The bell pepper plant belongs to the Capsicum annuum family. It is commonly known as the pepper plant or capsicum. It a common domestic garden plant, grown mainly for its natural flavors. Different varieties of bell peppers have varying colors, ranging from yellow and orange to dark greens. Thus, they are often used in vegetable garden designing, i.e. for ornamental purposes like creating natural garden borders. You should have the fundamental knowledge about plants that can serve as effective companions for your bell peppers.
Common Bell Pepper Companion Plants
Buckwheat can be grown in the company of bell peppers in a controlled manner. The buckwheat garden cover should be much lesser than the pepper cover. Buckwheat is recommended because it offers an effective pest-control environment for bell peppers. Buckwheat encourages the growth of certain insects that feed upon the European Corn Borer, a major pepper pest.
You should consider companion plants that have a restricted vertical growth and don’t compete with peppers for soil moisture. Majoram and basil fill both these criteria. Basil is known to repel fruit flies and some varieties of garden beetles. Plants like onions and carrots can also be considered as they to add to the overall flavor of the peppers. Other plants that can be grown along with peppers include lovage, lettuce and spinach. Eggplants are a traditional companion plant for the common, green-colored peppers.
Companion Planting Tips
Consider the following unconventional but effective recommendations for giving your vegetable garden a distinct appearance:
Tip 1 - Flowerbeds
Bell peppers grown for ornamental purposes can be combined with some specific varieties of flowers. If you have an intense aphid problem, consider growing a short border of nasturtium or marigold flowers around the bell peppers. These flowers are natural aphid repellants and add to the overall presentation of a vegetable garden.
Tip 2 - Herbs
Herb gardens and pepper spreads complement each other aesthetically and in terms of sharing soil nutrition. You can combine bell peppers along with common herbs like catnip and sage. These herbs are undemanding in terms of watering. This makes them perfect companions for bell peppers, as the pepper plant tends to absorb lots of water.
Other herbs that can be used for this purpose include parsley, chives and oregano. Parsley helps to keep away common garden bugs that often attack pepper spreads. Young bell peppers demand a daily dose of bright sunlight. This makes chives and oregano the ideal companions, as their dwarf foliage won't block the sunlight. Further, even if oregano and chives are grown close to green peppers, their flavors don’t overpower the authentic pepper flavor.
Tip 3 - Plants to Avoid
Bell peppers shouldn't be grown in the company of plants like kohlrabi, fennel, beans and members of the Brassica family, like cabbage and broccoli. These plants tend to compete with peppers for soil nutrition. Apricot trees can be harmed if bell peppers are grown close to them. The pepper plant is perennially vulnerable to a typical type of fungus. Although, this fungus doesn't cause too much damage to the pepper, it can cause rotting in the apricot tree.
Mistakes to Avoid
You should be mindful of the following mistakes that are common to bell pepper companion planting:
Tomatoes are often grown in proximity of bell peppers for creating colorful, vegetable borders. However, tomatoes and peppers grown in close proximity create a thriving environment for the Colorado beetle. You should separate tomatoes and peppers at the ground level by growing lettuce between them.
Using Companion Herbs
If you are growing bell peppers in the company of herbs, don’t plant the herbs in the sunlit side of the garden. Although most garden herbs aren't very tall, they become substantially wide, often propagating in the form of dense clusters. This can create an unwanted shadow on young bell peppers. When using sage as a companion plant, ensure that the peppers don’t start intertwining with the sage. This is because the strong flavor of sage can camouflage the pepper’s original taste.