Brussels Sprouts Companion Plants: Best & Worst Neighbors

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Brussels sprouts companion plants
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Brussels sprouts need their space and plenty of sunlight to reach their full potential. And to help you get the best crop, we’ve got some excellent Brussels sprouts companion plants that will totally have their backs and help them thrive.

Brussels sprouts are the cool cousins of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. They love mild temperatures, long sunny days, and nutrient-rich soil. And in just a few months, they’ll hook you up with a bountiful harvest you can roast, steam, or chow down on raw.

But before you get there, it’s super important to pick the right companion plants for your sprout garden. And guess what? Our Brussels sprouts companion planting guide has got your back!

Close-up of Brussels sprouts growing in a garden.

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is an age-old practice that combines plants to create a better-growing environment for each other. By strategically placing certain plants together, you can increase their yields and protect them from pests.

It’s all about understanding the relationship between plants and how they can benefit each other in a garden.

The Benefits of Companion Planting for Brussels Sprouts

Here’s what you can expect when you team up these cool-weather greens with their best garden friends:

  • Deter pests: Some companions can deter aphids, cabbage worms, and white butterflies, which are common pests of Brussels sprouts.
  • Space saving: Plants like clover and lettuce can grow in the shade of taller sprouts, occupying space that could otherwise remain unplanted.
  • Improved taste: Companion plants like chamomile and savory are said to enhance the flavor of neighboring Brussels sprouts.
  • Ground cover: Certain herbs, such as thyme and oregano, can act as a living mulch and help conserve soil moisture.

Understanding the Needs of Brussels Sprouts: (A Quick Care Guide)

When it comes to growing Brussels sprouts, the key is to give them plenty of space. These plants can grow up to 24 inches tall and spread 18 inches wide, so make sure to divide your rows at least two feet apart.

They also need consistent moisture and lots of sun (at least 8 hours a day). Brussels sprouts are big eaters, so fertilize your soil before planting the seeds or transplants. And don’t forget to feed them every three weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer. Lastly, keep your plants well-watered and weed-free to avoid competition for nutrients.

Best Brussels Sprouts Companion Plants

Now let’s look at which plants are the best to grow with Brussels sprouts and why.

1. Alliums

Alliums include onions, leeks, and garlic. These pungent plants have a secret power: repelling pests like aphids and cabbage worms. Plus, they have natural antifungal agents that can help combat powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.

When it comes to being friends with Brussels sprouts, alliums have one condition: they also need full sun. So, grow them in alternate rows or on the south side of the sprouts. This way, you’ll enjoy the benefits of their company without blocking the much-needed light for the sprouts.

2. Radish

Radishes grow fast, like in 3-4 weeks, so you can grab a quick snack while waiting for your Brussels sprouts to be ready. By the time your sprouts need more space, the radishes will already be done and dusted. Plus, radishes act as perfect sacrificial plants for pests, keeping them away from your young Brussels sprouts.

The best part is that even if you don’t have much space, you can still grow radishes alongside your sprouts. They’re totally content with just 6 inches of breathing room.

3. Beets

Beets, like radishes, are a great choice for growing close to Brussels sprouts. They have the same pest-repelling properties and can tolerate partial shade if your sprouts begin to block the sun.

Beets are slow growing compared to radishes, so you might want to dedicate a separate row or section for them. If you do, make sure they have at least 8 inches of space between the plants for optimal growth.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is your best bet if you want to save space in your garden. It’s a great low-growing companion that won’t compete with Brussels sprouts for sun or nutrients. In fact, it even helps to mulch and conserve soil moisture as an extra bonus.

It can also tolerate partial shade, so you can continue growing them even when your sprouts are at their peak. Just give them 3-4 inches of space between the plants, and you’ll be good to go.

5. Chard

Chard is a good companion if you don’t mind a little extra work. Chard can grow big and bushy, which is not good for your Brussels sprouts, so you’ll need to prune it back regularly.

But if you can manage the trimming, chard is a great companion as it’s highly resistant to pests and disease. It doesn’t compete with your sprouts for nutrients, as it has deep taproots that can reach for extra nutrients deep in the soil.

6. Kale

Kale under the shade of Brussels sprouts may not produce the lushest leaves, but it still makes an excellent companion. It’s strong and hardy enough to resist pests and diseases, and its shallow roots won’t compete with your Brussels sprouts for nutrients.

Kale also grows slowly, which is excellent for maximizing your garden space. And lastly, its foliage also creates mulch that helps to keep moisture in the soil and provides defense against weeds.

7. Clover

Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders, meaning they need many nutrients. Clover can be a great partner in this regard as it fixes nitrogen in the soil. It increases soil fertility without the need for fertilizer.

There are also several other benefits; it is low-growing and doesn’t compete with your sprouts for light. It gives ground cover, improves drainage, suppresses weeds, and conserves moisture. Plus, it’s a great choice if you don’t have much space.

Best Herbs to Grow with Brussels Sprouts

8. Oregano

Unlike other needy herbs, oregano will live happily under the dappled shade of Brussels sprouts. Its intense aroma makes a great pest deterrent; common pests such as aphids and whiteflies will stay away.

Oregano is also said to improve the flavor of Brussels sprouts, so you can get a great taste and a pest-free garden all at once. Just give it 6 inches between each plant and let them go.

9. Savory

Savory is a hardy herb that can cope with low light levels, especially the winter crop, so it’s perfect for growing alongside Brussels sprouts. It’s a really docile herb; anything you give your sprouts will benefit this too.

With its intense aroma, it’s a great companion that will repel pests and keep your Brussels sprouts happy. Best of all, its deep-rooted nature helps aerate the soil and gives more space for roots to grow.

Brussels Sprouts Companion Plants to Avoid

The following plants do not share well with Brussels sprouts and should be avoided:

Beans: Though beans have all the good traits to become a great companion plant, their extensive roots and vigorous foliage make them difficult for Brussels sprouts. Especially pole beans, as they will outcompete your Brussels sprouts for light and nutrients, which can lead to stunted growth and lower yields.

Kohlrabi: It is generally recommended to avoid planting two kinds of “Brassica,” like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts together. But kohlrabi is especially incompatible as it needs constant moisture. The soil it likes is denser and heavier than what Brussels sprouts prefer. Plus, they attract the same kinds of pests, so it’s best to keep them far apart.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes and Brussels sprouts do not get along very well, as they tend to compete for soil nutrients and moisture. So if you plant a tomato next to your Brussels sprouts, the tomatoes will be favored by the soil, and the sprouts will suffer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I plant next to Brussels sprouts?

Choose plants that can tolerate dappled shade, do not need a lot of space, and are resilient to pests and diseases. Some good companion plants for Brussels sprouts include radishes, beets, lettuce, chard, kale, clover, and herbs like oregano and savory.

What should not be planted near Brussels sprouts?

Plants that spread too vigorously, need lots of moisture, and more than 5 hours of direct sunlight don’t make good neighbors with Brussels sprouts. Plus, avoid the too needy plants as Brussels are also heavy eaters, so there will be competition. A few examples are kohlrabi, tomatoes, and strawberries.

What is the ideal distance between Brussels sprouts and other plants?

That depends on the type of plant you are planting with your Brussels sprouts, but generally, you should maintain at least 6 inches of space between each plant. This will be enough to let them grow and decrease the chances of pests transferring from one to another.

What type of care do Brussels sprouts need?

Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders, so you must replenish the soil with compost and balanced fertilizer every few months. They need an even amount of moisture to grow, but it shouldn’t be too wet or dry. Also, watch for pests and diseases so you can act quickly if needed.

Final Thoughts

Brussels sprouts may be a bit of a challenge to grow, but with the help of carefully chosen companion plants, they can be quite an easy and rewarding crop. Try adding the plants mentioned above to maximize your yields, keep pests away, and even improve flavor.

And lastly, remember to keep a healthy distance between your plants and monitor them regularly for any signs of distress. You’ll have a healthy and bountiful harvest in no time.

Pin This Guide To Brussels Sprouts Companion Planting!

A close-up of Brussels sprouts growing in a garden. Text overlay: Best & worst Brussels sprouts companion plants.

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