Pepper Companion Plants

Designing with peppers is an effective way to add seasonal color and flavor to containers or garden beds. New pepper varieties with deeply colored foliage and fruit are great for adding drama and long lasting color in a mixed seasonal planting. In the kitchen garden, peppers can be planted alongside flowering annuals and perennials to increase fruit yields or repel insect pests. 


Peppers like to grow in full sun and in well-draining soil, rich in nutrients. Moderate watering is required to support good flower production and fruit formation later in the summer. Peppers should be fertilized once or twice a growing season with a slow-release, granular feed, which provides the most uniform levels of nutrients. When planning a kitchen garden, select companion plants for peppers that thrive in the same growing conditions. 

Shrubs To Plant With Pepper  

Peppers typically do not grow well in established shrub borders. Most shrubs require far less watering and fertilizer than peppers to maintain strong growth. Peppers also demand full sun exposure for proper blooming and fruiting. Shrubs planted close by may shade shorter plants like peppers and stunt their growth. Peppers growing near small stone fruit trees like apricots or peaches may transmit fungal or bacterial diseases common in both plants.

Perennials To Plant With Peppers

Many flowering perennials grow in very similar conditions as peppers. Look for herbaceous perennials that thrive in full sun and well-draining soil, like yarrow, coneflowers, gaura, and dahlias. These plants would provide contrasting foliage texture and long-lasting color. Add small clumping ornamental grasses to soften the planting and add movement. 

Annuals To Plant With Peppers

Other edible annuals can be paired with peppers to increase fruit yields and save space in smaller gardens. Taller pepper plants can be interplanted with late summer lettuces, spinach, escarole, and other tender salad greens, which will appreciate the extra shade from the peppers. You can also use cucurbit vines like winter and summer squash, cucumbers, and melons as a living mulch to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds around pepper plants. 


Peppers can be planted with certain ornamental and edible flowers that attract pollinators to the garden, increase pepper yields, and keep insect pests like flea beetles and black fly aphids at bay. Try adding catch crops like nasturtium, sweet alyssum, lacy Phacelia (better known as bee’s bread), cosmos, and marigolds. These annuals are easy to grow and will do most of the heavy lifting for balancing pollinators and pests in a kitchen garden. 

Best Companion Plants For Peppers in Containers

Both ornamental and edible peppers can be used effectively as the thriller in a seasonal color display for your patio or deck. Focusing on seasonal color combinations for late summer or fall makes for striking containers that look great until the first frost in fall. A deep-colored pepper can be combined with showy plants like purple fountain grass, nemesia, and coral bells. Finish off this fall-inspired container with spiller plants like supertunias and calibrachoa in bright oranges and sunny yellows. 

Use peppers to construct a completely edible container that is just as scruptious to look at as it is to eat. Include pineapple sage as a thriller and fill in empty space with basil and patio-type tomatoes. The combination will provide continuous crops plentiful enough for a nightly salad. 


Plants Not To Grow With Peppers

Peppers do not grow well with cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbages, kohlrabi, etc) due to different preferences for soil pH levels. Cruciferous plants, also called mustard family plants, require a higher alkalinity than peppers and may contract club root disease when grown in soil that is even slightly acidic (6.5 or less on the pH scale). Peppers, on the other hand, prefer soil on the acidic side. 

Tall vining plants like beans and peas are likely to shade the lower-growing peppers and may compete for nutrients in the soil. Other nightshades like tomatoes, tomatillos, and potatoes thrive in similar growing conditions as peppers, but they are all susceptible to the same pests and diseases and can easily infect other nightshades if grown too close together. 

Best Plants To Grow With Peppers

Peppers can be grown as an edible crop or an ornamental plant for a seasonal color planter. The ideal companion plants will thrive in full sun and high heat and will not mind when the soil dries slightly between waterings. Annuals and perennials with shallow, fibrous roots are good choices, along with edible root crops (carrots, parsnips, etc), which will not compete with peppers for ground space or moisture in the soil. Pollinator-attracting plants, like asters, coneflower, and bee balm, are wonderful to plant alongside peppers to increase crop yields.