Bean Plant Companions: What Grows Well With Beans In The Garden

Bean Plant Companions: What Grows Well With Beans In The Garden

Many different plants not only coexist together, but actually derive mutual gratification from being grown near each other. Beans are a prime example of a food crop that benefits greatly when planted with other crops. Companion planting with beans is an age old Native American practice called “the three sisters,” but what else grows well with beans? Keep reading to learn about companion plants for beans.

Companion Planting with Beans

Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, a necessary nutrient for healthy growth of other crops, which is truly a boon to the gardener. The Iroquois people were aware of this reward, although they chalked it up to a gift from the Great Spirit. Their god also bequeathed to the people corn and squash, which then became logical companion plants for bean.

Corn was planted first and when the stalks were tall enough, the beans were sowed. As the beans grew, squash was planted. The corn became a natural support for the beans to clamber up, while the beans made the soil rich in nitrogen, and the large squash leaves shaded the soil to cool roots and retain moisture. Don’t stop with just corn and squash though. There are many other beneficial plants that can be combined when growing beans.

Companion plants for beans or other crops should be plants that have a natural symbiotic relationship. They may protect other crops from wind or sun, they may deter or confuse pests, or they may attract beneficial insects.

When selecting your bean plant companions, consider their nutritional requirements. Don’t grow plants with the same nutritional needs together since they will compete for those available nutrients. The same goes with growing bean plant companions that have the same root depth. Again, they will compete with each other if they grow at the same soil depth.

What Grows Well with Beans?

Besides corn and squash, there are many other suitable companion plants for beans. Since pole and bush beans have different habits, different crops make more suitable companions.

For bush beans, the following work well grown together:

  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Nasturtiums
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Savory
  • Strawberries

Pole beans do quite well when planted near:

  • Carrots
  • Catnip
  • Celery
  • Chamomile
  • Cucumber
  • Marigold
  • Nasturtiums
  • Oregano
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Rosemary
  • Spinach
  • Savory

Also, don’t forget to interplant with the corn and squash! Just as there are beneficial crops to plant with beans, there are other plants to avoid.

The Allium family does neither pole or bush beans any favors. Members such as chives, leeks, garlic, and onions exude an antibacterial that kills the bacteria on the roots of the beans and halts their nitrogen fixing.

In the case of pole beans, avoid planting near beets or any of the Brassica family: kale, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Don’t plant pole beans with sunflowers either, for obvious reasons.

How to Use Green Beans in Companion Planting

Green Beans are very helpful companion plants because their roots host bacteria, which enriches the soil with nitrogen. Combining specific groups of plants attracts beneficial insects and birds, protecting your garden from pests. Beans also provide the added benefit of enriching the earth. Companion planting can yield up to twice as much as individual planting. Green beans are considered to be one of the most effective combination plants.

Plant Your Green Beans

Plant green beans in your herb, flower, fruit or vegetable garden to improve overall plant growth. Some plants do particularly well with green beans, such as spinach, corn, peas, lettuce, eggplant, rosemary, celery carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, potatoes, and dill. Eggplants are a particularly good companion plant for green beans because they repel Bean Beetles, which can destroy green beans, while green beans deter California Beetles, which can attack eggplants. Green beans will also assist in rotation planting, as the additional nitrogen in the soil will support heavy crops the following year.

Exceptions to the Rule

Green beans should not be planted near plants that do not do well with extra nitrogen, such as tomatoes, green peppers, or chili peppers. They also do not do well near beets, chives, onions, or garlic, as these plants can stunt the bean stalk.

The Three Sisters

The traditional Native American planting of corn, beans and squash makes an ideal companion combination. Corn is planted first, and when it is tall enough to provide support, pole beans are planted next to each corn stalk. The beans provide nitrogen to the corn, and the corn provides a stalk for the beans to climb. As the weather gets hot, squash is planted next to the corn-and-bean combination to shade the soil, keeping it cool and slowing evaporation of irrigation water.

Pole Beans and Peppers

While pole beans and peppers do not make good companions for each other, they each do their part in improving the quality of the soil for companion plants in the vicinity. For example, pole beans remove nitrogen from the atmosphere and recycle it back into the soil. The nitrogen added to the soil by pole beans is in a form that other plants can use to increase their overall health.

On the other hand, peppers -- in particular, hot pepper varieties -- contain a substance within their root system that is effective at warding off and preventing root rot diseases, such as Fusarium rot. This benefits and keeps root rot away from other companions in the same planting bed.

Principally, companion planting means studying about which crops present advantages to different crops and planting them companion crops for a vegetable plant could be different vegetable crops, herbs and even flowers. So you’ll use the suggestions for bush beans listed above for companion plantings. Bush beans, brassicas, leeks, garlic, chives, tomatoes, dill, nasturtiums.

For nearly each vegetable you develop, there may be seemingly to be a useful companion plant that may assist improve soil vitamins, ward off pests, or present another profit.

…jul172 cucumber with French bean & marigold polyculture … from

/media/Images/MEN/Editorial/Articles/Magazine%20Articles/2011/04-01/Companion%20Planting%20With%20Vegetables%20and%20Flowers/MEN-AM11-gkh002.jpg" />


Onions are a good friend for carrots because they will repel carrot flies. They also repel aphids so planting them near aphid-prone and onion-friendly veggies create natural pest control. Beets, lettuce, cabbage, parsnips, and tomatoes are all good vegetable garden companions. They also work well with marjoram, savory, and rosemary.

Onions are not good companions for asparagus, peas, or beans.


Carrots are sensitive to heat so they need a companion that will provide them some shade. Tomatoes work well for this task. Tomatoes also help to produce natural pest control. But it’s not a one-sided relationship tomatoes benefit from carrots too. Carrots aerate the soil for the tomato plant roots, allowing them to receive more air and water. Leeks are another nice companion since leeks repel carrot flies and carrots repel leek moths. Rosemary, chives, and sage are also good repellants

Carrots are not good companions for dill and coriander because they can harm carrot plants. Also, parsnips suffer from the same pests and diseases as carrots so keep them apart to prevent an infestation.

Zucchini/Summer Squash

Corn makes an excellent companion for squashes because it gives them plenty of space to grow. And the squash can keep weeds from growing up among the corn stalks. Squash also does well with peas, beans, radishes, marigolds, and dill.

Squashes are not good companions for potatoes they’re both prone to blight.


Radishes are a good friend to cucumbers because they attract cucumber beetles away. They also do great with carrots because they are harvested early and they can loosen the soil for carrots, giving them more room to grow. Beets, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, onions, and squash also make great vegetable garden companions.

Radishes are not good companions for hyssop.

Sweet Corn

Corn grows well with nitrogen in the soil, so most kinds of beans, especially green beans, are a great companion. Cornstalks also benefit climbing plants by becoming a natural trellis for them so any kind of bean, cucumbers, peas, pumpkins, and melons all make good companion vegetables. Zucchini and squash also grow well along the ground in the space provided by the stalks as they grow tall, and the keep the ground shaded for the corn.

Corn is not good companions with tomatoes because they can both be attacked by corn earworms, spreading pests and disease.

Companion garden plants can help your garden thrive and produce bigger crops. Companion planting also allows you to grow organically because the plants serve as natural pesticides and soil nutrients.

When it comes to companion gardening, the best way to plant is to plan ahead. Decide what kinds of plants you want to grow, how long they take to harvest, and research what plants grow well (or don’t grow well) together. Planning ahead will allow you success from the start.

Plants that harvest early can be planted between plants that take longer to grow, allowing you more useable space in your garden. And planting using the three sisters method will also provide more space by growing three plants in the same area and allowing them to benefit each other in their growth.

If your garden area is small or you want to grow your garden more organically, companion gardening is the way to go. You’ll be able to garden more naturally, you’ll save time and space, and all while benefitting your garden to produce a bigger, better, and tastier harvest.

Hi, I’m Tracy!

Hi there, my name is Tracy and I am a city girl gone country. I am a redneck frugal living goat owner and I am working everyday towards living a more simple life. Now I am teaching others how to do the same. From growing their own food, making their own cleaning supplies, cutting back, and paring down. It’s all about making more of what we need so we spend less, save oodles of money and live better!
Contact me

Watch the video: Garden Planning with Companion Planting