What Should You Plant with Cucumbers? We’ve Got 10 Recs (& a Few to Avoid)

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If you’re considering growing cucumbers, let this be your sign to stop pondering and get started. They’re super-easy to grow (and progress quickly, though you have to wait to plant ‘em until all threat of frost is over in your area). New varieties also are more bush-like and will do well in containers, so you can grow these popular vegetables even if you don’t have tons of space. Vining types can be trained up a trellis, which saves room and keeps fruit off the ground to prevent rotting.

When you’re planting cucumbers, you may want to add companion plants that do well in similar garden conditions. In fact, some gardeners believe planting cucumbers with specific companion plants may improve your harvest, though the concept is mostly folklore. (It’s based on the theory that certain plants may enhance your yield or keep bad bugs away and attract beneficial ones, such as pollinators and parasitoids, a type of insect that attack vegetable pests.) What we do know is that it’s more important to maintain diversity in your garden by planting lots of different plants. Mixing it up makes it more likely you won’t lose your whole garden to one type of bug or disease.

But while there’s almost no research that proves companion planting works, there’s no harm in planting certain plants alongside your cucumbers. Cucumbers need full sun (8 hours or more) and lots of moisture when they’re producing fruit, so stick with plants that like similar conditions, like the ones listed below.

What to Plant with Tomatoes The 25 Best Companions to Try (and 7 to Avoid)

Here are the best companion plants for cucumbers—as well as a few plants you should avoid planting with cucumbers:

what to plant with cucumbers sweet alyssum
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1. Sweet Alyssum

Insects must pollinate cucumbers in order for the plants to develop fruit, so planting flowers they love near your cucumbers is a great way to bring in the workers! These low-growing flowers have a sweet scent, and they bloom all season long. Plant them as edging around your garden.

what to plant with cucumbers beans
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2. Beans

Beans like full sun, just like cukes, and they are what’s called “nitrogen fixers,” which means they’re able to draw nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots. Though it’s not proven, some gardeners believe this can benefit other nearby plants, too.

what to plant with cucumbers marigold
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3. Marigold

Some gardeners believe marigolds repel cucumber beetles, which can devastate a crop. Plant these near the edges of your garden to attract pollinators, too.

what to plant with cucumbers dill
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4. Dill

Once dill goes to flower, the beautiful, lacy blossoms attract tons of predatory insects which may munch on cucumber pests! They’ll also self-sow readily, with seedlings popping up again next year in your garden.

what to plant with cucumbers oregano
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5. Oregano

Some gardeners believe the strong scent of oregano repels pests. While that may or may not be true, this is a great perennial herb to have in your garden for using both fresh and dried. The flowers also attract tons of beneficial pollinators.

what to plant with cucumbers chives
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6. Chives

Chives are hardy perennial herbs with beautiful globe-shaped purple flowers in late spring. Some gardeners think their onion-y scent repels bad bugs, such as aphids, though it’s not proven. Still, they love full sun, and they do attract pollinators so it’s fine to plant them near your cucumbers.

what to plant with cucumbers radishes
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7. Radishes

Radishes like full sun and moisture, the same conditions cukes prefer. They’re also a fast-growing crop that doesn’t take up much space, so you can tuck a few short rows in near your cucumbers.

what to plant with cucumbers lettuce
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8. Lettuce

Leaf lettuce is ridiculously easy to grow, and you can sow seeds every week or so for a longer harvest time. Because it also tends to like moisture, lettuce is a good companion plant for water-loving cucumbers.

what to plant with cucumbers nasturtiums
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9. Nasturtiums

These low-growing annuals are super-easy to grow from seed. Some gardeners say they repel bad bugs such as cucumber beetles, though they do sometimes attract aphids. However, this may keep these pests off your cucumbers. Another fun fact? The round leaves and pretty flowers are edible, adding a spicy kick to salads.

what to plant with cucumbers borage
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10. Borage

This lesser-known annual herb has the most beautiful blue flowers, and it self-sows readily so it will come back year after year in your garden. It attracts pollinators, too, which may help your cucumbers produce. Plus, it attracts predatory insects, which may attack the bad bugs.

What should you not plant around cucumbers?

Melons and squash take up a lot of room in garden beds, with vines reaching 10 feet or longer. Plus, insects that like melons and squash also like cucumbers, so it’s like one big welcome mat if they’re all planted closely together. Mint is another plant to avoid, simply because it tends to grow aggressively and take over the garden, choking out other plants. Some gardeners also swear that sage inhibits cucumber growth. Again, there’s almost no research proving these theories, but it’s still fun to experiment and figure out what works (or doesn’t!) in your own garden.

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Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...