potato companion plants
Organic Gardening - Organic Gardening Pest Control

Companion Planting Potatoes: Best Partners for a Healthy Harvest

If you’ve been following along, I’ve done quite a few posts already about companion planting. This post continues with the theme of companion planting. It’s a great gardening technique to implement to keep the garden healthy in a natural way. Even though I’ve been gardening for years, I still try to learn new ways to keep pests and diseases at bay. I don’t like to use any chemicals, so knowing an easy and natural way is key for me.

If you’d like to check out my other posts about companion planting, you’ll find the links below.

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is an age-old gardening technique that leverages the natural benefits of pairing certain plants together to enhance growth, ward off pests, and improve flavor. When it comes to growing potatoes, selecting the right companions can make a significant difference in the health and yield of your crop. Potatoes thrive when surrounded by beneficial plants that offer natural protection and support.

Understanding which plants are friends or foes to your potato patch is crucial. Certain plants, when grown in proximity to potatoes, can improve soil quality, reduce the need for chemical pesticides, and create a great harvest! Avoiding incompatible plants is just as important, as some can inhibit growth or increase the likelihood of disease. 

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting can optimize potato health and increase yield.
  • Select companions that offer natural pest control and soil improvement.
  • Avoid planting potatoes near plants that may hinder their growth.

This post is all about companion planting potatoes.

Basics of Companion Planting with Potatoes

When you’re looking to enhance your potato yield and plant health, incorporating companion planting into your garden strategy is a wise move. We grew potatoes a couple of years ago. Even though we had a great first crop, it would’ve been helpful to know some of these tips! Every day I had to check for cucumber beetles and potato beetles. Without checking them, we definitely would’ve had an infestation. There were SO many adult beetles and there were lots of eggs I got rid of.

Benefits of Companion Planting

There are lots of benefits to companion planting. Let’s discuss these so you know what some of the benefits are and why you should implement this practice.

Pest Control: Certain plants can repel or distract pests away from your potatoes. For example, planting marigolds around your potato plot can deter aphids and other insects due to their strong scent.

Soil Health: Companion plants like beans add nitrogen to the soil, which is beneficial for the growth of potatoes. They work together by using different nutrients which prevents depletion of any one particular soil nutrient.

Spatial Efficiency: Utilizing space efficiently means pairing plants with different growth habits, such as tall plants beside low-growing ones.

Disease Prevention: Some companions can even aid in preventing disease. For instance, horseradish is noted for its ability to boost disease resistance in potato plants.

Principles of Companion Planting

Complementary Growth Habits: It’s important to consider how plants grow together. You should pair plants that have different heights and root depths to avoid competition for space and nutrients.

  • Root Depth Variation: Combine deep-rooted with shallow-rooted vegetables, ensuring they don’t interfere with each other’s growth.
  • Spacing: Provide adequate space between the companion plants and potato plants to avoid crowding and competition.

Compatible Nutrient Needs: Companion plants should have nutrient requirements that complement, rather than compete with, your potato plants.

  • Nitrogen Fixers: These are plants like beans that can actually improve the nutrient content of the soil for your potatoes.

Mutual Benefits: Always select companion plants that offer reciprocal advantages, whether it’s pest protection, soil improvement, or spatial efficiency.

Effective Companion Plants for Potatoes

In cultivating potatoes, your best yields come from strategic companion planting. This method enhances growth and protection from pests.

Ok, so this is not an exhaustive list of every companion plant for potatoes. This is just a list of some of the companions to get you started.

Which Plants are Potato Friends?

Beans and Potatoes Companion Planting

Beans serve as beneficial companions by fixing nitrogen in the soil, which potatoes can use for better growth. If you plant these two crops side by side, it may result in larger tubers. Who doesn’t want bigger potatoes?!

Onion and Potatoes Companion Planting

Onions are one of the best companion plants for potatoes. They keep certain pests (such as thrips and aphids) away from the garden with their strong pungent smell. This is crucial in helping to prevent crop damage. Although there are many varieties of onions to choose from, yellow onions are the absolute best because they contain high amounts of sulfur.

Marigolds and Potatoes Companion Planting

Marigolds are a wonder flower. They help almost every type of plant in the garden, which makes it easier for gardeners when it comes to planting. These flowers produce a substance known as alpha-terthienyl. This substance can help reduce root-knot nematodes and other disease promoting organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, insects, and some viruses. They also have other types of compounds that deter other pests like aphids and rabbits.

Among flowering companions, nasturtiums and petunias work well, luring beneficial insects while detracting harmful pests.

Garlic and Potatoes Companion Planting

Like onions, garlic has a strong odor that gives it a unique ability to repel pests, like aphids and beetles. They might even be able to prevent diseases like potato blight. Potato blight is a disease that is prominent during warm, wet weather. It’s the same pathogen that affects tomatoes. Garlic and potatoes are a good option to plant together. They’re also both cool weather crops. So they are planted at the same times of the year – in the spring and fall.

[RELATED POST: Tomato Blight: What is It, What Varieties are Resistant, and How to Prevent Blight]

Corn and Potatoes Companion Planting

Corn and potatoes make a good pair! Potatoes grow deep down in the soil while corn has a shallow root system. Corn is one of the crops that enhances the growth and taste of potatoes. So feel free to plant them together!

Lettuce and Potatoes Companion Planting

These two vegetables are often planted together because they don’t compete for nutrients. Potatoes provide shade to lettuce plants. In return, lettuce provides a good ground cover for the potatoes.

Peas and Potatoes Companion Planting

Peas, which are a legume, are a good companion for potatoes. They put nitrogen into the soil which potatoes need to grow. Potatoes are heavy feeders which means that they need soil with good fertility. Neither of these vegetables compete for nutrients or disturbs one another. Additionally potatoes provide benefits to the peas as well. They deter the Mexican bean beetle that affects many legumes.

Cabbage and Potatoes Companion Planting

Cabbage and potatoes may not seem like a friendly pair, but they grow well together. They don’t compete for nutrients, which is a big plus. Brassicas like cabbage have a shallow root system and therefore don’t affect the potatoes.

Cilantro and Potatoes Companion Planting

Another good companionship! Cilantro and potatoes do well together. When the herb is interplanted with peppers, it’s able to attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which are predators to aphids and fruit borers. Cilantro may also help other plants grow quicker.

Leeks and Potatoes Companion Planting

Leeks are a type of allium and like others in the allium family, it is a good companion for potatoes. Although leeks don’t have a strong odor like onions or garlic, they do have a smell that repels pests. They can even help potatoes with disease resistance. In addition, since leeks have a shallow root system, they don’t compete with potatoes for nutrients or water.

Potatoes and Eggplant Companion Planting

These plants are both members of the nightshade family and have the same growing requirements. Eggplants and potatoes fortunately don’t affect one another and are neutral when planted together.

Other Notable Companions

  • Basil is a terrific option for its pest-repellent properties, particularly against the Colorado potato beetle.
  • Horseradish, planted at the perimeter of your potato patch, may bolster disease resistance.
  • Planting spinach or lettuce can optimize space, as they have different harvesting times.

Incompatible Plant Species

Certain plants can attract diseases or compete aggressively for resources, making them poor neighbors for your potato crops.

Potatoes and Tomatoes Companion Planting

These two plants share too many pests and diseases due to their related family. They shouldn’t be planted together. Plant them with enough space in between them to prevent their susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Dill and Potatoes Companion Planting

Dill can be super useful to plants that benefit from them. They’re a great addition to attract beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybugs, praying mantis, hoverflies, butterflies, and honey bees. In fact, I’ve sacrificed my dill plenty of times to butterflies just so they can lay their eggs and their caterpillars can munch away. 

In spite of the positives that dill can offer plants, potatoes and this plant just don’t go together. Dill rapidly outpaces potatoes in growth. It becomes a really large plant and does not allow potatoes enough access to the sun. Additionally, once a dill plant is mature, its roots produce a substance that’s harmful to plants in the nightshade family. This substance causes the plant to be stunted.

Carrots and Potatoes Companion Planting

Vegetables like carrots can have a pretty big negative outcome for potato crops. They stunt the growth and development of potato tubers, as well as make them susceptible to disease.

Companion Planting Cucumbers and Potatoes

Both of these plants are heavy feeds, but cucumbers require a lot of water. This can be an issue for potatoes as too much water can cause rotting in the tubers. Since they’re both heavy feeders, they’ll compete for nutrients. Cucumbers may also increase the chances of potato blight.

Potatoes and Squash Companion Planting

Although we would probably want to hope that these two would get along, they unfortunately don’t. Squash can make potatoes susceptible to diseases like blight and powdery mildew. Vining squash plants have a tendency to wrap themselves around other plants. This can be a problem because it won’t allow proper air flow. The plants therefore can’t air out making them susceptible to disease.

Companion Planting Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and potatoes are both staple crops to grow in the garden. Although they don’t compete for nutrients and can grow well together, they’re affected by similar diseases. For this reason, it’s best to plant them in different areas of the garden.

Keep these insights in mind when planning your garden to ensure a robust potato crop.

Potatoes and Strawberries Companion Planting

Strawberries and potatoes unfortunately don’t do well together. In fact, potatoes can be detrimental to the health of your strawberry plants. By interplanting these two crops, strawberries can become susceptible to a deadly disease known as verticillium. So avoid planting these two together.

Beets and Potato Companion Planting

I couldn’t find any information about not planting beets and potatoes together. Although they’re both root vegetables so spacing could be an issue. However, I did find literature that  you should plant beets after a crop of potatoes for crop rotation.

Radishes and Potatoes Companion Planting

Radishes are often not recommended to be planted with potatoes. They can have pretty large roots, which may affect potatoes. However, since their crop turnover is quick (as little as 30 days), you can consider planting them with potatoes. Potatoes are much slower growing so they could be good companions for this reason. They won’t interfere with each other too much.


There are so many beneficial plants, or companions, that potatoes have. By interplanting their companions, you can have a much more successful gardening year and harvest. However, it’s important to know that potatoes have foes that need to be avoided. If these foes are planted with them, you can lose all of your hard work by inadvertently introducing pests and diseases. You don’t have to memorize which are friends or foes. Refer back to this blog post or use an easy app like Seed to Spoon.

This post was all about companion planting potatoes.

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