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12 Companion Plants for Sunflowers (With Pictures)

American giant sunflower

Sunflowers are one of the most cheerful flowers you can grow in your garden. But did you know that there are many other plants that make great companions for sunflowers?

In this article, we will introduce some of the best companion plants for sunflowers.

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The 12 Great Companion Plants for Sunflowers

1. Lettuce

Image By: juliacasado1, Pixabay

Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that does well when planted next to sunflowers. The two plants can provide shade for each other, and the lettuce will benefit from the sunflower’s nutrients.

There are many different varieties of lettuce, so you can choose the one that best suits your garden—and your sunflowers.

Many gardeners love growing lettuce and sunflowers together because the two plants complement each other so well. The sunflower’s large leaves provide shade for the lettuce, and the lettuce helps to keep the sunflower’s roots cool.

But be aware that critters love lettuce as much as we do. You may need to protect your crop with netting or a fence, so plan ahead before you plant.

2. Cucumbers

Sugar Crunch Cucumber
Image Credit: DMC-13, Shutterstock

Cucumbers are another excellent companion plant for sunflowers. They can climb up the sunflower’s stem, and the two plants will provide shade for each other. Cucumbers also benefit from the sunflower’s nutrients.

Like lettuce, the large leaves of cucumbers help provide shade and keep the ground moist. This is especially helpful in hot weather when cucumbers and sunflowers are more likely to suffer from heat stress.

3. Nasturtiums

Image Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

Nasturtiums are one of the best companion plants for sunflowers. They help to keep the sunflower plants healthy and also add a splash of color to the garden. Nasturtiums are easy to grow and care for, and they will bloom all summer long.

If you are looking for a plant that can brighten up your garden, then consider planting nasturtiums. They are a beautiful addition to any garden and will definitely add some pizzazz to your sunflowers.

4. Summer Squashes

squash on the ground
Image Credit: Innviertlerin, Pixabay

If you’re looking for a sunflower companion plant that will add a touch of color to your garden, consider planting summer squash.

Summer squash comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, green, and orange. The squash plants are also relatively low-maintenance, making them a good choice for beginner gardeners.

In addition to their visual appeal, summer squash plants can also help to keep your sunflowers healthy. Squash plants produce a chemical that repels many common garden pests, including aphids, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs.

This means that your sunflowers will be less likely to be attacked by these pests if you have squash plants growing nearby.

5. Impatiens

Impatiens Indoor
Image Credit: Rebecca Niver, Pixabay

Impatiens are one of the most popular bedding plants, and they make great companions for sunflowers. Impatiens come in a wide variety of colors, and they are very easy to grow. Impatiens are also heat- and drought-tolerant, which makes them ideal companions for sunflowers.

If you’re looking for a plant that will add color and interest to your garden, try growing impatiens. You can find impatiens in most nurseries and garden centers, and they are relatively easy to grow. Just be sure to give them plenty of water, as they are susceptible to drought.

6. Peppers

Banana peppers in home garden
Image By: Nilanka Sampath, Shutterstock

Peppers come in all shapes and sizes, and they make a great companion plant for sunflowers. Not only do they add color and interest to your garden, but they also help to keep the sunflowers healthy by deterring pests and providing nutrients.

Here are a few tips on how to grow peppers as companion plants for sunflowers:
  • Choose the right pepper for your sunflowers. Some varieties of peppers, such as jalapeños, are more heat-sensitive than others and may not do well in the same environment as sunflowers. If you’re not sure which variety of pepper to choose, ask your local nursery or gardening center for advice.
  • Plant the peppers in a sunny spot. Peppers need full sun to thrive, so make sure they have plenty of space to grow and receive direct sunlight for at least six hours each day.
  • Keep the soil moist. Peppers are susceptible to drought, so it’s important to keep their roots moist. Water them deeply and regularly, especially during hot weather.
  • Fertilize the plants. Peppers are heavy feeders and will benefit from being fertilized every few weeks. Use a balanced, low-nitrogen fertilizer to avoid leaves growing too much and at the expense of fruit production.
  • Harvest the peppers when they’re ripe. Peppers are ready to harvest when they’ve reached their full size and color. Cut them from the plant with a sharp knife, being careful not to damage the sunflower’s roots.

By following these tips, you can successfully grow peppers as companion plants for sunflowers.

7. Garlic and Onions

onions and garlic bulb
Image Credit: Miss Pop, Shutterstock

If you’re looking to add some flair to your garden, consider growing garlic and onions as companion plants for sunflowers. These two pungent vegetables make a great team, and they’ll add some extra flavor to your meals while they’re at it.

Garlic is known for its ability to deter pests, so it’s a great plant to have around if you’re trying to protect your sunflowers from critters.

Onions, on the other hand, attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies. So not only will they add flavor to your food, but they’ll also help keep your garden healthy.

8. Corn

Ambrosia Hybrid Sweet Corn
Image Credit By: dmitro2009, Shutterstock

Growing corn as companion plants for sunflowers is a great way to add height and dimension to your garden. Not only do they look great together, but they also help to keep each other healthy.

Sunflowers are known for their ability to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help improve the health of your corn crop. Additionally, the large leaves of the sunflower can help provide shade and protect your corn from excessive sun exposure.

When selecting varieties of corn to plant alongside your sunflowers, look for those that are shorter in height. This will help prevent the tall sunflowers from shading out your corn plants. Some good choices include ‘Dwarf Honeycomb’ and ‘Baby Doll.’

9. Basil

fully grown basil herb plant
Image Credit: Pitsch, Pixabay

Basil and sunflowers are two of the most popular summertime plants. And while they may seem like an unlikely pair, they actually make great companions!

Not only does basil help repel pests from sunflowers, but it also provides them with some much-needed shade. Plus, the fragrant herb can add a delicious flavor to sunflower seeds!

So if you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spruce up your summer garden, consider planting some basil alongside your sunflowers. You won’t be disappointed!

10. Marigolds

African Marigold
Image Credit: sarangib, Pixabay

Marigolds and sunflowers are two of the most popular summer flowers. But did you know that they can also make great companion plants for each other?

Marigolds have long been known to deter pests from attacking other plants. Their strong scent confuses and repels many common garden pests, making them a great addition to any garden.

Sunflowers, on the other hand, are known for their ability to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. By planting these two flowers together, you can create a beautiful and productive garden that is also resistant to pests.

11. Peas

snap peas
Image Credit: Trygve Finkelsen, Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a way to add some vertical interest to your garden, why not try growing peas as companion plants for sunflowers? Not only do they look great together, but they also provide each other with some much-needed support.

Peas can climb sunflowers and provide them with shade, while sunflowers will help keep the peas from getting too much sun. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a bountiful harvest of both vegetables at the end of the season!

12. Vine Tomatoes

red tomatoes on vines
Image Credit: kie-ker, Pixabay

As you may know, vine tomatoes can be quite a handful. They require a lot of space and they need to be staked or trellised in order to grow properly. But did you know that they make great companion plants for sunflowers?

That’s right! These two plants actually complement each other quite well. The sunflowers will provide the vine tomatoes with some much-needed shade and support, while the vine tomatoes will help to keep the sunflowers’ roots cool and moist.

So if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to grow both of these plants, then consider growing them together! You’ll be glad you did.

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The 3 Worst Companion Plants for Sunflowers

You want your sunflowers to be the star of the show, but these other plants will try to steal their thunder. Here are the worst companion plants for sunflowers.

1. Potatoes

newly harvested potatoes
Image Credit: Jai79, Pixabay

Planting potatoes with sunflowers can have adverse effects on both plants. The sunflower’s large leaves can block out the potatoes’ access to sunlight, and the potatoes’ roots can compete with the sunflowers for nutrients and water.

Avoid this combination if you want your sunflowers and potatoes to thrive on their own.

2. Fennel

fennel bulb in garden bed
Image Credit: nnattalli, Shutterstock

Fennel is another plant that can compete with sunflowers for resources. The fennel’s aggressive roots can invade the sunflower’s root system and inhibit your sunflower’s growth.

Besides, fennel prefers growing away from other plants, so it’s not the best candidate for a sunflower companion plant—or any plant, for that matter.

3. Pole Beans

pole beans
Image Credit: Robinotof, Shutterstock

Sunflowers have toxins in them that can stunt the growth of pole beans. The two plants can still coexist, but you’ll have to be extra vigilant about watering and fertilizing the beans.

It’s best to avoid their companionship altogether and plant your pole beans elsewhere in the garden.

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There are many different types of companion plants that can be used in conjunction with sunflowers to create a beautiful and bountiful garden.

By taking the time to select the right plants for your specific growing conditions, you can create a stunning display that will provide you with an abundance of fresh flowers all season long. With a little bit of planning and care, your sunflower garden can be the envy of the neighborhood.

Featured Image Credit: ulleo, Pixabay


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