Eggplants are often known as aubergine too. They generally have a deep purple color. You might also find green or white varieties of them, but they are uncommon.
They do not have a specific size or shape. These plants can be thin, long, fat, or small, depending on their breed.
Eggplants are an excellent source of fiber and some other essential nutrients. They are part of the Mediterranean diet and are famous for having few calories.
Planting eggplants can be demanding. They need a huge water supply and extra nutrients apart from the ones they obtain from soil. This plant also requires a lot of sunlight to grow properly.
To your surprise, eggplants can highly benefit from companion plants. Some benefits include providing better soil nutrients, attracting pollinators, and keeping worms and insects away.
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What Is Eggplant?
Did you think that eggplants are those varieties of plants that can grow eggs? Well, jokes apart, eggplants are a prevalent variety of vegetables, which are highly enjoyed in not only Asian countries but even American and European countries. You will often notice that a plant is also referred to as brinjal and aubergine in various parts of the world.
The visual of this particular vegetable is that it is an elongated structure, usually purple. There are some instances when you can get an eggplant that is green in color; however, this usually happens during the winter season. Eggplants have seeds inside them, usually soft and spongy in texture. You will notice that it does not require much tending before cooking, and you can cook tasty dishes from it.
Companion Plants to Grow With Eggplant?
Here, we will talk about some plants that can be very good as eggplant companion planting. Let us quickly look at the list that describes 15 such plants.
You can always consider thyme as a good option for a companion plant. Thyme is known for having good marriages with anything you plant near it because it is a polygamous plant.
The specialty of thyme is that it is very active against worms. On top of that, it also helps in improving the smell of the other plants around it. Its effectiveness against aphids and garden moths is remarkable.
We can also use it to border certain nightshade plants, like the eggplant, as these plants attract worms very quickly. Thus, thyme can prove to be a good companion plant for eggplant as it will keep away the worms.
Peanuts are excellent as companion plants. They have unique kinds of roots with little mounds on them, which are known as root nodules. These root nodules are called nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
They can trap atmospheric nitrogen and make it available for the eggplant. Thus, peanuts and eggplants have a perfect relationship.
The trapping of nitrogen is helpful in two ways. Firstly, nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the plant. Secondly, eggplant is a consumer. It demands every nutrient it can get from the soil.
Bean is a type of plant that will improve the performance of your eggplant. Planting your eggplant amidst beans can prove to be a boon for you. It will save your eggplant from the attacks of the Colorado potato beetle.
Colorado potato beetles prefer eggplants over anything. It’s like they get a treat when they see eggplant. But they do not like beans. Thus, beans make eggplant safe.
Beans also have the quality of trapping atmosphere nitrogen and making it available for other plants to use. It is a genuine benefit for the progressive growth of eggplant.
Legumes leave a rich residue in the soil after being harvested. So if you plant your eggplant after the harvest of beans, it is too good. The best type of beans to grow as companion plants is green beans.
Catnip is a minty herb. This herb contains an essential oil known as nepetalactone to repel flea beetles.
Flea beetles are one of the greatest enemies of eggplants. So, it would help if you planted eggplants and catnip together to keep it safe from the destruction caused by the pests.
But you can face little difficulty over here. Catnips acts like magnets to cats. So if you have cats in your locality or your neighborhood, you can find them visiting your garden all the time.
That is not a very good sign, as cats can destroy your plants.
Bonus Read: 5 Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard
It is a type of edible vegetable which is known all over the world for its flavor. It is a fast-growing crop and serves multiple purposes.
Radish is a good choice for companion plants as it can trap insect pests easily. They divert the attention of flea beetles to themselves to keep them away from your eggplant. Isn’t this good for your eggplant?
Although you should plant them at a bit of distance from your eggplant because sometimes beetles might go out of control and can attack all the plants in the garden, this will be a problem for you.
As far as companion planting is concerned, redroot pigweed is a fantastic choice. It is capable of loosening the soil and thus making it easier for other roots to settle in quickly. This quality of pigweed makes it best for a companion plant.
It also carries essential nutrients from deep entrenches of soil where fewer deep roots cannot reach. It can also make your eggplant more resistant to pest attacks.
But pigweed strongly attracts rabbits. So if you have rabbits near your garden, it might be best for you to avoid this type of companion plant for your eggplant.
You already know that herbs are widespread companion plants because they can easily repel insects. One of such herbs is dill. It is famous in some parts of Asia and used by chefs to make spices.
When you plant dill as a companion plant with your eggplant, it attracts valuable insects like bees that help pollinate. Dill can also help in keeping aphids away from your eggplants.
Another good thing about dill is that it can improve the taste of other vegetables planted around it. Thus, choosing dill as a companion plant can be a good idea.
Bonus Read: 15 Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners
Spinach is a leafy plant cultivated worldwide because of its richness in many nutrients. It has proven to be an essential source of vitamins and minerals.
If we plant spinach and eggplant together, both the plants can benefit from each other greatly. Both the plants can co-exist even without causing any discomfort to one another.
Spinach does not need a lot of sunlight to grow. Thus, it can benefit itself by using the eggplant’s shade.
It is a plant belonging to the family of cabbage. It is an excellent fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals source. It is a plant that does not require a lot of sunlight to grow. It prefers moderate temperature.
Thus, planting broccoli and eggplant together can be a match in heaven as it benefits both the plants. Broccoli can gain sun protection from the shade of the eggplant.
On the other hand, broccoli can ideally dig essential nutrients from the soil and make it available for eggplant. Your eggplant can take it from broccoli as it requires all the types of nutrients to grow.
Basil is an edible herb mainly used in making Italian seasonings. It can also effectively repel insects and keep your eggplant safe like other herbs.
Its strong smell is active against aphids and garden moths.
Sage is again one of the most popular herbs in India. It is edible and can ideally grow with the eggplant.
It has an aroma that can keep the insects away that bother your eggplant. Planting sage and eggplant together shall give you a mixed variety of herbs and your eggplant.
Marigolds can do more than decorate your garden. It can be a companion plant for your eggplant as it acts as a bug deterrent for a few vegetables in your garden.
It also attracts insects that help in pollination.
Another good companion for eggplant is peppers. I am sure you all know about pepper as the staple ingredient from your kitchen, but let me take you from the viewpoint of gardening.
Eggplant and Peppers need similar weather conditions to grow. Both the plants can grow relatively well when planted next to each other. Additionally, pepper improves the soil condition and benefits the eggplant.
The garden specialists won’t deny that peas are great companion plants. These are among the first crops grown during the spring season so that it is readily available to us in winters.
There are several varieties of peas, including English peas and snow peas. Planting them with your eggplant is a good idea because it has proven benefits for successful growth.
It is a vegetable belonging to the same species as cabbage or broccoli. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is widely known for its nutritional value.
It can be used as a companion plant as it deters insects like aphids and flea beetles. It can also keep your eggplant safe because it can keep the cabbage worms away.
Tomatoes make the best of friends with Eggplants. The two of them, including other nightshades, have the same growing requirements. Hence, tomatoes do not compete with eggplants for water, nutrients, and space, thus residing harmoniously.
Worst Companion Plants
If you follow companion planting rules, you will know that some plants cannot grow together. One of the primary reasons behind this is that the growth of one plant can inhibit the development of the other. In this discussion, some of the most common plants that you should never be growing with your eggplants are:
The first plant that you should not be growing close to your eggplant is none other than pumpkins. It is because many germs are attracted to pumpkins. You will notice that the pumpkins grow on plant structures, which is usually to ensure that germs do not destroy them.
If you plant the eggplant and the pumpkin together, there is a high chance that the insects will end up damaging the quality of the eggplant. As we have already mentioned, the latter is a very soft vegetable, and thus it would take little time for the insects to destroy it. Try to keep at least a few inches of a gap to promote the healthy growth of both plants.
The following variant of plant that you should most certainly not be growing next to your eggplants is none other than the melons. You must have noticed that both melons and pumpkins are enormous. Hence if you plant both of these together, one may crowd out the next. What happens next is that there needs to be more space for optimum growth, and they turn out to grow small.
Also, if you are growing melons and pumpkins on the same plant support, you will see a high chance of it snapping. It is because the weight of melons and pumpkins can be pretty heavy, making it impossible to carry them the same.
If we go by the rules of companion planting, the following variant of plant that you should not be placed next to your eggplant is none other than corn. It would be wrong to say that corn is exceptionally harmful to eggplants; however, corn plants have a particular characteristic that is difficult on the eggplant. The nature of corn is such that they take all the significant resources from the soil.
Consequently, you will notice that the eggplant will not be able to absorb any of the nutrients, and slowly it will start dying out. Even if the eggplant doesn’t die out, there is a high possibility that it will not be healthy, and this is because of the absence of nutrients. Try to make sure that you plant these quite a few feet away.
Some plants do not go well with other companions, and fennel is one of them. One of the significant disturbances a fennel plant will cause is that it will take up all the essential nutrients and leave your eggplant malnourished. Not only that, you will notice that such is the nature of a fennel plant that will attract a particular variant known as geraniums.
This geranium damages the plant, sometimes even eating up the entire plant. Eggplants are very susceptible to such damage, primarily because of the nature of the plant. Always make sure that you keep fennel away from your eggplant if you want a healthy plant.
You will notice that many other plants tend to benefit from its growth, such as the nature of the Kohlrabi plant. However, we can vouch that eggplant differs from one of them. One of the primary reasons behind this is that Kohlrabi attracts a particular insect known for infesting fruits and vegetables.
You are good to go if you can take care of the infection. But in most cases, it becomes difficult to notice, and hence it ends up causing much damage. It would be a safer decision not to plant Kohlrabi and eggplant together.
It is always better to plant the eggplants at least at a distance of 6 inches apart. One of the primary reasons behind this is that you will break the branches while harvesting the eggplants if they are more extensive. Even if the eggplants are small and compact, giving this much distance in between is very important.
If you can maintain your eggplants with optimum watering and the right kind of fertilization, then there are no doubts that they can last very long. In warm climates, you will notice that eggplants can live up to 4 to 5 years by producing healthy vegetables each season.
As per the standard variant, eggplants tend to go deep for a distance of about 2 feet. Try to make sure that you can water it in a way so that the roots are not deprived.
We suggest planting the eggplant directly into the soil if you can afford to do so and have the space. On the contrary, if you do not have such a white space, you can go for a pot with a depth of about 12 to 14 inches. It will help the eggplants to thrive over the years. If you notice the plant growing more than anticipated, you can replant it in a 20-inch pot. There are high chances of better growth of eggplants.
The ideal temperature to grow eggplant is not more than 30° C. If the temperature rises to 40 degrees, there are chances that it can cause a delay in the production of the fruits.
Companion plants are beneficial for your eggplant to grow. It promotes healthy growth and keeps insects away. Mostly, people prefer to plant herbs as companion plants because of their insect repelling properties. But it is best to choose companion plants that can mutually benefit each other and grow without any discomfort.