Cucumber Companion Plants: What's Good, Bad, and Best (2024)

Being picky about what you grow alongside your easy-to-cultivate cucumbers can mean the difference between a meager or magnificent harvest. The best cucumbercompanion plants help deter pestsand don't compete with this member of the gourd family for water or nutrients. The worst neighbors do just the opposite.

But what garden plants fare well alongside these vigorous vines, and which ones should you steer clear of?

Best Cucumber Companion Plants

Some of the most popular plants to grow alongside cucumbers include:

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

Learn more about why these are the best cucumber companion plants and why you should not grow incompatible companions such as potatoes, sage, mint, and melon.


Tomatoesand other cucurbits (zucchini, squash, pumpkin) grow in similar conditions to cucumbers. They also attract similar pollinators to increase your plant's harvest. Although you can plant them together, these plants are not on the list as "best" cucumber companion plants because they are susceptible to some of the same diseases (like mosaic virus or blight). If one plant gets infected, it's possible to wipe out your entire crop.

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What Is Companion Planting?

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

Sometimes it 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 with varying nutrient needs to use soil efficiently. Ideally, companion plants help ward off destructive insects, makinggarden pest managementeasier.

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. The benefits of selecting appropriate companion plants for cucumbers or any other plant include:

  • Naturally repelling insects
  • Deterring certain diseases
  • Minimizing competition for space, nutrients, or water
  • Can add beneficial nutrients to the soil
  • Providing stability for climbing species
  • Tall plants can provide shade for ground-growing, shade-loving species

Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Various vegetables, flowers, and herbs make excellent cucumber companion plants. These include:

  • Peas, corn,beans, and lentils: These plants' root systems increase nitrogen in the soil, which will benefit your cucumber plants. Mature corn stalks also provide natural support for climbing cucumbers and provide much-needed shade in sun-scorched spaces.
  • 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. Conversely, cucumbers have one long taproot and many shallow roots that grow and spread close to the soil surface, and the fruits grow above ground. Root vegetables and cucumbers both thrive in well-tilled soil. Radishes help repel cucumber beetles.
  • Marigolds and nasturtiums: These flowers help repel beetles, thrips, and other destructive insects that can devastate your cucumber crop.
  • Sunflowers: These tall, sturdy flowers can be natural trellises for climbing cucumber vines when space is at a premium. It's best to pick a lightweight cucumber species to prevent them from becoming too heavy for your sunflower stalks. Plus, sunflowers are pollinator superheroes, and studies show these types of plants can increase cucumber crop yields.
  • Oregano and dill: These herbs repel insect pests, and dill attracts beneficial predatory insects to the garden to help rid it of pests. Many enthusiasts swear by dill for improving the flavor of cucumbers.
  • Garlic: Studies show garlic can promote cucumber growth and decrease the chances of plants developing fusarium wilt by affecting the soil microbiome structure.

Cucumber Companion Plants: What's Good, Bad, and Best (2)

Worst Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Steer clear of the following vegetables, herbs, and fruits when selecting your cucumber companion plants.

  • Potatoes: These heavy-feeding tubers compete with cucumbers for nutrients and water and can be prone to blight.
  • Sage: This aromatic herb can stunt the growth of cucumbers, and its strong fragrance could affect its subtle flavor.
  • Mint: Most varieties of mint are overly aggressive in garden beds and can infringe on the space for cucumbers and steal their nutrients.
  • Melons: These fruits attract insect pests that feed on cucumbers.
  • Fennel: If you're a fan of this licorice-scented vegetable, it's best to find a space away from other garden vegetables, not just cucumbers. It secretes substances from its roots that can inhibit the growth of other plants.

Cucumber Companion Plants: What's Good, Bad, and Best (3)

The Best Companion Plants For Zucchini and Squash

Cucumber Companion Plants: What's Good, Bad, and Best (2024)


Cucumber Companion Plants: What's Good, Bad, and Best? ›

Cucumbers and tomatoes can be planted by each other as they share similar growing habits and therefore you can grow tomatoes by cucumbers. Greg Volente from Greenhouse Today explains that: 'Cucumbers and tomatoes are two vigorous growers in a spring garden.

What should you not plant next to cucumbers? ›

Antagonistic plants for cucumbers
  • Plants in the same family as zucchinis, melons and pumpkins should not be planted directly next to cucumbers.
  • The same applies to Jerusalem artichokes, lovage, sage, radishes, radishes and tomatoes.
Apr 11, 2023

Is it okay to plant cucumbers near tomatoes? ›

Cucumbers and tomatoes can be planted by each other as they share similar growing habits and therefore you can grow tomatoes by cucumbers. Greg Volente from Greenhouse Today explains that: 'Cucumbers and tomatoes are two vigorous growers in a spring garden.

Can peppers and cucumbers be planted together? ›

Vining vegetables like cucumbers actually make perfect companions to bushing veggies like peppers. They enjoy similar growing conditions and can grow together in about the same amount of space as a single plant. Ensure you trellis your cukes and plant your peppers in front so they aren't shaded by growing vines.

Can zucchini and cucumbers be planted together? ›

As with other squash plants, it is not advisable to plant zucchini and cucumbers together. Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, just like zucchini and so they will compete for space and nutrients. Also, growing several similar plants in the same area can make it easier for pests to find the plants.

What not to plant near zucchini? ›

Avoid planting zucchini and summer squash with all other vining plants which include cucumbers and sweet potatoes as well as pumpkins, winter squashes, and melons.

Are coffee grounds bad for cucumber plants? ›

Coffee grounds as a fertilizer can be used when growing vegetable crops such as potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, radishes, and beans. Root crops need magnesium and potassium, while nitrogen is indispensable for green crops.

What should you not plant next to tomatoes? ›

10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes
  • 01 of 10. Fennel. Fennel is not a good companion for any garden crop. ...
  • 02 of 10. Cabbage. Getty Images. ...
  • 03 of 10. Pole Beans. Neyya / Getty Images. ...
  • 04 of 10. Dill. Oxana Medvedeva / Getty Images. ...
  • 05 of 10. Corn. ...
  • 06 of 10. Okra. ...
  • 07 of 10. Potatoes. ...
  • 08 of 10. Broccoli.
May 18, 2024

What not to plant with bell peppers? ›

Brassicas: Almanacs and home gardeners recommend avoiding planting brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflower) near peppers because they require different soil acidity levels and can deter pepper plant growth.

Can I plant basil next to cucumbers? ›

While both may be great additions to a salad, cucumbers will fight for most of the same resources in your soil that basil needs, and that often means one plant will do better than the other. Another reason not to include basil plants near your cucumbers is a change in flavor.

What not to plant near celery? ›

Don't plant root crops, such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes nearby. Celery has a shallow root system that can be damaged when a root crop is harvested. Corn is also not a good choice. It is a heavy feeder and can deplete the soil of the nutrients that celery needs, and the tall plants block too much sunlight.

What plants grow well together chart? ›

Vegetables and Herbs Companion Planting Chart
PlantGood Together
PotatoBush Bean, Cabbage, Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Onion, Parsnip, Peas
RadishBeet, Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnip, Peas, Spinach, Squash
SpinachCelery, Corn, Eggplant, Cauliflower
SquashCorn, Onion, Radish
15 more rows

How far apart to plant peppers and cucumbers? ›

But don't plant them too close that they will shade your pepper plants: Squash and cucumbers, for example, need ample space so we plant them at least 3-4' away from our pepper patch.

Can I plant marigolds with cucumbers? ›

Marigolds. Marigolds and cucumbers are another excellent companion plant pairing for your garden. This is because marigolds are some of the absolute best plants to grow if you want to naturally repel garden pests. Some of the many insects that avoid the scent of marigolds include thrips, white flies, and squash bugs.

What not to plant near squash? ›

Cucumber and Squash

Cucumbers and squash come from the same family and both need nutrient-rich soil in order to thrive. "Planting cucumbers and squash together increases the competition for vital nutrients and will quickly exhaust the nutrients in their soil," says Spoonemore.

What should tomatoes not be planted with? ›

10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes
  • 01 of 10. Fennel. Fennel is not a good companion for any garden crop. ...
  • 02 of 10. Cabbage. Getty Images. ...
  • 03 of 10. Pole Beans. Neyya / Getty Images. ...
  • 04 of 10. Dill. Oxana Medvedeva / Getty Images. ...
  • 05 of 10. Corn. ...
  • 06 of 10. Okra. ...
  • 07 of 10. Potatoes. ...
  • 08 of 10. Broccoli.
May 18, 2024

What vegetables can not be planted together? ›

14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
  • 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
  • 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
  • 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
  • 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
  • 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
  • 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
  • 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
  • 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
Jan 16, 2024

What not to plant near peppers? ›

There's really no evidence that certain plants will somehow affect pepper growth, but you may want to avoid planting peppers near cabbage and other brassicas such as broccoli and cauliflower (because peppers prefer slightly different soil acidity levels) and fennel (which some gardeners say inhibits pepper development) ...

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