Skip to Content

Nasturtium Companion Plants – The Best Ones To Choose From!

You may be a more advanced gardener that is beginning to look into companion plants like nasturtium. You think the plants are beautiful on their own, but it is a great benefit that you can use them as a companion plants in your garden. You immediately start looking up what the best nasturtium companion plants are.

Nasturtiums can accompany certain crops and help them grow by enhancing their flavor and deterring pests. Nasturtiums pair well with other plants like broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes, and many more. 

If you’re planning to plant nasturtium companion plants in your garden, you will want to learn all you can about them. I’ll be giving you tips, tricks, and other benefits to different kinds of nasturtium companion plants.

Types Of Nasturtium Companion Plants

Nasturtium companion plants are a plant category, but several varieties can be used for different purposes.

Vining Nasturtiums 

Vining nasturtiums are a variety of nasturtium that climbs on a trellis.

Vining nasturtiums are a great companion plant for vegetables that rely on a trellis, such as cucumbers and tomatoes.

Nasturtiums that climb are often used to repel different bugs and insects, which we’ll cover later in this article. 

Trailing Nasturtiums 

Like vining nasturtiums, trailing nasturtiums are more likely to crawl along the ground. This variety can also climb on a trellis.

Trailing nasturtiums are more likely to crawl across the ground in your garden, which works well to create some ground cover and shade for the companion plants.

Trailing nasturtiums can also repeal or attract bugs since the trailing variety is like a barrier between the ground and the stems of your plants.

Compact Nasturtiums

Compact nasturtiums are just what the name suggests: smaller than trailing or vining nasturtium. 

Compact nasturtiums are great for plants that do not grow large or climb. Think beans, potatoes, and eggplants.

These nasturtiums don’t take up as much space as other plants, but they can still attract harmful pests despite their small size.

Broccoli

Planting nasturtium between your rows of broccoli means that the nasturtium will act as “living mulch.”

You may not have heard of living mulch before, but it can be helpful for your garden and your crops. 

As the nasturtium grows, it will add nutrients back into the soil. This means that your broccoli will grow better with an improved flavor. 

Cabbage

Cabbage moths can destroy your cabbage crops, but nasturtium companion plants can cabbage moths away from your plants.

Cabbage moths attack other leafy plants like broccoli and kale, but the pest is named for the cabbage plants.

Nasturtium plants do all the hard work of attracting the cabbage months.

Here are some of the things you would need to do if you chose not to plant nasturtium plants:

  • Pick cabbage moths off by hand, especially when they are still caterpillars
  • Attract birds – particularly songbirds – to your garden to eat the cabbage moths
  • Make or purchase a spray to kill the cabbage moths
  • Rotate your crops each season

As you can see, other cabbage moth’s mitigate efforts take much more of your time than planting nasturtium companion plants at the beginning of the season. 

Cauliflower 

While some websites say that you cannot plant nasturtium plants and cauliflower together, nasturtium plants are great trap plants for white cabbage butterflies.

White cabbage butterflies may look beautiful, but they are one of the most invasive pests for plants like cauliflower, so you don’t want to leave the door open for these plants to attack your cauliflower. 

White cabbage butterflies can be detrimental at all stages of their lifecycle:

  • Larvae: Larvae are laid on the leaves of plants like cauliflower and broccoli and eat through the leaves.
  • Worms: The larvae become worms, which can be hidden in the foliage and your cauliflower’s head. The worms continue to eat your plants.
  • Adults: The adult white cabbage butterfly does not do as much damage as the larvae or the worm, but the adult butterfly is what lays the eggs to continue infesting for future generations.

Carrot

Carrots can benefit from nasturtium companion plants because the companion plant acts like a trap for pests that can ruin crops.

Nasturtium can attract pests like:

  • Aphids
  • Cucumber beetles
  • Carrot root fly

Cucumber

Cucumber plants need to be pollinated to produce cucumbers at the end of the growing season.

Planting nasturtium in your garden near your cucumber plants will attract more pollinators into your garden, which can also help pollinate your cucumber plants. 

You will know that your cucumber plant has been pollinated when growth begins behind the female flowers on the plant; that is the beginning of your cucumbers! 

Pumpkin

Like cucumbers, pumpkins can significantly benefit from having a nasturtium plant that can attract pollinators to your garden to pollinate your pumpkin plants.

Nasturtium plants with brightly colored flowers are the best at attracting butterflies and bees to your garden. Consider nasturtium in the following colors:

  • Red 
  • Yellow 
  • Orange

You can find nasturtium plants in other colors, like cream and white, but bright colors will attract pollinators more easily. 

Melons

Plant nasturtium around your melon plants to see a wonderful harvest. 

Nasturtium plants work differently when it comes to pests. 

Rather than attracting pests to the nasturtium rather than the melon, nasturtium can repel pests that chew. 

Nasturtium plants repel insects that like to chew your plants by releasing an airborne chemical that these pests don’t like. It’s not something you can smell, but those pesky garden munchers can – and that’s all that matters! 

Kale

Kale can grow in full sun or shade, as long as the kale plant gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Consider nasturtium plants near your kale if you live in a place with a particularly hot, scorching sun for most of the day.

Nasturtium plants can provide shade for your kale plant for a few hours a day so its leaves will not wilt in the sun.

Your nasturtium will also shade the ground under your kale, which means more moisture will be in the soil. While it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to water it, you don’t have to worry that your kale will wilt before you can water it on extremely hot days. 

Eggplant

Eggplants, too, can benefit from ground cover thanks to nasturtium companion plants. 

We haven’t yet covered how nasturtium can cover the ground and prevent weeds from growing.

In this case, nasturtium companion plants can act almost like mulch – though this may not be surprising since we called nasturtium “living mulch” at one point. Since nasturtium can cover the bare ground in your garden, weeds will not be able to grow.

This means that weeds will not choke out your crops and that you will not have to weed as often! 

Zucchini

Nasturtium plants can keep pests away from your cucumber plants.

Pests can be detrimental to your zucchini, so look at this helpful chart to learn about some of the pests that zucchini can attract and what those pests can do:

PestsWhat They Do
Cucumber BeetleCucumber beetles eat leaves and fruit on your plants. These beetles can also cause wilting. 
Cabbage LooperCabbage loopers eat jagged holes in your zucchini’s leaves and foliage. They may also eat the fruit on your plant.
Squash BugSquash bugs suck the sap out of the leaves on your plant, causing the plants to yellow and eventually die.

Squash

Nasturtium can help maintain the pH level of your soil, which your squash plants can greatly benefit from. 

The pH level of your soil is often crucial for all your crops, but you will notice that your squash will grow particularly well with a pH level of 6.5. The following is what you can expect when the pH level is over or under 6.5:

pH LevelGrowing Condition
Under 6.5Plants lack necessary nutrients to grow, and you may see your squash die. 
6.5There is an adequate level of nutrients in the soil, which means that your squash will grow well.
Over 6.5Acidic soil will cause your squash’s leaves to turn yellow. Your squash will not grow as you might expect.

Tomatoes

Aphids can target and destroy tomato crops, but nasturtium can attract aphids away from your plants.

Once aphids are on the nasturtium, you can treat the pests by mixing Dawn dish soap and water. Simply spray the aphids to kill them.

You can also completely remove the nasturtium from the garden to remove the aphids from your crops.

Radish

Like many other plants, aphids can attack radishes, but nasturtium can help.

We already know that nasturtium can attract pests away from crops in your garden, but did you know that nasturtium plants can also attract insects that can mitigate pest issues?

That’s right: nasturtium can attract insects, like ladybugs, that eat aphids.

Nasturtium will keep aphids away from your radishes, but as an extra level of protection, it will also call on insects like ladybugs to help with any pest issues.

Potatoes

A pest targets potato plants called a potato beetle – though that shouldn’t surprise you based on the name.

Potato beetles can be harmful to your potato crops and even destroy and kill your tomato plants. Thankfully, nasturtium plants can attract the potato beetle.

To show the impact of potato beetles, take a look at this helpful chart:

Time Of Growing SeasonEffects On Your Tomato Plant
Early in growing seasonPotato beetles will only be able to eat the foliage of the plant, but foliage damage is not enough to kill a plant on its own.
In the middle of the growing seasonYour potato plants are growing strong and doing all the things they need to do in order to produce healthy potatoes. Potato beetles can destroy the potatoes as they are small and attempting to grow.
Near harvestingPotato beetles don’t eat the potatoes themselves, but enough flower and foliage damage means that you will not get any tomatoes worth picking. This could mean that you do not have a harvest at all.