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14 Great Companion Plants For Pole Beans

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Harnessing the power of companion plants for pole beans can significantly augment your vegetable yield. Depending on your chosen companions, benefits can range from an enhanced harvest, decreased pest interference, to even improved flavor profiles of your beans – all by leveraging nature’s inherent strategies.

But where does one begin on this journey? Today, we’re here to guide you through. We’ve gathered a list of 15 of the most advantageous companion plants for pole beans, as well as a selection of 5 that you would do well to avoid. These insights will help you understand the potential contributions of each companion plant, enabling you to reap the benefits from your very next planting season.

Companion planting is a remarkable strategy, proven effective by numerous gardening enthusiasts. So continue reading as we delve into the world of the best (and worst) companion plants for pole beans, equipping you to venture into the art of companion planting!

Best Companion plants for pole beans

In this section, we’ve collected some of the best companion plants for pole beans and each have their own particular perks to bring to the table. To help ensure that there’s a little something for everyone, we’ll divide them up into the following categories

  • Kitchen and medicinal herbs
  • Healthy veggies and delicious fruits
  • Ornamental additions

For each plant, we’ll tell you a little about their needs and what you can expect in a companion planting scenario with your pole beans. If you’re ready, then let’s get this party started!

Kitchen and medicinal herbs

1. Rosemary

Rosemary plant with blossoming flowers
Rosemary plant with blossoming flowers
  • Botanical name: Salvia rosmarinus
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Any well-draining soil, although clay or sandy loam is best

Rosemary is definitely a favorite in many gardens and even more so in kitchens, where it may be used to accent the flavor of meats, soups, salads, and more! It also acts as a natural preservative, and these perks are all well and good, but what does it do for your pole beans?

Well, rosemary helps to repel pests that might otherwise have a fine time chowing down on your unprotected beans. Most specifically, it repels carrot flies, bean beetles, and cabbage moths – just to name a few. It is also said to improve the flavor of your beans and while we can’t prove this ‘old gardener’s tale’, with its ‘protection perks’ for your beans it’s well-worth finding out on your own!

2. Dill

Bunch of dill with water drops on it
Bunch of dill with water drops on it
  • Botanical name: Anethum graveolens
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, slightly acid soil

Great for egg dishes, pickling, fish, salads, and a wide range of Mediterranean dishes, Dill is another companion planting option for your pole beans that will pull its own weight in your garden plot. It all boils down to the distinctive scent of the dill, which can help to drive away hungry pests quite effectively.

Dill provides security in two ways – first, it will attract pollinators and predatory insects, so that bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and predatory wasps will all come to visit your dill to help pollinate the garden and to patrol both the dill and your beans for pests. The second way that it will help is that dill repels a number of pests, including aphids, spider mites, and Mexican bean beetles. It’s a pretty little pairing that brings utility and aesthetics in one an aromatic bundle that will make its way to your kitchen when the job is done. 

3. Basil

Basil being planted in peat moss mixture in garden
Basil being planted in peat moss mixture in garden
  • Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Fertile, moist, and well-drained

Having your own fresh basil leaves is light-years better than relying on something from the store. It’s a difference you can really taste and best of all, in a companion planting scenario with pole beans, you’ll get ‘more basil for your buck’ and the beans will also get some benefits from the pairing.

As your pole beans are able to increase the nitrogen levels of the soil, your basil benefits by producing more leaves as it puts some of that nitrogen to good use. In turn, the basil is going to attract useful pollinators and predatory bugs, while its scent will act as a natural deterrent for pests like asparagus beetles, whiteflies, carrot flies, and mosquitoes. It’s a relationship that benefits both plants and frankly, those are the best kinds of pairings for companion planting!

4. Chamomile

Wild Chamomile flower field
Wild Chamomile flower field
  • Botanical name:  Matricaria chamomilla
  • Sun Requirements:  Full sun
  • Soil Type:   Fertile, well-draining loam or sandy loam

Fresh chamomile smells amazing and arguably, the tea that you can make blows anything in a commercial packet out of the water. It also really brightens up your garden with those lovely yellow-centered white blooms. So, is it really a good match for pole beans? 

Chamomile is a GREAT companion plant for your pole beans, with the first perk being that the Mexican bean beetle really hates the stuff. While it will also attract pollinators and useful predatory bugs for added security, probably the best perk has to do with what both plants will do to the soil. The pole beans will be adding nitrogen, and some of that will help the chamomile, while a little will remain there. 

The chamomile will add sulfur, calcium, and potassium micronutrients on its part, and the end result is that you’ll have a more fertile soil after harvest time! It’s a pretty amazing perk, so keep chamomile in mind when you’re choosing the perfect companion for your pole beans! 

5. Oregano

Top view of Oregano in square planter
Top view of Oregano in square planter
  • Botanical name: Origanum vulgare
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun (or partial shade in warmer climes)
  • Soil Type: Sandy, well-drained soil

Oregano is another ‘potential roomie’ scenario for your pole beans where both ‘roommates’ will contribute to their living conditions. Oregano will have a better chance of growing up healthy and strong, thanks to the nitrogen that the beans are bringing to the table, and the oregano will show its thanks by attracting beneficial bugs to your garden.

While oregano helps to keep aphids away just by being close to your beans, it will also specifically attract hoverflies, who can ‘take up the slack’ and munch on the aphids that decided to visit your beans anyway. As a final perk, it is said to enhance your bean’s flavor, but while we cannot prove this, we can say with 100% confidence that it makes an excellent companion plant for your pole beans.  

Healthy veggies and delicious fruits  

6. Spinach

Spinach planted in a garden
Spinach planted in a garden
  • Botanical name: Spinacia oleracea
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun (will tolerate partial shade)
  • Soil Type: Moisture retentive, well-drained, and nitrogen-rich soil

Your spinach can benefit greatly from having your pole beans close in those hot, summer months. Your trellised pole beans will help out by providing some much-needed shade as a little break from the heat and the nitrogen the beans are producing will give you bigger, better spinach leaves!

In this pairing all of the benefits really go to your spinach, but if that’s one of your favorite crops, then their similar watering requirements will make both plants quite easy to manage together. When you factor in the improved yield, these plants are a pretty good companion planting match!

7. Fruit trees

Peach tree in field with ripe peaches on it
Peach tree in field with ripe peaches on it
  • Botanical name: N/A (see description)
  • Sun Requirements: N/A
  • Soil Type: N/A

Provided that you plant your pole beans strategically so that they won’t get too much shade, fruit trees can be an excellent companion planting match. It’s only a single benefit, but it’s a big one. The nitrogen produced by your pole beans will help your fruit trees to grow up happy, healthy, and strong.

Peach and apricot trees are a good example of some fruit trees that can benefit from this, but all fruit trees can benefit from the extra nitrogen, provided that the beans aren’t their sole source. On average, most fruit trees need about .10 pounds of nitrogen per year of age, so you’ll still need to fertilize them but with your pole beans planted close by, it will be a little bit less work.

8. Eggplant

Ripe purple aubergine growing in a plantation
Ripe purple aubergine growing in a plantation
  • Botanical name: Solanum melongena
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Sandy loam or loam, well-drained, high in organic matter

If you’ve grown eggplants in your garden before, then you know that these yummy veggies will take their toll on the soil. They’re heavy feeders and tend to deplete all of the nitrogen in the soil that they can. Your pole beans, however, have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in the soil and what happens is that your beans feed that bacterium, and they produce nitrogen as a result.

You’ll still need to fertilize your eggplants, but having a natural and recurring nitrogen arrangement with those soil bacteria through your beans will help to keep the soil fertile and improve your eggplant yield. Think of it as a ‘preventative maintenance’ pairing for the soil itself and then it’s easy to see the value of this pairing.

9. Rhubarb

Rhubarb grown in a garden close up
Rhubarb grown in a garden close up
  • Botanical name: Rheum rhabarbarum
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun or partial shade (in hotter environments)
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy soil

If you love rhubarb, then you might want to consider growing it next to your pole beans – provided that you give it a little space to compensate for rhubarb’s large leaves. The reason that rhubarb and pole beans get along together has to do with a particularly troublesome pest called the ‘whitefly’.

Whiteflies absolutely love eating beans, alighting onto the undersides of their leaves and ‘going to town’ if left unchecked, which can really have an impact on your harvest. Thankfully, rhubarb comes to the rescue by repelling those pests so that they’ll leave your beans alone or at the very least, the threat will be greatly reduced.

It seems like an odd pairing, but it’s quite a good one for your pole beans, and the rhubarb will also benefit from the nitrogen-rich soil that beans end up surrounded with. Not a bad deal at all! 

10. Corn

Corn husk being opened up to show the corn
Corn husk being opened up to show the corn
  • Botanical name: Zea mays
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Loamy soil with lots of nitrogen

The Native Americans have long been pairing corn with pole beans and squash in a companion planting masterpiece strategy called the ‘Three Sisters’. The corn acts as a trellis for the beans, while the squash provides ground cover and a sort of living mulch, and the beans feed their ‘sisters’ nitrogen to the benefit of all involved. Even without the squash, though, pole beans and corn do quite well as a pair.

The trick is to plant your beans when your corn is tall enough to support them and then it can act as a trellis, while the beans crank out nitrogen and they both grow up healthier for it. If you try this, be sure to add some squash in one or more of your plantings to try the ‘ 3 sisters’ method on your own. It’s really a sight to see and one of the best ways to get firsthand experience with a truly amazing companion planting trio.

11. Potatoes

Potato sapling in spring
Potato sapling in spring
  • Botanical name: Solanum tuberosum
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun (can handle partial shade)
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, sandy soil

Potatoes and pole beans get along like the best of friends in your garden. Starting off, the potatoes dig deeper into the earth for their nutrients than your beans will, so they won’t be competing overmuch for resources, but the big kicker is that they can help each other to defeat pests that could take them out if they were alone.

The potatoes help to keep away Mexican bean beetles and oddly enough, Colorado potato beetles don’t seem to like pole beans at all. By putting them together you can ensure that these plants have ‘got each other’s backs’ and as a final bonus, the nitrogen your pole beans produce will improve your potato yield. It’s just about a perfect pairing and well-worth trying in your garden at home!

Ornamental additions

12. Petunias

Petunia bright pink flowers in bloom.
Petunia bright pink flowers in bloom.
  • Botanical name: Petunia x hybrida
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Light, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil

Petunias can really pretty up your garden, with blooms blue, white, purple, red, pink, yellow, and even multicolor varieties, but they also make a great companion for your pole beans for practical reasons. As it turns out, aside from attracting pollinators and useful predatory insects, petunias also repel a whole lot of pests.

Aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles, and leafhoppers are just a few examples of pests that don’t seem to like being near petunias very much at all. It’s nice when your ornamentals have a practical side and it’s safe to say that Petunia really brings on the value as a companion planting option for your pole beans.

12. Nasturtium

Nasturtium growing in a garden with green leaves in the background.
Nasturtium growing in a garden with green leaves in the background.
  • Botanical name: Tropaeolum majus
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained soil

Another sworn foe of the Mexican bean beetle is the 100% edible nasturtium plant. Bringing lovely blooms of yellow, orange, and cream-color varieties, it’s definitely a looker, but repelling those beetles and looking good are just two of its perks. 

Nasturtium works well for attracting pollinators and useful insects, but it can also be used as a ‘trap plant’ to lure hungry pests away from your more vulnerable beans. We weren’t kidding about it being 100% edible, either. You can add the flower petals to salads for a little peppery zing and every other part of the plant may also be eaten, too. All of these qualities make nasturtium quite the useful plant and a great option for keeping your pole plants company in the garden. 

13. Marigolds

Pot marigold growing in the field.
Pot marigold growing in the field.
  • Botanical name: Tagetes
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Loamy soil

Marigolds really bring the color, with their lovely yellow, orange, mahogany, and red florettes, but they also pack a little utility when you plant them with your pole beans. For one thing, they’ll help to keep Mexican bean beetles at bay and a score of other pests on the topside of your garden, but they also have another little perk that’s very useful.

The roots of the marigolds produce a chemical that gets added to the soil and it can be fatal to root nematodes that come across it. All in all, it’s a  pretty pairing that packs a punch, so consider planting marigolds with your pole beans – you’ll be happy that you did!

14. Cosmos

Cosmos flowers in bloom.
Cosmos flowers in bloom.
  • Botanical name: Cosmos sulphureus
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun (or partial shade in warmer climes)
  • Soil Type: Chalky, sandy, or loamy soils

Our final propitious pairing is a solution for serious aphid problems in the form of a ‘sacrificial’ trap plant in the form of Cosmos. These colorful plants add beauty to your garden and it’s the kind that aphids can’t seem to resist, so if you’ve planted cosmos close to your pole beans, then the aphids should leave your beans alone and go there.

It’s not the best deal for your cosmos, although mature plants CAN withstand aphids pretty well and still pull security duty for your beans while looking pretty good, so if you plant the cosmos first then you have a pretty good chance at creating an aphid trap to help your beans without harming the cosmos overmuch. Come harvest time, you’ll be very impressed with how this relationship benefits your pole beans!

The worst companion plants for pole beans

While many plants will get along like gangbusters with your pole beans, there are definitely some which need to be kept as far away as possible. In this section, we’ll tell you about 5 plants that should definitely not share space with your pole beans and we’ll tell you a little about why that is the case.

That said, let’s take a look at 5 pitfall plants for your pole beans!

1. Fennel

Fennel growing in the field.
Fennel growing in the field.

Fennel doesn’t get along with most other plants. There are exceptions, like Dill (although those two will cross-pollinate), but since fennel is an allelopathic plant you’ll want to keep it far away from your beans and just about every other plant in your garden.

 Allelopathic is just a fancy way of saying that fennel produces certain chemicals in the soil that are great for the fennel, but which will stunt the growth or even kill plants like your pole beans. There are other invasive plants, such as walnut trees that can do something similar, but in any case as a companion for pole beans fennel might just be the worst!

2. Garlic

Garlic being harvested
Garlic being harvested

If you plant pole beans with garlic, the garlic will love the extra burst of nitrogen that it gets from the soil, but your beans will probably not grow very well. That’s because garlic has some chemicals of its own that it adds to the soil and while this is beneficial for some plants, pole beans are definitely not one of them. It’s best to simply keep these two apart.

3. Beets

Beets in organic garden
Beets in organic garden

On the flipside, pole beans can stunt the growth of your beets if you plant them together. On the bright side, other beans will be a fine option – bush beans, butter beans, and soybeans will grow up happy and strong with beets as neighbors, but sadly this won’t work with pole beans and you’ll end up with lousy, stunted beets for your trouble.

4. Cabbage

Cabbage growing in field
Cabbage growing in field

While you can grow bush beans with cabbage and the brassica will benefit from the occasional shade, pole beans aren’t recommended. That’s because while they will provide shade, much like the bush beans, they tend to provide TOO MUCH. As such, your cabbage will lose out on a lot of sunlight if you aren’t careful, so it’s better to go with bush beans as a companion and pair something else with your pole beans.

5. Gladioli flowers

Pink Gladioli Flower in full bloom
Pink Gladioli Flower in full bloom

While Gladioli flowers are pretty (and also quite poisonous), most gardeners are going to recommend that you keep them away from legumes in general. While not fully understood, the Gladioli plants seem to secrete something into the soil that stunts the growth of beans, peas, and is also said to affect strawberries. As such, it’s best to put your gladioli plants in their own plot, or at least far away from your pole beans.


It’s almost time to go, but before we leave we would like to share some frequently asked questions on companion planting with pole beans that we think you’ll find most useful. We’ll keep it short and sweet and once we’re done, then we’ll wrap things up and you’ll be ready to strategize your own companion planting.

Without further ado, here are those questions and their answers!

What are some more bad companion plants for pole beans?

Pole beans growing up stakes in a garden

Some other bad companion planting options for pole beans include allium plants, peppers, wormwood, and Walnut trees With Alliums, this pairing tends to stunt the growth of your pole beans and with peppers, it’s a bit contested – some say you can grow them together, while others believe that the aggressive pole beans may spread and choke out your pepper plants.

As far as walnut trees, many of these secrete a compound called juglone, which is toxic to pole beans and many other plants. As such, it’s best to keep them far away from your pole beans!

Are there other good companion plants for pole beans?

Pole beans being grown in clay pot

There are quite a few other good options for planting with your pole beans, such as brussels sprouts, collard greens, clover, and carrots, just to name a few. The best thing to do is simply to Google pole beans and the name of the plant that you are considering and to spend a few minutes comparing the results.

As long as you check a few different sources, you can get fairly useful information that will save you from potential pitfalls from a less-than-propitious pairing with your pole beans.

Can I really plant tomatoes and pole beans on the same trellis?

Blossoming pole beans growing up tree

Yes, actually, and this is a neat little companion planting trick that looks pretty sharp in the garden. You’ll need to establish your tomatoes first on the trellis and when they’ve got a good hold of it, you can plant the pole beans on the other side. It’s a tight fit, but these two will generally get along quite well and the nitrogen spike from your pole beans will be very good for both plants!

Some closing words

In today’s article we’ve explored some of the best and worst companion plants for pole beans. You’ve definitely got a lot of good options, so at this point you’ll want to pick a favorite that has some perks you really like and give it a go in your own garden.

Just remember to avoid any ‘pitfall plants’, such as garlic or other alliums, gladioli flowers, cabbage, and most definitely fennel – it REALLY won’t play well with your pole beans. Provided that you pick a good companion and take good care of both plants, you’ll get a great firsthand experience of what companion planting can really do for you!

Thanks so much for reading today and we hope to see you again soon!