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Bean Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
Beans are one of the best vegetables you can grow in the garden – whether they’re pole beans or bush beans, they’ll release nitrogen into the soil that benefits many other plants. A few of those plants can also help out beans in return! This full list of companion plants for beans includes many great options to try.
Some of the best bean companion plants include squash, corn, potatoes, summer savory, and nasturtiums, along with many other flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
Full List of Bean Companion Plants
The following vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers all make great pole bean and bush bean companion plants. They may deter pests, bring in beneficial insects, offer ground cover, improve soil quality, or otherwise assist with your beans’ growth and yield.
The most famous companion planting combination is the “Three Sisters,” which includes squash, corn… and beans! You can recreate that or try your own grouping with the following.
Fruit and Vegetable Companion Plants for Beans
• Arugula, Lettuce, and Spinach – All bean varieties offer shade that can lengthen the growing season for these leafy greens.
• Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, and Swiss Chard – Pole beans in particular benefit these Brassicas family members by offering shade, but bush beans will grow well with them as well. Brassicas also benefit from the nitrogen the beans fix.
• Carrots and Parsnips – Carrots, parsnips, and beans won’t compete with each other for nutrients or space and generally grow happily together.
• Corn – Corn makes an excellent companion plant for pole beans, since the stalks form a trellis for the beans to grow on naturally. Bush beans will also grow nicely with corn but won’t necessarily get any benefit. Wait until the corn is at least a foot high before planting pole beans, though – otherwise the corn may not be able to support the beans’ weight.
• Cucumbers, Summer Squashes, and Winter Squashes – The nitrogen that beans release benefits all of these cucurbit family members.
• Eggplant and Tomatoes – Eggplants and tomatoes benefit from the nitrogen beans fix, and in turn may improve bean growth.
• Peas and Other Fellow Legumes – Beans get along well with peas and other bean varieties. Just make sure everyone has enough space and sunlight!
• Potatoes – Potatoes prevent the Mexican bean beetle, while beans can deter the awful Colorado potato beetle.
• Radishes – Radishes enjoy the added nitrogen beans provide, while the beans may get a boost from the radishes.
• Strawberries – Perennial strawberries offer excellent ground cover provided you don’t choose a bean variety that blocks their sunlight.
Flowers to Plant Near Beans
• Alyssum – Sweet alyssum offers ground cover and brings in beneficial insects.
• Cosmos – Cosmos attract many beneficial insects to your bean patch.
• Marigolds – Marigolds deter nematodes, along with many other common bean pests.
• Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums can repel many bean pests.
• Petunias – Pretty petunias can help prevent the Mexican Bean Beetle from finding your crop.
Herbs to Plant Near Beans
The following herbs all make excellent bush and pole bean companion plants, as they may keep bad bugs away, bring in beneficial ones, and even improve your beans’ flavor.
What NOT to Plant Next to Beans
You should grow some plants in an area far away from beans. Common reasons are because they can share diseases or will otherwise stunt your beans’ growth.
Plants to Avoid with Beans
• Beets – Beets shouldn’t be planted with pole beans, but they neither help nor hinder bush beans.
• Onions and Other Alliums – Beans shouldn’t be planted too close to alliums, like garlic, chives, and onions, since they can stunt each other’s growth and may share diseases. Avoid planting beans in an area where alliums were planted the previous year, as well.
• Sunflowers – Sunflowers can stunt bean growth.
With this list, you should have plenty of options for pole bean, bush bean, and green bean companion plants.
Learn about the best companion plants for squash as well!