There are 43 Companion Plants For Spinach in this list including varieties of alliums, brassicas, cucubrids, as well as 7 plants you should avoid.
Spinach is a flowering plant that belongs to the biological family Amaranthaceae, also known as the amaranth family. Its leaves are either cooked or eaten raw, with or without being preserved and stored, as salad vegetables.
About 91.4% of raw spinach leaves is water, 3.6% is made up of carbohydrates, 2.9% protein and their fat content is very little. They contain several vitamins and minerals which make them very useful and healthy for human consumption.
Spinach supplies vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (folate), C, E and K, and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc to the body.
Table of Contents
Like many other leafy green vegetables, spinach is a superfood: it provides several nutrients and is good for bodily health. It can help prevent cancer, reduce blood sugar levels, improve bone health, aid weight loss, support cardiac health, maintain proper eyesight and keep the body relaxed.
For the best results when planting this vegetable, grow it in a spot where it will receive full sun or under partial shade. The soil should be rich in organic matter, fertile and well drained but moisture retentive.
It is best to grow spinach in a cool environment as heat and drought make it flower prematurely (this is called bolting). It needs to be watered regularly without its soil being left soggy. The soil should have a fairly neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
Spinaches are prone to pest infestation and diseases. They may be attacked by aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, slugs, caterpillars, spider mites, leaf miners, cutworms, thrips, armyworms, weevils, click beetles, whiteflies and others.
There are however several other crops which may be planted with them in your garden to encourage their growth, help keep pests away, attract useful insects, replenish soil nutrients and provide ground cover or shade from sunlight.
Such grouping for the purpose of sharing benefits is called companion planting. It is a tried and true method, ensuring for years that crops are grown with some other crops that help them grow healthy.
In this article, you will learn about forty-three (43) good companion plants and seven (7) bad companion plants for spinach in your garden. Also explained below are reasons why they are or are not ideal beside your plant.
Good Companion Plants for Spinach
Chives are flowering plants in the genus Allium, to which some other aromatic plants like garlic, onions and shallots also belong. They are cultivated for the edible leaves and flowers they produce, which are then used to season food.
They are good companions for spinach in the garden as they are very effective at controlling pests. They contain sulfur that help control both pests and diseases. Their purple-pink flowers also attract insects for pollination and pest control. Use a physical barrier in the soil to avoid competition.
This is another plant in the genus Allium. The flowering plant has a pungent bulb divided into cloves which is used to season food or make an oil sprayed to deter pests. Garlic is a very good companion plant for spinach.
Like other alliums, it contains sulfur, which can prevent the infestation of pests, fungal diseases and bacterial infections. Also, garlic is said to improve the flavor of spinach and other garden crops if they are grown side by side.
The leek is another flowering plant within the genus Allium. It possesses a large and slender white bulb and flat dark green leaves that overlap. Like other pungent members of its family, it is used in cooking.
Leeks can help repel some natural predators of spinach. Their sulfur makes them pungent, with a strong, sharp and stinging taste that deer, insects and rodents hate. The flowers of leek plants also attract pollinators to foster reproduction in other plants.
An onion is a flowering plant in the genus Allium with bluish green leaves and a bulb at its base. This bulb is made up of shortened underground stems and fleshy modified leaves. Onion is the most widely cultivated vegetable in its genus.
Onions are able to deter several pests because of their sulfur content. The roots of onion plants also break up tough clumps of soil to ensure that there is space to grow in the soil. Be cautious when growing these two together to avoid spinach leaves blocking your onions from receiving sunlight.
Scallions or green onions are a species in the genus Allium. They are typically milder in taste than other alliums and lack a fully developed bulb. Their hollow, tubular leaves are eaten cooked or raw as a vegetable.
Like other members of their genus, scallions aid pest control, they may improve the flavor of spinach and the other plants around them, and they attract various useful animals like pest predators and pollinators.
Arugula, also known as rocket, colewort or roquette, is an edible annual crop in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. It is cultivated as a leaf vegetable and used in salads for its fresh, peppery and bitter flavor. It is a good companion for spinach.
This is because both plants are very different. Brassicas and spinaches grow to different levels within the soil. As a result, the deep arugula does not compete for nutrients with the shallow spinach. It also releases biotoxins to act against soil borne pathogens and pests.
Beets are flowering brassicas that produce an edible and usually deep red taproot known as beetroot. The leaves of the plants, known as beet greens, may be eaten as vegetables. They are good companion plants for spinach.
Like arugula, beets do not compete with spinach for nutrients and root space. Beets also take longer to mature so your spinach can grow and be harvested before the beets need space. This maximizes your garden, and both plants attract pollinators with their flowers.
8. Bok Choy
Also referred to as pak choi or pok choi, bok choy is a variety of Chinese cabbage used for food. This type does not form heads, unlike the common cabbage. Instead, its green leaf blades fade to a lighter bulb shaped bottom.
Bok choy has shallow roots but it grows comfortably next to spinach. Both plants have similar growth needs. You can maximize the space in and potential of your garden by growing bok choy and spinach together.
Broccoli is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, the cabbage family. It has large, partly developed green flowers that make up its head, stalks and leaves which are the edible parts of the plant and the main reason it is cultivated.
Brassicas in general tend to be suitable companion plants for spinach. Broccoli in particular can shade spinach from being scorched by the sun while also maximizing garden space. It is a flowering plant too so its flowers ensure pollinators are present in your garden.
10. Brussels Sprouts
Another brassica that serves as a good companion for your spinach is Brussels sprout. Brussels sprouts are flowering plants in the cabbage family grown for their edible buds. They are green leafy vegetables resembling very small cabbages.
Brussels sprouts fix nitrogen in the soil, replenishing nutrients and fostering the health of spinach. Plants in the cabbage are generally heavy feeding crops. Spinach requires less nutrients so adequate spacing ensures that competition does not arise.
The cabbage is yet another good companion plant for spinach. Cabbage is a flowering biennial plant mostly grown as a vegetable crop for its edible and tightly packed leaves. Leaves are layered and may be white, red or green.
Cabbage provides spinach with nitrogen for optimal growth and also releases biotoxins that work against several soil borne pathogens (bacteria, nematodes, fungi and weeds). It provides ground cover to control erosion and the growth or spread of weeds.
Cauliflower is another flowering plant in the Brassicaceae family, cultivated for its partially developed flowers, referred to as the head or “curd”. The head is edible and mostly in the colors white, yellow, green, orange, brown or purple.
In addition to providing nitrogen for nearby plants and releasing biotoxins, cauliflower may be planted near your spinach to maximize garden space and potential. Spinach will mature and be harvested before cauliflower needs more space to grow larger.
Another brassica that serves as a good companion plant for spinach is kale. Kale, also called leaf cabbage, is a flowering plant with edible green or purple leaves that do not form a central head. Its leaves may be eaten or ornamental.
You can maximize the space within your garden by growing kale and spinach together. While spinach is more compact and fast growing, kale needs more space and grows at a slower pace. They do not belong to the same family and this avoids competition.
14. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are also called brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard or vegetable mustard. They are the edible leaves of the mustard plant which belongs to the cabbage family Brassicaceae.
They grow to a different soil level than your spinach does so competition will not be observed. Mustard greens belong to this family of plants that can aid their companions with sourcing for nitrogen. They also release biotoxins into the soil to check pest and pathogen activities.
A radish is a root vegetable also belonging to the biological family Brassicaceae, the cabbage family. Its roots are edible and so are the leafy greens atop them. They may be eaten raw, which they mostly are, or cooked.
They do not compete because spinach has shallow roots. Also, spinach serves as a good ground cover, filling holes and spaces within your garden. This maximizes the potential and space of the garden.
Spinach helps with weed control within the area and provides some shade during the hotter parts of the day. Both plants mature quickly.
A turnip or white turnip is a flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. This root vegetable is commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its edible, white and fleshy taproot which may be eaten raw or cooked.
Turnips are good companion plants for spinach. They are able to keep some pests away from your garden and control some diseases by releasing biotoxins into the soil. They are also able to capture nitrogen from the soil after harvest.
It is however not advisable to plant several brassicas in one area of your garden. Planting them together attracts similar insects and pests, and it drains the soil of nutrients since most are heavy feeders.
Cantaloupe is also known as rockmelon, spansek or sweet melon. It is a variety of a species known as muskmelon within the cucurbit or gourd family Cucurbitaceae. It is a summer fruit that comes in several sizes and weights.
Although this is a good companion plant for spinach, be mindful when growing them side by side to ensure that the melon plant’s vines don’t crowd out or choke your spinach. Cantaloupes and spinaches do not compete for nutrients. Spinach can also help suppress weed growth around.
The cucumber plant is a creeping vine in the cucurbit family that bears cylindrical fruits which are used as vegetables for culinary purposes or eaten raw. It is one of the cucurbits that serve as good companion plants for spinach.
When the vines of this plant are placed on a trellis and not allowed to sprawl along the ground, it can shield your spinach from excessive sunlight. This also maximizes garden space, as the less compact spinaches can discourage and diminish the growth of weeds around the area.
The vining plant called zucchini is also referred to as baby marrow or courgette. It is a summer squash, a herb grown for its fruits which are harvested when they still have immature seeds and soft rinds that are edible.
Zucchini and spinach thrive in similar conditions so zucchini is a good companion plant for spinach. Zucchini plants are large so they can shade spinaches from excessive sunlight in hotter climates or weather. As a flowering plant, zucchini can use its flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
Alyssum is a plant with a sweet scent likened to that of honey. Its beautiful and small flowers are brightly colored, usually in any shade of white, cream, pink or light purple. It is a good companion plant for your spinach.
Through its flowers, this plant draws beneficial insects to your plant while also keeping the harmful ones away. The useful insects include pollinators to aid reproduction and predators of many garden pests. The plant is alsoa very aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden.
Also known as starflower, borage is an annual herbaceous flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. It has complete flowers with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. These are predominantly blue but also occur in white and pink.
Borage is a good companion plant for spinach. In addition to its stunning blue flowers attracting beneficial insects, the plant’s scent also keeps deer and pests away from your spinach. Borage improves the health of spinach also as it makes soil nutrients available to the vegetable.
A calendula plant is any of the 15 to 20 species of annual and perennial flowering plants within the genus Calendula. They are members of the daisy family Asteraceae serve as good companion plants for spinach.
Calendula plants, also known as pot marigolds, bear fragrant and beautiful orange flowers that are very astonishing and attractive so they draw in a number of pollinators for the benefit of other plants.
For spinach however, calendula plants help deter pests. They repel rabbits and several rodents, while also keeping aphids, flea beetles and other insects from destroying your spinach.
Marigolds are mostly herbaceous flowering annual or perennial plants which belong to the daisy family Asteraceae. They, especially French marigolds, are good companion plants for spinach.
These plants are known for their ability to repel pests like aphids and rabbits, even as they repel nematodes that cause root knot. Marigolds haave bold and beautiful gold, orange, white or yellow flowers that attract certain helpful insects and a scent that keeps several insect and animal pests away.
Also known as tropaeolum, nasturtium is a genus of plants that contains several creeping herbaceous plants which may be annual or perennial. These plants have showy round flowers and may be used in herbal medicine or cooking.
Nasturtium is another very good companion plant for spinach. Its presence ensures a reduction in the attack of pests on your spinach. This is because while nasturtiums repel some pests, they attract some and serve as a trap cop. They also attracts useful insects to your garden.
Tansy is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the aster family Asteraceae. This aromatic plant is native to Eurasia, characteristically having yellow button-like flower heads and leaves which have a bitter taste. It may be used medicinally.
The flowers and leaves of tansy can both deter pests and bring useful insects to the area. Tansy can control pests like ants, aphids, bugs and flies and squash bugs. It does so by attracting predators of these pests. These include minute pirate bugs, hoverflies, lacewings and parasitoid wasps.
Also known as old man’s pepper, sanguinary, devil’s nettle, soldier’s woundwort or common yarrow, yarrow is a flowering herb in the aster or daisy family Asteraceae. It has a sweet scent and its flowers may be white, yellow, pink or red.
This plant is another good companion plant for your spinach. Its flowers attract pollinators (bees, beetles, butterflies) and predatory insects like braconid wasps, chalcid wasps, damsel bugs, green lacewings, hoverflies, ladybugs, pirate bugs, parasitoid wasps and robber flies.
Basil is a herbaceous flowering herb belonging to the mint family Lamiaceae. Also referred to as great basil, it has a sweet, spicy and slightly peppery flavor. It is cultivated for its leaves and flowers that are used for food in several cuisines.
This plant can keep pests and rodents away from spinaches while attracting beneficial insects like pollinators for other plants around which need pollination and pest predators. Basil repels asparagus beetles, mosquitoes, carrot flies, worms, mice and rats.
Known also as Chinese parsley, coriander or dhania, cilantro is an annual flowering plant with edible plant parts. The fresh leaves and dried seeds of this aromatic herb are the parts most used for culinary purposes.
Cilantro is a good companion plant for spinach as it is said to improve the taste of spinach and other leafy vegetables. Also and very importantly, cilantro attracts pest predators to feed on insects that could attack your spinach. It helps maximize garden space and attracts pollinators to the area.
Widely grown in Europe and Asia, dill is an annual herb in the celery family cultivated for its leaves and seeds. These may be used as herbs or as a food seasoning. Dill is another example of a good companion plant for your spinach.
It draws pest predators and other beneficial insects to the area and has deep taproots that break up the soil, reducing the chances of weed growth. Dill is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow. Plant it a few weeks after your spinach so you can harvest the vegetable before the dill spreads.
Mint is a genus of about sixty aromatic herbaceous flowering plants in the biological family Lamiaceae, the mint family. Most plants in this genus are perennial, with several species, cultivars and hybrids, peppermint for example.
They are good companion plants for spinach. With their odor, they can protect your spinach from pests that would rather harm it. They also attract beneficial insects. Mints tend to take over any area in which they are planted so plant them in a separate container and place that beside your spinach.
Oregano is a woody perennial plant that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. It is a herbaceous flowering plant, which means that it is an aromatic plant with a strong odor and it produces flowers by which it reproduces.
This is a good companion plant for spinach. When in bloom, the beautiful pink, pinkish purple, purple or white flowers of oregano attract beneficial insects to your garden. It also has a strong, pungent smell that keeps pests away. Both plants are also comfortable in close proximity to each other.
Parsley, also less commonly called garden parsley, is a flowering plant cultivated widely across the world for use as a medicinal herb or in cooking as a vegetable. This aromatic plant belongs to the biological family Apiaceae, like carrots.
Although it is not the most aromatic plant, parsley can repel common garden pests and attract useful insects or animals to the area, like hoverflies, tachinid flies and beneficial wasps. This plant is fairly easy to grow and can help maximize the space in the garden.
Rosemary is a low, woody perennial plant with thin and needle-like leaves which are fragrant and evergreen. Its flowers may be blue, white, pink or purple. It is a herbaceous flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae.
This plant is a good companion for spinach. It produces an essential oil that repels different pests with its strong scent. This scent masks that of the spinach so that pests do not get drawn to and destroy them. The presence of rosemary is also believed to help improve the flavor and taste of nearby crops.
Beans are seeds of several genera of flowering plants that belong to the botanical family Fabaceae. The seeds are then boiled, fried, baked or cooked by some other method and used as vegetables for humans or animals to eat.
There are two kinds of beans: the more compact and low growing kind known as bush beans and the taller one called pole beans. Plant pole beans with spinach to protect it from excessive exposure to sunlight.
Legumes help fix nitrogen in the soil so beans improve the quality of the yield of the plants. Pole beans also provide good ground cover in your garden. This prevents the water loss (due to evaporation) and reduces the growth of weeds.
A pea plant is an annual herbaceous flowering plant in the biological family Fabaceae. Also known as garden pea, the plant is cultivated in various parts of the world for its edible seeds, peas, cooked as vegetables.
The plant is leguminous, meaning that it helps fix nitrogen in the soil, serves as a cover crop and may be used as mulch after it is grown. Peas aid the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates that other plants like your spinach can absorb and use.
Nitrogen aids growth in plants’ leaves which are important in photosynthesis. Peas also prevent erosion, conserve water in the soil, discourage the growth of weeds and stop the spread of pests and diseases. Mulching them after harvest releases more nitrogen into and protects the soil.
Eggplant, aubergine, or brinjal is a vining flowering plant in the nightshade family Solanaceae grown worldwide for its edible, spongy and mostly purple fruit. This fruit, also called eggplant, is used in various cuisines as a vegetable.
Because eggplants grow tall, they can provide shade for your spinach and maximize the space in your garden as a result. Spinach also serves as very good ground cover, suppressing weeds and reducing water loss from the soil.
Pepper plants are flowering plants of the nightshade family Solanaceae, like eggplants and tomatoes. There are several species and cultivars of pepper plants existing. They produce peppers of various colors like red, yellow, orange and green.
Peppers have deep taproots and are heavy feeders but they are good companion plants for spinach. Since the two of them grow to different soil levels and spinach is a more moderate feeder, they do not compete for nutrients or space.
The garden space will be maximized and peppers need low maintenance. Their flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. They also deter aphids, cabbage worms, deer, mites and rabbits.
A tomato plant is a South American plant of the nightshade family Solanaceae. It produces a widely grown mildly acidic edible fruit also known as tomato, with many varieties in red or yellow color. It is pulpy and may be eaten raw or cooked.
Tomatoes are tall growing plants which makes them good companions for spinach. Your spinach will thrive in their shade as long as adequate spacing is observed. Ensure that measures to control pests and diseases are put in place too.
Carrots are also good companion plants for spinach. They are edible root vegetables with typically orange taproots and green leaves at the top. Cultivars in white, yellow, red, purple and black also exist, with this root typically tapering.
These edible root veggies can enhance the flavor of crops around them. Growing them with spinach can also maximize the space in your garden. Carrots needs to be grown around pungent crops, like mint or rosemary, to protect them from carrot root flies.
Celery is a marshland plant grown to be consumed as a vegetable. Its leaves and stalks may be used in cooking but this depends on the variety and location of the plant. It is a very good companion plant for cabbage.
It has aromatic leaves that deter pests like the white cabbage moth while also attracting useful like lacewings, ladybugs, parasitoid wasps and other parasites of aphids. It attracts hummingbirds too and leaves enough nutrients in the soil for your cabbage.
Lettuce is a flowering annual plant mostly cultivated for its leaves, used as a leaf vegetable. It is most often eaten in salads but may be added into other foods. Plant leaf lettuce nearby as it is a good companion plant for spinach.
Although lettuce does not positively affect your spinach, they are both cool season crops that mature fast. They do not compete with each other for light or nutrients so they grow well together and complement each other.
Strawberries are good companion plants for rhubarbs in the garden. They are low perennial herbs with many runners and white flowers. They produce edible fruits that small achenes scattered on the surface of an expanded red pulpy berry.
Like spinach, strawberries grow low. Spinach also does not use up too many of the nutrients strawberries needs, and the plants do not attract similar pests to the area. Growing these two side by side can ensure you maximize the garden space.
Strawberries also add beneficial nutrients to the soil and can serve as a sort of fertilizer. They have been known to enhance the flavor and taste of nearby plants as well.
43. Swiss Chard
Known also as beet spinach, leaf beet, perpetual spinach, silver beet or Swiss chard, chard is a leafy green vegetable of the same species as beets. It is cultivated for its leaves and stalks which are usually cooked and eaten.
Swiss chard is one of the good companion plants for spinach. These plant are very compatible and growing them near each other is convenient. Swiss chard also loosens the soil around it, giving its companions more space to grow.
Bad Companion Plants for Spinach
Melons are the various plants of the family Cucurbitaceae, the gourd family to which squashes or gourds belong. These flowering plants produce sweet, edible, and fleshy fruit. Both the plants and their fruits are referred to as melons.
Most melon plants are bad companions for spinach because they can seriously fight for nutrients, sunlight and space. They especially struggle for sunlight, with their large leaves that can shade out your spinach. Without sunlight, spinaches have impaired growth.
The pumpkin is a coarse vining plant widely cultivated for the fruit it produces. This pumpkin fruit is a large pulpy round fruit with firm orange skin and numerous seeds. This plant is also in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.
Pumpkins are bad companion plants for spinach. They compete aggressively with your plant for sunlight, water, nutrients and space. They also can choke out spinach with its wide, sun-loving leaves.
Squashes are herbaceous vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family, the gourd family. This genus comprises many different species grown to be consumed as vegetables. They may be summer or winter squashes.
They also tend to take up a lot of space and require a lot of sunlight. Squashes are bad companion plants for your spinach so keep them away from each other. This saves your vegetable from dying off.
Corn or maize is a species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae or Gramineae. Its leafy stalk produces separate inflorescences known as ears. When fertilized, these ears yield fruits, which are the seeds.
This is another bad companion plant for spinach. Avoid planting corn and spinach together as these plants do not get along well with each other when planted in close proximity.
Fennel is a species of perennial flowering plants in the carrot family Apiaceae. The hardy plants are used as herbs. Their flowers are yellow and their leaves feathery. It is a very bad companion plant for spinach.
Fennel produces allelochemicals, which are biochemicals that affect the growth processes (like germination and reproduction) and survival of other organisms negatively or positively.
The allelochemicals that fennel produces make it undesirable for companionship with many other plants, like spinach, as they tend to have negative effects on and inhibit the growth of such crops.
Potatoes are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae, like zucchini and peppers. They are perennial plants grown as root vegetables. Unlike some other nightshades, potatoes are bad companion plants for spinach.
As root vegetables, their roots grow downwards and reach low depths. They also need relatively high levels of water for maximum growth. To avoid unnecessary harmful competition, do not plant these crops next to each other.
A sunflower is any species of annual and perennial plants that belong to the genus Helianthus in the family Asteraceae, the daisy family. They bear flowers which have large heads, dark disk florets and flamboyant yellow rays.
Unless you are growing dwarf varieties, do not plant sunflowers with your spinach in the garden. Sunflowers, like their name suggests, are sun-loving plants. The taller varieties can deprive your spinach of sunlight.
Infographic of Spinach Companions
What should you not plant next to spinach?
Some crops that you should not plant next to spinach are corn, fennel, melons, potatoes, pumpkins, squashes and sunflowers.
Does cucumber grow well with spinach?
Yes, cucumber grows well with spinach provided it is growing upwards on a trellis. It serves as a good companion plant to shield your leafy vegetables from excess sunlight.
Are kale and spinach good companion plants?
Yes, kale and spinach are good companion plants. Kale can work to ensure certain pests do not attack your spinach by releasing biotoxins into the soil.
Can marigolds be planted with spinach?
Yes, marigolds can be planted with spinach. They repel pests like aphids and nematodes, making them a beneficial companion plant.
Spinach is a flowering plant that belongs to the biological family Amaranthaceae, also known as the amaranth family. Listed and explained above are forty-three (43) good and seven (7) bad companion plants for spinach.
Spinaches are about 91.4% water, 3.6% carbohydrates, 2.9% protein and their fat content is very little. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Grow them in fertile soil with fairly neutral pH levels and underneath full sun or partial shade for the best results.
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