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Companion Plants for Collard Greens: Boost Your Garden's Health and Productivity

companion plants for collard greens

Collard greens are a popular vegetable choice among gardeners who enjoy growing their food. Not only do they taste great, but they're also rich in nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin A, and calcium. However, like all plants, collard greens face various pests, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies that can affect their growth and productivity. Fortunately, companion planting offers a natural way to enhance the health and vitality of your collard greens while reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

In this article, we'll explore some of the best companion plants for collard greens and how they can benefit your garden.

Why Companion Planting Matters

Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves planting different species of plants together to create a mutually beneficial environment. By doing so, you can:

  • Improve soil fertility by adding nitrogen-fixing plants
  • Repel pests and attract beneficial insects that pollinate flowers and prey on harmful bugs
  • Maximize space by using vertical or intercropping techniques
  • Diversify your harvest by growing a variety of crops that complement each other

The Best Companion Plants for Collard Greens

Here are some companion plants that work well with collard greens:

1. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtiums are not only beautiful but also useful in repelling aphids, whiteflies, and cabbage loopers that often attack collard greens. They also attract predatory insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies that feed on these pests. Plus, their edible flowers and leaves add a spicy and peppery flavor to salads and other dishes.

2. Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)

Marigolds are known for their bright color and strong scent that repels nematodes, root knot nematodes, and other soil-borne diseases that affect collard greens. They also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies that help fertilize the flowers of both plants.

3. Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Beans are legumes that fix nitrogen in the soil, which collard greens need to grow healthy and strong. They also provide shade and support for collard greens by acting as living trellises. In return, collard greens help beans by repelling bean beetles and attracting beneficial insects.

4. Radishes (Raphanus sativus)

Radishes are fast-growing and quick to mature, making them an ideal companion for slower-growing collard greens. They also break up compacted soil with their deep taproots, allowing water and nutrients to penetrate deeper. Moreover, they deter flea beetles and other brassica-loving pests that often attack collard greens.

5. Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dill is a herb that attracts beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, which lay their eggs in the bodies of cabbage worms and other caterpillars that feed on collard greens. It also improves the flavor of collard greens when used as a seasoning.

6. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives are another herb that repels aphids and other insects that harm collard greens. They also deter slugs and snails that feed on the leaves. Additionally, they add a mild onion-like flavor to soups, salads, and other dishes.

7. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is a bulb that has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can help prevent diseases like clubroot and downy mildew that often affect collard greens. It also repels aphids, cabbage worms, and other pests that feed on the leaves.

8. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage is an evergreen herb that attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies that pollinate the flowers of both plants. It also enhances the flavor of collard greens when used as a seasoning.

9. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Spinach is another leafy green that complements collard greens by providing shade and moisture retention. It also improves soil fertility by adding iron and other nutrients that benefit both plants.

10. Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflowers are tall and majestic plants that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. They also provide shade and support for collard greens by acting as living trellises. Additionally, their seeds are edible and rich in protein and healthy fats.


Companion planting is a simple yet effective way to boost your garden's health and productivity while reducing your carbon footprint. By planting collard greens with compatible companions, you can create a diverse and resilient ecosystem that benefits everyone. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, there's always something new to learn and try. So go ahead and experiment with different combinations of plants and see what works best for you!

FAQs

1. What are the benefits of companion planting for collard greens?

Companion planting offers several benefits such as improving soil fertility, repelling pests, attracting beneficial insects, maximizing space, and diversifying your harvest.

2. Which plants should I avoid planting with collard greens?

Avoid planting collard greens with other brassica crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as they share similar pests and diseases that can spread easily.

3. How do I know which companion plants work best for my collard greens?

Research different combinations of plants that are compatible with collard greens, and experiment with them to see what works best for your garden's climate, soil type, and growing conditions.

4. Can I use companion planting to control pests and diseases without using synthetic pesticides?

Yes, companion planting can help control pests and diseases naturally by creating a balanced ecosystem that supports beneficial insects that prey on harmful bugs.

5. Do I need to follow any specific spacing or planting guidelines when using companion planting with collard greens?

Yes, it's essential to follow specific spacing and planting guidelines to ensure that each plant has enough room to grow and develop. Make sure to read the seed packet or plant label for instructions on spacing, sunlight, water, and nutrient requirements.

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