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!

262 thoughts on “Companion Planting Strawberries”

  1. What is a safe distance to plant cauliflower from strawberries…..considering each would be in completely different plots separated by approximately 30 inches if sod.

  2. Hi. I would like to grow strawberries and herbs on my balcony. I face south west so I get full sun in the morning. I was wondering if I could plant basil in the centre of a large hanging basket with strawberry plants surrounding it. I would also like to do another basket with parsley and strawberry’s surround. Would this work?

  3. hi, i have read this entire page, thanks for this resource. one thing i do not see addressed is substitutes for the listed companions. i have borage, but none of the others, would fenugreek or peas (or other legumes) be a suitable replacement for bush beans or lupine? would dill/fennel/cumin/ajwain be as good as caraway or is that one particularly good? these umbifers just attract predatory insects and pollinators to the area and don’t need to share the same soil, right? both fenugreek and fennel/cumin/ajwain seed are readily available in indian grocery stores.

  4. I’m okay ting a big garden for the first time. I’m wondering can strawberries be planted next to peppers? As it stands I have my garden set out in rows corn, then green beans and snap peas, next row potatoes and sweet potatoes, then my strawberries, and I’m wanting the next row to be mostly peppers with a few green onions, lastly a row of two of several types of tomatoes.
    Any problems with this? Thanks so much!

  5. Two questions: I live in Idaho and have a full sun garden spot I want to plant my strawberries. It would be in a garden bed that has daffodills in it already.
    1. Can I plant strawberries with daffodils?
    2. Can I plant alpine strawberries so I will not get so many runners? Or another type that does not produce runners?

  6. I am planning my spring garden. I plan to plant strawberries, romain lettuce, borage, chamomile, mint, ginger, canteloupe, and marigolds intermixed in a ten foot long bed that runs along side the house. Do you think any of these plants would have problems as companions?

  7. I have a herb garden in it I have sweet basil,Italian basil, chives, chervil,lemon thym,apple mint,orange mint,and a pigeon pea plant. What I want to know is can I plant pine-
    berries with these herbs and how far apart should I plant them.

    • Terri,
      Yes, you can plant strawberries of any type with them. I’d give them at least 6 inches on either side of the pineberry plants. Be careful, though, as both strawberries and mint plants like to invade the space of their neighbors! Good luck!

  8. hi,

    i made a strawberry tower out of a big rubbish bin, can i can plant radishes and onions on top?strawberries are only growing on the sides

  9. I have a couple of question:1.I have bought some pineberries for the first time I was going to put some in a strawberry jar and some in the ground but I have read that if you plant them in a strawberry jar that they only last for 1 season so I was wondering if I plant some in the jar could I transfer them in the ground later on and when would it be the right time to do that I live in Springfield,Ma . 2.what are the best companion plants to plant with the pineberries in the jar and also in the ground.

    • Terry,
      Yes, you can transplant to the ground. September is usually the best time to transplant. Pineberries are just a variety of strawberry, so all the information above applies! Good luck!

  10. Awesome advice above. I didn’t see where anyone asked about poppies.
    We live in Vermont and have raised beds we hope to use for strawberries this fall. My daughter has planted poppies in various places. If the poppies survive the winter will they be okay with the strawberries?
    She also planted various types of squash along one row. They will die we know, will it be okay for strawberries to go into the same mound.
    Thank you!
    VTGina

    • VTGina,
      Yes, the poppies can happily live with strawberries! And, you can plant the strawberries where the squash was. Good luck!

  11. I am going to attempt to plant strawberries with mint plants in a controlled garden space we have behind the house. Is this a good idea, or are these two plants which shouldn’t be planted together?

    Thank you,

    Tim

    • Tim,
      It is okay to plant them together in the sense that they don’t have negative influence on one another by being in proximity. However, both mint and strawberries like to spread, and, if left untended, the mint will usually win out and choke out the strawberry plants. So, if you plant them together, just make sure you space them appropriately and keep them trimmed back. Good luck!

  12. I want to plant strawberries as groundcover between/in front of my daylilies. It’s a South-facing foundation garden. Do you think they’ll do OK together?

  13. I have a small section of garden where I’m nursing 8 – 1 1/2 yr old apple trees I’ve grown from seed in grow bags. The tree-bags were 3/4 buried to over-winter them. Can I put strawberry plants between the trees? I’m guessing I will probably move the trees in a year or two to their permanent location, they’re about 12″ tall and approximately 4′ apart.

    • Tonya,
      Yes, you can intersperse strawberry plants between the apple trees, but they will likely be shaded too much to produce well, if they (the apple trees) are well-branched and leafed out. Good luck!

  14. I have a ten foot circular planter in the front of my house. I planted one tomato plant in the center, then skipped a two foot radius and planted bare root strawberries around that for two to three foot. then a circle row of beans and peas. then I finished with a circle of pansies. not gonna change anything , I just like to share. Busy with my grand daughter.

    • Aebalaban,
      Yes, but it is generally not worth the effort. Watermelon vines tend to go every which way and will often invade or shade your strawberries. So, if you don’t want to be constantly monitoring and re-positioning the watermelon vines, it is best to plant them away from each other. Good luck!

  15. I am about to plant blueberries in very large pots, over 25 gallon size. I plan to plant one blueberry plant in the center of each pot. I wonder if I could plant strawberries around the edges for a few years until the blueberry bushes get too big. I plan to mix potting soil half and half with peat moss in order to lower the pH.

    • Launa Hiebert,
      Yes, you could probably do that for a year or two depending on the size of the blueberry. You might run into some problems with the soil drying out at the edge of the container, so be sure to check it often! Good luck!

  16. Strawberry planter with bush beans in the top? the planter i have is 10″ tall and the ledges for the strawberries is half way up

  17. I have a small patio and would like to grow tomatoes and strawberries but in different pots. Would this be okay or would the tomatoes still interfere with the strawberries growth?

    • June C,
      As long as the strawberries and tomatoes are in different pots and are far enough away from each other so that rain doesn’t splash soil from the tomato pot into the strawberry pot, you should be ok. Good luck!

        • Irene,
          Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to plant strawberry by potatoes. Potatoes have a problem with verticillium susceptibility, which can cross-contaminate and kill strawberry plants. Also, since potatoes do best growing up from the eye of the seed potato, you have to mound soil upwards in order to get a decent yield of potatoes. Strawberry plants can’t have their crowns buried under the soil, so they are best planted separately. Good luck!

          • Hi, I was unaware thati couldn’t grow my strawberry’s near the potato plant… When both plants harvested this year they were both relatively small.. I’m assuming due to their incompatibility. However they were both still delicious! I think I have removed all of the potatoes, and the strawberries are growing new leaves that are looking beautiful and healthy. Curious now because I’m not sure if I should uproot the strawberry plant or replace the soil? New to gardening and any help is appreciated.

      • Hello,
        Can I plant strawberries with cucumbers? I am using a Topsy Turvy this year and I have enough to fill my third one with cukes and strawberry plants. I have pepper plants also, wondering if they can be thrown in too?

  18. I have mint growing through my strawberries. It doesn’t seem to be bothering anything yet. Strawberries are blossoming although there isn’t any fruit yet. Will the mint strangle or damage the strawberries over time?

    • Shelly,
      Yes, the mint will eventually choke out the strawberries if left to grow unchecked. If you maintain mint in its place, however, strawberries can happily co-exist with mint. Good luck!

  19. I have a lilac tree planted in the flower bed and 2 feet below I wanted to plant a couple of strawberry plants. Will the sent of the lilac tree overpower the strawberry plants?

    • Becca,
      No, they will be fine. However, if the lilac tree is too tall or interrupts the sunlight for the strawberries, they won’t produce as well for you. Good luck!

    • Jessica,
      Yes, just make sure to give the cucumbers and strawberries plenty of space so that the cucumbers don’t shade the berry plants. Strawberries do best in full sun. Also, if you are going to use a trellis for the cucumbers, be sure to position it so that it doesn’t shade the strawberries also. Good luck!

  20. Hello, i have limited space but i would love to plant some lavender, mainly to keep mosquitos off the patio. Can i plant these together with strawberries? What else would be a good insect repellant plant i could plant with my strawberries? maybe even some which keeps insects away from the berries. Thank you.

    • Julie,
      Yes, you can plant lavender with strawberries. The best insect repellent plant is probably the Mosquito Shoo Geranium, but you need to have pollination by bees and other creepy crawlies for the best harvest. Good luck!

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