The Best Companion Plants for Cauliflower Success

You can eat cauliflower in a lot of different ways, like sautéed, dipped in ranch dressing, used in a stir fry instead of rice, or even made into pizza crusts. This plant can be used in so many ways that you’ll have to grow your own to try them all! Because they can get so big, you might think you don’t have room for them, but many companion plants don’t mind being next to the cauliflower.

Pick plants that like a lot of water and don’t need as many nutrients as cauliflower. Since these brassicas are heavy feeders, they should be fertilized regularly throughout the season. You can add other plants to your cauliflower patch in a number of ways that will help or tolerate the cauliflower.

I’ll show you 15 plants that grow well with cauliflower so that you can make the most of your garden space. There’s no need to let rogue cauliflower leaves take over!.

Cauliflower thrives when grown alongside beneficial companion plants. The right neighbors can enhance cauliflower growth, deter pests, attract pollinators, and allow you to make the most of your garden space. After trialing many combinations, I’ve discovered some all-star cauliflower companion plants for any gardener to try.

Why Companion Plant Cauliflower

Companion planting cauliflower offers several advantages:

  • Pest control – Certain plants naturally repel cabbage worms, aphids and other cauliflower pests. This reduces the need for chemical treatments

  • Enhanced pollination – More bees and other beneficial insects will be drawn to your cauliflower patch when planted among flowers and herbs. Better pollination leads to better fruit set.

  • Soil enrichment – Pairing cauliflower with nitrogen-fixing plants like beans or nutrient accumulators like onions improves the soil over time.

  • Efficient use of space – Filling empty areas around cauliflower makes full use of your garden’s square footage. Different root depths prevent excessive competition.

  • Mutual shading – Strategic companions provide shade that protects cauliflower from temperature extremes that cause bolting or stunted growth.

10 Ideal Companion Plants for Cauliflower

Through my gardening experience, these 10 plants have proven to be excellent cauliflower companion options:

1. Beans

Bush or pole beans planted near cauliflower deliver a one-two punch First, beans fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil which brassicas like cauliflower thrive on. Second, bean blossoms attract beneficial predatory insects to patrol for aphids. Avoid planting beans and onions in the same bed, however

2. Celery

Both celery and cauliflower need moist soil, so they make ideal bedmates. Celery also contains oils that help mask the scent of cauliflower from cabbage moth pests. Plus, its shallow roots don’t compete for nutrients.

3. Onions

Onions and cauliflowers have a symbiotic relationship. Onions repel aphids, cabbage loopers and other pests that plague brassicas. While cauliflower’s extensive root system doesn’t compete with shallow onion roots.

4. Dill

Dill is a powerhouse cauliflower companion. It attracts ladybugs, spiders and other beneficial insects. While also repelling notorious cabbage worms, loopers and moth larvae. Allow dill to flower to get the full pest-fighting benefits.

5. Marigolds

Bright marigolds help deter common cauliflower predators like nematodes, aphids, and cabbage maggots. They also stunt weed growth. Mix shorter French marigold varieties among cauliflower while taller African marigolds make great border plants.

6. Basil

Both a pest deterrent and an attractor of beneficial insects, basil makes the perfect cauliflower companion. It repels aphids, mites, and flies. While luring in pollinators. Plus, you’ll have a handy source of fresh basil for summer recipes!

7. Mint

The strong scent of mint drives away aphids, beetles, ants and weevils. While also masking the scent of cauliflower from pests like cabbage loopers. Peppermint and spearmint varieties work best. Just plant mint in containers to prevent its aggressive spreading.

8. Nasturtiums

Bright, cheery nasturtiums help protect cauliflower by drawing aphids away as a trap crop. Their flowers also bring in pollinating insects. Let some go to seed and they’ll attract beneficial predatory wasps too.

9. Garlic & Chives

All alliums contain sulfur compounds that repel pests like cabbage worms, loopers, aphids, cabbage maggots, slugs, and beetles. Both garlic and chives planted among cauliflower will help mask the brassica scent those pests follow.

10. Beets & Carrots

These root veggies won’t compete much with shallow cauliflower roots. Plus their greens offer protective shade and mulch. Beets in particular add magnesium, while carrots harbor beneficial predatory ground beetles that will protect against common cauliflower pests.

More Smart Companion Planting Combinations

Beyond the top ten companions, here are some more cauliflower partner possibilities:

  • Lettuce & Spinach – These quick growing greens thrive in the same cool conditions as cauliflower. They make great companion shade plants and living mulches.

  • Radishes – Easy to grow radishes mature fast from seed, acting as a trap crop for flea beetles which also attack cauliflower.

  • Swiss Chard – Both chard and cauliflower need regular watering, making them patio container partners. The two don’t compete much for nutrients either.

  • Cucumbers – If trellised to avoid shading, cucumbers can provide protective shade on late summer cauliflower plantings.

  • Chervil – This delicate annual herb repels aphids and slugs which plague brassicas. Let it flower to also attract beneficial lacewings.

  • Borage – The bright blue borage flowers lure in pollinators while also repelling hornworms and cabbage worms.

Companion Plants to Avoid

When companion planting cauliflower, there are a few varieties you’ll want to steer clear of:

  • Strawberries – These lush berries tend to attract slugs, snails, and birds that also damage cauliflower.

  • Tomatoes – Tomato plants compete heavily for water and nutrients that cauliflowers also demand. Separate these two.

  • Peppers & Eggplant– These fellow heat-loving crops will crowd out cauliflower. They also attract flea beetles.

  • Grapes & Raspberries – Cauliflower will stunt the growth of these fruits which share nutrients and water.

  • Pole Beans – Beans require more heat than cauliflowers. And their aggressive vines can quickly overtake brassicas when trellised.

Success Tips for Companion Planting Cauliflower

Follow these tips to get the most out of pairing cauliflower with beneficial companion plants:

  • Amend soil with rich compost or organic fertilizer before planting. Cauliflower are heavy feeders.

  • Use transplants for cauliflower and companions like tomatoes for a head start. Direct sow quick growing seeds like radish or lettuce.

  • Give cauliflower transplants 18-24 inches of space each way. Use companions to fill in gaps.

  • Use taller companions like corn or sunflowers to shade cauliflower once summer heats up.

  • Mulch beds to conserve moisture and prevent weeds which compete for nutrients.

  • Provide 1-2 inches of water weekly for thirsty cauliflower and most companions.

  • Place companion herbs and flowers strategically near cauliflower but not directly competing for space.

  • Control aggressive companions like mint or pole beans by planting in containers or pots.

The More Diversity, the Merrier Your Garden

By creatively combining cauliflower with buddy plants that enrich soil, block pests, and attract pollinators, you’ll achieve better results. A diverse garden ecosystem will be healthier and more productive overall.

Experiment with these companion planting matches in your cauliflower beds, borders and containers. Pay attention to which seem most effective in your specific climate and conditions. Soon you’ll discover the perfect plant pairings to support bountiful cauliflower harvests.

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting can result in reduced pests, enhanced growth, and reputed better flavor.

Plants work better together, and anyone who uses companion planting in their garden knows it. When planted together, different types of plants can help each other get rid of pests, grow faster, and sometimes even make the food taste better. Most importantly, companion planting improves biodiversity by bringing in more pollinators and beneficial insects.

Companion planting allows you to extend your growing seasons beyond what you’d normally do without it. If you plant lettuce in a garden bed, it will bolt in late spring or early summer. But if you put big plants like sunflowers or tomatoes around those heads of lettuce, they can last a little longer because they aren’t in the hot summer sun.

This way of gardening can work for gardens of all sizes, from large farms with acres of land to small pot gardens on balconies.

Cauliflower as Companion Plants

I used to think you couldn’t plant anything with cauliflower because of how big the leaves can grow. But these plants can still be good neighbors even if they occupy a lot of space. Let’s look at what you can expect with these cole crops around.

Most of the cauliflower plant is above ground, meaning it doesn’t take up much space below the surface. You can utilize that space by planting crops that need plenty of soil, like potatoes or beets. The cauliflower leaves can help protect roots and tubers as they develop.

Since cauliflower doesn’t need as many nutrients as its friends, it won’t have to fight as hard for them. However, they need a lot of nitrogen, so you’ll still need to fertilize them throughout the growing season.

I associate cauliflower (and the rest of the Brassica bunch) with pests. The following pests can damage them: armyworms, aphids, cucumber beetles, snails, slugs, flea beetles, thrips, and cabbage loopers. There are pests that like almost every plant, but cauliflower seems to attract ones that eat a lot of other plants, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for them.

Cauliflower needs 1-2 inches of water each week, which may limit what you can plant nearby. If you pick a friend that likes water too, you’ll need to give the plants in that small space even more water. Keeping companion plants in containers nearby is a good way to make sense of your watering schedule. Companion planting can lead to better brassica harvests!.

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What should not be planted near cauliflower?

Tomatoes. Just like cauliflower, tomatoes are also heavy feeders of nutrients. If planted in close proximity to one another, the plants will compete for nutrients. This can reduce both of the crops’ ability to reach their growth and production potential.

Can you plant cauliflower with zucchini?

Brassicas. Plants like cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower are very prone to pests and might attract them closer to your squashes. Plus, these are also heavy feeders which will likely compete with your squashes.

Can I plant cauliflower next to potatoes?

Among the good potato companion plants are crops in the cabbage family. Growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, which all have shallow root systems, means they won’t compete for the space or nutrients that deep-rooted potatoes will need.

What are the best companion plants for cauliflower?

Let’s get back to cauliflower companion plants. Beans, celery, and onions are all excellent choices when companion planting cauliflower. Beans and cauliflower are an ideal combo. Both plants deter pests and attract beneficial insects.

Does cauliflower grow well with other plants?

Planting crops that grow well with cauliflower will also complement each other in a variety of ways. These include deterring garden pests, attracting beneficial insects, and promoting soil health. The best thing you can do for your cauliflower plants is to make sure you have good companions for their growth.

What to plant after cauliflower?

Another companion plant to consider if you’re thinking of what to plant after cauliflower is potatoes . Potatoes are prone to attracting aphids and flea beetles so you may plant them as a trap crop i.e. growing them around your cauliflower to detract pests away from cauliflower and to your potato crop instead.

What plants should I plant near cauliflower?

Here’s the lineup: Let’s get started! The best plants to sow in proximity to cauliflower should share the same cultural requirements: even moisture, full sun, and organically-rich soil that drains well. Another point to consider is that cauliflower, like broccoli and other members of the brassica family, is a heavy feeder.

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