What Not to Plant with Nasturtiums?


Nasturtiums have vibrant blossoms and edible leaves. They are a favorite of many gardeners. However, your garden is like a community. Some plants make great neighbors. While others can be less than friendly companions for your cherished nasturtiums.

Companion Planting Basics

  1. Definition of companion planting

At its core, companion planting is a practice where certain plants are grown in close proximity to enhance each other's health and growth. The symbiotic relationships create a more successful and sustainable garden. When employed correctly, companion planting can help repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and improve flavors and yields.

  1. The Advantages of Growing Together

Imagine a scene where your crop's natural enemies are kept at bay by their neighbor's scent, or where one plant's roots aerate the soil to the benefit of others. This is the magic of companion planting. For instance, marigolds are often cited as an excellent companion for many plants. Because they can ward off nematodes with their roots.

What Not to Plant with Nasturtium?

  1. Highly Competitive Plants

Mint: A well-known spreader, mint can outcompete several plants, including nasturtiums, in a battle for space.

Fennel: This highly aromatic herb demands a lot of space and nutrients that nasturtiums may struggle to compete with.

Asparagus: With its deep roots and need for rich soil, asparagus may not fare well near nasturtiums, especially new seedlings.

  1. Plants with Similar Growing Conditions

Plants with similar growing conditions, especially light and water requirements, often make fantastic companions. Conversely, when those conditions are not harmonious, the results can be lackluster or detrimental to one or both plants.

Nasturtiums should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They prefer soil that dries out between waterings. Nasturtiums are less favorable companions for plants that need consistently moist soil.

  1. Conflicting Requirements

Plants that thrive in damp, shaded conditions are less likely to complement nasturtiums. This can include leafy crops like lettuce, spinach, and ferns. They might experience stunted growth when competing for light against the spread of nasturtiums.

In late summer, many plants begin to slow their growth in preparation for the change in seasons. Nasturtiums are renowned for their surge. They can quickly overwhelm those neighbors that cannot keep up.

  1. Nasturtium's Susceptibility to Certain Pests

Some Pests: Nasturtiums are aphid magnets, often attracting them away from other plants. They offer aphids shelter in their flower buds and foliage. Cabbage white butterflies lay eggs on nasturtiums. The cabbage worms can chew through leaves and flowers.

Pests to Avoid Planting Nearby: Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cole crops can host the same pests that trouble nasturtiums. They may then spread to your brassicas. Beans are typically a companion to nasturtiums. When bean aphids appear, they may be attracted to the same locations where nasturtiums are found.

Nasturtium Companion Plants

  1. The Unsuitable Companions

Hyssop: It is a favorite among herbalists for aiding digestion, and as an attractant for bees. But hyssop can hinder the growth of nasturtiums with its competition for space, light, and nutrients.

Brassicas: The cabbage family members are generally not good companions for nasturtiums. For example, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. They tend to prefer different soil types and can be too aggressive for humble nasturtiums.

Mint: The aromatic and invasive nature of mint makes it a poor match for nasturtiums. Mint's roots can spread and out-compete nasturtiums. This can lead to stunted growth and reduced flowering.

  1. Beneficial Companion Plants for Nasturtiums

Tomatoes: Tomatoes can tolerate the same soil and watering conditions as nasturtiums. But planting them together can help deter pesky insects that may harm both plants. Nasturtiums can repel whiteflies.

Cucumbers: Both nasturtiums and cucumbers are fast growers. They won't compete heavily for space. They also attract beneficial insects.

Beans: Nasturtiums can suppress the growth of black aphids on beans, thanks to their strong scent and taste. Plus, both plants fix nitrogen in the soil, an often-sought characteristic for gardeners.

  1. Successful Combinations

Nasturtiums and Rosemary: This pairing keeps away cabbage moths. It is a significant pest for green leafy veggies. For example, kale and collards.

Nasturtiums and Beets: The vibrant colors of nasturtium flowers delight when interplanted among the earthy beet leaves. Plus, both plants are not major competitors for resources.

Nasturtiums and Chervil: This delicate herb grows happily beneath the broad nasturtium leaves, protecting it from the sun and heat. It's an excellent pairing in a full-sun garden.

Tips for Successful Nasturtium Companionship

  1. Creating Distance

For plants that spread invasively or have competing growth habits, simply providing distance can be enough to quell the competition. Raised beds and bulk nursery pots can help control the spread of plant roots. This can keep the balance in your garden.

  1. Tailor Your Soil

Modifying the soil around your plants is another approach. Ensure that the soil near your nasturtiums is less fertile than what the competing plant requires. Adding sand or mulches to keep the soil nutrient-poor. This could help mitigate the growth imbalance.

  1. Timing Is Key

Strategic planting times can also minimize the impact of competition. For crops that share space with nasturtiums, early sowing or late planting can help them establish before or after nasturtiums' peak growth. This can avoid direct competition.


For a flourishing garden, it's essential to pair your plants thoughtfully. What not to plant with nasturtiums can give you a valuable guideline.