Celery is a popular vegetable that is renowned for its crisp texture and distinctive flavor, but it can be notoriously difficult to grow! There are a whole host of pests and other problems just lurking around the corner, waiting to lay waste to your precious celery crop.
Luckily, celery benefits from the support of companion plants that can help it grow and thrive, helping to solve your celery-growing woes.
Today we’ll explore some of the best celery companion plants to help improve the health and productivity of your celery crop. From herbs to vegetables, these plants can help repel pests, provide nutrients, and create a more balanced ecosystem in your garden.
So, if you want to maximize your celery harvest this year, keep reading to discover the best celery companion plants!
The Benefits Of Companion Planting For Celery
Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together for mutual benefit.
When it comes to celery, companion planting can provide several benefits, including:
Certain groups of plants can help repel pests that may be attracted to celery. For example, planting celery with alliums or herbs (can help deter pests such as carrot rust flies and aphids.
Some celery companion plants have antibacterial or antifungal properties that can help prevent the spread of disease in your garden. Companion planting can also help reduce the spread of diseases by creating physical barriers between plants.
For example, planting celery with tall, dense plants can help prevent the spread of airborne diseases by blocking the movement of pathogens through the air.
Improved Soil Health
By growing different plants together, companion planting can help improve soil health by providing a diverse range of nutrients and microorganisms.
Legumes such as beans and peas can help fix nitrogen in the soil, while plants with deep roots, like comfrey, can help break up hard soil, improve drainage, and make nutrients more accessible to shallow-rooted plants.
Companion planting can also help increase the yield and quality of your celery crop.
Growing certain plants alongside celery can add nutrients to the soil, increase soil organic matter, and improve soil structure, all of which will help your celery grow lush and strong.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
Some companion plants can also help attract beneficial insects, like ladybugs and lacewings, that can help pollinate your garden plants and control pests.
How To Choose The Right Companion Plants For Celery
Celery can be a tricky plant to grow – I tend to think of it as the Goldilocks of the plant world! It dislikes any extreme conditions, and if it is too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry, it will not thrive.
This means you need to tread carefully when choosing companion plants for celery – not everything will be beneficial to this fussy little plant!
Celery is a heavy feeder that requires a lot of water and nutrients, so it’s important to choose plants that won’t compete for these resources. Look for plants with complementary growth habits and needs, such as those with shallow roots or that thrive in moist soil.
As celery needs vast amounts of nutrients to grow those delicious crunchy stems, pair it up with companion plants that help to enrich the soil.
Ideally, your celery companion plants should also have natural pest-repellent properties. Plants with strong fragrances or natural insecticidal properties can help protect your celery from pests like aphids and carrot rust flies.
Finally, consider the aesthetics of your garden. Vegetable gardens don’t need to be dull and boring – companion planting can also be a great way to create an attractive and diverse garden!
Look for plants with complementary colors and textures to create a visually appealing and harmonious garden.
Controlling Garden Pests With Companion Plants For Celery
The idea of companion planting is to have the defenses in place before the attack of predators occurs!
So, to understand why companion plants can help celery, we first need to figure out what the potential threats to our crop might be.
Carrot Rust Flies
These pests are attracted to the smell of celery and can cause damage by laying their eggs in the soil near celery plants. Strong-smelling plants can help mask the scent of celery and repel carrot rust flies.
Aphids can cause damage by sucking sap from celery leaves, which can stunt growth and cause the leaves to yellow and wilt. Luckily many plants will help repel aphids, and even better, attract those wonderful bugs that like to snack on these pesky creatures!
Slugs and Snails
These pests can cause damage by eating holes in celery leaves and stems. Certain companion plants can help repel slugs and snails by giving off strong scents that they don’t like.
By planting a diverse range of companion plants alongside celery, you can create a healthy and balanced ecosystem in your garden that supports the growth and productivity of your celery plants.
The 12 Best Celery Companion Plants
So, now we’ve got the basic principles of celery companion plants figured out, let’s take a look at the ideal plants to grow near your celery to maximize your chances of an abundant crop!
Onions are the perfect companion plant for celery! They are slow-growing and fit easily between your celery plants, and they will not compete with each other for nutrients. Onions will repel aphids and carrot root flies, and the scent of celery will confuse pests that like to munch on onions.
Dill is normally only regarded as a flavoring for fish and pickles, but it is hugely beneficial as a companion plant too. It repels aphids and spider mites and attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings to your plot.
3. Pole Beans
All types of beans can help improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen in the soil. Plant a double row of pole beans then add celery seedlings on either side to benefit from the damp shady soil at the base of the beans.
Garlic may be legendary for keeping vampires at bay, but plant it in your celery plot and you’ll find that troublesome aphids and flies keep a wide berth too! Garlic will not compete with celery for nutrients, enabling you to get two healthy crops from a single plot.
Sage is an excellent companion plant for celery because its strong scent repels pests including carrot flies and cabbage moths. This herb can be used in a variety of culinary dishes and the purple flowers will attract a whole host of beneficial insects to your garden.
No vegetable plot is complete without a scattering of nasturtiums, not only for adding a splash of color but also because of the many benefits they bring to your vegetables. Nasturtium flowers will draw in beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, helping to control aphids and other pests.
Like beans, peas can help fix nitrogen in the soil and improve soil health. Their fast upward growth habit means they will soon tower high above your celery, casting valuable shade and helping to keep the soil damp and cool.
8. French Marigolds
French Marigolds have a strong pungent aroma that acts as a natural pest repellent. The brightly-colored flowers will also add a splash of beauty to your garden, drawing in essential pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
The strong onion-like fragrance of chives can help repel pests including carrot rust flies and aphids. Unlike most members of the allium family, chives will also flower abundantly, increasing the population of pollinating insects in your vegetable plot.
Famous as a relaxing tea drink, chamomile can also boost the yields of crops such as celery in your vegetable plot. Its delicate daisy-like flowers attract beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which in turn feast on harmful aphids and other bugs.
Low-growing thyme forms a dense mat over the ground, helping to keep the soil surface damp and suppress unwanted weeds. It can help to improve soil structure and nutrient uptake, and will not compete with celery for resources.
Cucumbers and celery have a mutually beneficial relationship when planted close together. The strong scent of celery will repel whiteflies, a pest that loves to attack cucumbers. In return, tall, leafy cucumber plants provide shaded soil for your celery, helping to produce a crisp, juicy crop.
Plants To Avoid Growing Near Celery
While companion planting can be a great way to boost the health and productivity of your celery plants, certain plants should be avoided when planting celery.
Here are some plants that can negatively affect celery growth and development:
Although the strong scent of parsley can help repel certain insects from celery, it is susceptible to many of the same diseases. This is because celery and parsley belong to the same plant family, and a good rule of thumb is to keep family members at a distance in your vegetable plot!
In theory, brassica plants such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage should make good companion plants for celery. Brassicas will provide celery with shade and shelter, while celery will deter pests that like to nibble on your cabbage plants. However, both of these plants are hungry feeders, and they may struggle to thrive if planted closely together.
3. Fennel Herb
The lonely fennel herb has to be one of the most antisocial plants in the natural world – it secretes a substance from its roots that inhibits the growth of any neighboring plants. However, if you can find a little corner for fennel in your garden the local butterfly population will certainly thank you for it!
Fast-growing corn is a heavy feeder that can quickly deplete the soil of nutrients, negatively affecting the growth and development of celery. Additionally, corn earworms can also attack celery plants if they are planted too closely together.
5. Nightshades (Tomatoes, Peppers & Eggplants)
Plants in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and peppers, should be avoided when planting celery because they can attract similar pests and diseases. They also have similar nutrient requirements and will compete with celery, leading to a reduced yield of both crops.
6. Root Vegetables
Pairing up celery with root vegetables is a bad idea, as celery does not like to be disturbed once it is in the soil, making it tricky to harvest your root crops! Additionally, carrots and parsnips come from the same plant family as celery, and planting them together can increase the risk of disease.
Does Celery Benefit Any Other Plants?
We’ve looked at how other plants can boost your celery crop, but does celery bring any of its own advantages to the vegetable plot? Yes, it sure does!
Celery is a nutrient-dense plant that accumulates a variety of minerals and trace elements from the soil, which can be beneficial for neighboring plants.
Additionally, celery has been found to release certain compounds from its roots that have been shown to have allelopathic effects, meaning they can inhibit the growth of unwanted plants or pests.
For example, celery has been shown to release compounds that inhibit the growth of weeds like pigweed and barnyard grass. It has also been found to have a natural insecticidal effect on pests like spider mites, which can be harmful to other plants.
Therefore, planting celery near other plants can help control weeds and pests, and potentially provide some nutrient benefits as well.
To Sum Up
Figuring out the ideal vegetable planting scheme is not always easy, but now you’ve got twelve great plants to pair up with celery, as well as some others to avoid! From strongly-scented alliums to nitrogen-fixing legumes, these plants offer many options when designing your companion planting system.
By following these age-old methods, not only will pests be kept at bay, but you will also reap the rewards with bountiful vegetable crops!