Companion Planting Strawberries

companion planting strawberriesCompanion planting has a long, storied history. Individuals have noted benefits (and drawbacks) when certain plant species are grown in close proximity to one another for hundreds of years, and many books have been written on the topic. Interestingly, the scientific causes of many of these relationships are not fully understood. But, the principles work and the beneficial symbiotic relationships can be measured among many types of plants.

The increased biodiversity is usually beneficial, but the planting of various plants in close proximity often yields multifaceted benefits. Two of the primary benefits are pest control and increased yield. There are many resources available to help develop a garden (or even a permaculture) that thrives based on mutual assistance and inter-connectivity of well-planned companion planting layouts. The purpose of this post, however, is to deal specifically with companion plants for strawberry plants and what benefits can be achieved by companion planting strawberries in your garden.

Companion Planting Strawberries

To begin, it is important to remember the nature of strawberry plants. They are prolific, can be somewhat invasive, and most varieties will quickly form a thick matted row made up of strawberry runners if left alone. Because of this, it is best to think in terms of which plants can help strawberries grow, not the other way around. While strawberry plants themselves hurt relatively few other plants (the exception will be discussed below) by being planted near them, their rapidly expanding range can end up depleting nutrients or competing with other plants if they aren’t actively monitored.

Strawberry Companion Plants

If there is a magic bullet of companion planting, it is likely the herb borage. Borage helps a vast number of other plants. To learn more about its interaction with strawberries, see this article on strawberry plants & borage. Aside from borage, however, there are several other plants beneficial to strawberry plants. They are:

Borage (Borago officinalis)

This herb is a virtual magic bullet when it comes to companion planting. To learn about its relationship with the humble strawberry, click the link just above for detailed information.

Bush Beans (Phaseolus)

The common bean is known benefactor of strawberry plants. It repels some beetles and hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria which serve to fertilize the soil for better strawberry yields.

Caraway (Carum carvi)

Caraway is another herb that indirectly benefits strawberry plants by being nearby. The primary benefit of caraway is that it attracts parasitic wasps and parasitic flies that are voracious predators of many common strawberry pests.

Lupin (Lupinus)

This flower is actually a legume. Like the beans mentioned above, it also fixes nitrogen in the soil, thereby fertilizing for surrounding plants, including strawberries. It also attracts honeybees.

Strawberry Companion Planting: Danger!

Not all plants will even tolerate the presence of strawberries, however. The most notable garden plants that are harmed by the proximity of strawberry plants are those related to the cabbage.

Cabbage Family (Brassica oleracea)

Avoid planting strawberries near members of Brassica oleracea. The cabbage family plants will have their growth impaired by strawberry plants close by. The major members of the cabbage family include: broccoli, broccoflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, and Romanesco broccoli.

Verticillium-Susceptible Species

The most common of these plants are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. If these plants (or melons, okra, mint, bush or bramble fruits, stone fruits, chrysanthemums, and roses) have been grown in the same spot recently (within 5 years), it is best to grow your strawberry plants elsewhere. Otherwise, the strawberry plants may be infected and die themselves.

Companion Planting Strawberries: Conclusion

The strawberry companion plants listed here are the well-established ones that have consistently demonstrated the mentioned benefits or drawbacks. However, there are surely more plant species out there that will interact either positively or negatively with strawberry plants. If you are aware of other plants that interact with strawberries, share your knowledge! You can tell us about your experiences by leaving a comment below, and start companion planting strawberries today!

271 thoughts on “Companion Planting Strawberries”

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  1. Oh NO!!!! I planted tomatoes last year around the perimeter of an area that I was hoping to use for strawberries this year. While they would not be directly in the soil where the tomatoes were planted, they would be fairly close to where they were. And, at least one tomato overwintered (Sweet 100). Are the pathogens likely to travel? I don’t have another prepared spot. This would mean that I don’t get to plant strawberries. I suppose I could plant New Zealand and Malabar spinach there, instead… but not at all a good substitute. πŸ™

    • You can try… especially as your comment was written last summer. I’m curious as to how things turned out for you, if you did. πŸ™‚
      (I was going to say check out the paragraph in the above article regarding “Verticillium-Susceptible Species.” But then I noticed your time stamp.)

    • strawberries are runners, onions like that 4 inch by 4 inch area so they can grow good bulb, you need a good area of your garden . What size of garden do u have because you should plan on paper what you are planting what needs to be spaced out and companions

  2. Hi! I have a Meyer Lemon tree in a half-wine barrel and I’m wondering if strawberries can be planted successfully around the perimeter in the same barrel with the lemon tree. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Yes, it is recommended as the strawberries will act as a kind of natural watering reminder and when ever the strawberry plant starts to wilt(they will do so easily, and always recover) you will need to water. For more info look up IV Organics on YouTube and it is one on the older vids on companion planting.

  3. Hi, I planted strawberries around my 4 year old blueberry bushes and they have done very well but now the blueberries aren’t looking so good. Could it be because of the strawberries? I fertilized them, added a little peat moss and coffee grounds to beef up the PH.

    • I’d advise you to keep the squash and melons far away from the strawberries they use the same minerals in the dirt. Plant garlic and onions or leeks by strawberries they are the masters of keeping some bad bugs away. Marigolds and nasturtium are the kings of the garden. Northern alberta here and I’ve grown strawberries that were so big and juicy three could take up a breakfast plate. Black manure and peatmoss mulched into the dirt, DONT place fish under stuff because the wildlife and neighborhood dogs will have a feast and terrorize the plants.. nasturtium flowers are fardrn saved because all the bad bugs are horny to eat them. Especially if you plant brassica family plant a full row of nasturtium you’ll thank me when you end up with 15 lb cabbage heads πŸ˜‹

      • Oops! I think you responded to the wrong comment…
        For what it’s worth, I had a friend who’s squash vines ran over into her strawberry plants. Those strawberry plants that had the vines running next to them did best, because they were shaded by the big squash leaves from our super hot summer sun (Phoenix, AZ). But, please note, the actual plant/root ball was a significant ways away from the strawberries, so that there wasn’t any competition between the two for nutrients. Just something to think about. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi I’ve accidentally planted carrot seed in my strawberry container. Will this kill the strawberries? Will the carrot still grow?

    • From what I know, this shouldn’t kill the strawberries unless the roots get messed up by the carrot, but I don’t think the carrot will do well. They need unhindered space for the carrot itself to grow, and the strawberry roots might interfere with it. I’m not sure what kind of carrot you planted nor what size of container, but if the carrot is too big for the container, it might become stunted or deformed.

    • the carrots will still grow just they will compete for space as carrots are rooted veggies. Plant lupin flowers with your strawberries if container planting, just one veggie or fruit in each pot πŸ˜‹

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