14 companion plants for zucchini

Zucchini plants have a variety of excellent companions that provide nutrients while keeping pests away.

The best companion plants for zucchini include other squash, corn, lettuce, melon, peas, radish, marigolds, and sunflowers. These plants each have specific benefits, including adding nutrients to the soil, decreasing pest insects, attracting pollinators, or providing groundcover to keep moisture in the soil. Avoid planting brassica plants like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage nearby your zucchini plants.

If you’re thinking of growing zucchini in your garden, read on. This post will go through the best and worst zucchini plant companions to help your garden thrive!

Zucchini companion planting basics

Zucchini plants are part of the Cucurbita family, which also includes squash, gourds, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkins. Zucchini grows well with other members of the Cucurbita family since they thrive in comparable environments, have similar pollination requirements, and are resistant to similar pests. There are also several other beneficial vegetables, herbs, and flowers that make great companion plants for zucchini.

1. Pumpkins

Pumpkins can easily be planted around your zucchini. Because pumpkin plants attract squash bees (Peponapis species), zucchini plants usually thrive when planted near pumpkins. These native bees look like honeybees, but the males like to sleep inside squash flowers (including both pumpkin and zucchini blossoms).

Squash bees also pollinate many other nearby plants, including pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, and other crops. Because squash bees are helpful to a wide range of plants, you’ll want to avoid disturbing them. The bees make their solitary homes in the soil, so you want to avoid too much digging if possible. 

Plant sunflowers in the sun!

2. Sunflowers

Sunflowers make great companions for zucchini because they act as a vertical trellis when planted alongside zucchini plants. Zucchini plants don’t typically need a trellis but can be more productive if staked. If possible, use zucchini cultivars that don’t weigh down the sunflower.

Sunflowers also entice natural pollinators like bees. As a result, these bees fertilize the surrounding zucchini blossoms. Sunflowers also attract birds during the fall that consume the seeds of the sunflower plant. Because these birds consume the seeds of the sunflower plant, they might eat other pests that can attack your zucchini plants.

Starting cucumbers indoors

3. Cucumbers

Cucumbers make excellent companions for zucchini as they attract squash bees just like pumpkins. These bees are helpful to zucchini plants because they pollinate both the zucchini and cucumber plants, which produce more veggies for your harvest.

Hubbard squash

4. Hubbard squash

Hubbard squash is an excellent companion for zucchini plants because they attract zucchini pests, acting as a “trap” companion plant. Squash bugs and squash vine borers, two typical zucchini pest insects, like feeding on Hubbard Squash. These pests prefer Hubbard Squash and become distracted from devouring the zucchini plants.

If you plan on growing Hubbard Squash as a trap crop, plant them at least two weeks before the zucchini so the pests discover them first. In addition, you want to keep them at least a few feet apart from the zucchini plants for optimal results. Lastly, try to plant your Hubbard Squash along the garden’s perimeter if possible.

Corn in the garden

5. Corn

To make a living trellis, plant corn alongside your zucchini plants. Weeds are kept at bay by the zucchini plant’s leaves, which cover the soil around the bare bases of the corn plants.

In addition, the old “three sisters” companion planting arrangement is mutually beneficial to squash and can be done with zucchini plants. You can create this arrangement by planting your zucchini plants alongside corn and beans. As your zucchini plant produces zucchinis close to the ground, the beans climb the corn. Because of the zucchini plant’s enormous leaves, the ground is shaded to provide natural weed suppression and keep moisture in the soil.

Vine with ripe watermelon

6. Melons

Melons and squash are similar in that both plants attract pollinators. These bees pollinate both melons and zucchinis, leading to greater harvests. In addition, melons also encourage earthworms, which aerate the soil as they travel through it.

Opening a pod of fresh green peas in the garden

7. Peas

Peas are an excellent companion plant for zucchini plants because their roots provide nitrogen that the heavy-feeding zucchini plants can later consume. Nitrogen can help your zucchini plant produce higher yields because of its importance in growing large healthy leaves for optimal photosynthesis and energy production.

Nasturtium - salmon gleam - in patio culinary kitchen garden

8. Nasturtium

Nasturtiums are excellent companion plants for zucchini plants because they keep pests like striped cucumber beetles, cabbage loopers, and squash bugs at bay. So, many gardeners grow nasturtiums near zucchini plants and other favorite garden vegetables to deter pests.

Marigold flowers

9. Marigold

Marigolds, like nasturtiums, repel striped cucumber beetles, cabbage loopers, and squash insects. Furthermore, marigold is helpful in repelling nematodes. Nematodes reside in the soil and can wreak havoc on zucchini plants. Finally, marigolds repel aphids, which are a common pest among most plants.

Planting parris island cos lettuce in the garden

10. Lettuce

Lettuce is a compact, quick-growing plant that may be grown with zucchini plants. Lettuce plants have very short roots, so they don’t fight for space and nutrients, making them perfect companions for zucchini. Additionally, even if zucchini plants are planted nearby, you can still sow your lettuce plants and it won’t affect your zucchini plants!


11. Dill

Dill plants deter cabbage worms from laying eggs in the zucchini plant’s leaves, making them perfect companions for zucchini plants. Beneficial pollinators are also attracted to dill when the plant is in flower.


12. Chamomile

Chamomile prevents beetles from damaging your zucchini plants, making them wonderful companions for zucchini plants.  These plants also produce a host of dainty flowers that attract beneficial insects to your veggie patch.


13. Lavender

Because it attracts bees, lavender is a great companion for zucchini plants. These bees pollinate the lavender plant, making their way over to pollinate your zucchini plants as well. As a result, the bees will distribute more zucchini pollen throughout your garden, hopefully yielding more zucchini at the time of harvest.

Radish - radishes growing in garden

14. Radishes

Pests like flea beetles are drawn to radishes, which keeps them away from zucchini plants. Flea beetles, unfortunately, feast on the leaves of a multitude of vegetable plants, including pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, kale, and squash. Radish leaves are more enticing to flea beetles, potentially causing them to ignore your other vegetable plants. Another nuisance insect repelled by radish plants is the striped cucumber beetle.

Zucchini growing in raised bed garden

Bad companions to avoid planting nearby

Kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are members of the Brassica family and shouldn’t be planted anywhere near your zucchini plants. Brassicas absorb a large number of soil nutrients, robbing your zucchini plants of essential resources. They also may attract pest insects to your squash plants like zucchini.

Furthermore, you should avoid planting potatoes near zucchini plants. Potato roots take up a lot of room in the soil since they are deep-rooted plants. Consequently, if zucchini plants are planted alongside potatoes, they may not receive the nutrition they require for growth. Potatoes also may attract harmful pests to your zucchini plants.

Finally, avoid planting zucchini plants near fennel since it might stunt their growth. Both herb fennel and Florence fennel are generally considered poor companion plants for most other food crops in the garden.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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