Companion Plants: What To Grow With Tomatoes

Companion plants are those that work well together. Pairing them provides a benefit to one or both. At the same time, some plants should be kept apart. (Hmm… sounds a lot like people.)

What kinds of benefits can companion plants offer tomatoes?

tomato plant with marigolds

When chosen carefully, companion plants can:

  • deter pests and diseases
  • improve tomato health
  • improve tomato flavor
  • act as “good neighbors”

There are several plants are considered excellent companions for tomatoes. Tomatoes also return the favor for other plants in your garden.

And there are also some “tomato enemies” that you will want to steer clear from your tomato zone.

Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Plant Benefit for Tomato Extra Tips
Basil (annual herb) Repels whiteflies, mosquitoes, spider mites, aphids, hornworms
Improves pollination - attracts bees
Improves tomato health
Improves tomato flavor
Plant 3 basil per tomato for best coverage
Borage (annual herb) Repels tomato hornworm, cabbage worm
Improves tomato health
Improves tomato flavor
May self-seed from year to year
Use leaves in salads
Chives (bulbous herb) Repels aphids Tasty in salads
Garlic (bulbous herb) Repels spider mites Make your own insecticide by burying garlic cloves 1" in the ground around tomato plants
Marigolds (annual flower) Repels nematodes, tomato worm, slugs, general garden pests Some gardeners recommend French marigolds as best deterrents
Till marigolds into the soil at season end to deter nematodes further
Mint (perennial herb) Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids Can be invasive. Plant in a submerged container to prevent mint from overtaking the garden
Nasturtium (annual flower) Deters aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, beetles
Wards off fungal diseases
Doesn't compete for nutrients
May self-seed year to year
Makes an excellent garden edging
Parsley (biennial herb) Attracts hoverflies (which feast on tomato pests) Dislikes heat

Mutually-Beneficial Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Plant Benefit for Tomato Benefit for Plant
Asparagus (perennial vegetable) Asparagus produces a chemical shown to kill nematodes (pests that play havoc with roots) Tomatoes repel the asparagus beetle

“Good Neighbor” Companions for Tomatoes

Plant Benefit for Tomato
Carrot (annual vegetable) Cultivation. Carrot roots break up soil around tomatoes, allowing in more nutrients, air, and water
Space saver. Carrots are ready to be harvested soon after tomatoes go in the ground
Spinach; Lettuce (annual vegetables) Space saver. Leaves are ready to be harvested soon after tomatoes are planted.

Worst Companions for Tomatoes

Plant Problem
Black Walnut (deciduous tree) Inhibits tomato growth by producing juglone, a compound that can be toxic or stunt growth in tomatoes
Generate walnut wilt
Brassicas (cabbage, cauli, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi) Inhibit tomato growth
Corn (annual vegetable) Common enemies: both corn and tomatoes attract the tomato fruitworm/corn earworm
Fennel (perennial herb) Inhibits tomato growth
Potato (tuberous vegetable) Cultivates susceptibility to early and late blight fungus

Tomato Combined Friend and Foe

Plant Benefit Problem Solution
Dill (annual herb) Young dill enhances tomato health and growth Mature dill stunts tomato growth Harvest dill before it gets too large

Tomato as a Beneficial Companion

Plant Benefit for Companion
Gooseberries (fruit shrub) Tomato scent repels insects
Roses (perennial shrub) Tomatoes protect interplanted roses from black spot


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Return from Companion Plants to Tomato Dirt home

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Companion Planting
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