What Can You Plant Next to Green Beans? – Companion Planting Guide

Companion planting is a practice that involves planting certain plants together in the vegetable garden to support each other’s growth. When it comes to green beans, they not only make a delicious addition to your meals but also enrich the soil with nitrogen.

The small nodes on the roots of green beans release nitrogen, benefiting neighboring plants. To promote healthy growth and productivity for your green beans, it’s important to choose the right companion plants.

Key Takeaways:

  • Companion planting involves planting certain plants together to support each other’s growth.
  • Green beans add nitrogen to the soil, benefiting neighboring plants.
  • Companion plants for green beans include sunflowers, summer squash, cucumber, and many others.
  • Avoid planting green beans with sunflowers, corn, onions, garlic, fennel, and kohlrabi.
  • Companion planting can optimize the growth and productivity of your green beans.

Best Companions for Green Beans – Sunflowers and Summer Squash

When it comes to companion planting for green beans, two excellent choices are sunflowers and summer squash. While sunflowers have properties that can benefit the soil and attract birds, they also release chemicals that can stunt or impede the growth of other plants. Therefore, it’s best to grow sunflowers separately. However, summer squash and green beans make an ideal pair.

Summer squash provides shade for the roots of the green beans, which helps conserve moisture in the soil and reduces weed competition. Additionally, the green beans contribute nitrogen to the soil, which benefits the growth of both plants. This symbiotic relationship between summer squash and green beans not only ensures their mutual success but also helps repel pests like flea beetles.

Benefits of Companion Planting Green Beans with Sunflowers and Summer Squash

  • Summer squash shades the roots of green beans, conserving moisture in the soil
  • Green beans provide nitrogen, benefiting the growth of both plants
  • Repels pests like flea beetles
green bean companion planting
Companion PlantBenefits
SunflowersBeneficial for the soil, attracts birds
Summer SquashShades the roots, reduces weed competition, contributes to nitrogen in the soil

By planting green beans alongside sunflowers and summer squash, you can create a harmonious garden ecosystem that promotes healthy growth and deters pests. The combination of these companion plants will help you achieve a bountiful harvest of green beans while enhancing the overall productivity of your garden.

Other Beneficial Companions for Green Beans

In addition to sunflowers and summer squash, there are several other plants that make great companions for green beans. By planting these companion plants alongside your green beans, you can enhance their growth, improve soil health, and deter pests. Some of the beneficial companions for green beans include:

  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers and green beans make excellent companions in the garden. Cucumbers help provide shade to the roots of green beans, preventing moisture loss and keeping the soil cool. In return, green beans add nitrogen to the soil, which benefits the growth of cucumbers.
  • Eggplant: Eggplants are a great companion for green beans as they help repel pests like aphids and spider mites. Additionally, the tall and bushy nature of eggplants provides shade to the green beans, protecting them from excessive sunlight.
  • Radishes: Planting radishes alongside green beans can help deter pests and improve soil health. Radishes release compounds that repel pests like flea beetles, which can damage green bean plants. They also help break up compacted soil, making it easier for green beans to establish their roots.
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Marigolds are another excellent companion plant for green beans. They repel pests like the Mexican bean beetle and suppress nematodes in the soil. By planting marigolds near your green beans, you can protect them from common pests and keep the soil healthy.

Other beneficial companions for green beans include beets, carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, celery, kale, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, parsley, spinach, and savory. These plants not only provide a diverse and visually appealing garden but also contribute to the overall health and productivity of your green bean plants.

Companion PlantBenefits
CucumbersProvides shade to green bean roots, adds nitrogen to the soil
EggplantRepels pests, provides shade to green beans
RadishesDeters pests, improves soil health
MarigoldsRepels pests, suppresses nematodes

By selecting the right companions for your green beans, you can create a thriving garden ecosystem and enjoy a bountiful harvest of healthy and delicious green beans.

companion plants for green beans

The Three Sisters Method – Corn, Beans, and Squash

The Three Sisters method is a traditional gardening technique used by the Cherokee people. It involves planting three main crops together: corn, beans, and squash. This method creates a symbiotic relationship among the plants, improving their growth and productivity.

In the Three Sisters method, corn serves as a natural trellis for the climbing beans. The beans, in turn, provide nitrogen to the soil, benefiting the corn’s growth. Meanwhile, squash plants are planted around the base of the corn and beans. The sprawling growth habit of the squash helps shade the soil, reducing weed competition and conserving moisture. Additionally, squash leaves act as a natural mulch, further suppressing weed growth.

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This planting technique offers numerous benefits. The corn provides support for the beans to climb, maximizing vertical space and promoting efficient use of garden space. The beans contribute nitrogen to the soil, which is essential for plant growth. The squash acts as a “living mulch,” reducing water evaporation and suppressing weed growth. Together, these three plants create a balanced ecosystem that supports the health and productivity of each other.

three sisters gardening

Table: Benefits of the Three Sisters Method

CornProvides support for beans to climb
BeansContribute nitrogen to the soil
SquashShades soil, reduces weed competition, and conserves moisture

The Three Sisters method is not only a practical way to grow corn, beans, and squash together but also a rich cultural tradition. By incorporating this ancient technique into your gardening practices, you can create a thriving and sustainable garden.

Pest-Repelling Companions for Green Beans – Catnip and Marigolds

If you want to protect your green beans from common pests such as flea beetles and Mexican bean beetles, consider planting catnip and marigolds as companions.

Catnip is a natural pest repellent that can help keep flea beetles at bay. These small pests can damage the leaves of your green bean plants, leading to reduced growth and yield. By planting catnip nearby, you can deter flea beetles and protect your green beans from their destructive feeding.

Marigolds, on the other hand, are effective in repelling both Mexican bean beetles and nematodes, which are microscopic worms that can harm the roots of your green beans. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also serve as a natural defense against pests.

Companion PlantPest Repelled
CatnipFlea beetles
MarigoldsMexican bean beetles and nematodes
Pest Repelling Companions for Green Beans

Using Catnip and Marigolds Effectively

When planting catnip and marigolds, it’s best to intersperse them throughout your green bean patch. This will create a barrier that pests will find less appealing, effectively reducing their presence around your green beans.

For catnip, you can either sow seeds or plant young seedlings near your green beans. Be mindful of its growth habit, as it can spread quickly if not contained. Regular pruning will help keep it in check.

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As for marigolds, choose varieties with strong pest-repelling properties, such as French marigolds (Tagetes patula) or African marigolds (Tagetes erecta). Plant them around the perimeter of your green bean patch or between each green bean plant to provide maximum protection.

Plants to Avoid Planting Next to Green Beans

While companion planting can greatly enhance the growth and productivity of your green beans, it’s important to be mindful of the plants that should not be planted alongside them. Certain plants can have detrimental effects on the growth and development of green beans, so it’s best to avoid these pairings in your garden.


Sunflowers may seem like a natural choice to grow alongside green beans due to their vibrant appearance and height. However, sunflowers release chemicals into the soil that can inhibit the growth of neighboring plants, including green beans. Therefore, it is recommended to keep sunflowers separate from green bean plants to avoid any potential stunting of growth.

Onions, Garlic, and Fennel

These aromatic plants, including onions, garlic, and fennel, can interfere with the growth of green beans. They compete for resources in the soil and can limit the available space for the green bean plants to spread their roots. To ensure optimal growth and productivity for your green beans, it’s advisable to keep them separate from these allium family members.

By avoiding plant pairings that have negative effects on green beans, you can ensure the health and success of your green bean plants. Take care to choose companion plants that will complement the growth of green beans and create a harmonious garden environment.

plants to avoid with green beans
Plants to AvoidReason
SunflowersRelease chemicals that can inhibit growth
Onions, Garlic, and FennelCompete for resources and limit space for green beans


In conclusion, companion planting is a beneficial technique for green beans that can enhance the health and productivity of your garden. By strategically choosing companion plants, you can create a harmonious ecosystem that supports the growth of green beans and other vegetables.

Some excellent companions for green beans include sunflowers, summer squash, cucumbers, radishes, and marigolds. These plants provide shade, repel pests, and add nutrients to the soil, ultimately benefiting the growth of green beans.

Additionally, the Three Sisters method, which involves planting corn, beans, and squash together, is a great way to maximize productivity and create a symbiotic relationship between these plants. Avoid planting green beans with incompatible plants like sunflowers, onions, garlic, and fennel, as they can hinder the growth and nutrient absorption of the beans.

By following this companion planting guide, you can create a thriving garden full of healthy green beans. Enjoy the rewards of a bountiful harvest and the beauty of a well-balanced garden ecosystem.

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