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Companion planting with chili & peppers: Companion plants

19.05.2023  /  Reading time: 11 minutes

Peppers and chili peppers belong to the Solanaceae family and are heat-loving crops. They can only be planted outdoors in May and are often grown in greenhouses. Here you will find an overview of what you need to bear in mind when intercropping with peppers, what are companion plants and antagonistic plants, information on succession cropping and crop rotation, as well as a few example planting plans with peppers and chillies.

This article contains:

  1. Planting chili & peppers: location and spacing
  2. Chili & peppers in companion planting: suitable neighbors
  3. Companion plants for peppers & chili
  4. Planting tomatoes and peppers together?
  5. Chili & peppers: antagonistic plants
  6. Companion planting table
  7. Succession planting & crop rotation
  8. Planting plans for peppers & chili
  9. Frequently asked questions about chili & peppers in companion planting

Quick Overview

What to plant next to peppers & chili?

  • Location: Peppers and chilies need a warm, sunny and preferably sheltered location. They are sensitive to frost and should only be taken out after the last frosts.
  • Companion plants: In addition to peppers and chilies, you can also plant basil, savory, borage, dill, nasturtium, carrots, garlic, cabbage, lavender, parsley, marigold, lettuce, marigolds, thyme, tomatoes and onions .

Preventing diseases & pests in peppers & chili peppers

  • Basil and nasturtium prevent aphids and whiteflies, onions and garlic help against fungal diseases such as gray mold.
  • You should not plant aubergines, peas, fennel, beet, potatoes and celery next to peppers and chili peppers.

Planting chili & peppers: location and spacing

Mixed culture with peppers and chili
Peppers need a sunny, warm and sheltered location with loose, nutrient-rich soil in order to grow well.

The right location is crucial for your plants to grow well. Peppers and chilies need a sunny and warm spot. Sufficient light and protection from strong winds are also important. The soil should be nutrient-rich, well-drained and slightly moist. In the bed, peppers and chilies need about 40-50 cm between plants and about 60 cm between rows. You can find more information on growing peppers and chilies in our article Sowing, planting and harvesting peppers and chilies.

As chilli and bell pepper plants are not allowed outside until May, you should pre-grow them or buy young plants. When buying young plants, however, you should bear in mind that you have significantly less choice of varieties than if you pre-grow them yourself. You can find out what you should bear in mind in our article Pre-planting peppers and chillies: Tips for healthy young plants.

Chili & peppers in companion planting: suitable neighbors

Peppers and chili peppers belong to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). Plants from the same family tend to attract similar pests and diseases. So when planning your bed, make sure that other nightshade plants are not in the direct vicinity of peppers. The exception is tomatoes, which are often grown together with peppers as they complement each other well.



Companion plants for peppers & chili

Nasturtiums are good neighbors for peppers and chilies
Nasturtium is a good bedding partner for peppers and chili peppers, as it keeps aphids and whitefly away. It also looks beautiful with its colorful flowers. Image by Else Siegel from Pixabay.

Companion plants are basil, savory, borage, dill, nasturtium, carrots, garlic, cabbage, lavender, parsley, marigold, lettuce, marigold, thyme, tomatoes and onions. Flowers, garlic, herbs and onions go particularly well with peppers, as they prevent diseases and pests. These companion lants complement the peppers in their growth and have different nutrient requirements, so they do not compete with each other.

Planting cucumbers and peppers together

Cucumbers are companion plants for peppers and chilies. They have similar light and water requirements, and their shallow roots do not compete with the deeper roots of peppers and chilies. They also complement each other in their growth (peppers grow bushy, cucumbers tendril-like) and the cucumber leaves can provide shade and thus protect against strong sunlight.

Growing strawberries and peppers next to each other

Strawberries are companion plants for peppers and chili peppers. They also need plenty of sun and loosen the soil with their shallow roots. This promotes the growth of peppers and chili peppers. Strawberries also benefit from the nitrogen-rich soil that peppers and chilies prefer. They grow in ground cover and thus retain moisture in the soil for longer, which benefits the peppers.

Peppers & chilies: diseases and pests

Basil as a good neighbor for peppers and chili
Basil is a good neighbor for peppers and chilies as it keeps aphids and whitefly away from your plants. Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

You can reduce the risk of diseases and pests with the right companion plants. Make sure that you do not plant peppers and chilies directly next to plants that are affected by similar pests or diseases to prevent mutual infection. Aphids, whitefly and gray mold often attack bell pepper and chili plants. Plant basil and nasturtium next to your plants to combat aphids and white flies. Onions and garlic help against fungal diseases such as gray mold. They release fragrances that keep pests and diseases away from your plants.

Planting tomatoes and peppers together?

Despite their relationship, tomatoes and peppers are often planted together. This is because both plants need very warm and sunny conditions to produce many fruits. They are therefore often planted together in the greenhouse. As long as there are no diseases or pests in the soil and you keep enough space between the plants, this is not a problem. Tomatoes are particularly susceptible to gray mold, so you should ensure good ventilation, especially if the plants are in a greenhouse. You can see how you can grow peppers and tomatoes together in our example greenhouse planting plan below.

Chili & peppers: antagonistic plants

On the other hand, aubergines, peas, fennel, beet, potatoes and celery are antagonistic plants. Aubergines and potatoes belong to the same family as peppers and chillies and therefore attract similar diseases. Fennel inhibits the development of peppers and chili plants and should therefore not be grown in the immediate vicinity. Peas, beet and celery compete with peppers and chilies for the same nutrients.

Eggplant as a bad neighbor for peppers
Aubergines belong to the same plant family as peppers and chillies and should therefore not be planted next to each other. Image by Eric Michelat from Pixabay.

Companion planting table

In this companion planting table for peppers and chili you will find a list of companion and antagonistic plants. We have divided the companion plants into vegetables and herbs for a better overview.

Companion plants (Vegetables) Companion plants (Herbs & Flowers) Antagonistic plants
Carrots Basil Aubergines
Garlic Savory Peas
Cabbages Borage Fennel
Lettuce Dill Potatoes
Tomatoes Nasturtium Beetroot
Onions Lavender Celery
Parsley
Marigold
Tagetes
Thyme

Succession planting & crop rotation

In the following two sections, you will find out what you need to bear in mind with regard to crop rotation and crop rotation for peppers and chilies. Peppers are heavy eaters, so it is important not to plant heavy eaters directly after them. By rotating between strong, medium and weak eaters, you do not dep lete your soil. By alternating between plant families, you also prevent diseases and pests. You can find out more about what exactly crop rotation and crop rotation are in our article on succession planting & crop rotation.

Succession cropping after peppers

Fast-growing crops that can withstand a little cold (e.g. lettuce and radishes) are suitable for pre-cultivation. Peppers and chili can only be planted in May as they are sensitive to frost. This means you can make good use of the space with other crops before then. Crops that remain in the bed over the winter and are harvested in spring are also well suited here. These include cabbages (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), lamb's lettuce, onions and garlic. In the fall, when it gets too cold for your bell pepper plants, you can sow spinach or green manure (e.g. mustard and clover grass) as a catch crop.

Chili and peppers in mixed cultivation
Rotating your beds every year prevents diseases and pests. You can also protect the soil by planting strong and weak crops in succession and using compost or green manure.

Crop rotation

With bell pepper plants, you should take a cultivation break of 3-4 years on the same bed. This break is also recommended for other nightshade plants. If there are only a few bell pepper plants in the bed, a shorter break can be chosen depending on the health of the plants.

Planting plans for peppers & chili

Peppers and chillies are often grown in a greenhouse. You can find an example plan for the greenhouse in the tomato bed for the greenhouse, where both plants are grown together. Tomatoes and peppers like to be grown in greenhouses, as they have the most ideal conditions there and it is sufficiently warm and humid. However, you can also grow peppers and chillies in somewhat sheltered locations such as raised beds around the house or under a roof and on the balcony.

Planting raised beds: growing peppers and chili peppers

Raised beds are an excellent way to grow peppers and chili peppers. The raised position means that the soil is better aerated and the plants get more heat. Make sure that you choose the right neighbors for your raised beds and provide sufficient sun and protection. Companion plants include cucumbers, onions and dill in the bed with peppers and chillies. When replanting, make sure that cabbages are also heavy feeders. If you plant them directly after other heavy eaters such as peppers, chilies and cucumbers, you should make sure that the soil still has enough nutrients. Otherwise, you can also plant spinach, green manure or onions and garlic in the bed instead.

Main crop for raised bed with peppers and chili
An example plan for a possible main crop with peppers and chili in a raised bed. The raised bed has a size of 1 m x 2 m.
Pre-cultivation and post-cultivation with chili and peppers in raised beds
Examples of possible pre-crops (left) and post-crops (right) for peppers and chili peppers.

Planting peppers & chili peppers: Balcony bed

You can also successfully grow peppers and chili peppers on the balcony. Choose a sunny spot and make sure the planters are large enough. When choosing plants for your balcony bed, you can use the companion plants mentioned above as a guide. You can also filter the chilli and bell pepper varieties by balcony variety in our library.

Planting chili and peppers on the balcony
An example plan for a balcony bed with peppers and chili. The raised bed is 1 m x 2 m in size. The pots have a diameter of either 50 or 30 cm.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at [email protected]. Would you like to receive helpful gardening tips all year round and plan your own beds optimally? Then register here or download the Fryd app for Android or iOS.

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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

In addition to peppers and chili peppers, you can also plant basil, savory, borage, dill, nasturtium, carrots, garlic, cabbage, lavender, parsley, marigold, lettuce, marigold, thyme, tomatoes and onions.

You should not place eggplants, peas, fennel, beet, potatoes and celery next to peppers and chili peppers.

Tomatoes and peppers are often planted together despite their relationship, as both plants have similar needs. If no diseases or pests have established themselves in the soil, this is also not a problem.

Yes, they have similar needs for light and water, their shallow roots do not compete with the deeper roots of peppers and chilies. Cucumber leaves can provide shade and protection from strong sunlight.

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