The Best Lettuce Companion Plants

Lettuce grows between onions as companion plants
Recipe At-A-Glance
The right companion plants for your lettuce can improve its growth, while also deterring pests and promoting biodiversity. Let's discuss the best companion plants for lettuce.

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There’s nothing quite like a salad made of tender lettuce harvested straight from the garden. Grocery store heads of lettuce just can’t compare! But lettuce plants are sensitive to heat and easily targeted by pests. Our favorite way to protect those tender plants? Companion planting! Let’s talk about the best lettuce companion plants.

Why should I try companion planting?

Companion planting is one of the easiest, most sustainable organic gardening practices. All you need to do is place certain plants together in your vegetable garden to reap the benefits! Companion planting can reduce pest pressure, increase veggie production, and even improve growth and flavor!

What grows well with lettuce?

Good companions for lettuce can attract pollinators and other beneficial insects, repel pests, or protect the heat-sensitive lettuce from the sun. Some good companion plants for lettuce include: 

  • Beans. 
  • Carrots. Carrots deep roots do not interfere with the shallow root systems of lettuce. Carrots also attract beneficial insects that will feed on any aphids that try to munch on your lettuce.
  • Cucumbers. If you grow your cucumbers on a trellis, the large leaves and tall vines will shade lettuce plants, extending the lettuce growing season. 
  • Aromatic herbs, such as chives, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, and dill. Herbs with a strong scent repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your lettuce plants. Note that mint can quickly take over, so we recommend planting it in a pot to keep it contained!
  • Marigolds. These flowers attract pollinators and mask the smell of lettuce from aphids and other pests. They can also serve as a trap crop for slugs. 
  • Onions and garlic. The strong smell of onions and garlic repels lettuce pests. They are also great lettuce companion plants because they can be planted close to the lettuce— lettuce has shallow roots, leaving plenty of room for the garlic or onions to develop further down. 
  • Peas. Tall pea vines provide welcome shade for delicate lettuce plants. The lettuce also benefits from peas’ nitrogen-fixing powers.
  • Spinach. 
  • Squash—including melons, zucchini, pumpkins. Planting lettuce among squash plants is a good use of space—the lettuce can quickly grow to harvest size, by which time you can pull the plants to make room for the ready-to-vine squash plants.
  • Strawberries. Lettuce and strawberries have similar water, soil, and nutrient needs, and lettuce leaves can hide the ripe strawberries from birds and other berry-loving critters. 
  • Sunflowers. Tall sunflowers provide shade for heat-sensitive lettuce.
  • TomatoesLettuce slots in neatly between tomato plants, and the tall tomatoes provide shade for the lettuce.

What should not be planted with lettuce?

  • Broccoli and cauliflower. Vegetables in the brassica family (this also includes kale and cauliflower) can inhibit lettuce germination.

Want more about growing lettuce?

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Cassie is a Certified Master Gardener and the founder of Growfully. She's been gardening organically for over two decades, and she's so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!
Meet Cassie
Meet Your Guide

Hi! My name is Cassie.

I’m a Certified Master Gardener and founder of Growfully. I’ve been gardening organically for over two decades, and I’m so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!

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