Asparagus companion plants are ones that have been considered beneficial even though asparagus has unique requirements for sun, space, and plant care.

Asparagus Companion Plants

Asparagus grows well when planted in the company of companion plants because they help to repel insects, keep the soil moist and aerated, and feed important nutrients to the asparagus.

This planting guide contains descriptive information about some good companion plants that you should have in your asparagus garden.

👩🏻‍🎓 Scientific Reference

“The University of Illinois recommends companion planting as a natural means of pest control.” University of Illinois Research

Different Kinds of Asparagus Companion Plants

1. Horseradish

Spicy Horseradish Root

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Oblong
Specific Needs
  • Loamy moist rich deep soil
  • Full sun and light shade
Common Pests
  • Beetles
  • Caterpillars
  • False cinch bugs

Horseradish is often grown as a companion plant for asparagus plants due to its ability to provide natural weed control and discourage root nematodes. Remember that this is the kind of vegetable that grows as a root, which means the vegetable itself is underneath the ground, and as a result, it will have proper weed control and enriching the soil. 

Keep in mind, it has an aggressive growth habit, making it ideal for shadier areas. Horseradish also acts as an effective trap crop, drawing pests away from other crops while improving soil structure with its deep taproots.

2. Rhubarb

Tart Rhubarb Stalks

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Leaf Shape Heart-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Tolerates part shade
  • Fertile and well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Beetles

The hardy, tart, and leafy rhubarb make a great companion when you plant asparagus. It takes up very little room in the vegetable patch, making this an ideal combo for those with limited space. The wide-spreading roots of rhubarb will prevent competition for moisture and nutrients from other crops and ensure that the veggies are getting enough resources.

Moreover, remember that it will tolerate part shade, meaning the light should not be constantly hard when these plants grow, and the soil should be one that is properly fertile and rich, because the latter would boost the flavor. 

3. Strawberry

Sweet Strawberry Fruits

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Oblong
Specific Needs
  • Sandy loamy organically rich soil
  • Full sunlight
Common Pests
  • Caterpillars
  • Aphids
  • Spider mites

Strawberry is an ideal companion plant for asparagus, adding both flavor and beauty to a vegetable garden. Strawberries are shallow-rooted, meaning their extra nutrients don’t compete with those of the asparagus root system that grows deep in the soil. 

A benefit that you would see when you aim to cultivate some strawberry plants is that they are known to help repel certain asparagus pests while their matted root systems help conserve moisture. As a result of the proper care and benefits, you will see both of these crops growing together in 

4. Lettuce

Fresh Lettuce Greens

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape
  • Oblong
  • Elliptic
Specific Needs
  • Light shade or full sun
  • Well-drained but moist soil
Common Pests
  • Caterpillars
  • Whiteflies
  • Leafminers

Lettuce is an ideal companion plant for asparagus, due to its shallow root system and ability to improve soil structure. The presence of lettuce can also increase the availability of essential nutrients required by asparagus, while its moderate shade protects from the harsh sun. 

Ultimately, including lettuce appreciably adds to resilience without sacrificing yield or quality. But you may aim to be cautious about lettuce because it is known to be attracting a number of pests, and these pests would increase, such as the leaf miners, the caterpillars and the white flies. 

5. Eggplant

Purple Eggplant Fruit

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape
  • Ovate
  • Oblong
Specific Needs
  • Full direct sunlight
  • Sandy and loamy soil
Common Pests
  • Army worms
  • Melon thrips
  • Leaf miners

Eggplant is an excellent companion plant for asparagus, as the two plants have a symbiotic relationship that benefits each other, and you will start to cultivate them in summer all the way through fall. However, you should make sure that it is placed in a location to receive proper amount of direct sun all day long, just as asparagus plants should be placed.

Eggplant can help promote the healthier growth of asparagus, as it attracts hover flies and predatory insects that feed on pests that would otherwise infest your crop, which is a key characteristic that is has. Additionally, this is the vegetable that has the ability to help to improve drainage to prevent erosion.

6. Tomato

Juicy Tomato Fruit

Growing Season All year round
Leaf Shape Serrated
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Slightly acidic well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Worms
  • Thrips
  • Mites

Tomato is an excellent companion plant for asparagus due to its ability to improve the overall health, vigor, and yield of the asparagus crop. Moreover, it needs to be placed under full sunlight and in a soil that is well draining and slightly acidic with fertile characteristics, so that the harvest would be a fruitful one. 

Tomato plants are nitrogen fixers, supplying additional nutrients to the soil that help produce strong plant growth and boost yields. Additionally, its sprawling roots create a natural mulch that helps retain soil moisture, and when you see benefits as such, you would aim to grow them around each other. 

7. Cilantro

Flavorful Cilantro Herb

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Lobed
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Slightly acidic well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Aphids
  • Armyworms

Growing asparagus near cilantro plots helps reduce losses due to herbivorous animals because it reduces their attraction towards the crop plot with its potent smell. Furthermore, cilantro helps provide a richer soil texture by adding trace minerals to the soil through its breakdown after harvesting. 

This makes it an important component of an effective asparagus companion planting plan, just as well as knowing that they both grow in similar conditions. As a result, you should aim to grow them both in a fertile soil that is a little acidic, and also place it in a location where it receives full sun. 

8. Basil

Fragrant Basil Leaves

Growing Season Summer
Leaf Shape Oval
Specific Needs
  • Bright sunlight
  • Well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Slugs
  • Japanese beetles
  • Aphids

Basil is an excellent companion plant for asparagus, as it helps to naturally repel pests such as mites. The fragrance of basil helps to mask the smell of the other vegetable-loving insects. It also aids in keeping weeds at bay while helping to build healthier soil structures. 

The companion planting of basil near asparagus helps reduce potential compression issues. Furthermore, in spring you would see the plant shooting little white flowers, which are known to attract pollinators, and in summer, it would start to result in a prosperous growth. 

9. Spinach

Nutritious Spinach Leaves

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Winter
Leaf Shape
  • Oval
  • Spade-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight and partial shade
  • Compost rich soil
Common Pests
  • Mites
  • Aphids
  • Leaf miners

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used as an accompaniment to dishes featuring asparagus. As a companion plant, spinach can provide a variety of benefits to the growth and production of asparagus. 

Spinach is known to attract beneficial insects such as hover flies, lacewings, and ladybugs which are all known to help protect plants from harmful pests. Although you may also be mindful that this would not always last for such a long time in case the crop itself has been subjected to an infestation of mites, aphids, or leaf miners, then you have to fix them first, so that the vegetation would not be damaged. 

10. Marigold

Bright Marigold Flowers

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape
  • Lanceolate
  • Oblanceolate
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Well-drained loamy soil
Common Pests
  • Caterpillars
  • Leafminers
  • Whiteflies

Marigolds are a beneficial companion plant to asparagus, capable of aiding in the reduction of nematode populations and providing an aesthetically pleasing effect to the area. These fragrant flowers act as a deterrent for pest species, such as wire worms and root-knot nematodes, that can cause substantial damage to asparagus crops by providing allelopathic compounds. 

Remember that you should grow these flowers in their best condition, such as in full sunlight for eight hours a day, and in a well draining soil. When you see them thrive, they would be a barrier to cover or to protect your new growing asparagus shoots from wild animals, and this is due to the fragrance of the flowers that will repel the deer or rabbits. 

11. Parsley

Fresh Parsley Herb

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Leaf Shape Triangular
Specific Needs
  • Sunny area with direct sunlight
  • Organically rich soil
Common Pests
  • Leafminers
  • Beetles
  • Aphids

Parsley is an ideal companion plant for asparagus, due to its positive effect on air circulation, moisture retention, and pest control in the garden. Its deep roots help to aerate heavier soils while allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil. Parsley acts as a natural scent barrier that repels common pests of the garden such as carrot flies, but they may be attacked by pests, too, and these pests would be the leaf miners, the beetles, and the aphids, which you should be careful from.

12. Dill

Tangy Dill Herb

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Leaf Shape Fern-like
Specific Needs
  • Full direct sunlight
  • Organically rich soil
Common Pests Aphids

Dill is a popular, easy-to-grow companion plant for asparagus. The feathery foliage of dill can act as an effective living mulch, keeping the soil moist and suppressing weeds around tender asparagus shoots. 

In addition, planting asparagus with dills provides an attractive contrast in texture and color. Remember that they need full sun to grow, and an organic soil, which is why you will see them growing together in the months of spring and summer. 

13. Petunia

Colorful Petunia Blooms

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Oval
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Fertile well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Mites
  • Leafminers
  • Thrips

Petunia is an ideal companion plant for asparagus. This hardy annual blooms prolifically throughout the growing season and usually reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches, providing lovely visual contrast to the asparagus’ tall, spiky foliage. 

This would happen when you give it the right requirements such as the direct sun that it needs and the well-draining soil, where water will not be trapped in the roots. Petunias also attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden, and this is why from spring and all the way to fall you will have these beautiful flowers growing.

14. Nasturtium

Edible Nasturtium Flowers

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Nearly circular
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Well-drained soil
Common Pests Aphids

Nasturtiums are popular companion plants to asparagus due to their high concentrations of nutrients and natural insect repellents. Their cheery yellow, orange, and red blooms provide a cheerful touch to any garden and attract aphid-eating beneficial insects. 

Nasturtiums act as a trap crop for whitefly, root-knot nematodes, and cucumber beetle. Not only this, but also these flowers are known to attract pollinators in spring time along with the crops that are growing. When they grow, they would produce a fragrant scent, and the latter is one that deer do not like, at all, and for this reason, when you plant them next to your asparagus crops, they won’t come at night to eat the newly growing ones. 

15. Comfrey

Soothing Comfrey Herb

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Oval
Specific Needs
  • Sandy loamy clay-type soil
  • Full sun or light shade
Common Pests
  • Snails
  • Slugs

Comfrey is a hardy perennial herb commonly grown alongside asparagus to provide companion planting benefits. This versatile plant contains high levels of minerals and other nutrients which, when mulched around the asparagus crowns, dramatically increase their yields. 

It also encourages healthy root growth and reduces disease pressure on the crop. But be careful, as they would encourage giving a shelter to slugs and snails that would lay their eggs and multiply, which is why you should take the necessary precautions.

16. Oregano

Aromatic Oregano Herb

Growing Season
  • Winter
  • Spring
Leaf Shape
  • Ovate
  • Round
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Soil with good drainage
Common Pests
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Cutworms

Oregano is an excellent companion plant for asparagus, providing a beneficial level of controlling pests to repel destructive insects such as cabbage moths and cabbage loopers. 

The pungent scent of the oregano deters undesirable pests from the garden while helping to suppress disease due to its high levels of natural fungicide compounds. When these pests repel from your garden, that is when pollinators would be more attracted to the aroma of the new growing plants and would help in the crops’ growth. 

17. Sage

Savory Sage Leaves

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Oblong
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Soil with good drainage
Common Pests
  • Slugs
  • Spider mites
  • Spittlebugs

Sage is a versatile and attractive herb that makes an ideal companion plant to asparagus. In addition to providing ground cover, it helps attract beneficial insects such as bees and predatory wasps and repels other pests such as whiteflies. 

For optimal yields of both crops involved in companion planting with sage, provide adequate water and nutrient-rich soil. On another note, these plants would start getting vulnerable due to pests that would infest, such as some slugs or spider mites, and this is why you should use chemical or even homemade repellents to get rid of them. 

18. Thyme

Fragrant Thyme Herb

Growing Season Summer
Leaf Shape Linear
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Organically rich well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids

Thyme is an ideal companion plant for asparagus, providing beneficial qualities such as improved soil fertility and increased predatory insect populations to ward off damaging pests. 

When planted close to asparagus plants, thyme’s deep and bushy root system helps bind soil particles together into tight, stable clumps. Make sure you would water them both when the soil is properly dry, and not aim to overwater them, or else the crops would have a difficulty in their growth.

19. Peppers

Hot Peppers Variety

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Oval
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Organically rich soil
Common Pests
  • Fungus gnats
  • Whiteflies
  • Lygus bugs

Pepper is an excellent companion plant for asparagus due to its ability to provide beneficial shade in sunny areas, prevent weed growth, and repel pests, and the irrigation process must occur only when the soil has dried already, and in late spring, or summer through fall, you will start seeing little flowers growing. 

When planted next to the asparagus bed, it helps to conserve soil moisture Its spicy aroma confuses many common garden pests making them less likely to invade the asparagus patch. Make sure you do not overwater them as they are close to each other, and this is because the result of the fruit would be a weak one. 

20. Asters

Vibrant Asters Flowers

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Leaf Shape
  • Alternate
  • Toothed
Specific Needs
  • Well-drained loamy soil
  • Full sun to partial shade
Common Pests
  • Beetles
  • Leafhoppers
  • Caterpillars

Aster is an excellent companion plant for asparagus, providing several benefits to the garden. Its lovely purple-blue flowers attract pollinators who, in turn, pollinate both asparagus and aster. 

Aster’s dense foliage also helps shade out weeds while providing cover to keep the soil moist and cool, helping prevent diseases like rust from taking hold. They would also protect the newly growing shoots, because deer and other wild animals avoid eating them, due to their strong fragrance. 

Conclusion

Now that you have learned about various asparagus companion plants.

Here is a quick summary of these plants based on the benefits they offer:

  • Plants such as horseradish and nasturtiums can be exceptional trap crops for asparagus.
  • If you wish to repel harmful insects then strawberries, basil, parsley, etc. are great options.
  • Lettuce, thyme, and similar plants will improve the soil for growing healthy asparagus.

These are all good companions for asparagus and so you can cultivate them along with asparagus without any worries.

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