The Top 6 Strawberry Companion Plants (and What to Avoid)

Freshly picked strawberries tumbling out of a wicker basket that's bee turned units side for esthetic purposes. against a green background

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: September 12, 2023

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You can enjoy strawberries with whipped cream, blend them into fruity smoothies, or transform them into homemade jelly. They’re versatile, and juicy, and make a great snack all on their own. Growing them is a process and depending on the types of plants surrounding them, they may either thrive or struggle. Discover the top six strawberry companion plants! Plus, learn which plants to avoid setting up in the same area as your strawberries.

Infographic of Top 6 Strawberry Companion Plants
These plants help strawberries by suppressing weed growth, repelling pests, and increasing pollination rates.

1. Lettuce

Scientific name: Lactuca sativa

This plant is excellent near strawberries. Strawberries serve as live mulch, which protects your lettuce. In turn, lettuce provides shade, concealing the bright color of your berries, which would otherwise attract birds. Foliage conserves moisture by reducing evaporation, thus minimizing the competition for nutrients, light, and water. The most important thing to remember is to space them out really well. So long as you follow through with proper spacing, the outcome will not only be healthy-looking fruit, but your garden can boast an enhanced aesthetic with the contrasting luscious green and the bright red of your juicy strawberries.

woman hands picking green lettuce in vegetable garden

Lettuce provides your strawberry plant with shade, protecting it naturally.


2. Spinach

Scientific name: Spinacia oleracea

This veggie isn’t just great for strawberries! It’s also great alongside lettuce and gardeners often pair all three to increase their yield. Spinach and strawberry roots reach different depths, which makes them friends in the soil as they don’t compete for any nutrients. Spinach suppresses weed growth near strawberries and produces a natural antifungal to further protect your strawberry plant. Their dense leaves provide enough shade so that the weeds do not prosper. Spinach plants tap into the soil and look for important minerals. It utilizes what it needs, then once mature, goes back to the soil. The used minerals go back into the earth and the cycle of plant life continues, allowing for a flourishing garden.  

Picking spinach in a home garden. Bio spanach.

Pair strawberries, lettuce, and spinach to increase your overall yield.

©Deyan Georgiev/

3. Chives

Scientific name: Allium schoenoprasum

Chives are helpful repellents! They work beautifully hand-in-hand with strawberries. The odor helps to keep away slugs, Japanese beetles, and aphids. Chives act as a healthy barrier to deter these little monsters and chive flowers attract beneficial insects such as bees, predatory wasps, and hoverflies. As unbelievable as it sounds, they help with strawberry pollination, which ultimately beautifies the fruit. Chives also help increase your strawberry yield. While helping your strawberry plant, the attractive purple flowers it produces also enhance the scenery.            

A person harvesting Allium schoenoprasum or chives from a box garden with scissors.

Chives repel insects that would otherwise be harmful to your strawberry plant.


4. Thyme

Scientific name: Thymus vulgaris

Being a low-growing herb, thyme has several benefits. It creates a cool ground cover and suppresses weed growth by providing much-needed shade. That is how it does not allow enough light for weed germination; this helps minimize nutrient competition. Include this herb between rows of strawberry plants for best results!


Thyme provides your strawberry plant with ground cover, offering a cooler, moister environment.


5. Marigold

Scientific name: Tagetes

Due to their strong scent, marigolds are an excellent companion plant for strawberries. They repel beetles, whiteflies, and nematodes. French marigolds help control the nematode population by emitting certain compounds from the roots that keep the bad guys away from your precious strawberries. Aside from protecting your strawberry plant from pests, they attract helpful insects like ladybugs (which love a good aphid snack).

Close up of beautiful Marigold flower (Tagetes erecta, Mexican, Aztec or African marigold) in the garden

Marigold flowers attract helpful insects.


6. Borage

Scientific name: Borago officinalis

The pollinators of borage include bees. They go after the beautiful blue flowers and by incorporating this plant, you are giving it a chance to increase the pollination rates that eventually result in better strawberries and better yields. Borage also keeps cabbage worms and tomato hornworms away. The long taproots of the plant help to break up the sometimes-compacted soil as well. Plus, borage delivers trace minerals to the soil, which could make for sweeter fruit.

Borage flowers close up

Borage provides the soil with trace minerals, which benefit strawberry plants.

©matteo sani/

Plants to Avoid Around Strawberries

Just as there are helpful neighbors for strawberries, there are also some plants that compete and obstruct, detrimentally affecting your strawberry plant when planted too close. For example, several plants can introduce fungi that cause Verticillium wilt. These are some common crops you might already have in your garden like potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Additional plants you should keep away from strawberries include melons, eggplants, and any kind of roses. Brassica plants like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage should also be kept from your strawberry plants as they get competitive and greedy. They end up stealing precious nutrients from your strawberries.

Summary of Top 6 Strawberry Companion Plants (and What to Avoid)

Here’s a recap of the six best companion plants for strawberries that we took a look at.

NumberPlantScientific NameBenefits to Strawberries
1LettuceLactuca sativaProvides shade
2SpinachSpinacia oleraceaSuppresses weed growth; produces a natural antifungal
3ChivesAllium schoenoprasumOdor helps to keep away slugs, Japanese beetles, and aphids; help with strawberry pollination
4ThymeThymus vulgarisSuppresses weed growth by providing much-needed shade
5MarigoldTagetesStrong scent repels beetles, whiteflies, and nematodes
6BorageBorago officinalisKeeps cabbage worms and tomato hornworms away; increases strawberry pollination rates

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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