10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (2024)

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Gardening experts share advice to make sure your tomatoes thrive where you plant them.


Felicia Feaster

10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (1)

Felicia Feaster

Felicia Feaster has worked for the past 20-plus years as a lifestyle journalist. She specializes in writing about interior design, gardening, trends, culture, travel, and wellness.

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Published on May 18, 2024

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (2)

While tomatoes are a summer garden staple, the amount of fretting and fear involved in growing them may put them in the ranks of plants that can be challenging for even experienced gardeners. But there is no reason for backyard farmers to fear.

If you want to give your tomatoes a fighting chance, there are things you can do to give them a solid head start. Growing disease-resistant tomato varieties, getting enough sun, and regular watering are all good bedrock for growing healthy tomatoes, for instance.

But another critical step in ensuring your tomatoes have the best chance of growing happy and healthy is thinking not just about where you plant them but what you plant them next to. While certain companion plants for tomatoes help this plant thrive, other plants and vegetables should be planted elsewhere because they can inhibit healthy tomato growth.

Ahead, our experts explain which plants can actually hinder your tomato plant's growth if planted too close together in your garden.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (3)

Allelopathic plants release toxins into the soil that inhibit the growth of other plants, in a sense eliminating their competition. An allelopathic plant like fennel can directly impact tomato growth, says Carrie Spoonemore, co-creator of Park Seed’s From Seed to Spoon app, so she recommends gardeners not plant it near tomatoes.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (4)

Cabbage and other plants in the brassica family can compete with tomatoes for vital nutrients in the soil, says Spoonemore, thus robbing tomatoes of an ideal growing medium. In addition, cabbage also has a wide growing habit that can crowd tomato plants out.

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Pole Beans

10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (5)

Avoid pole beans near your tomatoes—they can grow aggressively and end up shading your tomatoes too much. "While some companion planting guides suggest planting pole beans with tomatoes, there is a risk of competition for sunlight, water, and nutrients, especially if the beans grow vigorously and shade the tomato plants excessively," says Spoonemore.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (6)

Herbs are often ideal companion plants for tomatoes, but dill is the exception. Mature dill plants can harm tomato plants, taking soil nutrients for themselves and inhibiting tomato root growth.

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Corn belongs to a group of vegetables that should not be planted close to tomatoes because, once grown and tall, they can shade tomatoes out and inhibit their growth.

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Until you’ve grown okra, you might not expect the towering growth habit and lovely pale yellow hibiscus-like flowers this Southern vegetable produces. Planting okra next to tomatoes isn't encouraged because its leafy height could keep tomatoes from getting their required 6 to 8 hours of sun a day.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (9)

Kelly Smith Trimble, a gardening expert and book author on the subject, recommends not planting potatoes near tomatoes. Potatoes are in the same Solanaceae (or nightshade) family as tomatoes, meaning that both plants are susceptible to the same pests and diseases.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (10)

Some vegetables, like broccoli, are known as "heavy feeders" in the garden world, meaning they require rich soil with plenty of nutrients to grow. For that reason, broccoli should not be planted close to tomatoes to ensure your tomatoes have the nutrients they need to thrive.

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Cauliflower attracts pests like cabbage worms and aphids that can also attack tomato plants. In addition, cauliflower is a heavy feeder that can sap the soil of vital nutrients.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (12)

Tomatoes and eggplants are in the same nightshade family, and as a result, eggplant will compete with tomatoes for nutrients. Eggplants can also spread blight, a fungal disease spread by insects, wind, water, and animals that is especially prevalent among potatoes and tomatoes. You will know if your tomatoes have been exposed to blight if you see browning, rotting fruit, and shriveled leaves on your plants.

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10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes (2024)


10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes? ›

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi can stunt the growth of your tomato plant because they out-compete them for the same nutrients. These vegetables are in the brassica family.

What should you not plant next to tomatoes? ›

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi can stunt the growth of your tomato plant because they out-compete them for the same nutrients. These vegetables are in the brassica family.

Why should you not plant cucumbers near tomatoes? ›

When planting cucumbers and tomatoes together, you must ensure there is enough room between them. Not doing this will mean the plants will compete for light, room and nutrients. 'Space individual plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are spaced between 3 to 4 feet apart.

Can you plant tomatoes and zucchini next to each other? ›

Zucchini and tomatoes can be grown as close neighbors and will make satisfactory companion plants. Both vegetables thrive in the same environmental conditions, so a garden plot that is ideal for one plant is therefore ideal for the other. They both need a location with full sun and benefit from nutrient-rich soil.

Do peppers and tomatoes grow well together? ›

Tomatoes. Although it's usually recommended to not plant tomatoes and peppers right after each other in the same bed every year, they can be grown together in the same garden bed (and then rotated to another bed next season).

What grows well next to tomatoes? ›

Good companion plants for tomatoes

Therefore, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), basil (Ocimum basilicum), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and parsley (Petroselinum crispum) make great neighbours for tomatoes. They can even be planted or sown long before the tomatoes, in March or April.

What not to plant with peppers? ›

Basil and nasturtium prevent aphids and whiteflies, onions and garlic help against fungal diseases such as gray mold. You should not plant aubergines, peas, fennel, beet, potatoes and celery next to peppers and chili peppers.

What not to plant with zucchini? ›

Potatoes can also spread diseases such as late blight, which can also affect zucchinis. Cucumbers and pumpkins should not be planted next to zucchinis as they belong to the same family (Cucurbitaceae) and therefore attract similar pests and diseases.

What grows best with peppers? ›

In a raised bed, various herbs such as basil, parsley or dill are good companions for peppers. Lettuce, carrots and onions also make good neighbours for peppers in a raised bed.

Why plant marigolds with tomatoes? ›

Marigolds help attract bees and other beneficial insects to tomato plants. Although tomato plants are self-pollinating plants, they do benefit from insect pollination to increase the fruit production of each plant. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects that will eat pests that would otherwise harm tomato plants.

Can you plant 2 or 3 tomato plants together? ›

They recommend spacing tomato plants two feet or more apart. Air circulation is particularly important considering that disease spread quickly in humid situations, according to researchers from the UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center. Higher density might not be out of the question, though.

What should not be planted with cucumbers? ›

Antagonistic plants for cucumbers
  1. Plants in the same family as zucchinis, melons and pumpkins should not be planted directly next to cucumbers.
  2. The same applies to Jerusalem artichokes, lovage, sage, radishes, radishes and tomatoes.
Apr 11, 2023

Is coffee grounds good for tomato plants? ›

In a compost pile, coffee grounds decompose and break down, mingling with other organic matter like vegetable scraps, leaves, and grass clippings. This process creates a nutrient-rich compost that is much safer and more beneficial for tomato plants.

Can cucumbers and tomatoes be planted together? ›

Tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown together successfully, and there are actually some benefits to planting them together. Both plants have similar growing needs when it comes to sunlight, soil conditions, and watering. And if space is at a premium, interplanting the two will allow you to get more out of your garden.

Do onions and tomatoes grow well together? ›

Plants that grow well with tomatoes include all the members of the onion family such as chives, onions, and garlic. Their pungent odor is said to deter insect pests. Can you plant tomatoes and peppers together? Peppers, both sweet and hot, are excellent companion plants.

Should I put something around my tomato plants? ›

All these things can be achieved without any support structure. Your needs, however, are to harvest those fruit before they become one with the earth . Support structures such as cages and trellises allow you to maximize your harvest by keeping the plants and fruit off the ground.

What grows well with tomatoes and peppers? ›

Alliums – Onions, garlic, chives and other alliums can all work well as companion plants for tomatoes and peppers, as they can for a wide range of other crops. Their strong smell can work to repel or distract a wide range of pests that might otherwise plague your plants.


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