11 Best Companion Plants For Collard Greens (+ The Worst You Should not Grow)

The concept of companion planting dates back to ancient times in gardening. Its popularity has grown in recent years due to its ability to grow a healthy and diverse garden. After all, it is the dream of every gardener to grow lush green, healthy gardens. This gardening science is used in both industrialized and developing economies for various reasons. Having said that, its origins can be traced back many centuries in Asian forest gardens and millions of times in Mesoamerica.

This post will look at companion planting ideas for collard greens. Collard greens are a versatile green leafy vegetable that is simple to grow and maintain. However, there are some plants that, when combined with these, can result in increased growth. These greens, which are members of the Brassicaceae family, are full of nutrients and high in fiber and protein content.

So, let us continue our search for plants that can be good garden companions for collard greens. We will also discuss the companion plants you should avoid planting near your greens.

Collard Greens: The Basics

Collard Greens

Eat your greens, as our elders frequently advise. So why not? Green vegetables are beneficial to one’s health.

When it comes to green leafy vegetables, collard greens cannot be overlooked. Collards are high in vitamins A, B, E, and K and are high in fiber. These greens, which are members of the Brassica family, make an excellent fresh and tasty side dish.

These are hardy crops that are extremely easy to grow in the backyard. These can be planted in springtime for yield in early summer. On the other hand, you can plant them in late summer or early autumn for a late-season yield. 

Here’s a quick guide to growing collard greens in your backyard or lawn.

  • Soil: Plant your collards in nutrient-rich soil filled with organic matter. Additionally, keep a pH level of 6.5 to 6.8. If your garden soil is not that rich, amend it with a soil mixture meant to grow green vegetables.
    Also Read: How to Make Your Own Potting Soil? – The DIY Guide
  • Light: Like any Brassicaceae family plant, collards love to thrive under full sunshine. Although you can keep it under partial shade, a full shade would deter its growth.
  • Water: Watering your collard greens is essential. Give your plant 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches of water every week. Mulching can also help keep soil moisture levels stable.
  • Temperature: Collards are cool-season green leafy veggies. These can take a light frost, but too much freezing temperature might kill your plants.
  • Fertilization: Feed your collards with a slow-release fertilizer every four to six weeks.

Are Collard Greens Good as Companion Plants?

Are Collard Greens Good as Companion

The question pertinent to our subject matter is whether collard greens prove to be a good companion crop.

Collards are not only beneficial to human health, but they also serve as a nurse plant in your garden. Planting collards in your garden will protect it from diseases and pests. They also help dislodge the soil, retain moisture, and draw pollinators and other beneficial insects.

As a result, planting your collard greens with matching buddies will result in a higher yield. Pairing these greens with the best companion plants will also help your host crop grow faster.

While there are many beneficial companion plants for collard greens, some plants should be avoided. Hence, you should research the best and worst collard green companion plants. To assist you, we have listed the best plants to grow with collard greens and the plants to avoid.

11 Best Companion Plants to Grow With Collard Greens

This section will discuss which plants are good companion plants for collard greens. Read about each of the plants listed below and see what they offer.

1. Catnip

Catnip

Catnips contain pungent oils that repel pests and insects, such as aphids and cabbage loopers. As a result, growing catnips alongside collard greens will keep the latter healthy and disease-free. Some gardeners also believe that catnips can help improve the flavor of collard greens.

Dill complements collard greens well. Dill can help repel pests like the cabbage worm, cabbage moth, and cabbage looper. Additionally, this companion crop attracts wasps, hoverflies, ladybugs, etc., which feed on cabbage pests and worms.

2. Dill

Dill

Dill complements collard greens well. Dill can help repel pests like the cabbage worm, cabbage moth, and cabbage looper. Additionally, this companion crop attracts wasps, hoverflies, ladybugs, etc., which feed on cabbage pests and worms.

3. Marigold

Marigold

How can we talk about companion planting without mentioning marigolds? These flowering plants serve as traps. Marigolds, in other words, attract pests. As a result, if planted ahead of collard greens, these plants will attract pests while protecting your host plants.

Another advantage of combining marigolds and collard greens is that they will not compete for nutrients. Marigold plants are very adaptable and can thrive with very little soil nutrition.

4. Marjoram

Marjoram

Most vegetable plants benefit from the addition of marjoram. This delicate herb, known for its appealing fragrance, stimulates the growth of neighboring plants while also improving soil conditions. This herb accomplishes this through allelopathy, which means it releases a biochemical that benefits neighboring plants, in this case. In addition, marjoram flowers also attract bees and other beneficial pollinators, increasing the pollination rate of their companion plants.

5. Mint

Mint

Mint is a natural insect repeller. Mint plants help deter pests that often target green leafy veggies to feed on. In addition, mint helps in repelling bugs like whiteflies, aphids, cabbage loopers, and flea beetles. 

However, growing mint in a separate container is always preferable, as they are aggressive spreaders. You can also plant them a little after your collard greens have matured. That way, you will be able to harvest your greens before mint can take over the spot. 

6. Nasturtium

Nasturtium

Nasturtium can repel a wide variety of pests. These flowering plants emit a strong odor that keeps most pests away from them and the plants they are paired with. In addition, nasturtiums can be used to trap plants ahead of collards. Because aphids are drawn to these flowering plants, they will most likely eat them before your prized collards.

Furthermore, nasturtium flowers attract bees and other pollinators that may benefit your collard greens. Nasturtiums have a slightly viny growth. As a result, these flowering plants can cover the soil and keep it moist. In other words, nasturtiums can act as a living mulch for collard greens, constantly providing them with moist soil.

7. Onion

Onion

Collard greens and onion plants go well together. According to experts, these two crops will not compete for the same soil nutrients. As a result, you won’t have to fertilize the soil twice. Furthermore, onion plants have anti-insect properties and aid in soil loosening. Hence, collard greens can spread their roots deep and wide while remaining pest-free.

That said, keep in mind to grow your onion in an open space. This crop won’t thrive if it has to compete for sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. 

8. Mustard green

Mustard green

When planted with collard greens, mustard greens act as a trap crop. This companion crop attracts Harlequin bugs, preventing a pest problem of collard greens. As a result, mustard greens can be planted ahead of collard greens or as an outside border. The bugs will attack the companion plants while leaving the host plants alone to thrive.

9. Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary is an excellent complement to collard greens. Although rosemary is the most humble garden herb, don’t underestimate its pest-repelling abilities. Furthermore, this herb is quite hardy and can even thrive in extremely cold temperatures. Rosemary repels pests such as cabbage moths, loopers, and whiteflies.

If you don’t want to plant rosemary, simply scatter some of its leaves. This would aid in controlling snails, slugs, and other pests.

10. Thyme

Thyme

Thyme will thrive alongside your collard greens. This herb primarily acts as a repellent to worms such as the cabbage moth and flea beetles. In addition, thyme flowers lure honeybees and favorable predator bugs that eat plant insects.

11. Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile is a fragrant herb. They get along wonderfully with collard greens. When planted together, Chamomile helps enhance the flavor of your greens. These plants also help to keep cabbage worms at bay. 

Chamomile also attracts pollinators like hoverflies and ladybugs. Because Roman Chamomile grows no taller than 4 inches, it may be more beneficial to combine it with collard greens. However, be aware that Roman Chamomile’s roots can spread quickly. As a result, they should be planted as a ground cover to act as living mulch between pavers.

List of Other Garden Buddies for Collards

Aside, from what has been mentioned above, other plants can also be easily paired with collard greens. The table below provides a quick reference to those plants.

Companion PlantsBenefits
HyssopDiscourage cabbage moths
PotatoBreak up the soil
TarragonEffective as a pest repellent
OreganoEnhances soil conditions
SouthernwoodEnhances the growth behavior of collard greens
GarlicKeeps pests at bay
MugwortDiscourage cabbage moths

Worst Companion Plants for Collard Green

Several plants pair well with collard greens. However, certain plants should be kept separate from your greens to ensure proper growth. The following are some of the worst collard green companion plants you can think of.

1. Other Brassica Family Plants

Brassica Family Plants

Collard greens belong to the Brassicaceae family. So, the general rule is to keep your collards away from any plant in the same family. Why? Because their nutritional requirement is the same. As a result, if you plant them together, they will compete for nutrients and similar thriving conditions, which can be fatal.

Furthermore, plants in this family are susceptible to the same diseases and pest attacks. Therefore, when you combine brassicas, you increase the chances of pest infestation in your garden. So, the bottom line is to keep collard greens separate from other brassicas.

2. Strawberry

Strawberry

Strawberries are voracious eaters. Plant these berries away from your green vegetables whenever possible. If you combine strawberries and collard greens, the strawberries will suck up all soil nutrients, leaving your greens starved.

Furthermore, strawberries attract aphids, which are also attracted by collards. As a result, you don’t want a double aphid attack in your garden.

3. Leeks

Leeks

The nutritional requirements of leeks and collard greens are similar. As a result, planting them together will cause them to compete for soil nutrients. Consequently, both crops’ growth may be hampered.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce

Green collards can wreak havoc on different types of lettuce. This Brassica crop produces substances that can inhibit the growth of lettuce plants.

5. Pumpkin

Pumpkin

The main reason you shouldn’t plant pumpkins with green collards is that they provide unwanted shade. Pumpkin leaves can grow large, creating a shady environment for collard greens and slowing the growth.

You May Also Read: Pumpkin Companion Plants: What to Grow with Pumpkin?

6. Tomato

Tomato

Tomatoes and members of the Brassicaceae family do not get along. Therefore, planting any type of tomatoes may cause your collard greens to grow slowly. The reason for this could be that tomatoes are voracious eaters. As a result, they may suck up all soil nutrients, starving collard greens. Tomato vines also attract pests that feed on Brassica crops. Hence, combining tomatoes and collard greens will attract more pests to your garden.

7. Sunflower

Sunflower

Collard greens need direct sunlight. As a result, if you pair them with sunflowers, chances are they won’t get enough sun. Sunflower plants would grow taller and attract more sunlight, causing your collards to remain thirsty and eventually die. Remember that collards can grow in partial shade, but full shade will kill them.

8. Corn

Corn

Corns, like sunflowers, grow to be quite tall. As a result, if planted alongside collards, this crop will provide permanent shade. Furthermore, corns are voracious feeders. As a result, it will consume all of the nutrients in the soil before your collards can even mature. So, keep your collards away from corn plants to avoid shade and competition for soil nutrients.

The Takeaway

We hope you’ve figured out which plants go well with collard greens by now. The primary goals of collard green companion planting are to keep them healthy and promote growth. As a result, you don’t want to end up pairing the wrong garden companion with your greens.

The list we provided above is exhaustive. You could learn more about the subject by conducting additional research. And, if you’ve ever combined collard greens with any companion plant(s), please share your experience in the comments section.

Before we conclude, here is a list of all of the above-mentioned good and bad collard green companion plants. The table will serve as a handy reference!

Good Companion PlantsBad Companion Plants
CatnipOther Brassica crops
DilLeek
MarjoramLettuce
MintStrawberry
NasturtiumTomato
OnionSunflower
Mustard greenCorn
Marigold
Rosemary
Thyme
Chamomile

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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