Companion Planting

20 Onion Companion Plants for Organic Gardens

Source : a-z-animals

In organic gardening, finding natural and effective ways to ward off pests and promote plant growth is essential.

One such method is companion planting, where certain plants are strategically placed alongside each other to provide mutual benefits. When it comes to onions, choosing the right companions can be particularly advantageous. Not only can they help deter pests that commonly affect onions, but they can also enhance their flavor and overall health.

In this article, we will explore some of the best onion companion plants that organic gardeners can utilize to maximize their harvest and create a thriving, sustainable garden.

1. Garlic

Source : homefortheharvest

Garlic is considered an ideal companion plant for onions because garlic helps deter pests and repels insects such as aphids, onion flies, and Japanese beetles, thus protecting the onion crop from potential damage. Additionally, growing garlic acts as a natural fungicide, suppressing fungal diseases that commonly affect onions.

Moreover, planting garlic alongside onions can help mask the onion scent, making it harder for pests to locate the crop. Lastly, both plants have similar growth requirements, allowing them to thrive together and maximize the available space in the garden.

2. Leeks

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Onions and leeks are excellent companion plants due to their similar climate preferences, soil preferences, and nutrition requirements. Both vegetables thrive in cool weather and prefer similar temperature ranges, making them compatible planting companions.

They also have similar soil preferences, requiring well-draining, fertile soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. Additionally, both onions and leeks are heavy feeders, benefiting from nitrogen-rich soil. By planting them together, they can share resources efficiently, maximize space utilization, and promote healthy growth.

3. Carrots

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Onions and carrots have similar climate preferences, both preferring cool weather and full sun, making them excellent companion plants to grow together. In terms of soil preference, carrots prefer loose, well-drained soil, while onions can tolerate a wider range of soil types but also thrive in well-drained soil. 

Additionally, they have different nutrition requirements, with onions needing more nitrogen and carrots needing more phosphorus. This makes them compatible as they do not compete for the same nutrients. Overall, planting onions and carrots together can result in healthier plants and higher yields.

4. Parsnips

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Parsnips make excellent companion plants for onions as they have a deep root system that helps break up the soil, allowing onions to penetrate and grow more easily. Additionally, parsnips attract beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which help control pests that can damage onions.

Both plants prefer a cool climate, but parsnips tolerate colder temperatures better than onions. In terms of soil preference, onions prefer well-drained soil, while parsnips thrive in looser, sandy soil. Both plants have similar nutrition requirements, making it convenient to fertilize them together.

5. Beets

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Onions and beets are one of the most perfect duo to grow together as both plants thrive in similar climate conditions, preferring cool weather and full sun. They also have similar soil preferences, as both onions and beets prefer well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.

In terms of nutrition requirements, onions and beets have different needs, with onions requiring a higher nitrogen content and beets requiring more phosphorus and potassium. This difference in nutrient requirements allows them to complement each other when planted together, as they won't be competing for the same nutrients in the soil.

6. Radishes

Source : homesteadandchill

Radishes make excellent companion plants for onions due to their numerous advantages. Firstly, radishes help deter pests such as onion flies and nematodes, which can harm the onion crop. Additionally, radishes mature quickly, providing a quick harvest and making efficient use of garden space.

Both radishes and onions prefer cool weather, making them suitable for spring or fall planting. They both thrive in well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. Moreover, radishes have low nutrient requirements, allowing them to grow alongside onions without competing for nutrients.

7. Potatoes

Source : treehugger

Onions and potatoes make excellent companions not just in delicious dishes but also in the garden. They both prefer a similar climate, thriving in cool to moderate temperatures. Onions are effective at deterring pests that commonly affect potatoes, like the Colorado potato beetle. Likewise, it is easy to grow potatoes with onions.

Additionally, they have compatible soil preferences, requiring well-drained, loose soil. While potatoes need a bit more nitrogen, onions have a lower demand for this nutrient, allowing them to share the soil harmoniously. This companionship helps optimize garden space and can lead to healthier, more productive crops of both vegetables when planted together.

8. Broccoli

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Broccoli and onions benefit each other as broccoli's tall and leafy growth acts as a natural shade for onions, protecting them from excessive sunlight and preventing weed growth, making them great neighbors. Moreover, onions repel pests like aphids and maggots, which are common broccoli enemies.

In terms of climate preference, both plants thrive in cool seasons and require similar soil conditions, including well-drained soil with a pH level of 6-7. Additionally, they have similar nutrition requirements, making it convenient to fertilize and manage their nutrient intake simultaneously.

9. Cabbages

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Onions and cabbages go along comfortably due to their similar climate preferences, soil preferences, and nutrition requirements. Both crops prefer cool weather and can tolerate frost, making them suitable to grow together in many regions. They also prefer well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8.

Additionally, both onions and cabbages have similar nutrient needs, requiring adequate levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. By planting them together, they can benefit from shared resources and help deter pests that might affect one crop but not the other, ultimately promoting healthier growth for both plants.

10. Cauliflower

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Cauliflower is an excellent companion plant for onions because cauliflower plants provide a natural shade for onions, protecting them from excessive sunlight and heat. Additionally, cauliflower releases compounds that repel pests harmful to onions, reducing the risk of infestations.

Both plants thrive in similar climates, preferring cool temperatures and moderate sunlight. They also have similar soil preferences, requiring well-drained, fertile soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Furthermore, cauliflower and onions have complementary nutrition requirements, ensuring efficient nutrient utilization and growth when planted together.

11. Kale

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Kale and onions make a dynamic duo in the garden, creating a synergy that benefits both plants. Kale acts as a natural pest deterrent for onions, protecting them from insects and pests. Additionally, the leafy structure of kale provides shade for the onion bulbs, preventing them from overheating and reducing the risk of bolting.

Both kale and onions thrive in cool climates, preferring temperatures between 45-75°F (7-24°C). They also share similar soil preferences, requiring well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Furthermore, kale and onions have comparable nutrition requirements, benefiting from a balanced fertilizer application to promote healthy growth and high yields.

12. Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are a great companion plant for onions due to their complementary growth habits and pest-repelling properties. Onions have a shallow root system while tomatoes have a deeper one, allowing them to utilize different soil depths efficiently.

This reduces competition for nutrients and water between the two plants. Moreover, growing tomatoes produces a chemical called solanine that repels pests like aphids, which are a common problem for onions. Additionally, the tall, bushy foliage of tomatoes can provide shade for the onion plants, helping to keep the soil cool and moist.

13. Pepper

Source : easytogrowbulbs

Pepper and onions are one of the most dynamic duos of the vegetable gardens. Pepper plants have natural pest-repelling properties due to the compound called capsaicin found in their fruits. Capsaicin acts as a natural insecticide, deterring pests like aphids, spider mites, and onion flies, which can commonly affect onion plants.

Pepper plants can also help suppress the growth of weeds around the onion plants allowing the onions to thrive without being choked by unwanted plants. The presence of peppers can help reduce the risk of these diseases as they have natural antifungal properties.

14. Eggplant

Source : growjoy

Eggplants and onions have different growth habits, which allows them to utilize the available space efficiently making them buddies in the vegetable garden. Interplanting onions and eggplants, the strong aroma and natural pest-repelling properties of onions can help deter these harmful insects and protect the eggplants from infestation.

Eggplants have large, broad leaves that can shade the soil beneath them, preventing weed growth and reducing competition for nutrients and water. This can be beneficial for onions, which have a shallow root system and can be easily outcompeted by weeds.

15. Spinach

Source : com

Onions and spinach, like two peas in a gardening pod, make the perfect companions in the vegetable kingdom. These green superheroes thrive in slightly different climates, making them a dynamic duo. Onions prefer cool temperatures, while spinach craves mild warmth, allowing them to peacefully coexist.

Moreover, their soil preferences complement each other flawlessly. Onions adore well-drained soil, while spinach prefers a moisture-rich bed. When it comes to nutrition, onions are heavy feeders, gulping up nitrogen, whereas spinach craves phosphorus and potassium. Together, they create a harmonious balance, enriching the soil with their diverse appetites.

16. Lettuce

Source : homesteadandchill

Onions and Lettuce benefit one another when planted together in the garden. Onions have a pungent aroma that can help deter pests that often trouble lettuce, such as aphids and slugs. Additionally, the strong scent of onions can confuse and repel carrot flies, which are harmful to carrots but also affect lettuce. 

Lettuce, on the other hand, provides a beneficial ground cover for onions, helping to shade their roots and conserve soil moisture. This partnership is a practical and harmonious one, where the lettuce and onions work together to protect and support each other, resulting in healthier and more robust crops.

17. Mustard Greens

Source : treehugger

Onions and Mustard Greens have similar climate preferences, soil preferences, and nutrition requirements making them excellent companion plants to grow together. Both plants thrive in similar climate conditions, preferring cool to moderate temperatures. They also have similar soil preferences, requiring well-drained, fertile soil.

In terms of nutrition requirements, onions and mustard greens have different needs, with onions being heavy feeders and mustard greens requiring moderate feeding. This complementarity allows them to coexist without competing for nutrients, making them suitable companions in a garden.

18. Parsley

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Parsley is a very good companion plant for onion when planted together. Parsley attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which help control pests that commonly attack onions. Additionally, parsley's strong scent repels onion flies, a common pest for onions.

Both parsley and onions prefer a similar climate, with cool to mild temperatures and full sunlight. They also thrive in well-drained, fertile soil, although parsley prefers slightly more moisture. Both plants have moderate nutrition requirements, making them compatible for planting together.

19. Dill

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Onions and dill are compatible companion plants in the garden. Onions have a strong scent that can deter pests like aphids, which often trouble dill. Dill, on the other hand, provides shade for the onion bulbs, helping to keep the soil around them cooler and moist.

These two plants have relatively similar growing requirements, with both preferring well-drained soil and full sun. Together, they create a mutually beneficial environment in the garden, where onions protect dill from pests, and dill supports the growth of flavorful, healthy onions. It's a harmonious partnership that enhances the vitality and flavor of both plants.

20. Cucumbers

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Onions and Cucumbers not only make a great salad together but they also go really well in the garden with one another. Both vegetables thrive in full sun and warm temperatures, making them compatible for planting together. Additionally, they prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

In terms of nutrition, onions are heavy feeders and require high nitrogen levels, while cucumbers have moderate nutrient needs. This combination allows for efficient use of fertilizers, as onions can provide nitrogen for both crops. Overall, these factors contribute to a harmonious coexistence and mutual benefits for onion and cucumber plants when grown together.