By growing eggplant alongside other plants, you can help boost the growth of your eggplants or the other crops, repel insects, or heighten flavor. Not every plant is compatible, and just like people, not every plant will make a good companion, so you need to know what to plant next to your eggplant. Luckily, below you will find a handy guide that will find a companion plant for your eggplant and take the guesswork out of your eggplant gardening.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is strategically planting a crop with another crop to gain some advantage in production, flavor, or protection from pests.
Benefits of Companion Planting
Companion planting allows you to grow more plants and support the ones you have, since the two or more plants establish a beneficial relationship that aids one or both companions.
It can also replace the need to purchase other plant care supplies, two of the items most commonly purchased for gardening. However, you will have to buy less of these if you buy the right plants and plan your garden so that the plants you were already going to be planting are arranged in a way that they help the crops next to them.
Best Eggplant Companion Plants
- Beets: These cool-weather root veggies do an amazing job preparing the soil for the next nears harvest by aerating the soil or eggplant and helping you manage the spacing of your current year's plantings.
- Spinach: Spinach can grow in close quarters and is perfect for a plant that uses the shade cast by eggplant in the warm summer months.
- Onions: Insects think eggplants are as delicious as we do, and a great way to keep them away is by planting onion and eggplant together. The onion will repel the insects, helping to keep your eggplants pristine.
- Brassicas: The mustard and cabbage family, which includes kale, mustard greens, broccoli and cauliflower, goes together well with eggplant, keeping many of the pests that are enticed by the delicious purple fruit away.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes, in the same family as eggplant, the nightshades, are great companion plants. They enjoy similar conditions and will enhance flavor.
- Peppers: Peppers are another nightshade that shares growing conditions with eggplant. It does an excellent job creating diversity in the garden while helping enhance flavor and maximize growth.
- Beans: Eggplant is a heavy feeder and quickly consumes nutrients, especially nitrogen, from your soil. Legumes or bean plants are nitrogen fixers and will replenish the nitrogen that eggplant has consumed, acting as a natural nitrogen source and making it a perfect companion.
- Potatoes: Another nightshade, this root vegetable is a cold-weather crop and will allow you to plant potatoes close to your eggplant to be harvested in different seasons than your eggplant, allowing you to maximize crop efficiency.
- Radishes: This fast-growing vegetable creates beneficial soil conditions by aerating the soil; they will be ready much earlier than the eggplant and grow between the plants.
- Lettuce: Lettuce and all greens act as a great weed barrier creating a ground cover when planted between your eggplants. The shade created by the eggplant will enhance the greens that would normally wilt in the summer sun, making these two plants great companion plants.
- Peas: Peas are another perfect companion plant for eggplant because of their nitrogen-fixing ability. Plant these two together to keep your hungry eggplants nice and fed.
- Carrots: The perfect plant for space-wise crop management for the gardener who wants to companion plants to maximize crop yield. The shade-tolerant carrot, which grows fine in tight quarters, can be squeezed in between your eggplant to get as much out of every inch of your garden as possible.
- Chives: Chives may be one of the most useful things to plant near your eggplant. This amazing herb will attract pollinators to your eggplant, repel pests, and enhance its flavor.
- Dill: Besides being incredibly aromatic, dill does an amazing job drawing in pollinators. Plant this flavorful culinary herb next to your eggplant for an increased yield and a big boost in growth.
- Oregano: Planting oregano with your eggplant will attract pollinators, increasing crop yield. Plant eggplant, tomato, and oregano together, and you will have a summer-long Italian feast at your beck and call.
- Marigolds: Marigolds do a great job of repelling pests from a garden, so planting them near your eggplant can keep them free of insects and rodents. The most important action that marigolds do takes place under the soil, repelling harmful roundworms known as nematodes.
- Nasturtiums: These flowers are invaluable as companion plants to eggplants. They attract valuable pollinators, and predatory insects, repel pests, and guard against certain pathogens.
- Calendula: This beautiful flower is the perfect natural pest deterrent. Whether attracting predators or repelling pests, it is great at its job.
What other plants should not be planted with eggplant?
Eggplants are heavy feeders, so they should not be planted with other heavy feeders such as corn, melons, and any plant in the squash family. Other plants to look out for are geraniums, which can carry pathogens known to stunt eggplant growth.
Can you plant eggplants near tomatoes?
Eggplants and tomatoes can be planted together. These two nightshades have similar growing habits that require a good amount of room, so just remember to give them a good amount of compost and space to grow when you first plant them.
Can you plant eggplant and zucchini together?
Eggplant and zucchini cannot be planted together. These plants are very heavy feeders and will constantly battle for who will get the most nutrients, with zucchini usually winning. Squash family plants also have very large leaves, often creating too much shade for the sun-loving zucchini.