Companion planting is a gardening strategy that involves growing certain plants together to enhance growth, deter pests, and prevent diseases. When it comes to peppers, selecting the right companions can help boost their health and productivity. Here’s a guide on which plants to grow alongside peppers for protection against diseases and pests, and which ones to avoid:

Plants to Grow Next to Peppers for Protection:

  1. Basil: Basil is an excellent companion for peppers, as it can help repel aphids, spider mites, and other pests. It also enhances the flavor of peppers when grown nearby.
  2. Marigolds: Marigolds contain compounds that repel nematodes, which can be harmful to peppers. Planting marigolds around pepper plants can help protect them from these soil-borne pests.
  3. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic have natural fungicidal properties that can help protect peppers against fungal diseases like powdery mildew and damping-off.
  4. Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums attract aphids away from peppers, serving as sacrificial plants. Their pungent scent also repels certain pests, acting as a natural pest deterrent.
  5. Oregano and Thyme: These aromatic herbs can help repel pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. They also attract beneficial insects such as predatory wasps and hoverflies.

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Peppers:

  1. Fennel: Fennel excretes compounds that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including peppers. Avoid planting fennel near peppers to prevent stunted growth and reduced yields.
  2. Beans: Beans are known to release substances into the soil that can inhibit the growth of peppers and other nightshade vegetables. Keep beans and peppers separated in the garden.
  3. Brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower): Brassicas can attract pests like cabbage worms and aphids, which may also target pepper plants. Keep these two plant families apart to avoid pest infestations.
  4. Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi, a member of the brassica family, can compete with peppers for nutrients and space. Plant them separately to prevent overcrowding and nutrient depletion.
  5. Potatoes: Potatoes are susceptible to many of the same pests and diseases as peppers, including Colorado potato beetles and late blight. Avoid planting them together to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

By carefully selecting companion plants and avoiding incompatible ones, you can create a harmonious and productive garden environment for your peppers. Experiment with different combinations to find the best companions for your peppers’ health and vigor.