What to Plant With Corn to Keep Bugs Away – 10 Effective Companion Plants

Companion planting with corn is a strategic approach to maximize agricultural productivity while naturally managing pests. Planting specific crops alongside corn can create a harmonious ecosystem that deters harmful insects, enhances soil fertility, and promotes overall crop health. In this article, we will explore various aspects of companion planting with a focus on what to plant with corn to keep bugs away, the corn companion planting chart, and other related topics.

Understanding Corn Companion Planting

Companion planting involves strategically selecting plants that can thrive together, providing mutual benefits. When it comes to corn, certain companion plants play a crucial role in preventing bug infestations and supporting the corn’s growth.

Thyme, for example, has proven effective in repelling corn earworms, whiteflies, and other pests. Integrating thyme into your corn cultivation not only adds a flavorful herb to your garden but also acts as a natural pest deterrent. Consider planting thyme in proximity to your corn to capitalize on its bug-repelling properties.

Marigolds are another valuable companion plant for corn. These vibrant flowers attract predatory insects that help control pests while deterring nematodes and repelling aphids. Introducing marigolds into your corn planting plan not only adds visual appeal but also contributes to a healthier and pest-resistant crop.

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What to Plant with Corn to Keep Bugs Away

  1. Dill
    • Dill, a fragrant herb, is known for attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps. These insects act as natural predators to pests such as cucumber beetles and flea beetles. Incorporating dill into your corn cultivation plan enhances the overall ecosystem, promoting a balance that discourages harmful bugs.
  2. Mint
    • Mint, with its aromatic leaves, serves as an effective deterrent for aphids, ants, and flea beetles. Planting mint near your corn not only adds a refreshing scent to your garden but also contributes to pest management. Explore the possibilities of using mint strategically to protect your corn from common pests.
  3. Nasturtiums
    • Nasturtiums are excellent for attracting predatory bugs while repelling aphids, including corn aphids. The vibrant colors of nasturtium flowers add beauty to your garden, making them a visually appealing and functional addition to your corn companion planting strategy.
  4. Oregano
    • Oregano, with its strong aroma, repels leafhoppers, spider mites, and aphids. Consider planting oregano near your corn to harness its pest-repelling properties and enhance the overall health of your crop. The aromatic nature of oregano adds a pleasant scent to your garden, contributing to a more enjoyable gardening experience.
  5. Other Plants
    • Borage, Garlic, and Basil are additional plants that can be grown with corn to complement its growth and deter pests. Each of these plants brings unique qualities that contribute to a well-balanced and pest-resistant corn ecosystem.

What to Plant With Corn to Keep Bugs Away

Corn Companion Planting Chart

Companion Plant Pests Repelled Benefits
Thyme Corn earworms, whiteflies Flavorful herb, natural pest deterrent
Marigolds Aphids, nematodes Attracts predatory insects, adds visual appeal
Dill Cucumber beetles, flea beetles Attracts beneficial insects, enhances ecosystem
Mint Aphids, ants, flea beetles Aromatic pest deterrent, refreshing addition
Nasturtiums Aphids, corn aphids Attracts predatory bugs, visually appealing flowers
Oregano Leafhoppers, spider mites Strong pest-repelling aroma, overall health benefits
Other Plants Varies Additional options for a diverse and resilient garden

What to Plant Next to Corn

Choosing the right companion plants for corn involves considering their compatibility and the benefits they offer. Planting certain crops next to corn can create a symbiotic relationship that promotes overall crop health and pest resistance.

When deciding what to plant next to corn, explore options that enhance the soil, deter specific pests, and provide support to the corn’s growth. Consider plants like beans, squash, and pumpkins, which are known to complement corn effectively. These plants not only create a visually appealing garden but also contribute to a thriving and pest-resistant corn crop.

companion plants

Planting Corn and Sunflowers Together

The combination of corn and sunflowers in a garden can offer numerous advantages. Sunflowers, with their towering stalks and vibrant blooms, can provide shade and support for corn plants. This partnership is not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical for pest management.

Corn and sunflowers together create a vertical growing environment that optimizes space and sunlight. Sunflowers act as a natural trellis for climbing plants, including certain varieties of corn. This symbiotic relationship can discourage pests and promote healthier growth for both crops.

Explore the possibilities of planting corn and sunflowers together in your garden to take advantage of their mutual benefits. Consider the positioning and spacing to ensure optimal sunlight exposure and efficient use of space.

Addressing Specific Planting Scenarios

Planting with Tomatoes to Keep Bugs Away

The combination of tomatoes and corn can be a beneficial planting strategy for bug management. Tomatoes release compounds that repel certain pests, and when grown alongside corn, they contribute to a more pest-resistant environment. However, it’s essential to consider the specific varieties of both crops and their spacing to avoid competition for resources.

Planting Onions and Corn Together

Onions and corn can be planted together, forming a complementary relationship. Onions deter pests that commonly affect corn, such as aphids and borers. Additionally, the pungent smell of onions can mask the scent of corn, making it less attractive to certain pests. Proper spacing and arrangement are crucial to ensure both crops thrive.

Planting Beans Between Rows of Corn

Planting beans between rows of corn is a classic technique known as the “three sisters” planting method. Beans help fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting corn, which has high nitrogen requirements. The corn provides a natural trellis for the beans to climb, and squash or pumpkins planted alongside act as ground cover, suppressing weeds. This synergistic approach maximizes space and promotes a healthy and productive garden.

Post-Corn Planting Strategies

What to Plant After Corn

Determining what to plant after corn involves considering crop rotation principles to maintain soil health and prevent the buildup of pests and diseases. Opt for crops with different nutrient requirements to ensure balanced soil fertility. Popular choices for post-corn planting include legumes like peas or beans, leafy greens, or root vegetables. Plan your post-corn planting carefully to support the long-term sustainability of your garden.

Rotational Planting Techniques for Sustainable Agriculture

Rotational planting is a key strategy for sustainable agriculture, promoting soil health and preventing the depletion of specific nutrients. Consider rotating crops in different plant families to disrupt the life cycles of pests and diseases. This practice can also reduce the reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, contributing to a more eco-friendly and resilient farming system.

Maximizing Soil Health and Preventing Pest Buildup

Maintaining soil health is paramount for sustained agricultural productivity. Implementing organic matter, cover cropping, and mulching can enhance soil structure, moisture retention, and nutrient availability. These practices not only support corn growth but also discourage the buildup of pests by creating an environment less favorable for their survival. Explore different soil management techniques to ensure the long-term vitality of your garden.

Common Questions and Myths

Can Two Corn Stalks Grow Together?

Corn plants typically require sufficient space to optimize sunlight absorption and minimize competition for resources. Planting two corn stalks too closely together may result in overcrowding, affecting growth and yield. It’s advisable to follow recommended spacing guidelines for corn to ensure each plant receives the necessary nutrients and sunlight for healthy development.

Can Peppers and Cucumbers Be Planted with Corn?

The compatibility of peppers and cucumbers with corn depends on factors such as spacing, sunlight, and nutrient requirements. While peppers and cucumbers may thrive alongside corn, careful planning is essential to avoid competition for resources. Consider the specific needs of each crop and create a well-balanced planting arrangement to maximize productivity and pest resistance.

Can Corn Be Planted Next to Tomatoes and Zucchini?

Planting corn next to tomatoes and zucchini can be a viable strategy, considering the benefits of companion planting. Tomatoes release compounds that repel certain pests, and zucchini can act as ground cover, suppressing weeds. However, attention to spacing and nutrient requirements is crucial to avoid overcrowding and ensure each plant’s optimal growth conditions.

Can You Plant Zucchini with Corn?

Planting zucchini with corn is a complementary approach that maximizes space and promotes a healthy garden ecosystem. Zucchini, with its sprawling growth habit, can provide ground cover, suppressing weeds and conserving soil moisture. When strategically positioned with corn, zucchini contributes to a balanced and visually appealing garden while supporting pest management efforts.

Maximizing Corn Yield and Quality

Determining the optimal number of corn plants per person involves considering factors such as dietary needs, space availability, and desired yield. On average, one person may need approximately 10 to 15 corn plants for a consistent supply. However, individual requirements may vary based on factors such as diet and culinary preferences. Adjust the number of corn plants accordingly to meet your specific needs.

Can You Plant Corn in the Same Spot Every Year?

While it’s possible to plant corn in the same spot every year, it may lead to increased vulnerability to pests and diseases. Crop rotation is a recommended practice to disrupt the life cycles of specific pests and prevent the depletion of soil nutrients. If you choose to plant corn in the same location, consider implementing soil amendments and organic matter to maintain soil fertility and reduce the risk of pest buildup.

Can You Plant Bush Beans with Corn?

Planting bush beans with corn is a well-established companion planting strategy known as the “three sisters” method. Bush beans, with their nitrogen-fixing ability, benefit corn by enhancing soil fertility. The corn provides support for the beans to climb, and the combination with squash or pumpkins creates a mutually beneficial relationship. Consider incorporating bush beans into your corn planting plan for a synergistic and productive garden.

What Happens If You Plant Corn Too Close Together?

Planting corn too close together can result in competition for resources, including sunlight, water, and nutrients. This overcrowding can lead to stunted growth, reduced yields, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases. It’s essential to adhere to recommended spacing guidelines for corn to ensure each plant has adequate room for optimal development. Proper spacing contributes to better air circulation, sunlight penetration, and overall crop health.

How Do I Make My Corn Plant Happy?

Ensuring the happiness of your corn plant involves meeting its specific needs throughout its growth cycle. Here are key tips to promote a content and thriving corn plant:

  1. Optimal Sunlight: Corn plants require full sunlight exposure for at least 6 to 8 hours daily. Choose a location with ample sunlight for successful corn cultivation.
  2. Proper Watering: Maintain consistent soil moisture levels, ensuring the soil is neither too dry nor waterlogged. Watering at the base of the plant in the morning is ideal.
  3. Nutrient-Rich Soil: Use well-draining, nutrient-rich soil to provide essential minerals for corn growth. Consider adding organic matter and compost to enhance soil fertility.
  4. Adequate Spacing: Follow recommended spacing guidelines to prevent overcrowding and promote proper air circulation. This helps reduce the risk of diseases and pests.
  5. Companion Planting: Strategically incorporate companion plants to deter pests and enhance the overall health of your corn crop.

By incorporating these practices, you can contribute to the well-being of your corn plant and enjoy a bountiful harvest.


Companion planting with corn offers a holistic and sustainable approach to agriculture, promoting pest management and overall crop health. Understanding what to plant with corn to keep bugs away, exploring the corn companion planting chart, and addressing specific planting scenarios contribute to a well-balanced and thriving garden. By applying these principles and considering post-corn planting strategies, you can create a resilient and environmentally friendly agricultural ecosystem that maximizes productivity and minimizes the impact of pests and diseases. Experiment with different companion plants, embrace diversity in your garden, and cultivate a harmonious environment for your corn crop to flourish.

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