10 Best Potato Companion Plants to Keep Pests Away

Choosing the right companion plants to grow with your potatoes is an all-natural way to keep your plants pest-free.

Choosing the right potato companion plants can help protect your crop from common pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle, aphids, and cutworms. Several herbs, vegetables, and flowering plants can help keep your tubers growing strong and pest-free without needing to resort to toxic pesticides. Below, you'll find some of the best potato companion plants, along with essential tips for maximizing your potato harvest with the help of these plants.

alaska nasturtium
Peter Krumhardt
01 of 10

Sweet Alyssum

'Clear Crystal Lavender' sweet alyssum
Justin Hancock

Sweet alyssum is a low-growing, flowering annual that is known for its petite white and purple flowers. But alyssum is more than just an attractive ornamental. It’s also one of the best companion plants for potatoes. Alyssum blooms are very attractive to beneficial insects, including hoverflies and ladybugs, which can keep unwanted potato pests in check. When used as a groundcover, alyssum also helps lock in soil moisture and prevent weeds, which will help your potatoes grow larger and more vigorous.

02 of 10

Cabbage Family Members

'Chidori White' kale, Brassica 'Chidori White', Brassica, Ornamental Kale
Marty Baldwin

Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and other related plants have short root systems that won’t compete with your potatoes for valuable soil space. Pairing these two types of plants together will help you to get the most out of your garden beds. Just keep in mind that these plants are heavy feeders, so they should be fertilized regularly with a well-balanced fertilizer to ensure your veggies get all the nutrients they need.

03 of 10


close up of a horse radish plant

Denny Schrock

Horseradish isn’t as commonly grown among backyard gardeners as some other vegetables, but it makes a fine condiment and an even better companion plant for potatoes. Horseradish has large, oversized leaves that help shield the soil around your potatoes, preventing weeds and helping to conserve soil moisture. What’s more, horseradish appears to repel the destructive Colorado potato beetle and may boost potatoes’ natural ability to resist disease. However, it can spread aggressively so it's best to plant horseradish where you can keep it contained.

04 of 10


Allium Aflatunense Summer Bulbs
Mark Kane

Chives, leeks, onions, and other alliums are some of the best plants to grow for natural pest control. The strong aroma of these plants is repellent to many garden pests, including aphids and beetles. Once it’s time to harvest, you’ll be even happier you planted these companions together, as you’ll have all of the ingredients at hand for a mouth-watering potato and leek soup.

05 of 10


Peter Krumhardt

Cilantro makes an excellent potato companion plant, especially when it's allowed to flower. In bloom, this plant attracts hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps to your garden. These insects, in turn, prey on common potato pests, including Colorado potato beetle grubs and aphids.

06 of 10


alaska nasturtium
Peter Krumhardt

Nasturtium is an attractive plant generally grown for its looks or harvested for its edible flowers and peppery-tasting leaves. But nasturtium is also a prime companion plant for natural pest control, as it helps keep several troublesome insects in check. Nasturtiums often act as “trap crops,” luring pests like aphids and Colorado potato beetles away from potatoes, so they are easier to contain and eliminate. 

07 of 10

Beans and Peas

close up of a green bean plant

Bob Stefko

Beans and peas won’t compete with your potatoes for garden space or nutrients, so you won’t need to worry about these plants stunting your potato harvest. But more than that, legumes’ natural, nitrogen-fixing ability provides valuable nutrients to the soil. When planted with your potatoes, legumes can help you grow lusher potato plants and more tubers too.  

Beyond this, beans can also repel Colorado potato beetles. In return, potatoes keep Mexican bean beetles away, which can otherwise devastate your bean plants.

08 of 10


'Berggarten' sage
Andy Lyons

Sage is an aromatic herb that is ideal for attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden. But its strong scent is also well-known as a deterrent for flea beetles and other common pests. And, if you needed more reasons to grow sage with your potatoes, sage and potato gnocchi are hard to beat on a cozy night in.

09 of 10


'Parris Island Cos' romaine lettuce
Peter Krumhardt

Potatoes can take months to mature in the garden, which can use up valuable garden space. However, if you pair your slow-growing potatoes with faster-growing plants, like lettuce and other leafy greens, you can get much more food out of your vegetable garden. Interplanting lettuce among your potatoes is a smart way to use your garden space, and undemanding lettuce won’t compete with potatoes for nutrients either.

10 of 10


french marigolds
Doug Hetherington

Keeping marigolds in your organic garden is one of the best ways to prevent pests naturally. Marigolds’ scent is naturally repellent to many common pests, including Colorado potato beetles. Sowing marigolds among your tubers will help keep your plants naturally pest free, plus the marigold flowers will provide some bright color to liven up your garden beds.

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