24 Companion plants for bok choy that will improve crop yields and plant health.
These “friendly” plants repel pests or attract predators, act as a “trap” crop, provide protection or give additional nutrients.
Bok Choy is part of the brassica family which includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
When organizing your garden, makes it easier to plan when you can manage several types of plants at one time using similar techniques.
As such, many of the companion plants for it will be friendly for other members of that family as well.
Table of Contents
1. Choose Bok Choy Companion Plants Based on Benefits & Gardening Goals
As you look over the companion plants listed below, you will see that there are an abundant number of choices….almost too many choices.
Below the companion plants are listed by purpose.
As you consider your own garden, you will want to consider pest management, possibly weed management and of course which foods you enjoy eating.
There is no sense in using a companion plant in your garden that doesn’t serve a purpose.
If you can choose a plant for pest management that you also enjoy eating or using in herbal remedies, that will be so much more rewarding than choosing a plant that repels insects…but that you don’t like!
2. Repel Insect Pests
Plants in the brassica family are vulnerable to a variety of common insects.
These insects include:
- Cabbage Worms which are also known as cabbage maggots and cabbage loopers
- Flea Beetles
Of these, the two most common pests are aphids and cabbage worms, so a good companion planting strategy will include managing those insects.
All of these pests may not be common in every area, so you will want to consider the pest problems in your area when looking at the list of companion plants that repel insects.
Some companion plants repel the interest and others attract insects or function as “bait.”
Therefore it is important to consider that over-planting companion plants may not always be beneficial either. Balance is an important key.
Companion Plants for Bok Choy
Beets are a root crop high in nutrients and mutually beneficial to bok choy and other brassica plants.
Because beets are relatively small, they share space well with bok choy, and nutrients from bok choy will improve beet growth.
Both beets and bok choy are heavy feeders and will require sufficient amounts of old manure or additional fertilizer to ensure they have enough nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/beets/fertilizing-beet-plants.htm)
Beets will benefit bok choy because beet leaves are high in manganese and iron which boosts the soil when they drop and are tilled back into the soil.
2. Bush Beans
Bush beans are excellent companion plants for bok choy because they are nitrogen-fixing.
Bok Choy requires large amounts of nitrogen and bush beans increase levels of that nutrient in the soil.
Additionally, bush beans are just the right size to provide shade to the beets during the hot summer months.
The shade from the beans helps the soil retain moisture and prevents the bok choy from drying out.
As a side note: pole beans can be excellent companion plants as well if they are properly managed.
If they are planted too close to the bok choy they can choke them out or provide too much shade.
For the gardener that enjoys making a lot of stir fry, carrots can be the perfect companion plant for bok choy.
Both ingredients are staples in that tasty dish!
Carrots benefit bok choy in two ways. First, their deep roots are excellent at loosening up the soil. And second, the carrot’s top provides cooling shade to bok choy plants that prevent them from drying out in the heat.
When planting carrots with bok choy, it is important to pick a variety that likes close planting.
In order for bok choy to benefit, the carrots need to be closely planted. Nantes is a good variety to consider for this purpose.
If cabbage worms are a problem in your garden, you will want to consider adding celery.
It serves as a good companion plant to bok choy because it repels cabbage worms.
A kitchen garden is not complete without this essential vegetable. Use your celery in soups or salads or eat it raw.
Do you enjoy making your own teas?
If so, chamomile makes an excellent companion plant for bok choy and looks beautiful in a kitchen garden while attracting all kinds of pollinators.
Chamomile benefits bok choy in a variety of ways.
First, it improves the actual flavor of bok choy. Second, it helps loosen and improve the soil as it grows through the addition of organic material.
Additionally, chamomile contains chemicals that prevent the growth of some fungal diseases. And lastly, chamomile attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies and ladybugs that eat aphids and mites.
6. Crimson Clover or Subterranean Clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.)
While not a traditional companion plant, clover can benefit bok choy in several ways.
And, if you have animals, you will have the benefit of growing a tasty crop that your livestock will enjoy.
Clover is nitrogen fixing which helps bok choy with its heavy nutrient needs.
Additionally, clover can act as a ground cover to keep weeds at bay and its chemicals function as a fungicide, preventing some fungal diseases.
In her book, Plant Partners, Jessica Walliser writes about Crimson Clover as an excellent companion plant for cole crops and says, “Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) is a cold-tolerant annual legume often used as a living mulch as well as a cover crop.
It can grow quite tall, but regular mowings keep it tamed. Crimson clover suppresses weeds by forming a thick mat, and it supports high densities of beneficial insects by providing food and habitat….Be sure to mow crimson clover before it has a chance to drop seed.” (Book: Plant Partners by Jessica Walliser Page 54 of 206 digital version)
Cucumbers are excellent companion plants for bok choy and will improve plant yields.
They use different layers of soil than bok choy and do not compete for nutrients.
Cucumbers can be grown in the spring and replanted for additional crops later in the summer and fall.
Dill is an essential herb in any kitchen garden. It makes a great addition to a wide variety of dishes.
This makes it an easy choice as a companion plant to bok choy.
Dill in the garden will attract beneficial predator insects.
Hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps are all like dill.
And these good predators eat pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and other insects that destroy bok choy.
Having dill in the garden will attract them and they will prey on pests as well.
9. Coriander (Cilantro)
In the kitchen, coriander is the name of the seed, but cilantro is the common herb name.
This plant is another easy choice for companion planting with bok choy. Its primary benefit is that it repels flea beetles and aphids.
While repelling these pests from your bok choy, you will be growing an herb that is commonly used in many Mexican, Spanish, and Asian dishes.
As the cilantro begins to go to seed, you can collect the seed (coriander) to grind for use in cooking and save some for repeat plantings.
Using garlic as a companion plant for bok choy is very useful because of its common use in so many recipes.
Garlic repels all kinds of common garden pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and Japanese beetles.
Garlic can be interspersed with bok choy easily because it is pretty compact.
Additional plantings can be done between other plants if you desire a higher yield.
If you plan to use garlic as a companion plant, you will need to think ahead!
Most garlic is planted in the fall for harvesting the following fall, so planning ahead will be necessary to put it in the beds where it is going to be most useful.
There are some varieties of spring garlic but they will have smaller yields.
Hyssop’s fragrant nature makes this herb a great companion plant for bok choy.
It repels the white cabbage butterfly which is a common pest for bok choy. Hyssop has been around since ancient times.
The Romans used it to ward off evil spirits and in the Bible, Jewish people used it as part of their cleanliness traditions.
Today, Hyssop is used primarily as an herbal remedy for digestive or skin issues.
It is also used in a wide variety of recipes for flavoring everything from soups and meat to tea and alcoholic drinks.
Bok Choy and other brassica plants are heavy feeders and require adequate spacing to grow properly and have enough nutrients.
Lettuce makes an ideal companion plant because it is not a heavy feeder.
Lettuce can be densely planted between bok choy.
This helps keep out the weeds and uses all that space productively! Lettuce grows best in cooler temperatures which also makes it a great option as a companion plant as bok choy grows well under similar conditions.
Marigolds are a gardener’s best friend. Besides making the garden beautiful, they help plants like bok choy in many ways.
They repel nematodes, whiteflies, and other pests. And they contain compounds that hinder the development of certain fungal ailments
When planting marigolds around bok choy, it is important to choose a smaller, more compact variety to prevent bok choy from being too crowded.
Mint is a wonderful useful herb that is a great companion plant to bok choy.
It will deter both insects and mammals and improves the flavor of bok choy.
Gardeners should use care when planting mint because some varieties can become highly invasive.
Many gardeners choose to keep it in a pot near other plants but not grow it directly in the garden soil to prevent it from spreading all over.
Nasturtiums as a beautiful burst of color in the garden.
But those beautiful colors mean they are also attractive to aphids.
Nasturturtiums are what is known as a trap crop. When grown near bok choy, they are more appealing to pests like aphids than the bok choy.
Additionally, while many gardeners plant nasturtiums as companion plants, their flowers can also be eaten.
Their radish-like taste makes them a great addition to salads.
Onions are an excellent companion plant to bok choy for several reasons.
First, onions have a strong smell which makes them repel cabbage worms, aphids, and mites…all of which are common problems in the garden and for bok choy.
Easy to grow, onions require little space individually and can be interspersed in a garden around different plants to give maximum benefit.
Additionally, the potent benefits of onions can be used by chopping up an onion and putting it in water overnight.
The next day, you can water bok choy with onion water to provide additional deterring benefits.
This might be especially helpful if you choose not to companion plant onions with bok choy but want to experience the benefits.
Or, if you have a big pest problem and are trying to solve the problem quickly, watering with onion water may be part of the solution.
As you plan your spring and fall garden crops, include peas as companion plants for your bok choy.
Peas prefer cooler weather like bok choy and will grow and produce best during fall and spring.
As part of the legume family, peas are nitrogen-fixing plants.
These make them friendly to grow alongside bok choy because they add more nitrogen to the soil which is something bok choy uses a lot of.
According to the PennState Extention, “If the plant is free of insect and/or disease pests, the plant may be cut down at ground level.
Leave the roots in the ground. Peas, like other legumes, fix nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots.
Leaving the roots in the ground will keep that valuable fertilizer there, making it available for the next crop.”
Potatoes and brassicas including bok choy are friendly companion plants.
They share a similar spring growing season and make great companions for using different soil depths.
Potatoes have a much deeper root system while bok choy is shallower.
Both potatoes and bok choy are heavy feeders and require sufficient fertilizer to reach maturity. So if you do plant these two together, be sure to prepare the soil well with compost or old manure.
If you enjoy seasoning your soups or meat dishes with rosemary, be sure to use this companion plant with your bok choy.
Its primary benefit in the garden is the strong scent it has.
This smell helps repel aphids, flea beetles, and white cabbage butterflies, all of which are known pests for plants in the brassica family.
Its scent confuses insects attracted to bok choy and other cole crops which helps prevent pest damage.
Another tasty culinary herb to add to your garden is sage. Sage’s strong herbal scent helps repel aphids, flea beetles, and white cabbage butterflies from your bok choy.
As a perennial culinary herb, a little sage seasons a lot of food, so you might wonder why you would want to plant more for a companion plant.
Sage leaves are excellent dried and shaped into wreaths.
Additionally, sage added to the compost pile speeds up the decomposition process. Additionally, sage attracts bees to your garden which improves pollination and overall plant production.
If you are interested in adding a less common herb to your garden as a companion plant to bok choy, consider adding Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum).
As a woody perennial, it originally grew in Mediterranean climates so it prefers warmer temperatures.
As a companion plant to bok choy, it repels the white cabbage butterfly. And as an herb, it has many uses from medicinal to culinary and in teas.
It has a sweet lemony smell when the leaves are crushed making it desirable for a wide variety of uses.
Southernwood is known by a variety of names including:
- -Applering, Boy’s Love
- -European Sage
- -Lad’s Love
- -Southern Wormwood
- -Old Man Wormwood
22. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum is commonly found in garden stores in the section with annual flowers.
But rather than adding this to your flower beds, consider adding it to your vegetable garden near your bok choy.
Alyssum attracts beneficial predators. Those include hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps.
23. Swiss Chard
Bok Choy and other members of the brassica family are widely cited as complementing swiss chard as companion plants.
By using different layers of the soil.
Swiss chard’s growing season is similar to that of bok choy making them ideal garden partners.
Additionally, bok choy has a shallow root system while Swiss Chard has deeper roots and uses nutrients from deeper soil strata in the garden.
They are each using nutrients from different layers making them friendly in the garden.
Often gardeners create separate herbal gardens in their kitchen gardens. But this may be a missed opportunity.
Thyme is another wonderful herb that is a great companion plant for bok choy.
Its strong scent repels cabbage worms, flea beetles, aphids, and white cabbage butterflies which are all pests in the brassica family.
Plants to Avoid Planting Near Bok Choy
When considering what companion plants to use, it is equally important to make note of the plants that should not be planted near bok choy.
Thankfully there are not many plants that are problematic for bok choy which is why this delightful vegetable should definitely be in your garden.
Strawberries have several companion plants in common with bok choy.
However, they should never be planted near bok choy itself or near other members of the brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, and collard greens.
Their root seems are both shallow and will compete for nutrients.
And strawberries produce a compound that will prevent bok choy from growing.
Tomatoes should never be planted near bok choy or any other plants in the brassica family.
Cabbage is known to stunt tomato growth and can ruin your crop.
Both plants are heavy feeders but cabbage tends to use more nutrients.
There are plenty of other companion plant options that will benefit bok choy!
In general, bok choy should not be heavily planted with other members of the brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
They will not harm each other but they do all attract the same pests, so having a large number of them together may create an infestation problem with some insects.
It is best to manage plantings of bok choy with these other plants so they are not planted too close together and have plenty of companion plants to manage the insects they attract.
If you do choose to plant bok choy near these plants, be aware of the spacing and number of plants.
Video Bok Choy Companions
What can you not plant next to bok choy?
Bok Choy should never be planted near tomatoes or strawberries as it will inhibit the growth of both of these plants.
These plants all grow with a similar root depth and will compete for nutrients, so do not plant these together.
Additionally, it is best not to plant bok choy with other members of the brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
These plants all have the same pests and having them planted too densely will make it difficult to manage the insect problems.
Does bok choy need full sun?
Bok Choy needs about 6 hours of full sun a day.
It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
In the heat of summer, some shade may be beneficial.
What is the best Bok Choy plant spacing?
Bok Choy should be planted in rows that are 7-10 inches apart.
The seeds in those rows should also be planted 2 inches apart and then gradually thinned until the plants are about 8 inches apart.
There are miniature varieties that are ideal for square-foot gardening or small raised beds. These varieties can be grown 3 inches apart.
Can you plant Bok Choy next to the cabbage?
Bok Choy and cabbage attract the same pests.
So, it is possible to plant them near each other, but not ideal.
If you do plant them near each other, be mindful of the number of overall plants and be sure to have sufficient companion plants to deter pests and attract pest predators.
As you consider companion plants for bok choy, it is important to consider your overall gardening needs. Bok Choy has 24 companion plants and each of them offers unique benefits. Choosing plants to benefit your bok choy and overall gardening goals will lead to the most satisfactory results!
Bok Choy has many beneficial companion plants it is important to understand that this is just one of many techniques for improving plant yields. Companion planting should be used in conjunction with soil improvement, crop rotation, pest management, and physical protection to achieve the best results!
Check out more types of things