companion plants for cabbage

Top 11 Companion Plants for Cabbage + 3 Crops to Avoid

Looking for a list of cabbage companion plants? Look no further! This companion planting quick guide will help you determine the best companion plants for cabbage for your garden beds this growing season! 

Growing crops that are members of the brassica family like cabbage in your vegetable garden is absolutely an exercise in patience! These crops have a host of issues that can often make growing them feel impossible! From insect pests to heat issues, sometimes it’s hard to see if these crops are worth the effort!

Companion planting is a great way to see the best results when growing cabbage in your vegetable garden, especially if you are an organic gardener! The goal of this post is not only to share a list of companions for cabbage, but to also help you determine exactly which ones you should consider for your specific garden needs!

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Benefits of companion planting for Cabbage

When it comes to growing cabbage, teaming them up with other plants – aka companion planting – can do wonders for your garden. It’s like having your own little ecosystem that boosts productivity and keeps things healthy.

Here are just of a few of the benefits you can expect when companion planting:

  1. Attracts beneficial insects like honeybees, vital for pollination, ensuring successful plant reproduction and fruit-bearing.
  2. Draws other helpful insects such as parasitic wasps or ladybugs, which naturally regulate pest populations through organic pest management techniques, reducing reliance on chemical pesticides.
  3. Improves soil fertility and health by collaborating with plants that either fix nitrogen or have deep roots, enriching neighboring plants with essential nutrients.
  4. Deters or captures pests by strategically positioning plants that pests dislike or use as bait, deterring them from cabbage crops.
  5. Suppresses weed growth by utilizing companion plants that cover the ground or compete with weeds for resources, thus decreasing the need for extensive weeding.
  6. Manages disease spread by enhancing air circulation around plants or incorporating disease-resistant companion plants, safeguarding plants from infections.

So, by putting a bit of thought into your garden lineup and embracing companion planting, you’re setting yourself up for a lush, productive garden that’s in sync with nature’s own pest control and fertilization tricks.

Common garden pests of Cabbage plants

It is crucial that you understand what pests you are dealing with so that you can plan the proper way to manage them! Especially when it comes to companion planting! Brassica crops have some pretty gnarly pests which can wreak havoc on your crops quickly! Here are some of the pests that you should be on the look-out for:

Cabbage Loopers are the larval form of the Cabbage Looper Moth. They are light green in color with a white stripe running down their backs.

Cabbage worms are the larvae of the cabbage moth which are the white butterflies you often see flitting around your garden! They eat a lot and can quickly consume your entire crop!

Aphids are tiny,  oval-shaped insects that can be found in a variety of colors like green, black, and yellow. They use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap, causing distortion and discoloration of leaves.

Cabbage maggots are the larvae of the cabbage root fly. They tunnel into the roots of your plants which causes wilting and eventual death.

Slugs/Snails can cause destruction to your cabbage plants by eating holes in the leaves or even completely consuming young seedlings.

Flea beetles are tiny, jumping insects that feed on the leaves of cabbage plants which results in small holes and defoliation.

Keeping records of your garden season can make future companion planting plans easier as you will know which pests you want to plan against!

Best Companion plants for Cabbage

Now that you have an idea of why you should use cabbage companion planting and how to choose crops for companion planting with cabbage, lets look at the best cabbage companion plants!


Nasturtiums not only add a pop of color to your garden but their strong scent can help attract pests like aphids to themselves and keep them from attacking your cabbage plants. This is the process called trap cropping and it essentially allows your nasturtium to be the sacrificial crop. 

Sweet alyssum

Sweet Alyssum is a low-growing plant that has a strong aroma that repels cabbage loving harmful insects so it is a great addition to your cabbage patch. It also acts as a living mulch and ground cover in your garden. 


Marigolds make a good companion plant for most crops in the garden with numerous benefits! Their strong scent help repel cabbage moths and other pests that can cause major damage to your cabbage plants! Now, Marigolds are a warmer weather crop, and by the time they go into the garden, pests are already present around your brassicas. Consider using insect netting, and starting marigolds from seed so that they can get a head start in your garden.


The strong odor of alliums like leeks, garlic, and onion help to repel garden pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and moths.


Beet leaves can add magnesium to the soil as they break down which can help cabbage grow! If you plant a fall crop of beets and then a spring crop of cabbage this succession can help improve the soil for your cabbage crop. 

This is one of my favorite beet blends from Botanical Interests!


Celery is another great crop to plant alongside your cabbage plants as it can help repel cabbage moths and minimize the damage of the cabbage worms.  Plus, it’s a delicious and nutritious vegetable to have in your garden. 


Growing legumes like pole beans, sweet peas, and bush beans can be a great way to help prepare your soil for heavy feeding crops like cabbage. These crops are nitrogen fixers so they can add lots of nitrogen to the soil. This is especially beneficial to the growth of cabbage plants if it is done  to improve soil health before your cabbage crop is planted. 


In addition to being a flavorful herb, rosemary can also repel pests like cabbage loopers and slugs which makes it a good companion crop. Its strong scent confuses pests and keeps them away from your cabbage plants.


Similar to rosemary, thyme also has a strong scent that can repel pests and keep them from damaging your cabbage plants. Plus, it’s a great herb to have in the kitchen for cooking.


Dill is an excellent companion plant for cabbage as it attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings which feed on the pests that harm your cabbage plants. It also adds flavor


Sage is a great companion plant for cabbage as it can repel pests like cabbage loopers and slugs. It also adds flavor to dishes in the kitchen.

As you can see there are many different types of plants that can be used as companions for your cabbage crop! And many of these will be similar for other members of the cabbage family like bok choy, brussels sprouts, and kale. 

Crops to Avoid

Companion planting also includes incompatible plants that you want to avoid planting together to minimize nutrient loss, avoid spread of disease and decrease attracting pests! Here are a few crops that you should avoid planting near your cabbage plants. 


Strawberries and brassicas like cabbage share some of the same pests and are both heavy feeders.  Planting them together can lead to competition for nutrients and water as well as attract pests that can destroy both crops!

Members of the Nightshade Family

Crops that are members of the nightshade family such as peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants are very heavy feeders like brassicas! It is recommended to avoid planting these crops near each other for this reason! Consider instead succession sowing these crops after amending the soil. 

Other Brassicas*

This is a controversial pairing at best, and one I will caution you with the caveat of, I plant them in close proximity! Brassicas all share the same pests and planting them near each other can cause significant issues where once they get infested, your entire crop can quickly get destroyed! 

If you choose to plant these together, consider using insect netting to decrease the pest issues. 

Additional Companion Planting Resources

Successful companion planting doesn’t have to be hard especially when you understand why you are doing it, but I do understand that as a beginner it can be quite confusing! That is why we created the Companion Planting series on our Podcast: Garden Things with Friends! 

In this series, instead of simply learning lists of crops you can plant together, you’ll get a better understanding of why certain plants work well together and others do not in this gardening technique. You’ll also learn about other factors that can affect companion planting, such as soil quality and garden layout. You can check out each of the videos in this three part series below:

Ep. 11 – What is Companion Planting + FREE Printable Companion Planting Chart

Ep. 12 – 12 Best Herbs for Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

Ep 13 – 10 Best Flowers for Companion Planting with Your Vegetables

Don’t be afraid to experiment with companion planting in your garden. It’s a fascinating way to enhance plant growth and overall garden health. Remember, research is key! By studying which plants complement each other, you can create a harmonious garden ecosystem. With the right information and a bit of trial and error, you’ll discover the perfect companions for your onion plants and all the main crops in your garden. Happy planting!

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