7 Pumpkin Companion Plants

Pumpkins plants grow best when grown near other beneficial plants. Which companion plants should you consider?

Growing healthy pumpkins requires being prepared for pests that can damage developing fruits. Companion planting uses guardian and complementary crops to promote growth and maximize production.

Today we’ll explore a few companion plants that work well with pumpkins.

1. Beans 

Three sisters planting is a traditional planting technique initially used by Native Americans. This companion planting method involves three crops, beans, corn, and squash. 

The low-lying pumpkin leaves and vines act as living mulch and weed protection; the beans replenish the soil with nitrogen. Beans, the second sister of the three, supply nitrogen to nitrogen-dependent plants like corn and pumpkin. Another benefit is that pole beans can use the corn as a trellis, maximizing the garden space.

full grown and mature green beans

2. Corn

The large pumpkin leaves shade the soil near the base of the corn, keeping weeds at bay and helping to maintain moisture. The beans climb the corn in the classic three sisters companion planting strategy. At the same time, the pumpkins produce their fruit on the ground. 

a ripe corn ready for harvest

3. Herbs

Herbs work well with pumpkins, but the flowering types are especially beneficial since they attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the area. Aromatic herbs, including oregano, chives, chamomile, marjoram, tansy, and hyssop, pair well with pumpkins. 

Oregano attracts aphid-eating hoverflies and makes an excellent ground cover. Marjoram improves the taste of pumpkins, while tansy, a typically ornamental plant, enhances soil potassium levels and repels Japanese beetles.

Borage is another excellent herb to grow in the garden since it attracts pollinators to both nearby flowers and itself. Make every effort to increase the pollinator population in your garden because pumpkins rely on insects to pollinate their flowers for fruit production.

a thick bush of oregano herb in the garden

4. Radish

Radishes are good pumpkin companions because they trap flea bugs. Planting the radish a few days before the pumpkin helps maximize this effect.

Flea beetles prefer radish leaves over pumpkin, tomato, spinach, kale, and other vegetables. They will be attracted to the radishes and should leave your pumpkins alone. Make sure to plant the radishes far enough so it doesn’t disturb the roots of other crops. 

planting an array of red radish

5. Nasturtium

Nasturtium is a flower that attracts squash bugs, aphids, and pumpkin beetles. , Many pollinators and insects that prey on pests are attracted to this flower due to its sweet nectar and pollen.

Nasturtiums repel squash bugs, cabbage loopers, and striped cucumber beetles. For this reason, many gardeners grow nasturtiums next to pumpkin plants to organically keep pests away.

beautiful orange nasturtium flowers

6. Marigold

Marigolds bring many insects to the garden, especially bees. The root-knot nematode is a soil-dwelling bug that attacks the roots of various plants, including pumpkins. It, too, is attracted to marigolds. 

A plant attacked by this pest will show reduced growth, delayed development, poor blooming, and poor fruit set. Root-knot nematodes will also attack marigold roots, and chemicals in marigolds inhibit the nematodes’ growth, preventing them from laying eggs.

french marigolds in full bloom

7. Lavender

Lavender attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees, making it a perfect companion for pumpkin plants. Lavender is a perennial that will flourish in warmer climates for many years. There are numerous varieties of lavender, many of which can be used to establish a little lavender hedge around the yard.

Leila Haynes
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