One of the most popular vegetables to grow alongside other plants in a garden is peppers. But which plants are good companions for peppers, and which ones should be avoided?
In this article, we’ll highlight the best and worst neighbors for peppers so that you can make sure your garden is as productive and healthy as possible.
What to Plant With Peppers
Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden’s potential.
By planting certain herbs, flowers, and vegetables near your peppers, you can help deter pests, increase the quality of the soil, and even improve the flavor of your peppers.
- Swiss chard
In particular, French marigolds repel bad nematodes. Basil, cosmos, and borage encourage pollinators.
Basil also improves the flavor of peppers, while chives and garlic repel aphids, flies, and other pests. All the other listed plants benefit peppers in some way.
What NOT to Plant With Peppers
While finding the right companions for your pepper plants is vital for a good harvest, bad companions can devastate your garden by attracting unwanted pests, spreading plant diseases, and even competing for nutrients in the soil.
Below is a list of plants to avoid planting near bell peppers, chili (capsicum), jalapeno, habanero, cayenne, and other sweet and hot peppers.
- Brussel Sprouts
How to Grow Peppers
There are some general guidelines you must follow when planting and harvesting peppers.
Peppers are all-rounder crops that grow well in raised beds and in-ground gardens. Seeds are generally started in pots or containers and transplanted about 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting.
Additionally, the spacing between them is important — anywhere between 12 and 18 inches apart is ideal.
The use of mulch is highly recommended too, as this will help keep the soil moist and cool. The weight of the fruits may also break the branches, so the use of cages or stakes is recommended.
Also, ensure that your pepper plants get between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily as they rely heavily on sunshine for optimum yield. Read: 15 High Yield Vegetables and Herbs to Grow
Furthermore, peppers grow best in warm weather, so do your planting once the last frost has passed.
Care and Maintenance
Pepper plants thrive with a moderate amount of water, so do not overwater them. Also, they are sensitive to heat and will drop their blossoms if the temperature gets too hot .
Introduce natural organic fertilizers to the garden two weeks after planting. Additionally, fertilize every month to ensure your plants are getting the right amount of nutrients.
Use a fertilizer that is high in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus — nutrients that peppers need.
The roots of some pepper plants are also very delicate, so be cautious when removing weeds from around them.
Below are some garden pests that affect peppers.
- Pepper weevils and cutworms are among the common pests that affect peppers.
- Another pest to be mindful of is the hornworm. They come out at dusk, dawn, or nighttime and can leave your plants in a really bad state.
- Additionally, keep an eye out for root-knot nematodes. The roots of the plants are very delicate, so they are easy prey for these critters.
- Thrips, greenflies (aphids), cucumber beetles, and mites are some pests that can cause stunted growth, leaf discoloration, and deformed fruits .
For the most part, dealing with these garden pests can be done by using natural pest control methods. Horticultural soap spray, for example, is an all-rounder natural remedy to help eliminate pests.
Peppers can also be affected by several plant diseases — most commonly mosaic virus, bacterial leaf spots, southern blight, and powdery mildew. However, a simple way to eliminate these plant problems is to rotate your crops seasonally.
Additionally, there are plenty of organic and natural ways to get rid of plant diseases.
Depending on which pepper variety you’ve decided to grow, the harvest time may vary.
Sweet peppers mature within 60 to 90 days, while spicy ones can take up to 150 days. However, you will know the fruit is ready for harvesting when it takes on its full color.
Always choose a pruning knife or shear over any other tool to detach the fruits from their stems when harvesting. This will prevent the breakage of delicate branches.
Also, remember to wear gloves when picking hot peppers or you could end up burning your hands. Store your harvested peppers in a cool dry place.
Some of the common types of peppers grown today are bell peppers, jalapeno, shishito, ancho, chili, anaheim, and serrano. And helpful companion plants can help them thrive.
Additionally, it is important that you keep peppers away from crops that are bad for them and have negative effects on each other’s growth.
See also: other plants that grow well together.