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Aubergine - companion plants, antagonistic plants + planting plan

16.03.2023  /  Reading time: 11 minutes

Alongside peppers and tomatoes, aubergines are a popular nightshade plant for the vegetable garden. As with all plants, you should also consider the likes and dislikes of the aubergine (also known as eggplant or melanzani) for planting partners. In this article, you will find out which plants are companion plants and antagonistic plants for aubergines and what a planting plan for growing aubergines in companion planting might look like.

This article contains:

  1. Planting melanzani/aubergine: planting neighbors in companion planting
  2. Companion plants for aubergines
  3. Aubergines: antagonistic plants
  4. Aubergine companion planting with herbs
  5. Companion planting table: Companion plants & antagonistic plants
  6. Succession cropping & crop rotation with aubergine
  7. What goes well with aubergine: companion planting plan with aubergine
  8. Aubergine in the garden/raised bed - a planting plan
  9. Aubergine in the greenhouse - a planting plan
  10. Frequently asked questions: Aubergine: good neighbors & bad neighbors - Mixed crop planning

Quick Overview

Eggplant: Matching neighbors

  • Companion plants:
    • Beans, lettuce, spinach, radishes, cabbage, basil, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke, marigolds, marigolds, tarragon, thyme
  • Antagonistic plants:
    • Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, peas, beet, pumpkin, zucchinis, cucumber, raspberries, sunflowers

Companion planting with aubergine: succession cropping & crop rotation

  • Good precultures:
    • Lettuce & radishes
  • Good subsequent crops:
    • Spinach, garlic, winter lettuce, green manure (e.g. mustard, clover)

Planting melanzani/aubergine: planting neighbors in companion planting

Choosing the right plant neighbors for growing aubergines in the garden will help you to promote healthy and vigorous growth of your plants. This will improve the soil quality and reduce the occurrence of diseases and pests. Depending on the combination, certain vegetables and herbs help to keep pests away from your plants and attract beneficial insects. As a result, you will have a richer harvest and healthier fruit at the end of the season.

Companion plants for aubergines

Companion plants support the development of your eggplant and help to keep diseases and pests at bay. They complement each other in terms of growth, allowing you to make optimum use of the space in the bed. A mixture of strong and weak eaters helps to maintain good soil health. Beans, for example, bind nitrogen in the soil and provide your eggplant with additional nutrients. Weak eaters such as radishes, spinach and lettuce are also good neighbors for eggplant. Cabbages complement the eggplant well in growth and have similar good neighbors. Like tomatoes, eggplants can also help to keep whitefly away from your cabbage plants.


Companion plants for aubergines include

  • Various types of cabbage (cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, ...)
  • Beans bind nitrogen in the soil and support the eggplant as a heavy feeder in the absorption of nutrients
  • Radishes, spinach & lettuce are weak eaters and complement the bed well
  • Turnips & Jerusalem artichokes

Good neighbors Aubergine
By choosing the right bed partners, you can promote the growth of your plants. Image by Katharina N on Pixabay.

Aubergines: antagonistic plants

Especially other nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers should not be planted in the immediate vicinity of aubergines. The same diseases and pests often occur in the same plant family. In the case of shade plants, these are often mildew, aphids and botrytis. If the plants are also in close proximity, it is easier for diseases and pests to spread to neighboring plants. Peas and beet also do not get on well with aubergines and should not be grown together in a bed.

Peas and aubergines as plant neighbors?

Unfortunately, aubergines and peas do not get along well in the vegetable patch. This is due to their growth habit. Aubergines and peas are very similar both in terms of root development and growth above the ground. As a result, they compete for light and space. This puts them at odds with each other and they are best not planted directly next to each other.

Planting aubergine and tomatoes together?

As mentioned above, aubergines and tomatoes belong to the same nightshade plant family. As a result, the same diseases and pests often occur in both vegetables. It is therefore not advisable to grow them next to each other in a bed or greenhouse, as diseases and pests are quickly passed on from plant to plant.

Bad neighbors for eggplant
If you plant sprawling neighbors next to your aubergine, they can take away space, light and nutrients from your aubergine. Photo by Eder Pozo Pérez on Unsplash.

Aubergine and cucumber as companion plants?

Aubergine and cucumber are both heavy eaters and take nutrients from each other in the bed. The cucumber is also strongly climbing and vigorous. However, as the aubergine grows very slowly, it can be prevented from growing by a neighboring cucumber as it does not have enough space or light. Both vegetables are also often affected by mildew, which can lead to infestation of both species if they grow next to each other. Particularly in a bed where mildew has already occurred on plants, you should make sure there is sufficient space. If this is not the case and you have applied sufficient compost to the bed in the fall and spring, there is no reason for the plants to grow next to each other. You can see what a bed with aubergine and pumpkin plants can look like in our planting plan for a barbecue vegetable bed.

Planting aubergines next to zucchini?

Zucchinis and other pumpkins behave in a similar way to cucumbers. These are also heavy feeders and, like aubergines, require a lot of nutrients in the soil. If they grow next to each other, both may not receive enough nutrients. Zucchinis and pumpkins are also inferior to eggplants in terms of growth, as they are also strongly climbing and sprawling and take up space from the slow-growing aubergine. Zucchinis and pumpkins are also at great risk of mildew. Neighboring aubergines should therefore only be planned in beds that have not previously been infested.

Aubergine companion planting with herbs

Basil is particularly suitable for companion planting with aubergine, as it has the same soil, nutrient and watering requirements as aubergine. Basil and aubergine also complement each other well in terms of growth. The space in the bed is thus optimally utilized. Its fragrance also keeps pests and diseases such as mildew and whitefly at bay. At the same time, it attracts pollinators and thus promotes the formation of fruit. As a result, it promotes the yield and the aroma of the fruit is also said to be improved by basil.

Other good herbs for mixed cultivation with eggplant are thyme, marigold (but not in combination with beans, as these two do not get along so well), marigold and tarragon. Marigolds and marigolds are popular partners in the vegetable patch as they contribute to soil health. Marigolds also keep nematodes away. Tarragon should always be grown in a sunny spot, as otherwise it can be attacked by aphids or mildew, which also damage the eggplant. Thyme, on the other hand, protects against infestation by aphids, slugs or cabbage white butterflies. This is particularly useful in companion planting with cabbage varieties.

Basil and eggplant are good neighbors
Basil is a good bedding partner for eggplant. Its fragrance keeps pests away and attracts pollinators. Image by Alicja on Pixabay.

Companion planting table: Companion plants & antagonistic plants

Here you will find all the companion plants and antagonistic plants of the aubergine listed in a table:

Companion plants Antagonistic plants
Beans Tomatoes
Lettuce Paprika
Spinach Potatoes
Cabbages (cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, ...) Beetroot
Turnips Peas
Jerusalem artichoke Pumpkin
Basil Cucumber
Thyme Zucchini
Tarragon Raspberries
Marigold Sunflower

Succession cropping & crop rotation with aubergine


Succession cropping

Aubergines are thermophilic plants and do not tolerate frost. You should therefore only plant them out in the open after the last frosts - which is usually after the Ice Saints in mid-May. Until then, the space in the bed is still free. You can therefore grow fast-growing plants such as lettuce and radishes as a pre-crop. In the fall, it is then too cold for aubergines and the space is free for a subsequent crop of hardy plants such as spinach, winter lettuce, garlic and green manure (e.g. mustard or clover).

Aubergines are perennial plants in their native habitat. If you grow aubergine in a greenhouse or pot, you can even overwinter your plant if necessary. You can find out more about how to overwinter aubergines and general information about growing aubergines in our article Planting aubergines.

Crop rotation

Like all crops, eggplants should not be grown in the same place every year, as diseases and pests can quickly colonize the soil. For this reason, you should ideally not grow egg plants or other nightshade plants in a bed for 3-4 years after growing them there. Green manuring between the years helps to enrich the soil with nutrients again after growing heavy eaters such as eggplant. Beans, peas, mustard, clover or other nitrogen-fixing plants are suitable for this.


What goes well with aubergine: companion planting plan with aubergine

In the next two sections, you will find a planting plan for companion planting with aubergine for the garden/raised bed and for the greenhouse. When creating a companion planting plan, you should pay attention to companion plants and antagonistic plants. Companion plants should be next to each other, as they complement each other in terms of space and nutrient requirements while protecting each other from diseases and pests. Antagonistic plants should be sufficiently distant from each other so that there are a few plants between them.

Aubergine in the garden/raised bed - a planting plan

Here we show you what a planting plan for companion planting with aubergine could look like for your garden or raised bed. The bed is 1 m x 2 m in size. There is an aubergine plant in the middle, surrounded by 6 basil plants. These keep pests away with their scent and attract beneficial insects at the same time. Next to it are 4 rows of bush beans. These complement the heavy eaters aubergine, kohlrabi and cauliflower with their nitrogen-fixing properties. A coriander plant between the cauliflowers completes the mixed crop.

Planting plan for eggplant in mixed cultivation
Bed size 200 cm x 100 cm.

Aubergine in the greenhouse - a planting plan

Here we show you what a planting plan for companion planting with aubergine could look like for your greenhouse. The 2 beds are 1 m x 3 m each. There is a 25 cm wide path between them. In this planting plan, you will find 3 aubergine plants, 1 cucumber, 2 peppers and 3 tomato plants as the main crops. These are complemented by a few herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, coriander and dill, which harmonize well with the vegetable plants and attract beneficial insects. Bush beans and lettuce complement the heavy eaters aubergine, cucumber, bell pepper and tomato. 4 celery plants and 4 kohlrabi round off the mixed crop.

Planting plan for eggplant in the greenhouse.
Your greenhouse with aubergine could look like this. The total bed size is 2 x 3 m, with an approx. 25 cm wide path in the middle.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at [email protected].

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Cover image by Anna Evans on Unsplash.

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Author

Marielena

Marielena studies agricultural and environmental sciences. She gardens at home and at an allotment and likes to try out new things. She loves to spend time in nature during gardening, bird watching and photographing, hiking and camping.

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FAQ

Beans, lettuce, spinach, radishes and cabbages such as broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi go well with eggplant. Basil also goes well with eggplants.

You should not plant any other nightshade plants next to eggplants. So no tomatoes, peppers or potatoes. Peas, beet, pumpkin, zucchini and cucumber also don't get on so well with eggplants.

Tomatoes and eggplants should not be planted directly together as they belong to the same plant family. As a result, they often suffer from the same diseases and pests. If they are planted next to each other in the bed, these can easily spread to the other plants.

Cucumbers are not good neighbors for eggplants. Cucumbers proliferate in the bed. This takes up important space in the bed for the slow-growing eggplant. In addition, both plants are heavy feeders and take away important nutrients from each other's soil.

Zucchinis and eggplants should also not be planted directly together. Like cucumbers, zucchinis are vigorous plants and heavy feeders. Here, too, there is competition for space and nutrients. The plants therefore hinder each other's growth.

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