Do you give any thought to what you plant next to each other in your garden? You should! It’s time to learn a thing or two about companion plants.
Some of the best companion plants for jalapeño peppers are sunflowers, garlic, Queen Anne’s lace, and marigolds. Companion plants can serve many purposes, such as attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and fixing nitrogen. Plants that should not be planted alongside jalapeños include kohlrabi and beans.
Keep reading for a comprehensive list of incredible jalapeño pepper companion plants – and why they’re such a good fit!
What is a companion plant and why are they important?
Let’s start with a little 101.
Companion plants are carefully-curated plants selected to improve the health of your garden. They can attract beneficial insects, discourage pests, encourage cross-pollination, and/or make your garden stunning!
Companion plants have a plethora of purposes. They can attract beneficial insects, repel pests, encourage interesting cross-pollination, or simply look beautiful! They can also provide ground cover, keep weeds down, fix nitrogen, and supply shade.
Beneficial insects keep pests under control. Aphids are a common pest for jalapeño peppers. However, planting companion plants that attract good bugs – ladybugs, for example – will help control aphid populations.
Beneficial insects are superior to pesticides because pesticides harm both good and bad insects. It’s important not to disturb the complex, thriving, helpful ecology of your garden!
A good example of companion plants is the combination of corn, beans, and squash often used by the Cherokee and Iroquois people. These three crops grow so well together that they’re referred to as the “Three Sisters.”
The squash leaves are useful ground cover that keeps weeds to a minimum. The corn works as a trellis for the beans. And the beans fix nitrogen for the squash and corn to thrive.
The best companion plants for jalapeño peppers
Some companion plants are helpful simply because they draw pollinators or good bugs that will eliminate pests, while others are beneficial for specific plants.
The best companion plants for jalapeño peppers include:
- Queen Anne’s lace
- White clover
- Other peppers
Let’s dive in!
Sunflowers are among the most famous flowers due to their towering heights and beautiful yellow blooms.
Sunflowers are good jalapeño pepper companion plants because of their ability to attract bees and provide shade.
Sunflowers are great at attracting bees – likely the first insect that comes to mind when someone says the word “pollinator”!
It’s important to plant varieties that produce pollen. Pollen provides the bees with protein.
Sunflowers will also give your garden some shade, helping to avoid sunscald on your jalapeños.
Garlic comes in handy both in the kitchen and the garden!
Garlic makes for a great jalapeño pepper companion plant because you can interplant garlic between your jalapeños.
Garlic is perfect for interplanting – the act of planting crops in between other crops in order to save vital space in your garden.
Garlic takes up virtually no space and is a great choice to plant in between jalapeños.
When planting your garlic, bury your cloves 5 inches deep in the autumn with the tips up. Keep track of where you’ve planted it to avoid accidentally planting your jalapeños on top of your garlic come spring!
You can also wait until spring planting season and plant everything all at once, but you’ll end up with smaller garlic.
Garlic is a staple in almost every kitchen, and also has incredible medicinal properties that you can explore!
Marigolds are a great companion plant that belongs in every garden.
Marigolds are beautiful and practical jalapeño pepper companion plants. They make any garden look beautiful, attract pollinators, and discourage mosquitos.
Marigolds have been proven in studies to reduce mosquito biting.
The fewer mosquitoes, the more likely you are to spend time in your garden! You can take better care of your jalapeños if you’re not under attack while outside.
Along with practicality, they’ll add a gorgeous orange bloom to your garden all summer long.
Queen Anne’s lace
Queen Anne’s lace doesn’t always get the attention it deserves – so let’s change that!
Queen Anne’s lace is an incredible jalapeño pepper companion plant because it attracts beneficial insects. The main beneficial insects that Queen Anne’s lace attracts are syrphid flies. Syrphid flies act as both pollinators and predators of pests.
Queen Anne’s lace is so great at attracting beneficial insects because its “flower” is actually an umbel.
Umbels look like one big flower, but they’re actually a bunch of small flowers – each full to the brim with nectar. They’re completely exposed, just begging pollinators to come visit!
Syrphid flies love Queen Anne’s lace. These guys will eat aphids and mealybugs while also happily pollinating your garden.
White clover contains more than meets the eye.
White clover is an often-forgotten companion plant that is perfect for jalapeños. It’s an effective cover crop to keep down weeds while providing a beautiful green carpet in your garden. White clover also attracts ladybugs and fixes nitrogen in the soil.
Ladybugs are aphids’ worst nightmare, so they’re great to have around. Besides that, they’re beautiful- and good luck!
On the other hand, white clover fixes nitrogen in the soil for your jalapeños to use. As a cover crop, it keeps weeds to a minimum. Lastly, it’s gorgeous!
If you love peppers, this one is a no-brainer.
Other peppers are the perfect jalapeño pepper companion plants if you like a little science experiment! Cross-pollination will affect the seeds found in your peppers and will give you a mystery crop next season.
Cross-pollination between peppers may not result in what you expect, but in some ways, it’s even better!
Cross-pollination won’t change the taste of your current harvest. Your jalapeños won’t be spicier, milder, tangier, sweeter, bigger, or smaller just because they’re being cross-pollinated.
But there is still magic taking place! If you save your seeds, next year you’ll have a unique batch of peppers with who-knows-what traits! This is because cross-pollination affects the genetics of the seeds, not the genetics of the current crop of jalapeños.
So who knows? Maybe next year your jalapeños will be full of surprises!
Wondering what kind of pepper to plant alongside your jalepeños? How about something that’s nothing like them! Check out this article to learn all about the differences between jalepeños and the super spicy ghost pepper.
What NOT to plant next to jalapeño peppers
Now onto plants to avoid.
Plants NOT to plant next to jalapeño peppers include:
Let’s find out why!
Beans are easy to grow, so this one is a bummer.
Beans are bad for jalapeño pepper companion plants because they need very different nutrients than jalapeños do.
Beans don’t work well with jalapeños because the nutrients they require are vastly different. Beans do best with nitrogen-rich soils. Jalapeños do need nitrogen, but the extent needed by beans will stunt your jalapeños.
Unfortunately, beans can also choke out your jalapeños if they vine up them.
Kohlrabi has a cult following, but you shouldn’t grow it next to jalapeños.
Kohlrabi is a bad jalapeño pepper companion plant because it will compete with your jalapeños for resources and attract pests.
Kohlrabi is an interesting cruciferous vegetable that shares a family with kale, cabbage, and broccoli.
Kohlrabi will attract pests like it’s its main job! These pests will end up covering your jalapeños.
Unlike beans, kohlrabi has overly similar nutrient requirements as jalapeños. They’ll just end up competing, and ultimately, both crops will be nutrient-deficient.