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Potato Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
Potatoes are an excellent root vegetable to grow for a late harvest. They’re fairly low maintenance, and once harvested, they can be stored in a cool, dry area, such as a basement or root cellar, for many months.
However, they do take up quite a bit of space in the garden. They also have a few unique pests and diseases, like potato blight, that can cause trouble during the growing season.
Luckily, there are a few potato companion plants that will pair well with your tubers. Using the right potato companion plants can help increase potato yield (or even flavor!), prevent disease, discourage pests, and more. I’ve included a list of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that pair well with potatoes. At the end, there’s an additional list of some that won’t get along with your potatoes, for reference.
Full List of Potato Companion Plants
The following plants can help aid in the growth, health, and/or yield of potatoes. Most require interplanting, which means a row of one in between rows of potatoes, or a mixed row of both potatoes and the companion plants.
Vegetables to Plant with Potatoes
• Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes – Some research suggests that pairing garden beans, such as green beans and wax beans, with potatoes can cause the potato tubers to grow larger than they normally would. They add nitrogen to the soil and deter harmful insects. To make the most of the partnership, grow beans and potatoes in alternate rows or intersperse them within a row.
• Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower – These are all from the brassicas family, with shallow roots that won’t interfere with potato tuber growth. Cabbage in particular may improve potato flavor, as well.
• Corn – Planting potatoes around the bases and rows of your corn can help maximize your garden space. The corn takes up a lot of space and sunlight above-ground, but very little space in the roots, while potatoes need more root space than anything.
• Lettuce & Spinach – Lettuce and spinach can grow well in between potato rows and won’t compete with your potatoes for nutrients.
• Radishes – If you notice a lot of flea beetles in your garden, interplanting radishes with your potatoes can help keep them away. Just make sure you plant the radishes several weeks before your potatoes.
Flowers to Plant Near Potatoes
• Alyssum – This pretty ground cover can retain moisture and prevent weeds without taking away the potatoes’ nutrients and growing space.
• Marigolds – Planting marigolds near your potatoes can prevent harmful insects and may protect the plants from disease.
• Nasturtiums – Bright and beautiful nasturtiums can deter aphids and potato beetles when planted a short distance away from your potato crops. Make sure you give them plenty of space – I’ve had them take over the garden when planted too close to other plants!
• Petunias – Petunias can attract beneficial insects to your potatoes when planted nearby.
Herbs to Plant Near Potatoes
• Basil, Chamomile, Parsley, Thyme, and Yarrow – All of these herbs can attract beneficial insects and improve the flavor of your potato crop.
• Coriander, Tansy, and Catmint – If you also struggle with voracious Colorado Potato Beetles, planting strong-smelling coriander, tansy, or catmint in with potatoes can help keep the bad bugs from finding your potato crop. Interplant any of these herbs close to the potatoes, not on the outside of your garden or some other far-away area. Since these herbs are all perennials, you can dig them up and transplant to a new potato patch as you rotate each year.
• Sage – Planting sage near a potato crop can keep flea beetles at bay.
What NOT to Plant Next to Potatoes
Some trees and plants should be placed far away from potatoes. Common reasons are because they’re in the same family and can share diseases, will compete for root area with the potatoes, or will otherwise stunt your potatoes’ growth.
Vegetables to Avoid with Potatoes
• Asparagus – Asparagus is a perennial with a delicate root system. All the digging involved with potato harvesting can severely damage your asparagus crop during the following spring.
• Cucumbers, Pumpkins, and Squashes – Cucumbers, pumpkins, and other varieties of winter and summer squash all share blight with potatoes. They also require a lot of water and nutrients, which will damage potatoes in the long run.
• Deep Root Vegetables [Turnips, Parsnips, Carrots, etc.] – Deep root vegetables, like carrots, can interfere with a potato’s growing space underground, and they may stunt the size and yield of your potato crop.
• Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplants – Since they’re all in the same family (nightshade, interestingly enough) potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants can all share a common disease known as blight. Blight will come back and kill them if they’re planted too closely (or if they’re in the same areas for successive years). They also compete for the same set of nutrients.
Fruits to Keep Away from Potatoes
• Apple and Cherry Trees – Apples and cherries, as well as other fruit trees, can attract blight.
• Raspberries – Raspberries and potatoes are both susceptible to blight, and can easily spread to each other if planted too closely.
Other Plants to Avoid
• Fennel & Sunflowers – Both fennel and sunflowers can stunt potato tuber growth.
Happy Potato Companion Planting!
You now have plenty of great potato companion plants to add to your garden roster this spring. Let me know which ones you chose, and how it went, in the comments below!
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