35 Companion Plants to Grow With Beans This Season

Not sure what to plant next to your beans this year? Gardening expert Kaleigh Brillon lists 35 plants that work well with pole or bush varieties of beans so you can reap the benefits of companion planting.

Beans growing in garden with companion plants which are other vegetables with bright green color.

Contents

Beans are nitrogen-fixing plants that absorb nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil on nodules attached to their root systems. Growing beans can be a great way to improve your soil and benefit the plants growing nearby. With the right companion plants for beans, you can have a more bountiful harvest!

Companion planting is a nifty little nature hack that will benefit your plants so long as the species get along in the garden. Some plants aren’t meant to be together, while others work in harmony and bring each other great benefits.

Let’s explore some companion plants that will benefit from the legume’s nitrogen-fixing roots while giving something back to the bean crop.

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting allows plants to work together to maximize their success. Modern backyard gardening often separates plants into types. You might have a bed for tomatoes, a bed for beans, and a bed for flowers. It might look organized, but it’s not exactly efficient.

If beans, tomatoes, and flowers are together in one bed, the beans will give the tomatoes and flowers a nitrogen boost, the flowers will attract pollinators, and the tomatoes will provide shade to the beans and flowers. All are working together, and you’ll likely see a bigger harvest.

It’s essential to research what plants can do for a garden before you start planting in a shared bed. Some might attract pests that will harm others, and a water-loving plant will keep your drought-tolerant plant unhappy.

YouTube video
There are proven benefits to companion planting in your garden.

Beans as Companion Plants

Close-up of a bean plant in a sunny garden. Bean plants are herbaceous and have a vining or bushy growth habit. The leaves are medium-sized and composed of three leaflets, giving them a trifoliate or clover-like appearance. The leaflets are oval or lanceolate in shape with a smooth edge. The plant produces long, thin, bright green pods.
A bean plant contributes nitrogen to the garden and can provide shade and ground cover.

What will a bean plant contribute to the garden? Overall, it’s an agreeable plant that will do well beside almost any vegetable.

Benefits

The most obvious benefit of legume crops is their nitrogen-fixing capability! These crops are proven to improve soil nitrogen availability. You won’t need to fertilize much because they make their own fertility once established. When they’re planted next to other plants, their neighbors may benefit from that, too.

Beans can also provide shade and ground cover, depending on whether they are bush or pole varieties. Pole varieties can climb trellises and provide shade, while bush varieties can keep the ground covered to prevent erosion and protect delicate roots.

Disadvantages

Like any other nutrient, too much nitrogen can be a bad thing. Nitrogen is responsible for leaf growth, and too much will cause plants to grow more foliage and fewer flowers or fruit. Once your beans are established, slow down on applying nitrogen so you’re not applying too much; the beans don’t need it and while your other plants do, you don’t want to overload them!

If you like to grow a lot of legumes, bean plants can contribute to a Mexican bean beetle problem. These beetles are relatives of ladybugs and look quite similar, but they eat legume foliage instead of pests, so you won’t want them around.

35 Companion Plants for Beans

There are so many plants you can plant with beans! You probably won’t have any issues finding ideal companions for your vines. Let’s look at 35 plants that are sure to grow happily next to this legume.

Basil

Close-up of a basil plant in a sunny garden bed. Basil plants have dense and compact growth with numerous branching stems. Basil leaves are oval in shape, with a slightly serrated edge. They have a bright green color and a glossy texture.
Growing basil with beans promotes leaf production thanks to the nitrogen boost.

Basil and beans are a no-brainer—the goal is lots of leaves! Beans will give basil the nitrogen boost they need to produce as many delicious leaves as possible. 

Consider growing a pole variety along trellises and planting the basil in front of the beans with a little room for airflow. Bush varieties will work, too, but you’ll need more space between the plants.

Basil can repel various flies, including mosquitoes, so it’s a good plant to grow in the garden.

Beets

Close-up of a growing beetroot plant in the garden. Beetroot plants have a rosette habit with a bunch of large, dark green leaves that emerge from a central stem. The leaves are broad and elongated, with prominent venation and a slightly wrinkled texture. The beetroot plant produces a dark red round or cylindrical root which is the main edible part of the plant. It has a smooth, greyish-purple skin.
Bush beans are a suitable companion for beets, providing nitrogen.

Bush beans and beets work well together, but you’ll want to keep pole varieties away. Pole varieties typically grow more vigorously and will shade your beets too much. They could also intertwine with the beet foliage or root and stunt its growth.

Bush varieties won’t vine around beet greens or shade them out too much, making them a much better option for beets. Beets will also appreciate the nitrogen-fixing legume roots.

Borage

Close-up of a flowering Borage plant in the garden. Borage is a herbaceous annual plant with a dense and upright growth habit. They have several branches covered with coarse, hairy stems. The leaves are large, alternate, rough, bright green. Leaves are ovate or lanceolate with prominent veins. Borage plants produce star-shaped flowers that are bright blue in color. The flowers are small, but numerous, collected in inflorescences at the ends of the stems. Each flower has five petals and a central stamen that protrudes outwards.
This beautiful edible flower that adds color to your garden and serves ecological and culinary purposes.

Borage is a pretty star-shaped purple-blue edible flower. The plant is often used for medicinal purposes, but you can eat the flowers and leaves in salads or cook them up. They will surely add a gorgeous pop of color to your vegetable garden.

It’s a good neighbor for beans because they attract pollinators and deter pests that like to eat legumes. It’s a pair that’s meant to be!

Broccoli

Close-up of a broccoli plant in a sunny garden. Broccoli plants are characterized by their upright growth and dense clusters of green buds. They have a central stem that supports several branches, each bearing a compact flower head. The heads consist of numerous densely packed dark green flower buds. Broccoli leaves are large, dark green, with deep lobes and a rough texture.
Bush beans are suitable companions for broccoli, as they won’t crowd or choke it out.

Broccoli can take up a lot of space with its foliage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t companion plant with it. Bush varieties are a good choice because they won’t develop vines that will choke out the broccoli.

A great way to space these plants is to have rows that alternate between broccoli and beans. It will allow you to have appropriate spacing between every plant so things don’t get too crowded. You can also plant bush beans along the perimeters of your broccoli bed, but the central broccoli plants won’t receive the full benefits of nitrogen-making roots.

Brussels Sprouts

Close-up of a growing Brussels sprout plant in a sunny garden. they have a central stem with thick strong branches that grow upwards. The plant forms a dense compact head, consisting of many small round shoots or buds. The leaves of Brussels sprouts are large, dark green, with deep veins. Edible, round, small sprouts grow in a spiral and tightly clustered together.
Brussels sprouts make good companions for bush beans, providing shade, but pole beans should be avoided.

Brussels sprouts are another good plant to plant with bush beans. Brussels sprouts are a little taller, so they can provide some shade to bush beans. Pole varieties will want to climb them, so steer clear of those!

Since Brussels sprouts develop their leaves at the top, they don’t cover up as much ground, so you can plant the beans a little closer than you could with broccoli, which is a good thing to remember if you’re dealing with limited space.

Cabbage

Top view of a growing cabbage plant in the garden. The cabbage plant is stunted, has a compact and rounded shape. The leaves are large, smooth, pale green. The leaves are densely folded in layers, forming a dense head in the center. Cabbage leaves are thick and have a slightly waxy texture. They are wide and have a smooth surface.
Cabbage benefits from bush beans, so consider alternating rows of cabbage and beans.

Cabbage can take up a lot of space, too, but they benefit from bush beans, so it’s worth trying to get the two to work together. As I suggested for broccoli, consider alternating rows of cabbage and beans to ensure everything has enough breathing room.

Cabbage is prized for its leafy greens, so legumes are a must since they produce nitrogen! Just remember that the window for growing this pairing together is limited; beans like the warmth, and cabbage likes the cool weather. But for a fall planting, when the beans stop is ideal for when the cabbage plants start to bulk out and take up more space.

Carrots

Close-up of a lot of freshly picked carrots on green grass in the garden. Carrot plants are slender and elongated, with a tuft of pinnate, fern-like leaves at the top. The leaves are dark green, divided into many thin thread-like segments. The edible part of the carrot plant is the taproot, which is elongated and conical in shape and bright orange in color.
Beans and carrots are beneficial companions as beans improve soil quality and provide nitrogen for carrots.

Beans and carrots make great neighbors because they help each other out. Carrots need healthy soil since their taproot needs to grow deep into the ground. Beans will help improve the soil by loosening it up and providing nitrogen.

Carrots will help the beans by attracting ladybugs that eat aphids. Aphids go after legumes and just about anything else in your garden, so feel free to pop in a few carrots here and there! The aphids will be drawn to the carrot tops and will reduce their damage to the bean plants.

The roots of these two plants won’t interfere with each other too much, so you can make the most of your space and plant them a little too close together. Carrot tops can sometimes become super leafy, so you must watch to ensure the area doesn’t become too crowded.

Catnip

Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a small herbaceous plant that typically grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet. It has a dense and upright growth habit, with square-shaped stems covered with fine hairs. The leaves of catnip are heart-shaped and have a grayish-green color. They are opposite and arranged in pairs along the stems. The leaves have a rough texture and deep veins. Catnip produces clusters of small, tubular flowers that are pale purple in color. The flowers are uniquely shaped, with two lips and a lower lip.
Planting catnip near beans attracts beneficial insects and repels bean beetles.

If you don’t mind potentially attracting neighborhood cats, you’ll want to plant catnip near your beans! Catnip attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which your beans need to develop pods. Catnip will also help deter different bean beetles, which can really damage your bean plants.

Unless you want nitrogen benefits, you don’t have to plant catnip directly beside this leguminous crop. Plant catnip on the ends of rows or in nearby planters and containers to repel pests and attract pollinators.

Celery

Close-up of growing celery plants in rows in a garden. The plant has a compact and upright growth. Celery leaves are pinnate, that is, divided into leaflets located on opposite sides of the central stem. The leaves are elongated, glossy, dark green. Celery stalks are the edible part of the plant and are pale green, long, crisp, and ribbed.
As a heavy feeder, celery can be planted alongside both bush and pole beans.

Celery is a heavy feeder that will need plenty of nitrogen, so let them share space with beans. Bush and pole beans will both work with celery. Keep pole varieties from growing around the celery by helping them up a trellis and allowing enough space between the plants.

Beans will also benefit from this arrangement since celery can repel bean beetles.

Chamomile

Close-up of a flowering Chamomile plant, scientifically known as Matricaria chamomilla, is an aromatic herbaceous plant with a distinctive appearance. Chamomile leaves are bright green, pinnate and finely divided, arranged alternately along the stems. Chamomile produces small, daisy-like flowers on thin stems. The flowers have a yellow central disk surrounded by white petals.
Chamomile is a valuable companion for beans, as it repels Mexican bean beetles.

If you’re not already growing chamomile in your garden, you’ll want to change that! Chamomile is a great companion to many plants, but you’ll want them near your beans since they repel the dreaded Mexican bean beetle. Place them in nearby containers or place them in the same bed. Bush and pole bean varieties can get along with chamomile just fine.

Chamomile is appreciated in the garden because it helps renew the soil by releasing potassium, sulfur, and calcium. If your chamomile is doing this and your beans are releasing nitrogen, you will have a good-as-new garden bed in no time!

Corn

Close-up of growing corn plants in rows in a sunny garden. Corn, also known as maize, is a tall, grass-like plant with long thin leaves arranged alternately along the stem. The leaves are green, flat, with a prominent midrib running through the center. On the bottom of the plant, there are corn cobs, which are the fruits. Each cob is covered with husks, which are modified leaves that protect the developing grains. Corn cobs are cylindrical in shape, bright yellow kernels are densely packed in rows.
Use corn as a natural trellis for pole beans in the Three Sisters gardening method.

If you need to save money or space in your garden, let corn be a natural trellis for pole beans. The Three Sisters gardening method used by Native Americans uses corn, beans, and squash as companion plants to get maximum benefits.

The corn should be tall and sturdy enough to support the beans when they are ready to start vining. The leguminous roots will eventually start adding nitrogen to the soil, which will, in turn, help out the corn and squash. Meanwhile, the squash will creep along the ground as a living mulch.

Cucumbers

Close-up of ripening cucumber fruits in the garden. Cucumber plants are characterized by spreading vines with large green leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped and have a rough texture. They are arranged alternately along the vine and create a lush backdrop for the plant. Cucumbers produce cylindrical fruits, covered with slightly bumpy dark green skin.
Bush beans and cucumbers thrive in similar conditions, including ample sunlight, nutrient-rich soil, and sufficient water.

Bush beans and cucumbers are a good combination as they like the same conditions. They both want a lot of sun, nutrient-rich soil, and plenty of water to drink. It’s crucial to keep like-minded plants together so you can keep them happy. Not to mention, it makes watering everything a little easier!

You can try to keep pole varieties with your cucumbers, but growing vining plants together is not usually a good idea. The beans and cucumbers will climb all over each other and may impede each other’s growth. If you don’t mind the upkeep, plant them nearby and train them onto different trellises so they don’t cause problems.

Dill

Close-up of a dill plant covered with water drops, in a garden. Dill plants have delicate and feathery leaves that are bright green in color. The leaves are thin and finely divided into thread-like segments, giving them a lacy appearance. They grow alternately along thin stems and create airy and graceful foliage.
Plant dill in your garden to attract pollinators, repel Mexican bean beetles, and attract beneficial insects.

You’ll want to grow dill everywhere in your garden because of all the pollinators they attract. Ladybugs love dill as much as they love aphids, so plant dill if you have an aphid problem. This herb is recommended as a bean companion plant because it also repels Mexican bean beetles. (Pair dill with chamomile, and your bean-growing efforts should be much easier.)

Dill will also attract hoverflies and predatory wasps that like to eat aphids and other critters that want to eat up your beans and everything else in the garden. Dill is one of my favorite things to grow because it’s as helpful as it is delicious!

Dill can develop a bushy growth habit, especially when you plant a ton of seeds in one spot, as I do, so you may prefer to keep this one in containers nearby or on the ends of rows. 

Eggplants

Close-up of growing eggplants in a sunny garden. Eggplants have wide elongated leaves of rich green color. The leaves are smooth and shiny and grow alternately along strong stems. Eggplant fruits are large, oblong, with a smooth and shiny dark purple skin.
Eggplants deplete soil nitrogen, but planting beans nearby can replenish it.

Every relationship has some give and take, but eggplants are mostly takers. Eggplants are heavy feeders and can strip the soil of nitrogen. Beans are a great eggplant companion because they replenish nitrogen throughout the season, so you may not have to fertilize as much.

Beans will also give the gift of deterring Colorado potato beetles, which love to eat up eggplants! These beetles can build up a tolerance to pesticides, so it’s good to keep beans around to help keep the beetles at bay.

Fruit Trees

Close-up of a branch of an apricot tree with ripe fruits. The apricot tree has bright green oval serrated leaves. The leaves are arranged alternately along the branches. The fruits of the apricot tree are round or slightly oblong in shape, with a soft and velvety skin. They are orange in color with a red blush on the skin.
Plant bush beans around fruit trees for nitrogen and root protection.

Most fruit trees, like nectarines, peaches, and apricots, will benefit from the nitrogen bean plants provide. Plant bush beans around the base of your tree to provide nitrogen, protect tree roots, and prevent erosion. Beans will help soak up excess water if the area you planted your tree is prone to puddling.

You can also use beans as a cover crop to help revitalize the soil. Before the beans start developing pods, cut them down and till them back into the soil as green manure. You can do this in spring or fall, which will help your trees grow more foliage.

Marigolds

Close-up of blooming marigolds in the garden. Marigolds are compact annuals with bright showy flowers. They have dark green, deeply divided, fern-like leaves arranged alternately along the stem. The flowers are small, with several layers of ruffled petals in bright red and yellow.
Plant marigolds to enhance garden beauty and repel pests like Mexican bean beetles.

I plant marigolds every year because they’re beautiful and tolerant of my climate’s hot, dry conditions. They also help repel pests. If Mexican bean beetles constantly bully your beans, pop in a few marigolds

They have a compact growth habit and will easily fit into small spaces. They grow taller when they’re by themselves and stay smaller when they’re settled under taller plants, making them versatile plants that will figure out how to “deal with it.”

For the best repelling results, plant marigolds between bean plants within rows or alternate marigolds and bean rows. Marigolds will get along with both bush and pole bean varieties as long as the pole beans are trained up a trellis.

Nasturtium

Close-up of a flowering Nasturtium plant in the garden. Nasturtium is a low growing annual plant with unique foliage and showy flowers. The leaves are rounded or shield-shaped, variegated, bright green in color with cream markings and stripes. Flowers are bright orange and bright red. They have five petals and a tubular shape.
Pairing nasturtium with marigolds may deter Mexican bean beetles.

Nasturtium is another of my favorites because of its irresistible orange and cream colors and unique round leaves. When you pair these with marigolds, Mexican bean beetles won’t want to be around!

These flowers grow in rounded clumps about a foot wide, so you may not want to plant them too close to your beans. I like to plant them in the corners of my rectangular raised bed or in containers so I can place them where needed. This gives them plenty of room to spread out while still being close enough to my beans to be beneficial.

Nasturtium can help out your whole garden since they attract pollinators. Use them as a trap crop for aphids to help keep them away from your beans.

Oregano

Top view, close-up of growing oregano in the garden. Oregano is a perennial herb with a dense and spreading habit. The leaves of the plant are small, oval-shaped, dark green in color, located opposite each other along the stem.
Plant oregano near your beans to attract beneficial hoverflies and repel aphids.

If you need more beneficial insects in your garden, start with oregano. They attract hoverflies which eat aphids. They also repel aphids which will eat just about any plant’s sap, especially your beans, so oregano is a good one to plant nearby.

Oregano will work well in containers near your beans, but you’ll want to intercrop these plants so they can share mutual benefits. Oregano will have hearty growth spurts from the beans’ nitrogen-fixing roots. While largely anecdotal, growing oregano nearby is often claimed to be a flavor enhancer for beans.

Peas

Close-up of a pea plant in the garden. Pea is an annual plant with thin curly stems. Pea leaves are complex and consist of several leaflets. Each leaf consists of two or three pairs of leaflets with a terminal leaflet at the end. Leaflets are oval, smooth, bright green. Peas produce small, pod-like fruits. They are elongated and cylindrical, green. Inside the pods, the peas are arranged in a row and are the edible part of the plant.
Beans and peas, although both legumes form a beneficial partnership.

Beans and peas are both legumes, so isn’t this one a little redundant? You might think so, but they actually make great partners in crime. If you time it just right, you can extend your peas’ harvest by using beans as a natural shade cover once the temperatures get hot at the beginning of summer. 

Peas are a winter and early spring crop, so when the beans you plant in early-to-mid spring are big enough, your mature peas will receive some shade to help them keep growing.

Petunia

Close-up of blooming petunias in the garden. The plant has simple oval leaves, with a slightly wavy or serrated edge. They are arranged alternately along the stems and are bright green in color. Petunias produce showy and tubular flowers in bright pink. The flowers have a velvety texture. They have five fused petals and a central tubular structure.
Petunias attract beneficial insects and repel various pests with colorful clusters of flowers.

Petunias grow in rounded clumps with tons of flowers. They’re a great way to add a pop of color to your veggie garden. They attract beneficial insects like crazy with all their pretty blooms.

They also repel many pests. They can help you with your Mexican bean beetle problems as well as aphids, tomato worms, asparagus beetles, and leafhoppers. Pest problems? Try petunias!

Potatoes

Close-up of garden beds with growing potato bushes. Potato is a herbaceous perennial plant. The leaves of the potato plant are complex and consist of several leaflets. Each leaf usually has 5-7 leaflets, oval or lanceolate, with a slightly serrated or lobed margin. The leaflets are dark green in color and arranged alternately along the stem. The plant produces small white star-shaped flowers.
Beans and potatoes form a beneficial partnership by deterring pests from each other.

Beans and potatoes stick up for each other. Potatoes will help deter Mexican bean beetles, and beans will deter Colorado potato beetles. Isn’t it cool when nature works together?

Since beans have shallow root systems, they won’t get in the way of the potatoes too much, so you can plant them pretty close together. Just remember that potatoes aren’t totally underground—they have bushy foliage that needs sunlight!

You might consider pairing potatoes with pole beans so you can have the beans climb up and give the potato leaves the space they need.

Pumpkins

Close-up of a ripe pumpkin fruit in the garden. Pumpkins are large, vining plants that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. The plants have strong hairy stems that have tendrils for climbing and anchoring. Pumpkin leaves are large, deeply dissected, distinctly palmate in shape. They have a rough texture and a dark green color. The fruit is large, rounded, with a thick, hard, ribbed skin, dark orange in color with dark green markings.
Pumpkins and beans can work together by suppressing weeds and training their vines separately.

With a bit of planning, you can make pumpkins and beans work together, despite all those vines growing simultaneously! Pumpkins are good at suppressing weeds since they create long vines with large leaves. Planting near beans will help keep the weeds down so your beans can thrive.

Beans and pumpkins both have shallow roots, so it’s wise to plant the seeds away from each other and train the vines to go where you want them. If you have pole beans growing up trellises on one end of your bed, you can plant the pumpkins in the middle or on the other side of the bed and train the vines to reach the other side.

Remember, a pumpkin is really a squash variety, so this is a prime candidate for the Three Sisters growing method! Just remember that pumpkins like to spread quite a lot, and keep them from invading the trellises your beans are climbing.

Radishes

Close-up of a growing radish plant in the garden. Radish plants have a compact and bushy growth. Radish stems are relatively short and thick, with broad, fleshy leaves that emerge straight from the base of the plant. The leaves are oval, green, with a rough texture and slightly serrated edges. The plant produces edible root crops, round in shape, with a bright pink skin.
Radishes are great companions for beans as they don’t take up much space and act as weed suppressors.

Radishes work well with beans because they don’t take up much space and will be harvested before they take up too much room. The radish sprouts can act as weed suppressors for young bean plants. Once the radishes are ready to harvest, the beans will be several inches tall and will be ready for the radishes to get out of the way.

If you leave enough space, you can grow radishes under the shade of beans throughout your growing season. Radishes like cool weather are less likely to bolt in when partially shaded. Pole and bush bean varieties can create just enough shade to keep your radish harvests going well into summer.

Rhubarb

Close-up of a rhubarb plant growing in a garden. The plant has thick fleshy edible stems and large bright leaves. Rhubarb leaves are large and wide, triangular in shape with deeply lobed or serrated edges. The leaves are rich green in color and have a textured surface with prominent veins. Rhubarb stalks are red-green, thick and crunchy in texture.
Rhubarb repels whiteflies, but be sure to give it space from beans due to its large leaves.

Whiteflies are a major pest to beans that feed on the undersides of leaves, so you may only realize you have them once the damage is done. Rhubarb can help you out since it repels whiteflies.

Rhubarb can grow some sizable leaves, so you’ll want to leave plenty of space between it and the beans. Consider planting them on the ends of rows or alternating bean and rhubarb rows. Rhubarb might shade out bush beans, but pole beans could grow tall enough to handle being planted a little close.

Rosemary

Close-up of a rosemary plant in a sunny garden. It is an evergreen plant with a woody and upright growth habit. Rosemary leaves are needle-like and linear, resembling small pine needles. They are densely arranged along the stems and are dark green on the upper surface and lighter silvery green on the underside.
Rosemary repels Mexican bean beetles with its strong scent while benefiting from the nitrogen boost that beans provide.

Rosemary is another plant on the list of Mexican bean beetle fighters! The beetles are attracted to the scent of beans, but rosemary is so strong that the bugs can’t smell the beans. They also don’t like the rosemary scent much, which helps!

Like other herbs, rosemary benefits greatly from the nitrogen boost beans give. The nitrogen will help the rosemary grow more foliage, and you’ll have larger harvests to enjoy!

Savory

Close-up of a savory plant in the garden. It is a small herbaceous annual or perennial plant with fragrant leaves. Savory leaves are small and elongated, lanceolate in shape, with smooth edges and a glossy dark green color. The leaves are arranged oppositely along the stems, which are thin and branched.
Summer savory may enhance bean flavor and repel Mexican bean beetles, making it a great companion plant.

Summer savory is claimed to improve the flavor of beans, so you’ll want to keep this one in the same bed. It also repels Mexican bean beetles and benefits from the nitrogen boost. You certainly won’t want this one in a container!

Savory can grow pretty big, so you’ll want to prune it frequently so it doesn’t crowd out your beans. It can reach up to 18 inches tall and 30 inches wide. If you tend to fall behind on pruning and harvesting (me too—no judgment here!), savory will benefit your beans the best on the ends of rows or in the corners of your raised beds so they can have extra room to sprawl out.

Spinach

Close-up of a growing spinach on a garden bed. The appearance of spinach is characterized by bright green foliage and compact growth. Spinach leaves are broad, flat and smooth in texture. They are oval in shape with a slightly pointed tip. The leaves emerge from a central rosette at the base of the plant and are arranged in a spiral pattern. Spinach leaves are dark green in color.
Plant sun-loving beans near spinach for shade, resulting in extended spinach growth.

Sun-loving beans match spinach well because they can create some much-needed shade. Spinach can last much longer when it receives shade during hot weather, so plant it near trellised pole beans or tall bush beans to enjoy early summer spinach.

When you feed it nitrogen, you’ll get a larger spinach harvest, so beans will help it out. Spinach and beans have similar water needs, so keeping them happy shouldn’t be a challenge.

Strawberries

Close-up of ripe strawberries on a bed in a sunny garden. Strawberries are a low-growing perennial plant that produces tasty, sweet fruits. Strawberry leaves are complex and consist of three leaflets. Leaflets are dark green in color, oval in shape, with jagged edges. The leaves are borne on long petioles and are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant. Strawberries are small, oval-shaped, bright red in color. They have a textured skin and are covered in tiny seeds.
Plant low-growing strawberries near the pole or bush beans, allowing extra space for bush beans.

Strawberry plants stay pretty low to the ground, so you can plant them near the pole and bush beans with few problems. Bush beans will likely become overcrowded with the strawberries, so adding a little extra space between the two would be wise. If you plant them with pole beans, you can train the vines to go up rather than around the strawberries.

Strawberries typically need a lot of water, so they should work well next to bean plants. They also draw in a lot of pollinators which will help your beans and anything else growing nearby. Beans and strawberries don’t like the allium family (onions, garlic, and leeks), so keep that in mind as you plan out your garden.

Summer Squash

Close-up of Squash plants in a sunny garden. The plant has sprawling vines and large broad leaves. Pumpkin leaves are broad and usually palmate, which means they have multiple lobes that resemble a hand with fingers. Squash plants produce large, oblong fruits that are bright yellow in color.
The Three Sisters method combines corn, beans, and squash to optimize space and mutual benefits.

Summer squash is another member of the Three Sisters gardening method I mentioned earlier. Corn is the natural trellis, beans are the nitrogen providers, and summer squash serves as the ground cover protecting the roots from sun, erosion, and weeds.

The Three Sisters method is a genius way to make the most of little space and is a prime example of what companion planting should look like. All the plants work together and benefit each other in some way, which benefits you by giving you a bigger harvest with fewer problems.

Squash flowers draw in plenty of pollinators, so your beans shouldn’t have any problems getting pollinated with squash nearby. If you don’t want to use the Three Sisters method, you can plant beans and squash together, but you’ll need a trellis for pole beans or extra space to accommodate bush beans.

Sunflowers

Close-up of blooming sunflowers in the garden. Sunflowers are tall, showy annuals. Plants have vertical thick strong stems, covered with coarse hairs. The leaves are broad, heart-shaped, with a rough texture. The flowers are large, consist of a central disk surrounded by bright yellow petals. The disk is made up of numerous tiny single flowers called florets that range in color from green to yellow to brown.
Sunflowers can serve as a natural trellis for pole beans, providing support and shade.

If corn isn’t your thing, you can use sunflowers as an alternative natural trellis for pole beans! Sunflowers grow tall and fast and should be sturdy enough to support beans even if you start the seeds simultaneously.

Sunflowers will draw in a ton of pollinators and also give your beans some shade. Even though beans love the sun, they still have their limits. My climate always pushes the limit, and I often need to give my beans some shade. Why not let gorgeous sunflower leaves do all the work for you?

Sweet Potatoes

Close-up of sweet potato tubers among foliage. The appearance of the sweet potato plant is characterized by its vining growth habit, heart-shaped leaves, and the underground tubers it produces. The leaves of the sweet potato are large, heart-shaped, with prominent veins extending from the central midrib. Sweet potato tubers are the edible part of the plant. They are thick, fibrous, purplish-pink in color.
Sweet potatoes make a great alternative to squash in the Three Sisters method.

The great thing about the Three Sisters method is that you aren’t limited to the same three plants. Sweet potatoes are an excellent alternative to squash, and they work great with beans.

Sweet potatoes thrive with a bit of shade that pole beans can offer as they grow up a trellis. Mature bean plants will replenish nitrogen in the soil to help sweet potatoes develop, and the sweet potato vines will protect the beans’ roots.

Swiss Chard

Close-up of a Swiss chard plant in a sunny garden. Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is grown for its nutritious leaves. The leaves are bright green, wide, have a wrinkled texture. Stems are bright pink.
Swiss chard and pole beans make a great pair, benefiting from each other’s nitrogen and shade.

Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens to grow, and of course, I’m growing them right next to my beans! They’re a good pair because the added nitrogen helps the leafy greens grow abundantly and look beautiful. Pole beans will provide some shade to the Swiss chard to help it last longer in the garden as the temperatures warm up.

I have limited space in my garden and tend to push the limits of compact gardening. My Swiss chard and pole beans are in close quarters, but they’re growing well! If you also have a small space, don’t worry too much about this pair because they don’t seem to mind sharing.

Tomatoes

Close-up of ripening tomato fruits in the garden. The tomato plant is tall and upright, with a central stem that branches out into lush foliage. The leaves are medium to large in size, dark green, and have a slightly serrated edge. The fruits are large, rounded, bright red in color with a thin shiny skin.
Beans and tomatoes make a successful pair, with beans benefiting from the shade of tomatoes in hot climates.

I plant beans and tomatoes together often, and it works out well. Because of the scorching temperatures where I live, beans seem to enjoy the extra shade of unkempt tomatoes when I can’t prune fast enough.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and will benefit greatly from extra nitrogen throughout the growing season.

Once the tomato plants start fruiting, they won’t need extra nitrogen with beans around. Nitrogen helps foliage and can sometimes prevent fruiting. The beans should provide just what your tomatoes need while they produce fruit.

Zinnias

Close-up of multi-colored flowering zinnias in the garden. Zinnia plants are bushy and compact, growing in a variety of vibrant colors. They have long, slender stems with lance-shaped leaves that are typically green. The leaves are arranged opposite each other along the stems. Zinnias produce beautiful, daisy-like flowers with multiple layers of petals. The flowers come in a wide range of colors including red, orange, yellow, pink, purple and white.
Zinnias attract pollinators and thrive when planted near beans.

You can’t grow wrong with zinnias! (Pun intended!) Pollinators flock to zinnias and love to hang around gardens full of them. Plant them near your beans to help get them pollinated.

The nitrogen the beans add to the soil will help your zinnias grow bushier with more stems and, eventually, more flowers. Bush and pole beans will both work as long as you keep the vines from climbing and choking your zinnias.

Zucchini

Close-up of growing zucchini plants in rows in the garden. Zucchini plants have large, broad leaves and grow as sprawling vines. The leaves are dark green in color and have a rough texture. The fruits of the zucchini plant are elongated and cylindrical, with smooth, green skin.
Zucchini, like squash, protects bean roots and attracts pollinators.

Zucchini works just like summer squash as a bean companion. It protects the roots and draws in a lot of pollinators.

Zucchini will also work as a member of the Three Sisters method. If you want something different in your garden, try the method out with sunflowers, beans, and zucchini! Beans will also give back to the zucchini in this setup, repelling various beetles that often go after zucchini.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of plants that grow well with beans. Some plants do better with bush beans, while others do better with pole varieties. If you’re willing to test things out, you’re sure to find a setup that will work perfectly in your garden.

SHARE THIS POST
grow peppers in containers

Vegetables

How to Grow Pepper Plants in Pots or Containers

Don’t let limited space keep you from a plentiful pepper harvest. Peppers, whether spicy or sweet, grow great in containers! In this article, gardening expert Danielle Sherwood shares what you need to grow beautiful and tasty pepper plants in pots.

Perennial Vegetables Grown in Cool Hardiness Zone

Vegetables

41 Perennial Vegetables to Grow by Hardiness Zone

Are you going to add some perennial vegetables to your garden this growing season? Most perennials can be grown relatively easily, and can be a great project for gardeners both novice and advanced. In this article, we look at 41 of our favorite perennial vegetables, and organize them by the hardiness zone that they will grow the quickest in.

tomato tips

Vegetables

15 Tips For Growing Great Garden Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes can be a bit intimidating for both seasoned gardeners and beginners. While their yields can be bountiful, they can also bring problems to your garden as well. In this article, gardening expert and homesteader Merideth Cohrs shares 15 of her top tips for fantastic garden grown tomatoes this season!