Eggplant Companion Plants List

All outdoor grilling fans must grow eggplants in their gardens. These dark and glossy purple vegetables are packed with nutritious elements and bursting with flavors. Why spend hours looking for the perfect eggplant to serve at your next garden party when you can stroll into your garden and pick a fresh batch?

If you own a garden, you are probably familiar with companion planting. This is a tested gardening method that protects vulnerable crops and enriches them. It is a preferred natural stimulating method for crop growth, attracting beneficial insects and deterring harmful pests.

Join us as we discuss planting and growing eggplants, as well as eggplant companion plants and how to protect them.

eggplants in garden

When To Plant Eggplants

You should start planting your indoor seeds about 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date. Put them in areas with temperatures about 70 to 90°F where they can germinate quickly. Avoid planting the eggplant transplants in the garden until you're sure that the threat of frost is over.

You have decided on planting transplants into your garden. Then you should also buy high-quality specimens. Additionally, don't purchase young plants that have blossoms and don't go for spindly tall plants.

How To Plant Eggplants

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Before planting the eggplants, choose an area in your garden that receives abundant sunlight. If you want to get the best results, make sure your eggplants are exposed to direct sunlight at least 6 to 8 hours per day. The chosen spot must have fertile and well-drained soil, usually sandy loam or highly organic loam soil. You can also improve it by mixing compost or spreading well-rotted manure throughout the planting bed around a week before you begin planting. To achieve the best growth of your eggplants, the soil should have pH levels of 5.8 and 6.5.

Distribute the settling holes 24 to 30 inches apart and in rows 3 feet apart. To warm the soil before setting out the transplants, you can use a covering of black plastic mulch. Once you cultivate each plant, you should set about 24-inch high steaks or use cages to support them when the eggplant starts to give fruit.

Moreover, always ensure that you water the eggplants well after planting. If you live in a colder climate, use a row of covers to keep those young eggplants sheltered and warm. The end of the row covers should be kept open on warm days to allow bees to pollinate the flowers.

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Good Eggplant Companion Plants List

And just like people, plants also have some good companions they want to grow near them and some not-so-good companions. These can be anything from flowers to green beans and aromatic herbs, so let’s discover some eggplant companion plants. 

eggplant spinach and broccoli in garden

1. Garlic

Eggplant and garlic can be planted together. Garlic is a good companion plant for many vegetables because it helps to repel pests such as aphids, spider mites, and beetles. Its strong scent can deter these pests and help protect the eggplants.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and eggplants are not ideal companion plants. They are both members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), meaning they are susceptible to the same diseases and pests, such as blight and hornworms. Planting them together can increase the risk of these issues spreading.

3. Broccoli

Yes, it is a healthy vegetable that we were forced to consume in our childhood because it contains useful nutrients for our bodies. But it turns out to be one of the common eggplant companion plants. These purple veggies are known to require nutrients to produce fruits because they are heavy feeders. On the other hand, broccoli imparts nutrients into the soil, which in turn helps the purple plant thrive. 

4. Spinach and Lettuce

Spinach and lettuce can be planted around eggplants to maximize space and provide ground cover to help retain soil moisture. Eggplants are beneficial for spinach and lettuce because they provide shade in the summer. Planting spinach and lettuce beneath eggplants is a smart use of gardening space, allowing you to gather a harvest or two of spinach while waiting for your eggplants to mature. 

5. Beans

Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which benefits eggplants. Beans are legumes that enrich the soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen, providing essential nutrients that eggplants require for healthy growth. 

6. Basil

It helps to repel insects and improve the flavor of eggplants. Basil helps deter common eggplant pests like aphids and spider mites with its strong aromatic oils, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. Additionally, basil attracts pollinators and beneficial insects, which can enhance the overall health and productivity of the garden.

7. Peppers

Peppers share similar growing conditions and can benefit from each other's presence. They can help in pest control by either deterring or attracting pests away from eggplants, acting as a natural pest management strategy.

8. Oregano

Oregano is one of the many flowering herbs that help eggplants grow healthy and provide nutrition. It is rather useful in repelling nuisance pests and, at the same time, attracting beneficial insects and pollinators like ladybugs and honey bees. If you didn't know, bees simply adore the oregano flowers, which can increase your vegetable harvest. But, the potent scent drives away aphids, cabbage moths, and spider mites.

9. Marigolds

Vegetable owners know that marigolds are the most popular companion plants for eggplant and other vegetables. When in bloom, they attract low-maintenance pollinators like lacewings (which prey on aphids.) Conversely, their strong scent deters insects and common eggplant pests, including nematodes. 

10. Nasturtiums

These are yet another one of the companion plants for eggplant that attract aphids and boost your eggplant yields. But these beautiful flowers are more than just another pollinator plant; they are the perfect “trap crop.” Use it to lure the pests away and protect your eggplants. You can find them in trailing and mounding varieties, with the latter being easier to keep in garden beds due to the compact growth. 

11. Borage

You won’t necessarily find borage in every garden as it is a less commonly used herb. However, it is an excellent flower that deters pest worms from invading eggplants. As a pollinator plant, it boosts and increases the eggplant’s growth and harvest.

What Not To Plant With Eggplants

Pepper companion plants growing with eggplant

There are plants that your eggplant would not want anywhere near them. Geraniums and some other flowers are not suitable companion plants for eggplant. They carry pathogens known to stunt your garden egg's growth.

Because they are heavy feeders, you shouldn’t mix eggplants with any plant in the squash family, corn, and melons. Cilantro and fennel can be problematic around eggplants, while it’s advisable to avoid potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, or any members of the nightshade family.

FAQs

Can I plant cucumbers and eggplants together?

Cucumbers and eggplants are not the best companions. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and can compete with eggplants for nutrients. Additionally, both plants can be affected by similar pests and diseases, which can be more problematic when they are planted close to each other. However, if you manage your garden well with proper spacing, nutrient management, and pest control, they can be grown together.

Are zucchini and eggplant companion plants?

Zucchini and eggplant are not typically considered ideal companion plants. While they can grow near each other, they might compete for space and nutrients because both plants have similar growing requirements and can spread out quite a bit. Additionally, they are both susceptible to similar pests and diseases, which could lead to increased vulnerability if planted together.

Conclusion

Now that you have all the information you need about eggplant companion plants, you know that veggies, herbs, and some flowers can be friendly neighbors to your eggplants in the garden bed. It’s always recommended to have a carefully planned strategy for your garden on where to cultivate each plant. Why? The answer is rather simple. Because you want to ensure you have maximized your garden space. At the same time, this is a great way to improve pollination and repress harmful pests without overcrowding the garden bed

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