11 Companion Plants to Grow with Radicchio

Radicchio is a cool-season crop that adds a crunch to any dish. This leafy green can be paired with several different vegetables in your garden this season. In this article, gardening expert Kaleigh Brillon goes over all the plants you can grow with radicchio in the garden.

radicchio companions


The chicory plant family is full of crispy greens that add a delicious bite to hot and cold dishes. Radicchio is a cabbage-like plant with gorgeous reddish-purple and white coloring that will stand out on your plate. Many companion plants can grow with radicchio if you want to add this to your garden.

This cool-season crop will get along with many other plants that need similar conditions. If given perfect conditions, it can grow to be quite large, and properly spacing it with other plants can seem like a chore.

I’ll show you which plants work well with radicchio and help you figure out how to space them in your garden.

About Companion Planting

Close-up of a growing Radicchio next to Calendula in the garden. Radicchio is a leafy vegetable with beautiful waxy leaves. They are green in color with maroon hues and white veins. The leaves are wide, oval, smooth, with slightly wavy edges that form a rosette. Calendula is a flowering plant with bright and cheerful orange petals. Its leaves are green and lanceolate, forming a dense rosette at the base of the plant. The leaves are slightly hairy and have a soft texture.
This ancient practice involves pairing plants to make gardening easier, reduce pests, and balance nutrient needs.

Companion planting is essentially making plants work for you to make your life easier—if you want to look at it that way! You can pair certain plants together to help reduce pest populations, attract pollinators, and provide shade.

With careful planning, you can choose companions that benefit each other nutrient-wise. Pairing nitrogen-hungry plants with others that don’t need as much nitrogen will help you balance out how much fertilizer you need. Plants with shallow roots grow well with deep-rooted plants because they absorb water and nutrients at different levels without competing.

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There are scientific benefits to planting certain crops with one another.

Anyone can benefit from companion planting, but those with limited space will find the most use for it. You can turn your tomato planter into a planter for tomatoes, herbs, and flowers, tripling your plant quantities while receiving better harvests.

Radicchio as a Companion Plant

Radicchio may seem like a tough plant to turn into a companion since it can grow large in the right conditions. Before you can pick its neighbors, you need to understand how it behaves in the garden.


Since radicchio can grow up to 12 inches tall and wide, it makes a good ground cover for other plants. It can suppress weeds and protect roots, which will help your other plants thrive. This chicory performs best in cool seasons with plenty of moisture.

Radicchio has a shallow root system, so most of the real estate it takes up is above ground, meaning that you can plant deep-rooted plants like carrots and beets nearby and not have to worry about taproots becoming misshapen.


Radicchio can attract several pests that will attack its neighbors, including aphids, flea beetles, thrips, and cabbage loopers. You may also see ants around, but they won’t eat your radicchio; they’re just farming aphids for their honeydew, which means you’ll have a bigger aphid problem than before.

Another problem you may have is keeping thirsty radicchio happy. They like a lot of water, usually 1-2 inches per week, and possibly more if you grow it in hotter conditions than it prefers to grow in, like at the start of summer. If you pair it with other thirsty plants, you’ll need to water your garden more often than usual.

Companion Plants for Radicchio

Let’s consider some companions that grow well next to this unique chicory!


Close-up of beets growing in rows in the garden. Beetroot is a biennial plant known for its edible roots, leaves, and fruits. The leaves are large, glossy, dark green in color and grow from a central stem with distinct veins. The stems are purple. The root of the beetroot is the most well-known part, having a round or cylindrical shape and covered with a thin gray-brown skin.
These root crops benefit chicories by improving soil structure and nutrient absorption.

Beets have a lot to offer to their neighbors. For starters, their thick roots will help loosen the soil to help radicchio grow better. Their roots soak up nutrients at different levels and won’t hinder each other’s growth.

If you don’t want to eat beet greens, cut them and return them to the soil. They’re full of magnesium, which helps plants grow larger. Plants that don’t receive enough magnesium can become stunted, so feel free to leave those leaves behind.


Close-up of a gardener harvesting carrots in the garden. With one hand he pulls ripe carrots out of the ground, and in the other hand he holds a bunch of freshly picked carrots. The carrot is a biennial plant valued for its edible roots, leaves, and fruits. Carrot leaves are pinnate and delicate, growing like a fern from a central stem. The root is large, elongated, bright orange.
Deep-rooted carrots improve soil and aid chicory growth without competing for resources in small spaces.

Carrots are great at loosening the soil, especially if you grow large varieties that reach deep in the soil. If you’re growing radicchio in a garden bed with less-than-ideal soil, companion planting carrots will help make it easier for the roots to grow and can even help draw nutrients into the upper layers of the soil.

Since the roots grow at different depths, they don’t compete for nutrients. Carrots have a deep taproot with feeders that creep underneath the level of the shallow radicchio roots. This is great if you have to squeeze these plants into a small space.


Close-up of cauliflower in the garden. Cauliflower is a biennial plant with an edible flower head. Cauliflower leaves are large, broad, bluish green, and form a rosette around the base of the flower head. The flower head, also called the curd, is the edible part of the plant and consists of tightly packed, undeveloped flower buds.
Brassicas are suitable companions because they have similar growing needs.

Cauliflower doesn’t necessarily benefit radicchio, but it’s a good companion because it has similar growing requirements and won’t harm the plant. They’re both cool-season crops that need plenty of water and sunshine. You’ll likely need to increase how much water you give them since they’re both thirsty plants.

Both plants are susceptible to cabbage loopers, flea beetles, aphids, and thrips, so you’ll need to watch for these pests. Consider growing sage or another herb that helps to deter these pests nearby.


Close-up of ripening cucumbers in the garden. Cucumbers are annual creeping vines known for their elongated, cylindrical fruits. The leaves of cucumbers are large, green, have a rough texture. They are palmately lobed, with 5-7 pointed lobes radiating from a central point. Cucumber fruits are elongated and cylindrical, with a green peel covered with small bumps.
The vines and leaves of cucumbers offer shade for chicories in spring, while the low-growing greens protect cucumber roots.

Cucumbers can help you make your spring chicory crop last longer or help the seedlings you plant in late summer stay cool. Trellis the cucumbers so they don’t suffocate the radicchio but provide plenty of shade to protect it from extreme temperatures.

Mature radicchio plants can help protect cucumber roots and act as a living cover crop to retain moisture in the soil, which is good since they both like a lot of water. The similar watering needs for both plants also make them great neighbors.


Close-up of a growing dill in the garden. Dill is an annual plant known for its delicate and feathery leaves. Dill leaves are soft, thin and fern-like, giving the plant a graceful and airy appearance. The leaves are bright green in color and grow on long thin stems.
Planting dill near radicchio attracts beneficial insects that control aphids.

If aphids are a problem, plant some dill. Ladybugs and lacewings love dill and will flock to it, and they’ll stick around your garden for an aphid buffet. Dill will also attract many pollinators and other beneficial insects that will benefit your garden.

Dill will work best as a container plant near your crop since it likes drier conditions. You can also plant it on the edge of the bed, where the soil will drain quickly.


Close-up of a garden bed with growing lettuce plants with straw mulched soil. Lettuce is a popular annual leafy vegetable known for its tender and edible leaves. Lettuce leaves are large, wide, bright green. They have a waxy and slightly wrinkled texture. The leaves grow in a rosette from a central stem.
These greens coexist with radicchio, sharing water and sunlight preferences.

Lettuce is another plant that doesn’t benefit or harm chicories—it simply exists nearby. They both like ample water and plenty of springtime sunlight but will start to bolt when the temperatures get too hot.

They do share pest problems, though, like aphids and thrips. Keep neem oil on hand to battle them, or wash the aphids off with water.

Mustard Greens

Close-up of a garden bed with growing Mustard greens. Mustard greens are leafy vegetables with large, broad leaves with frilly edges. They are bright green in color, form large rosettes.
These spicy greens thrive alongside chicories due to their preference for moist conditions.

Mustard greens are a great radicchio companion because they like moist conditions. They typically only grow a few inches tall and wide, making it easy to squeeze them into open spaces between the heads.

Mustard is in the Brassica family and has many of the same pests I mentioned with cauliflower, like cabbage loopers and thrips, which can also go after your chicory crop.


Close-up of growing radishes in a sunny garden. Radish is an annual root vegetable known for its tangy flavor and fast growth. Radish leaves are bright green, relatively large, and grow in a rosette form from the base of the plant. They are pale green, oval in shape, with uneven, slightly jagged edges. The roots are edible, oval and oblong in shape, with a thin pink skin.
Radishes are compatible neighbors with similar water and sunlight requirements.

Radishes and chicories make a great combination on the dinner plate, but they also go well together in the soil. They have similar water and sunlight needs, and both need to be grown in cool weather, so you won’t need to sweat over their individual care.

You can use radishes as a trap crop for aphids. Plant radishes nearby (but not right next to your radicchio – just within a few feet) and allow the aphids to feed on the radishes.

When they get too haggard-looking, remove the radishes from your garden to get the aphids out of there and reduce the population.


Top view, close-up of sage plants in the garden. Sage is a perennial herb known for its fragrant and textured leaves. Sage leaves are small, narrow, oval-shaped, with a soft, velvety texture on the surface. They are grayish green in color.
A drought-tolerant herb, sage deters pests but requires careful watering.

This drought-tolerant herb can be difficult to keep happy in the same bed as a chicory crop because chicories need so much water, and sage likes it drier. However, it’s a good companion because of all the pests it deters. Flea beetles, cabbage worms, cabbage moths, and cabbage loopers like to attack radicchio but will keep their distance if you have sage around.

Keep sage in a container near your radicchio so you can control how much water it receives. It must only be watered when the top few inches of soil are dry, while radicchio needs consistently-moist soil.


Close-up of a growing Tatsoi, also known as "spoon mustard" or "spinach mustard." It is a leafy Asian green belonging to the Brassicaceae family. Tatsoi leaves are small, rounded, spoon-shaped, glossy, dark green. The leaves grow in compact rosettes close to the ground, forming a dense, low-growing plant.
This Asian green attracts fewer pests and thrives when grown alongside radicchio with ample water and nitrogen.

Tatsoi is an Asian brassica that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Though it attracts slugs, cabbage worms, and flea beetles like other brassicas do, they don’t go after this plant as much as they do the others. These pests also like radicchio, but the pest pressures shouldn’t be as bad as other radicchio and brassica combinations.

Tatsoi is another thirsty vegetable that will benefit from sharing a space with your radicchio. Provide both plants with plenty of water and nitrogen to keep everyone happy.


Close-up of ripe tomatoes in a sunny garden. The plant has compound leaves. consisting of oval bright green leaflets. They grow alternately along the stems and have serrated edges. Tomato fruits are small, oval-shaped, covered with a thin shiny skin of bright red and green colors.
The leaves of tomatoes can provide shade and extend the radicchio harvest if disease-resistant varieties are chosen.

Some gardeners will say that tomatoes and other nightshade plants are a bad choice with radicchio. Those people have a point, but if you’re careful about spacing, you can use tomato plants to prolong your spring chicory harvest.

Tomatoes are typically frowned upon as a chicory companion plant because of their tendency to spread verticillium wilt. Radicchio is also susceptible to this disease, so if one plant gets it, you risk infecting both crops. However, choosing verticillium wilt-resistant tomatoes like the Camelia F1, Sun Gold F1, and Early Cherry will help reduce the disease, as will pruning the bottom branches of the tomato plants so they don’t touch the radicchio.

The benefit that comes from these companions is the shade tomatoes provide radicchio as spring heats up into summer. This chicory only likes full sun in the springtime and will bolt if it gets too hot. But when large tomato plants shade it, it will stay cool in moist soil and will last much longer than if it wasn’t protected.

Final Thoughts

Radicchio is a beautiful and delicious crop that will add plenty of color and flavor to your meals. Though it can take up some space in the garden, there are several options you can plant next to it that will get along with it well.

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