the drawbacks of choosing the wrong companion plant.
So unless and until you want your eggplant to rot, make sure you choose the right companion plants. And we are here to help you with it.
Here are the best eggplant companion plants that will ensure a healthy growth environment for your eggplant.
Best Eggplant Companion Plants
Beans and Legumes
Eggplants are most susceptible to a bug known as the Colorado Potato Beetle mainly because of their love for potatoes. But the one thing they cannot stand is beans. But that’s not the only reason to grow beans and legumes.
In case you didn’t know, beans and legumes fix the nitrogen content in the soil. That means it saves you tons of money that would otherwise spend on nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
And that’s so important because nitrogen plays a vital role in photosynthesis. Plus, being an important part of amino acids, it impacts the plant’s overall growth and fruit-bearing ability.
You can grow pole peas and legumes in rotation with eggplants as they will leave all their soil fixing goodness behind creating healthy soil that needs minimal work.
Or you can also go with green beans if Colorado Beetles is your main concern. Either way, make sure the vines of these plants do not cover the eggplant entirely as it will cut off sunlight, in turn, hindering the growth.
If you want to avoid that hassle but retain the qualities of beans, you can go with bush beans. For the best results, we’d suggest planting bush beans alternatively with eggplants (just make sure you are leaving ample space in between).
Insects and bugs are important for plant reproduction but not all of them and that’s where thyme excels. This property makes it an ideal companion plant not just for eggplant but pretty much any plant (it is like that guy who’s friends with everyone).
This herb has a strong aroma that attracts the right insects like ladybugs and honey bees that are great pollinators but at the same time repel bugs like moths, worms/cabbage worms, etc.
You can either plant it alternatively with thyme or form a border of the thyme around your eggplants. Though if it were up to us, we’d pick the alternate planting route.
If not thyme, French tarragon is our second choice as it provides both medicinal as well as culinary benefits. Apart from that, basil, lemongrass, and oregano are some other good insect-repellent companion plants for eggplants.
The spinach and eggplant are like a good marriage, they are there for each other at all times. While spinach helps the eggplant’s growth by retaining moisture in the soil, the eggplant keeps the spinach protected from the harsh sun by providing it just the right amount of shade. Though make sure you grow smaller varieties of spinach.
As long as you are willing to put in the effort to trim down the pigweed it makes for an excellent eggplant companion plant. Otherwise, they can hog up space and nutrients from the eggplant.
When maintained, pigweed loosens the soil and allows the roots of the eggplant to dig deeper and expand more freely which, in turn, helps it absorb more nutrients and water.
Having deep roots itself, pigweed too is known to absorb nutrients from deep down the soil and make them accessible to the plants around it. Oh, and if you can get your hands on red pigweed, it also keeps insects at bay.
Tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables
Both tomatoes and eggplants are from the same family of plants known as nightshade vegetables and thus form a neutral partnership. This means while there aren’t any big benefits, they do not hinder each other’s growth either.
Just make sure you put in the time and effort needed to plan out your garden beds correctly as you do not want the tomato plants to over-shadow the eggplants (because like every plant, even they need their daily dose of the sun).
Some other nightshade vegetables that work as eggplant companions are peppers, and potatoes. If you plan on going with peppers, note that both hot peppers and sweet peppers are good but we’d suggest Hot peppers, and here’s why.
The soil is prone to infections like Fusarium infection (a fungal infection) that will soon reach the eggplant. Hot peppers have compounds that help keep this in check, in turn, making the maintenance task of the eggplants easier.
Tomatoes are great eggplant companion plants!
Catnip isn’t like your tomatoes or spinach that you can throw into your salads or use to make curries and while that makes it useless for most gardeners, it is definitely worth the consideration for some.
That is because catnip is packed with compounds that can boost mood and reduce anxiety, restlessness, and nervousness and thus, makes for an excellent cup of tea after a long day at work.
As for your eggplants, it keeps them relaxed too as they won’t be troubled by flea beetles thanks to its strong smell.
These are beautiful flowers known to attract aphids.
Wait then why are we recommending these as companion plants?
That’s because this makes them excellent trap crops. Just plant them slightly away from the eggplants and it will attract those annoying aphids before they reach the eggplants.
Though make sure you take measures to eliminate them or else it will only be a matter of time before a couple of them find their way to the eggplants.
Even radishes make excellent trap crops due to their smell, though they won’t add the same vibrancy and colors to your home garden as these flowers would.
If you are looking for some other flowers to do the trick, marigold is a great alternative. These again attract the good pollinators while keeping the pests out with the strong smell. Plus, their low maintenance makes them ideal for beginner gardeners.
Do you already grow peanuts in your garden? Well, there’s good news as they are great eggplant companions as peanuts are also legumes thus, you get the same nitrogen fixing abilities with them as with peas or beans.
But keep in mind that growing peanuts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it can vary based on your location. That is because peanuts require 600 to 1500 mm of rainfall and a frost-free period of about 150 days.
Plants you DO NOT want to grow with Eggplants
Have you been recommended by other gardeners or online guides to planting Geraniums with your eggplants?
That’s because these are known for their insect-repellent attributes but guess what, Geraniums are prone to diseases like Ralstonia solanacearum or Bacterial wilt as many commonly call it.
This disease impacts eggplants as well and can be tough to manage once it starts to spread which makes Geraniums a big no in our books.
Did you know walnuts are Allelopathic? That means they release toxins that are detrimental to the growth of plants around them, in some instances even kill them which makes them a big no.
Apart from walnuts, you also want to keep away fennel from eggplants.
Always choose a companion plant based on your priorities. If your eggplant is prone to insects and bugs, opt for herbs like thyme or French tarragon or if you would like something for everyday use, tomatoes and spinach are great options.
On the other hand, if you think soil quality is an issue, beans and legumes make the ideal eggplant companion plants.
Let us know which plant you have used as a companion for your eggplants in the comments below.
You can also ask us questions about eggplants or companion planting and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Till them happy gardening.