Pest Guides

What to Plant with Cabbage to Keep Bugs Away

Pest Guides 1

Cabbage is a popular and nutritious vegetable that many gardeners enjoy growing. However, like many plants, cabbage can attract a variety of pests that can damage or even destroy your crop. One effective and natural way to protect your cabbage from these pests is through companion planting, a method where you plant certain plants near each other for mutual benefit. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best companion plants for cabbage to keep bugs away.


To keep bugs away from your cabbage, plant companion plants like Marigolds, Sage, Rosemary, Yarrow, Dill, Celery, Onions, Garlic, aromatic herbs like Thyme, Chamomile, Beets, and Turnips. These plants are known to deter common cabbage pests and attract beneficial insects, thus protecting your cabbage plants from damage.

The Power of Companion Planting

Companion planting is a time-tested gardening technique that utilizes the natural symbiotic relationships between plants. Some plants are particularly beneficial when planted together because they help each other grow, enhance each other’s flavor, or protect each other from pests. In the case of cabbage, there are several plants that can help deter common pests.

The Most Effective Companion Plants for Cabbage

Here’s a list of the most effective companion plants for cabbage:

  1. Marigolds: These flowers are known to deter insect pests and attract beneficial insects.
  2. Sage: This herb repels cabbage moths, flea beetles, and carrot flies.
  3. Rosemary: Rosemary protects against cabbage moths and other pests.
  4. Yarrow and Dill: Both plants repel cabbage moths and attract lacewings, beneficial insects that prey on common garden pests.
  5. Celery: Celery helps deter cabbage moths.
  6. Onions: Onions repel cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and aphids.
  7. Garlic: Garlic repels cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and cabbage maggots.
  8. Aromatic herbs like Thyme: These herbs help deter and repel common cabbage pests.
  9. Chamomile: Chamomile not only enhances the flavor of cabbage but also repels insect invaders.
  10. Beets and Turnips: These root vegetables help attract beneficial insects and repel unwanted pests.

By planting these companion plants near your cabbage, you can effectively reduce the number of pests in your garden and protect your cabbage plants from damage.

How to Arrange Companion Plants for Maximum Effectiveness

To arrange companion plants effectively around cabbages, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Plant alliums, such as onions and garlic, near cabbages to repel pests like aphids, slugs, deer, and cabbage loopers.
  2. Grow peas, beans, and other legumes near cabbages, as they are cool-season crops and can help fix nitrogen in the soil.
  3. Plant marigolds around the base of cabbage plants to repel pests like aphids and cabbage moths.
  4. Intersperse aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage among cabbages to deter pests.
  5. Plant root vegetables like carrots, beets, and parsnips near cabbages, as they help unearth nutrients from the soil and feed them to plants with more shallow roots.
  6. Grow celery near cabbages to deter cabbage moths.

Remember that not all companion plants need to be directly interplanted in close proximity to cabbages to offer the same effectiveness. Many of these plants can be planted along the edge of the garden plot or placed in the garden in containers without diminishing their pest control superpowers. Avoid planting peppers and corn near cabbages, as they do not thrive well together.

Other Pest Control Methods

Companion planting is an effective pest control method, but it can be complemented with other techniques to maximize protection. These other methods include biological control, cultural practices, physical barriers, traps and lures, organic pesticides, plant diversity, and attracting beneficial insects. Remember, an integrated approach to pest management combining multiple methods is often the most effective way to control pests in your garden.

In conclusion, companion planting is a beneficial and natural method to keep bugs away from your cabbage. It’s a technique that not only protects your plants but also enhances the health and productivity of your garden. By carefully selecting and arranging companion plants, you can ensure a bountiful and pest-free harvest. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

What other plants should I avoid planting near cabbages?

Apart from peppers and corn, other plants you should avoid planting near cabbages include strawberries and tomatoes. These plants are not compatible with cabbages and may inhibit each other’s growth.

How far apart should I plant my companion plants from my cabbages?

The distance between companion plants and cabbages can vary, but a general rule of thumb is to allow at least 18 inches between each plant. This gives each plant enough room to grow without competing for nutrients and water.

Can I use these companion plants with other members of the cabbage family?

Yes, these companion plants can also be beneficial for other members of the cabbage family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

I have a small garden. Can I still use companion planting?

Absolutely! Even in a small garden, you can use companion planting by carefully planning your garden layout. You can also use containers to plant your companions if you’re short on space.

How quickly can I expect to see results from companion planting?

The effects of companion planting can take a few weeks to become evident. As the plants grow and establish themselves, they’ll begin to produce the protective effects that deter pests.

Is it possible to use too many companion plants?

While diversity is beneficial in a garden, overdoing it can lead to competition for resources. It’s important to strike a balance and ensure each plant has enough space, nutrients, and water to grow well.

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