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Sunflower Companions: The Best Plants to Grow With Sunflowers

sunflower companions

Sunflowers are one of the most popular and versatile plants in any garden. They are known for their large, bright flowers that can reach up to 12 inches in diameter and their ability to thrive in a variety of growing conditions. However, did you know that sunflowers also make excellent companion plants? In this article, we will explore the benefits of growing sunflowers with other plants and provide some suggestions for the best sunflower companions.

The Benefits of Companion Planting with Sunflowers

Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together for mutual benefit. When it comes to sunflowers, there are several benefits to companion planting:

1. Attract Beneficial Insects

Sunflowers are magnets for beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. These insects prey on common garden pests like aphids and whiteflies, keeping your garden healthy and pest-free.

2. Provide Shade and Support

Sunflowers can grow quite tall, reaching heights of up to 10 feet. As they grow, sunflowers can provide shade for smaller, more delicate plants, protecting them from the hot sun. Additionally, sunflowers have strong stems that can support climbing plants like beans and peas.

3. Add Beauty and Diversity

Sunflowers are beautiful plants that add color and diversity to any garden. Growing sunflowers with other plants can create a stunning visual display and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The Best Sunflower Companions

Now that we've explored the benefits of companion planting with sunflowers, let's take a look at some of the best plants to grow with sunflowers:

1. Beans

Beans and sunflowers make excellent companions in the garden. The beans can climb up the sunflower stalks for support, while the sunflowers provide shade and protection for the bean plants. Additionally, beans are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they can help improve the soil for the sunflowers.

2. Corn

Corn is another great companion plant for sunflowers. Like beans, corn can use the sunflower stalks for support, and the sunflowers can provide shade for the corn plants. Additionally, sunflowers attract birds that can help control pests like corn earworms.

3. Cucumbers

Cucumbers and sunflowers also make great companions. As cucumber plants grow, they can use the sunflower stalks for support, and the sunflowers can provide shade and protection. Additionally, sunflowers can attract bees that will help pollinate the cucumber flowers.

4. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are beautiful, colorful flowers that make great sunflower companions. They can help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies and attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and sunflowers are a classic companion planting combination. Sunflowers can provide shade and support for tomato plants, while tomatoes can help repel pests like spider mites and aphids.

FAQs

Q1: Can I grow sunflowers with other flowers?

Yes, sunflowers can be grown with a variety of different flowers. Some good options include zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos.

Q2: Can sunflowers be grown in pots?

Yes, sunflowers can be grown in pots, but they will need a large container and plenty of sunlight.

Q3: How often should I water sunflowers?

Sunflowers need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Aim to water them at least once a week, or more often if the soil is very dry.

Q4: Are sunflowers heavy feeders?

Yes, sunflowers are heavy feeders and require fertile soil to thrive. Consider adding compost or fertilizer to the soil before planting.

Q5: Can sunflowers be used for anything besides decoration?

Yes, sunflowers have many uses beyond decoration. They are a popular crop for producing oil and seeds, and can also be used as animal feed.


Companion planting with sunflowers is a great way to create a healthy, diverse garden. By growing sunflowers with other plants, you can attract beneficial insects, provide shade and support, and add beauty and diversity to your garden. Try pairing sunflowers with some of the plants we've suggested, or experiment with your own combinations. Happy gardening!

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