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Best & Worst Kale Companion plants to grow in your garden

kale companion plants

About Kale Companion Plants

Kale is a hardy vegetable that can grow in a variety of climates. It prefers a pH of 5.5 to 6.8 in loamy, well-draining damp soil and should be grown with companion plants that have similar growing requirements. Kale is not nitrogen-rich and should not be planted near nitrogen-rich plants.

Why Plant Kale with Companions?

When you plant kale, it’s important to consider what plants will help it thrive. Kale has a number of companions that can help in different ways. For example, plants that repel pests or attract beneficial insects can help keep the kale healthy. Additionally, companion planting can be used to create microclimates- for example, planting a heat-loving plant next to the kale will help keep it cooler. Ultimately, companion planting is about putting different species together to share benefits and thrive.

Repel & Attract Pests

Plants benefit from taking pests off other plants. In fact, it is essential for the health of some plants. Some plants can repel certain plant pests, and some insects are beneficial in controlling pests, pollinating flowers, and fertilizing the soil. Conversely, plants attract these insects with nectar or pollen that they produce.

Enhance Nutrients & Growth

Plants need a variety of nutrients in order to grow and develop properly. Some plants help to renew these nutrients, including nitrogen. This can promote further growth and faster development of the plant.

Provide Cover & Shade

There are a number of plants that you can plant to provide cover and shade for your kale. Ground cover plants like herbs oregano or cilantro will form a soil blanket and help keep the soil moist. Tall leafy plants like tomato, hairy vetch, and sorghum will provide shade and also act as a windbreak. Additionally, planting crops that are not harvested, but instead grow in the ground, like clover or rye, can help improve soil health.

Best Vegetable Companions plants for Kale

Alliums (Onion Family)

Alliums are a family of plants that includes onions, garlic, shallots, and chives. They are relatively low maintenance, don’t suck away soil’s nutrients, and grow almost at the same pace. Most alliums are nearly-perfect companions for kale. Onions have many benefits – they’re super cheap, repel insects, and can be stored for a long time.


Peppers are a great crop to have in your garden because they don’t consume much of the soil’s nitrogen, but still, take pests away from other plants like kale. You can use any type of pepper, like habanero, Savory or Fresno, or Cayenne. Additionally, you can prevent parasitic wasps by using peppers in your garden and you can use them on kale as well.


Tomatoes are a great addition to any garden, as they can act as both a shade and pest-attracting companion for kale. Additionally, pests like diamondback moths will not eat tomatoes. In order to keep your garden fertilized, it is important to add nitrogen. When choosing plants, select the thickest and tallest plants.

Beans (Most Legumes)

Beans are a type of legume and there are many different types of beans. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and minerals. Pole beans are a go-to option because they grow well in most climates and nitrogen is a natural fertilizer that grows at the same pace as kale. Legumes like bush beans and pole beans fertilize the soil around the kale, making it healthier. Kale grows better with part shade and protection from too much sun.

Best Herbs Companions for Kale


Catnip is a great companion plant for kale. It attracts pests and repels pests. Kale: Another great companion plant for catnip.

Many plants benefit from having pests removed from them. In addition to removing the pests, these plants may also attract insects so that the plant can be pollinated. Some examples of these types of plants include alliums, cilantro, and lemongrass. There is a companion chart that shows which plants work well together when grown in close proximity. Kale is one such plant that benefits from being near other plants.


Cilantro is a helpful herb that many people love and some people hate. It has a strong flavor and aroma, which is why some people are put off by it. However, it’s one of the best companion plants for kale. It consumes little nitrogen while still growing dense, helping to work as a slight shade for kale over time. Additionally, cilantro attracts pollinators like hoverflies that eat harmful pests like aphids.

Cilantro is an herb that has many benefits, one of which is its ability to improve the flavor of kale. Kale is a nutrient-rich vegetable that can be difficult to stomach for some people. Cilantro can mask the bitterness of kale and make it more palatable.


It is also beneficial to gardeners because it attracts beneficial insects and helps keep the ground cool. Dill grows quickly and doesn’t require much nitrogen, making it an excellent companion plant for vegetables like kale.


Lemongrass is a great herb to have in your garden because it helps keep harmful insects away while attracting the good ones. It is easy to grow and thrives at the same temperature as kale, so you can plant them together with no problem. You can get a great harvest for lemongrass whether you plant them with companion plants or not.

Best Flowers Companions for Kale


Marigolds are a type of flower that is often used in gardens. They have many benefits for plants, including attracting aphids and other beneficial and harmful insects. Additionally, they help kale plants thrive because they consume little nutrients. They are cheerful flowers and deserve a place in any garden. Kale with marigolds also attracts hoverflies.


Nasturtium is a plant that has many benefits for gardens. It repels cabbage loopers, attracts predatory insects that eat aphids and other pests, and its size is small, perfect for soil covers. Additionally, kale thrives in cool temperatures, making it a great companion plant for nasturtium.

Sweet Alyssum

Alyssum is a short, dense flowery plant that can be found in many gardens. It is known for attracting some of the best predatory insects, which helps to keep the population of other pests under control. Additionally, its dense growth covers the entire soil surface, providing a cooler ground for kale and other plants that attract hoverflies. These hoverflies are voracious predators of aphids and can help to decrease their population significantly.

Best Grains Companions plants for Kale


Buckwheat is a ground cover plant that helps to seal moisture in the soil. The plant also attracts beneficial insects which help to control pests and enrich the soil with nitrogen. Buckwheat can be planted near vegetables for ideal conditions for growth. Cover crops help to cover the soil and prevent moisture loss, which is important in preventing erosion and protecting the soil from wind and rain damage.

Hairy Vetch

Hairy vetch is a fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing legume that can be used as green manure or cover crop. It has dense foliage and purple flowers that attract beneficial insects to the garden. Hairy vetch is compatible with many vegetables, including kale, carrots, fava beans, lima beans, and peas. Companion herbs that grow well with hairy vetch include catnip, German chamomile, and holy basil.


Sorghum is a grain that has been used for centuries to help keep vegetables free of parasites. It comes in two main types: those that are harvestable and those that are used as ornamentals. Both types have the same effect on pests, but it depends on your needs as to which type you choose. Sorghum attracts parasitic wasps, which in turn kill other pests that come to damage your kale or other vegetables.

Worst Kale Companion Plants: What can you not plant next to kale?


Strawberries are not a desirable companion to kale. They are nutrient-hungry plants and will stunt the growth of nearby kale and attract pests.

Other Brassicas:

Kale is a member of the brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. These plants are all susceptible to competition for resources, which can lead to slow growth and poor harvests. To overcome this challenge, make sure you have plenty of nutrients in your soil.


Tomatoes are a great crop to grow in your garden, but they do compete with other plants for nitrogen. Companion plants like basil and cilantro can help to fix this issue, and you can also give your tomatoes a nitrogen-rich fertilizer periodically to make sure they get the nutrients they need.

Can you grow kale next to tomatoes?

no! Kale, is not advisable to grow with tomatoes.

Do kale and spinach grow well together?

Kale plants can be planted close together as long as they are not touching.

Can kale be planted close together?

“Kale plants are not aggressive plants so they don’t need a lot of spacing so, planted close together without any problems.”

Can I grow lettuce and kale together?

While it is possible to grow lettuce and kale together, the plants will compete for space in the same pot or garden bed. The best way to grow these two types of vegetables is by planting them in separate containers and rotating them every few days.

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