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Corn Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
Tall, flavorful corn is a garden favorite for many. Its unique height and care needs can make it a challenge to grow with others, however. Luckily, there are many great corn companion plants that benefit your corn, with some actually appreciating the plant’s height!
The best companion plants for corn include beans, squash, and cucumbers, along with many other vegetables, flowers, and herbs!
Full List of Corn Companion Plants
The following vegetables, herbs, and flowers can benefit corn by deterring common corn pests, bringing in beneficial insects, offering nitrogen and ground cover, or otherwise improving conditions to increase either the corn’s or their own yield.
One of the most famous companion planting combinations includes corn! Called the “Three Sisters,” this Iroquois practice included planting winter squash and pole beans at the base of corn plants.
Vegetable Companion Plants for Corn
• Arugula, Lettuce, and Spinach – These leafy greens enjoy the shade corn offers them, and in return they help prevent weeds and retain moisture.
• Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes – Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil that benefits your corn. Pole beans in particular also benefit, since they can use the corn as a trellis if the corn is started first.
• Cucumbers, Melons, Pumpkins, Summer Squashes, and Winter Squashes – All of these cucurbit family members prevent weeds and help with moisture retention around the corn. The prickers on their vines are also thought to repel raccoons.
• Garlic – Garlic can deter common corn pests.
• Potatoes – Potatoes grow well at the base of corn plants. Corn can further help potatoes by keeping diseases away and increasing yields if a few corn plants are chopped into the soil beforehand. To make the most use of this, till your corn plants into the ground after you’re done harvesting in the fall, then plant potatoes in that area the following spring.
• Radishes – If you leave a few radish plants to bolt after harvesting, they may keep corn pests away.
Flowers to Plant Near Corn
• Cosmos – Cosmos bring in many beneficial insects, like predatory bugs that kill aphids and more.
• Marigolds – Marigolds repel aphids and other corn pests while bringing in beneficial insects.
• Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums make an ideal aphid trap crop when planted a short distance away from corn.
• Sunflowers – Sunflowers attract helpful insects, like ladybugs.
• Zinnias – Zinnias can attract many beneficial insects.
Herbs to Plant Near Corn
The following herbs can benefit your corn plants by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or possibly even improving the corn’s flavor.
• Summer Savory
What NOT to Plant Next to Corn
Some plants need to grow in an area separate from corn. Common reasons are that they need similar nutrients or will otherwise stunt each other’s growth.
Plants to Avoid with Corn
• Brassicas – Corn shades broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and other brassicas family members too much. In addition, they compete for nutrients.
• Eggplants and Tomatoes – Corn, eggplants, and tomatoes all attract similar pests and will compete for nutrients.
• Fennel – Fennel can stunt the growth of corn.
With this guide, you should now know what your options are for corn companion plants. Try one or two and see what works best in your garden!
Looking for more corn tips? Here’s how to grow corn in a raised bed.