Updated at: 21-02-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

Kale is a great vegetable to grow in a plot with the right companion plants. Vegetable yields and quality can be improved by mixing up the crops you plant in the same area.

Nowadays, the majority of vegetable plots and allotments feature clean, serried rows of single crops and beds exclusively dedicated to one crop. Even if we don’t yet have all the answers, research is showing that by constructing “monocultures” in this way, it is a recipe for disaster. Pests will do their worst if they locate a lot of their preferred plant in one spot, and there’s nothing to distract them from the sight or scent of it.

If we follow nature’s lead, we should instead construct polycultures, where plants of various benefits grow together in harmony on our plots. Increased pest control and larger yields are only two of many benefits that emerge from symbiotic connections and an increase in biodiversity, which is known as companion planting.

What Is Companion Planting?

A tried-and-true gardening technique, companion planting enhances and safeguards susceptible crops. In order to avoid pests, attract beneficial insects, and boost growth, farmers and gardeners alike plant specific crops close to one another.

The Best Companion Plants to Grow with Kale | Gardener's Path

What Are the Benefits of Companion Planting?

Companion plants are useful in the garden because they can aid in the growth of one crop while also benefiting from the company of another.

  1. Insect pests will be repelled. It’s not just cucumber beetles that may ruin a vegetable garden; there are a variety of pests to contend with. Certain pests are repelled by certain companion plants, including marigold flowers, catnip, or rue, therefore they should be planted near crops that are particularly vulnerable to attack.
  2. Attract helpful insects with the use of natural means. Encourage pollinators, such as bees and ladybugs, to visit vegetable gardens so that they can help pollinate the crops. Borage flowers, for example, are popular among gardeners because of their ability to attract pollinators.
  3. Soil nutrition can be improved by increasing the availability of nutrients. At the end of the growing season, the gardener must do a lot of labor in order to replenish the soil’s nutrients. Many companion plants, such as bush beans and pole beans, replenish the soil’s nutrient levels by fixing nitrogen.
  4. Enhance the flavor and speed of development. There are a number of companion plants that emit specialized compounds that stimulate the plants around them to grow quicker or taste better.
  5. Cover the earth. A blanket of low-lying plants (like oregano) shields soil from direct sunlight and helps keep it cooler for plants that thrive in cooler temperatures.
  6. Provide the needed cover. High-leafed plants (like zucchini and asparagus) can provide much-needed shade for plants that are more vulnerable to direct sunlight beneath them.
  7. Act as identifiers. You may not know where the rows will be while you wait for the seeds to sprout in slow-growing plants. Fast-growing plants (such as radishes) are sometimes used by gardeners to designate where the slow-growing plants will be in their rows.

7 Companion Plants to Grow With Kale

A member of the cabbage family, kale (Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable. Lacinato, red Russian, and dinosaur kale are some of the varieties. Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and Swiss chard are among the brassicas that should not be planted alongside kale since they are susceptible to the same illnesses and pests. Kale’s beneficial companions include the following:

  1. Hoverflies, which eat pests like aphids, are attracted to cilantro, making it an excellent companion plant for kale.
  2. In addition to its use in pickling, dill is an excellent companion plant for kale and other leafy greens. To help plants flourish, dill attracts pollinators as well as beneficial insects, which eat pests. Kale seedlings will be more protected if they are planted near dill.
  3. Pests such as flea beetles, cabbage loopers and aphids that feed on kale leaves are deterred by alliums like chives, shallots and leeks.
  4. All kinds of legumes boost the nitrogen level of the soil around your kale plants. Growing kale is easier when you use pole beans or bush beans in your garden.
  5. Insect pests and beneficial insect predators can be deterred by the presence of catnip, which is a great companion plant for a range of foods and flowers. You may protect your kale from pests by planting catnip in your garden.
  6. Sweet alyssum and marigolds attract hoverflies that feed on aphids and keep your kale plants healthy.
  7. buckwheat: Buckwheat acts as a ground cover, keeping soil moist and suppressing weed growth, making it perfect for the growth of kale plants. In addition to attracting beneficial insects, buckwheat also raises the soil’s nitrogen concentration.


Because of its high nutritional content, kale is dubbed a “superfood.” It makes sense to cultivate your own because it tastes so much better when it is picked right away rather than after it has sat on a store shelf for days.

Aside from the fact that caterpillars can eat all of the kale’s leaf in a single night, learning how to cultivate kale is very straightforward. When you do your research and choose out your kale’s companion plants wisely, they can help keep those bothersome caterpillars away from your prized harvest.


Your cherished kale crops will remain pest-free when you plant one of these delightful herb gardens in your vegetable area.


Kale and cilantro are a great match if you’re willing to let some of the cilantro (also known as coriander) flower, as long as you’re okay with it. That’s because the blossoms of cilantro attract hoverflies, which can eat the eggs of other insects that have been placed on the underside of the kale leaves.

Another benefit of cultivating cilantro and allowing some plants to flower is that the seeds it produces can be used in cooking just as much as its flavorful leaves.


Because wasps and hoverflies are drawn to yellow and white flowers, understanding how to cultivate dill is an excellent way to attract these insects to your garden.

Like cilantro, you’ll want to bring a big quantity of these insects to your veg patch or allotment plot in order to eliminate any other insects that have chosen your coveted kale as an egg-laying location.

Even though dill leaves and flowers are gorgeous, some gardeners choose to incorporate them in their flowerbed designs just because of their aesthetic appeal.


The powerful aroma of these plants will help protect your kale harvests from a wide range of pests, in addition to adding color to your kitchen garden ideas.


In the heat of summer, if you’ve followed our advise on how to produce marigolds, you’ll know how strong their aroma is. Not only do humans detect the aroma, but so do a slew of helpful insects.

As soon as your kale sprouts, put a row of marigolds on either side of it as a companion plant. Caterpillar damage is less likely to occur when the plant is in full bloom a few months later.

Keep in mind that marigolds are also excellent companion plants for potatoes and cucumbers, so keep this in mind if you’re going to cultivate those as well.


Every edible crop is threatened by weeds because of the nutrients and water they suck from the soil. In order to get rid of weeds, the more you can do to suppress them.

Low-growing nasturtiums are perfect for this task since they produce a ready supply of leaves and blossoms for summer salads while also being low-maintenance.

Predatory and parasitic insects, including hoverflies, will be drawn to nasturtiums, which will help keep aphids at bay.

In addition, we’ve got a whole section devoted to aphid control methods.


If the spreading behavior of nasturtiums isn’t to your taste, this lovely and low-growing plant is a good alternative.

Sweet alyssum, which blooms in late spring and early summer, is perfect for interspersing between kale rows because it makes tidy mounds of leaf. It is effective at smothering weeds, but because it self-seeds readily, you must be prepared to control it if it takes over.

Guide to Kale Companion Plants and Benefits - Plants Spark Joy


When planting kale, make sure to include some of these beneficial companion plants for kale in your garden.


Adding additional vegetables to a kale bed necessitates choosing a crop that won’t compete with the kale for nutrients. This could be because it uses nutrients the kale doesn’t require or because it feeds itself sparingly.

The second group includes peppers, which can be grown in alternate rows with kale. An umbrella name for all types of sweet and hot peppers is ‘peppers.’

Pepper companion plants abound, as you’ll see in our list.


The ornamental alliums are the first thing that springs to mind when we talk about alliums, but they aren’t the only type. Kale is a great companion plant for alliums because of its strong aroma, which deters many pests, including flea beetles, and the oils they generate, which deter aphids and thrips.

Knowing that garlic thrives in the same climate as kale is helpful if you’re trying to figure out how to cultivate your own (which becomes sweeter tasting after frost).


Using nitrogen from the air as a source, beans transform it into nitrogen that can be used by other plants in the area. Kale grows well with bean plants because they provide a steady supply of large leaves and flavorful stems.

If you’re growing climbing beans, be sure they aren’t blocking too much sunlight from reaching the kale. Beans and peas are both members of the ‘legume’ family, which fixes nitrogen in the soil.

Want to grow beans, but aren’t sure what kind to plant? Runner beans, French beans, and broad beans can all be grown successfully with the information in our how-to guides.


Kale has a plethora of wonderful companion plants, however some crops should never be planted with it. Chemicals produced by these ‘allelopaths’ will harm the kale crop. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • It has been discovered that compounds found on sunflower leaves prevent seeds planted nearby from germinating because they disturb cell metabolism. If you want to learn how to grow sunflowers, be sure to keep them away from your kale plants.
  • Strawberries Do you want to learn how to produce strawberry plants? Strawberry plants should be placed at least a meter away from kale and cabbage crops because they inhibit the growth of brassicas, such as kale and cabbage.
  • Tomatoes Although they’re often referred to as suitable companions for kale, they may compete too much for nutrients. In addition, several tomato types grow to be fairly tall, shading kale plants excessively. In our guide, you’ll find information on the finest companion plants for tomato gardeners.
  • Brassicas of a different variety As kale is a member of the brassica family and should not be planted with other brassica vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, it’s better to avoid planting kale with them. If you plant a large number of brassica vegetables in the same area, you’re creating an ideal breeding ground for both pests and diseases because they all attract the same pests. The goal of companion planting is to confuse pests and illnesses so that they are less likely to spread.

Different Types of Kale and Its Benefits

One of the healthiest and most nutritious green leafy veggies is unquestionably kale. Vitamins A, K, C, and B6, as well as calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, are all found in this supplement. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Sulforaphane and an indole-3-carbine are cancer-fighting substances found in this product.

If you’re planning to grow kale in your garden, it’s helpful to know the several varieties:

Curly Kale

You’ll recognize curly kale because of its distinctively wavy leaf shape. This variety of kale is frequently found on menus and in grocery stores. It features huge, ruffled leaves and tall stems that range in hue from a light to a dark green.

Aside from the fact that they’re packed with critical nutrients and antioxidants, curly kales are also higher in potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and vitamin C than oranges.

Baby Kale

The term “baby kales” refers to kale plants that are just beginning to mature. It resembles curly kale in appearance and flavor, but the leaves are smaller and thinner. One of the most frequent sorts of kales found in supermarkets is this one. For raw consumption, it has a mild and delicate flavor that makes it an excellent choice.

Despite their diminutive size, baby kale is a powerhouse of vitamins C, A, and K1. Calcium and iron make them an excellent addition to your diet.

Premier Kale/Early Hanover

Its leaves are smooth and have scalloped edges. Beta-carotene, a plant pigment abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables, is found in premier kale. In addition to enhancing cognitive performance, this anti-oxidant also helps keep skin healthy, slows the progression of macular degeneration, and guards against cancer.

As far as flavor goes, many people believe premium kale to be the best. In addition to fresh salads, sandwiches, and veggies sautéed in olive oil, it can also be used in many other meals. Because superior kales aren’t as tough as other kale varieties, most people prefer to consume them raw.

Walking Stick Kale

Walking stick kale is easily distinguished by the height of its leaves. Walking stick kales, in contrast to other kale species, can reach heights of over six feet! Walking stick kale isn’t just the name of the game. If the long stem is sufficiently dried and laminated, it can be used as a cane as well.

With their amazing height, Walking Stick Kales require more attention and care than other varieties. Temperatures should be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the soil should be well-drained. Organic compost should be placed on top.

Redbor Kale

When it comes to kale, there are few things more beautiful than redbor. An aesthetic plant and a vegetable plant can be found in this kale variety. With its curled and frilly leaves and a deep red hue, it’s one of the most eye-catching plants.

You’ll often find it in gardens due of its aesthetic appeal. Reddish leaves turn violet in the winter. Because of its rich colors, it makes a stunning addition to any dinner plate.

The nutrients in redbor kale, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and proteins, are among the many reasons to eat it. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a key antioxidant found in this fruit that may help decrease blood sugar and strengthen the heart. People with diabetes and heart disease will especially benefit from this.

Red Russian Kale

Those who have tasted it say it has a sweet and soft flavor with a peppery kick. Red Russian kale is one of the tastiest kale varieties because of this unusual mix, which is enhanced by frost. It’s great on its own, in salads, and in smoothies, as well as in a variety of other dishes.

The red Russian kale, like other types, is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Compared to other kales, this one has even more nutrients. This form of kale is particularly high in calcium, which helps to strengthen bones.

Tronchuda Kale

The least common variety of kale is Portuguese kale.

Thick, supple leaves make this a great choice for juicing or blending into a smoothie. To the untrained eye, Tronchuda kales feature big collard-like leaves. Its stems are also edible. If you’re looking for something with a cabbage-like flavor, this is the one.

A wonderful superfood, this Portuguese kale is chock-full of nutrients and low in carbs. If you’re looking for a heat-resistant kale, this one isn’t as prevalent as curly or baby kale. Growing it is also a breeze.

Chinese Kale

If you’ve ever wondered what kale (also known as “Chinese broccoli”) is, you’ve come to the right place. For those who prefer kale that’s thick, flat, and blue-green in color, this variety of the vegetable is ideal. Chinese kale also has a broccoli-like flavor. Chinese kale, on the other hand, has a stronger flavor and a bit more bitterness than broccoli. As a result, many recipes call for broccoli instead of Chinese kale.

Vitamins A, C, iron, and calcium are also included in this kale variety. Chinese kale is typically served with sweetened sauces due to its strong flavor.

Lacinto Kale

Aside from the Tuscan kale, lacinto kale is also known as dinosaur kale. Most stores have it in their vegetable department. Whether you grow Lacinto kales in your garden or greenhouse, their long, dark gray leaves are visually appealing. It’s dark in color and has a fine grain to it. The wrinkled blue-green leaves of this plant look lovely on a plate.

Benefits of Companion Planting

When it comes to gardening, chances are you’ve come across the concept of companion planting.

Planting different crops close together for a variety of reasons, including pollination, pest control, growth stimulation and habitat for beneficial insects and increased crop yield is known as “companion planting.”

The following are some of the advantages of companion planting:

Improve Soil Nutrients

Your crops rely on the soil’s essential nutrients to thrive. Gardeners take proactive measures to boost the soil’s nutrient content because of these concerns. Bush beans and pole beans, for example, are good companion plants since they return nutrients like nitrogen to the soil.

Repel Pests

A wide variety of pests, such as carrot fly, cabbage moth and cabbage worms, cucumber beetles, Mexican beetles and other sorts of insects, might affect your plants. Companion plants can be used to deter pests from your crops.

Attract Helpful Insects

While pests can be damaging, there are also beneficial insects. When it comes to pollinating crops, pollinator insects such as bees and ladybugs can be helpful. In order to attract these pests to your crops, you might plant flowers that they find appealing.

Cover the Ground

Some low-lying plants cover the soil with a thick covering. As a result, the surrounding crops are kept cooler, which benefits plants that do better in cooler environments. Ground cover plants like oregano, ferns, mondo grass, and creeping juniper are all low-maintenance.


Waiting for the seeds to sprout, you may miss rows of slow-growing plants. Slow-growing plants can be distinguished from the fast-growing ones by placing them near each other in a garden with fast-growing ones.

Faster Growth and Better Taste

Complimentary plants can help crops grow faster or taste better by releasing chemicals.

Provide Shade

Companion plants with large leaves and tall stature can give much-needed shade.

Companion Plants for Kale

In order to successfully plant kale in a companion planting arrangement, you must first understand the benefits of companion planting. It’s best to keep other brassicas out of your kale patch because they can all succumb to the same diseases and pests as the leafy green. kale’s best companion plants include the following:


These include, but are not limited to: shallots, garlic, leeks, and chives. Kale-eating pests such as cabbage loopers and aphids will be discouraged if you plant these plants near your kale.


Cilantro elicits a wide range of feelings from people. Whether you like it or not, cilantro is an excellent addition to a kale garden. For example, hoverflies, which devour aphids, are drawn to the plant.


Your kale will flourish if you add legumes like beans or bush beans to the soil around it, which will increase the nitrogen level and aid in the plant’s overall health.

The Best Companion Plants to Grow with Kale | Gardener's Path


Dill is a good companion plant for a variety of vegetables, including kale, aside from pickling. You can use it to attract pollinators and beneficial insects that can help your plant flourish and protect it from harmful pests. Kale seedlings can also benefit from dill’s anti-fungal properties.


Hoverflies feed on aphids, which might hurt your kale plants, and other blooms, such as marigolds and sweet alyssum, attract them.


Buckwheat is a ground cover that prevents weeds from growing in your kale garden by sealing in soil moisture. If you plant it next to your vegetables, you may ensure that they flourish in the best possible conditions. Buckwheat also attracts beneficial insects and adds nitrogen to the soil, making it an excellent crop for organic farmers.


As a last point, catnip is an excellent companion plant for a wide variety of veggies and flowers. It acts as a deterrent to pests and a magnet for beneficial insects to keep your kale safe.

Growing Plants in Greenhouses

Planting veggies and flowers in greenhouses is a terrific option. When you grow kale inside, you don’t have to be concerned about the unpredictable weather patterns that come with the shifting seasons. The harsh environmental conditions your plants are exposed to when planted outside, such as wind, drought, heat, cold, bugs, and other critters can be avoided by placing them in greenhouses.

Kale and other crops can thrive in greenhouses because you can control the temperature and humidity. Temperature, light, moisture, humidity, fertilizer, and irrigation are a few examples of variables you may manipulate. Your plants will be protected from dangerous pesticides and diseases, as well.

Growing Plants in a Greenhouse vs. Growing Plants Outdoors

Grow your vegetables in the garden or in the greenhouse, but there is a big difference between the two. Indoor gardening allows you to regulate all of the variables that affect the growth of your plants, including light, humidity, water, temperature, and soil nutrients.

This ensures that your plants have a steady source of moisture, eliminating water stress and encouraging them to flourish freely. You may also regulate the soil by growing plants in a greenhouse. With the correct soil for your plants, you can avoid diseases and keep pests at bay compared to plants grown in poor soil.

The only downside to having a greenhouse is the costs that come with it. In the long run, greenhouses are an investment. A greenhouse is a better option than growing plants outside if you’re ready to spend the money.