Cabbage Companion Crops: Pairings for Success

It's almost winter and gardening winter vegetables means planting frost lovers like cabbage, garlic, leeks, and peas. Cabbage is a lovely winter plant that enjoys a kiss from the frost. And what better way to plant it than accompanying cabbage plants?

Companion planting is a great way to keep your garden plentiful and protect it from common pests. It also offers a lot of variety from an otherwise monoculture. Kohl also has so many companions. We are talking about flowers, herbs and other vegetables.

So what are the best companions for cabbage plants? And what are the benefits of accompanying planting? Let us talk about it! We're going to cover some of the best companion herbs and flowers for your cabbage garden. And we explain why each of these plants work well with cabbage.

What is accompanying planting?

Choose the right cabbage companion plants for success. Source: Joe Thomissen

Accompanying planting is an age-old practice that works in a variety of ways. Most importantly, the accompanying planting creates a beneficial system of reciprocity between living organisms in your garden. Practice brings variety to your yield and protects your plants.

Some companion plants repel insects that may want to nibble on nearby plants. They can also attract and catch problematic insects or attract useful insects. Good companions can add micronutrients to the soil that support all other plants there. A good micronutrient profile helps other plants grow and improves the taste of neighboring plants.

Ground covers can protect against weeds. Some legumes provide a nitrogen-fixing element in the soil, which helps vegetable roots grow stronger. Many plants grow quickly, which suggests where other plants will soon appear. Tall plants also provide shade for lower-lying plants that enjoy less sunlight.

The best possible result of the accompanying planting is that it promotes biodiversity and thus a healthy garden. Since you are planting a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, the garden bed will not be depleted.

Loss of topsoil (a result of monoculture gardening practices) is a big problem for the future. We, as gardeners, can choose easy-to-grow plants that love to be close to each other, which helps us practice environmental awareness in the garden.

Good companion plants for cabbage

Companion planting for cabbage is pretty straightforward. Find out which of these can be planted near your cabbage and which are best for your garden design, and then you are done. You will have tons of cabbage at harvest time.

Cabbage family companion

CabbagesCabbage has many different good companions to choose from. Source: Seacoast Eat Local

Because other types of cabbage need the same nutrients as cabbage, they can be planted near your cabbage crop. Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower are suitable companions for your cabbage garden. Even Napa cabbage, a close relative, can grow nearby.

In addition to being easy to grow, members of the cabbage family enjoy the same climate and conditions as cabbage. In winter, a green garden is a nice change from bare trees and brown leaves. Brassica family vegetables are very nutritious. Add them to stews, stir-fries, and your favorite warm hot dishes to keep you warm.

But a word about it: an overabundance of brassicas can outdo each other. We'll talk more about this in a later section.

Peas and beans

First of all, cabbages need sun, but cabbage enjoys shade in the harsh afternoon sun. One of the best ways to provide some shade is by planting beans. Plant them on the south side of your garden to block out some of the harsh afternoon sun that can scorch cabbage leaves.

French beans and pea plants also supply the soil with nitrogen. This is the main reason they make a great companion plant for cabbage. All members of the cabbage family consume a lot of nitrogen, which helps them grow lush leafy vegetables.

Nitrogen-fixing plants like legumes feed on cabbage. Certain beans, peas and vetches work very well here. Lentils, fava beans, and more can show up here.

Plant them for a harvest or use as a cover crop. Whichever you choose, you will find success with your cabbage plants.

Aromatic herbs

Tons of herbs grow well near cabbage. Many either repel garden pests or attract and trap them. Some grow well alongside cabbage and also taste great in a cabbage dish.

One herb in particular – rosemary – not only repels cabbage moths, it also improves the taste of any head of cabbage nearby. This is because rosemary provides the soil with potassium, calcium, and sulfur, which helps the cabbage a bit in the taste and nutrition department.

Another cabbage companion that scares off cabbage moths is sage. Sage also repels other pests such as flea beetles and carrot flies. Yarrow and dill ward off the cabbage moth and also provide the gardener's favorite insect, the lacewing. Both yarrow and dill are perennial and produce showy flowers. Dill is also a great attractant for giant swallowtail caterpillars.

Chives and wormwood are great insect repellants. Both keep cabbage maggots, cabbage worms, cabbage claws, snails, flea beetles and other beetles away. All of these are insects that can destroy a crop pretty quickly. And the silvery leaves and wormwood planted with chives, dill and cabbage make for a beautiful garden design.

There are more herbs that Kohl is good friends with, but there are too many to cover here. Try planning a garden design with rosemary, sage, dill, and wormwood interspersed with your cabbage plants. Aromatic herbs give you great visual and palette variety.

Root Vegetable Buddy

Carrots, beets, onions, and parsnips are also good companion plants. This is because they use their tubers or tap roots to help draw nutrients out of the soil. As they grow, they draw nutrients to the top layer of soil and feed them to plants with shallower roots, such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

The leaves of the beet specifically supply magnesium to the soil when they are broken down. When your beet leaves decay, chop them up and leave them on the ground to feed their cabbage companion. This in turn improves the taste of your cabbage plants. When you harvest, put your beets, cabbage, carrots and onions together in winter borscht!

Celery is great when planted near cabbage. They scare off the dreaded cabbage moth. Along with these, you can plant other root vegetables to reduce the space in the soil so that cabbage worms cannot get into your garden.


Probably the best companion for your cabbage is the marigold. Not only does it scare off pests, but it also attracts beneficial insects. Accompanying planting with marigold is a well-known and established practice.

Marigolds keep Japanese beetles, whiteflies, aphids, nematodes away and can be used as a mosquito repellent. The beneficial insects they attract include ladybugs, hover flies, and parasitic wasps, which feed on insect pests. You might want to plant marigolds with your cabbage.

Geranium keeps cabbage worms and beetles away from cabbage. They're also nice in tea and baked goods. Their scent is lovely and there are different types of geraniums to choose from: some with a peppery scent, others rose-like and some also minty. While calling out beneficial insects and growing cabbage, why not have a small cup of tea?

As mentioned earlier, yarrow is a great attractant for insect lovers. When planted near cabbage, yarrow will help you get lacewings in your yard. Yarrow flowers are eye-catching and there are tons of different varieties to choose from. Moonshine yarrow is bright yellow, common yarrow is white, and Cherise yarrow is pink. These are just a few of the yarrow to choose from.


Buckwheat is an excellent companion plant for cabbage. This plant is sometimes mistaken for an herb, but is used in cooking and green manure. Winter is a good time to start growing catch crops in warmer climates. Cut the seeds just before the cover crop to add fertilizer to the soil.

Planting buckwheat near cabbage will also attract parasitic wasps, which hunt for cabbage claws. After cutting this catch crop, try planting another companion in its place. Maybe another Brassica growing with your cabbage would be enough?

What not to plant with cabbage

Cabbage infested with pestsToo many cabbage plants in one area can cause cabbage pests to emerge. Source: feedpeoplenotmüller

So what plants are bad companions when planted with cabbage? Here are some to avoid.


Salad also benefits from root vegetable companions, but is not a good companion for cabbage. This is because lettuce plants can attract pests that can prevent healthy growth on the cabbages. So don't plant a lettuce with your cabbage.


Strawberries and cabbage compete with each other for nutrients. Both have shallow roots that intertwine when planted together. Put them in the same room and you may find yourself getting lots of pests that also feed on vegetables like cabbage and strawberries.

It is a loss if these are planted side by side. They don't get along.


Much like strawberries, tomatoes displace cabbage for nutrients. Their roots do not match well and cabbage will stunt the tomatoes that grow nearby. Tomatoes also attract hornworms, which don't discriminate when it comes to food.

Keep your tomato plants in a separate area or garden bed away from cabbage. Tomatoes aren't really the same season as cabbage anyway.


Although many aromatic herbs are great companions for cabbage, rue is not one of them. Interestingly, the rue is not a good companion for growing with many other herbs. This is because it is a better trapping plant that will attract whiteflies and other pests.

Rue also sucks chemicals into the soil and removes calcium (an essential part of cabbage) from the soil.

Too many other brassicas

While it's okay to plant a few types of cabbage together, planting too many together will result in no one getting the nutrients they need and insects that focus on types of cabbage can invade. If you're planning your garden full of winter vegetables, try a bed instead that's planted with segments that contain a center of one or two heads of cabbage, surrounded by root vegetables, herbs, marigolds, and French beans.


Another bad companion for cabbage: corn! Corn provides too much shade for cabbage, which likes the sun. While some bushier beans can provide some shade, they don't cover as much ground as the shade of a tall corn stalk. Too little sun inhibits cabbage growth. And no vegetable growing means no harvest.

Drought tolerant plants

Cabbage needs plenty of water to grow adequately, so don't plant it next to drought tolerant crops. If you plant cabbage and dry soil lovers together, you can get a good case of root rot in the drought resistant plants, which can spread and infect other plants.

frequently asked Questions

Q: What can I plant with cabbage to deter pests?

A: Onions are great! Some herbs are excellent too. Most importantly, marigolds repel bad insects and attract good ones. They are great companions for many other plants. Try a mixture of onions, peas, beets, herbs, and other root vegetables. Good garden design and planning will help you avoid pitfalls.

Q: What is not allowed to plant next to cabbage?

A: Lettuce attracts nasty insects. Kohl's great companions are French beans, but runner beans can be problematic. You shade cabbage too much. Before planting, read through this accompanying planting guide to see if there is anything else you need to avoid. Instructions like these make it easier for companions to plant.

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