13 Best Cucumber Companion Plants

Plus 4 Bad Neighbors for Cucumbers

cucumbers

The Spruce / K. Dave 

Cucumbers are exuberant plants with vines that can sprawl over a lot of space—the healthier the plant, the more room they seem to take up. But, if you do not want your cucumbers to overgrow in a spot or choke out the competition, give the cucumber vines a trellis to grow up, giving you more space for other nearby plants.

Several garden plants fare well alongside these vigorous vines and make great companion plants for cucumbers. You'll find it's usually easiest to grow plants with similar care instructions, such as light, soil, water, and sun requirements. Some similar growing companions may include plants like tomatoes, zucchini, or squash. However, one thing to be careful of with similar-growing plants like cucumbers and tomatoes is they can sometimes fall prone to the same diseases, like mosaic virus or blight, which can spread easily if they're near each other.

The best companion plants help deter pests and do not compete with cucumbers for water or nutrients. The worst neighbors do just the opposite.

Best Cucumber Companion Plants

  • Legumes and corn (peas, beans, lentils)
  • Root vegetables and onions (radishes, beets, carrots)
  • Select flowers (marigolds, nasturtiums, sunflowers)
  • Select herbs (dill and oregano)

Special note about tomatoes and other cucurbits: Tomatoes and other cucurbits (cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin) grow in the same conditions, complementing each other. They also attract similar pollinators to increase your plant's harvest. The reason these plants are not on the list as "best" companions is they are susceptible to some of the same diseases as cucumbers. If one plant gets infected, it's possible to wipe out your entire crop.

Learn more details about the garden plants that make the best cucumber companions and discover why you should not grow potatoes, sage, mint, and melon with cucumbers.

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is the practice of planting different species together based on their ability to enhance one another's growth, offer some form of pest protection, or other advantages.

Sometimes this is a matter of choosing plants with different growth habits that do not compete with one another for space, or it can mean choosing companions that have different nutrient needs in order to make efficient use of soil. Ideally, companion plants help ward off destructive insects, making garden pest management easier.

Some companion planting simply involves common sense—making sure that taller plants don't provide too much shade to low-growing plants, for instance. Strategic companion planting is especially important in small gardens or wherever careful space planning is needed. 

Benefits of Companion Planting

Seasoned gardeners swear by companion planting because it increases the health and productivity of crops like cucumbers. Benefits of companion planting for cucumbers and other plants include:

  • Repelling insects
  • Deterring certain diseases
  • Minimizing competition for space, nutrients, or water
  • Providing stability for climbing plants (some plants, like sunflowers, are tall and strong enough to support other plants' vines)
sunflowers
The Spruce / K. Dave

Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Various vegetables, flowers, and herbs make excellent companions for cucumbers.

  • Peas, cornbeans, and lentils: These plants' root systems increase nitrogen in the soil, which will benefit your cucumber plants and other garden plants.
  • Radishes, beets, carrots, and onions: These root vegetables work well with cucumbers because they do not spread and compete for space; most of their growth occurs beneath the soil. Also, root vegetables and cucumbers both thrive in well-tilled soil.
  • Marigolds and nasturtiums: These flowers help repel beetles, thrips, and other destructive insects.
  • Sunflowers: These tall, sturdy flowers can be natural trellises for cucumber vines.
  • Oregano and dill: These herbs repel insect pests, and dill attracts beneficial predatory insects to the garden to help rid it of pests.
nasturtium
The Spruce / K. Dave  

Worst Companion Plants for Cucumbers

What plants should you not plant near cucumbers and why?

  • Potatoes: These tubers compete with cucumbers for nutrients and water, so they should not be planted together.
  • Sage: This herb has been reported to stunt the growth of cucumbers, so plant it elsewhere.
  • Mint: Most varieties of mint are overly aggressive in garden beds and can infringe on the space for cucumbers and their nutrients.
  • Melons: These fruits attract insect pests that feed on cucumbers, so keep these similar plants apart in the garden.
watermelon
The Spruce / K. Dave