9 Essential Arugula Companion Plants: Boost Growth & Flavor

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on arugula companion plants! If you’re an avid gardener or someone who appreciates the wonders of companion planting, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of arugula and its ideal companions that can help enhance its growth and overall health.

Arugula, scientifically known as Eruca sativa, is a leafy green vegetable that has gained popularity for its peppery flavor and numerous health benefits. As a member of the Brassicaceae family, arugula shares characteristics with other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli.

Companion planting, a practice that involves growing compatible plants together to promote mutual benefits, has been utilized by gardeners for centuries. By strategically pairing arugula with suitable companion plants, you can create a thriving ecosystem in your garden while maximizing the growth potential of each plant.

Now, let’s delve into the world of arugula companion plants and explore the incredible benefits they offer. Whether you’re seeking to enhance pest control, increase yields, or simply improve the flavor of your arugula, understanding the art of companion planting will undoubtedly elevate your gardening experience.

So, let’s get started and discover the perfect arugula companion plants!

Understanding Arugula

understanding arugula companion plants

Arugula, also known as rocket or salad rocket, is a versatile and nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable. Let’s take a closer look at this incredible plant and explore its benefits as well as its compatibility with companion plants.

Description of Arugula (Eruca sativa)

Arugula is an annual plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It features elongated, deeply lobed leaves and can reach a height of up to two feet. This cool-season crop thrives in temperate climates and is widely cultivated for its tender leaves, which add a distinct peppery flavor to salads, sandwiches, and various culinary creations.

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Arugula

Arugula packs a nutritional punch, making it a valuable addition to a healthy diet. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and calcium, arugula provides essential nutrients for overall well-being. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Including arugula in your diet can promote cardiovascular health, aid in digestion, and support bone health. Additionally, its low-calorie content and high fiber make it a weight-friendly food choice.

Now that we have a better understanding of arugula let’s move on to the fascinating concept of companion planting and explore how it can enhance the growth and health of arugula in your garden.1

The Role of Companion Plants

Companion planting plays a vital role in creating a harmonious and beneficial garden ecosystem. When it comes to arugula, companion plants can offer a range of advantages, including improved pest control, increased yield, and enhanced flavor and aroma. Let’s delve into the details of why companion planting is advantageous for arugula and how it can contribute to a thriving garden.

Definition and Purpose of Companion Planting

Companion planting involves strategically growing plants together based on their compatibility and mutual benefits. It is an ancient practice rooted in the concept that certain plants can support and enhance the growth of others. By selecting appropriate companion plants for arugula, you can create a symbiotic relationship that promotes overall garden health.

Benefits of Companion Plants for Arugula

Pest Control

Arugula is susceptible to pests like flea beetles and aphids. However, by incorporating companion plants that naturally repel or attract beneficial insects, you can reduce the risk of pest infestations. Certain companion plants emit strong scents that deter pests or attract predatory insects that feed on them, creating a natural pest control system.

Increased Yield

Companion plants can contribute to increased yield by providing shade, improving nutrient uptake, or acting as living mulch. These benefits result in healthier arugula plants and ultimately higher productivity. Selecting the right companions can help optimize the use of available space and resources, maximizing the overall yield of your garden.

Improved Flavor and Aroma

Some companion plants have the ability to enhance the flavor and aroma of arugula. For instance, growing aromatic herbs near arugula can impart their fragrance and complement the peppery taste of the leaves, resulting in a more flavorful culinary experience.

By understanding the advantages that companion plants offer, we can now explore the selection process for arugula companion plants in the next section.

Selecting Arugula Companion Plants

Selecting Arugula Companion Plants

When choosing companion plants for arugula, it’s important to consider their compatibility and the benefits they bring to the garden ecosystem. Here, we will discuss the criteria for selecting suitable companion plants and explore different types of plants that thrive alongside arugula.

Criteria for Selecting Suitable Companion Plants

To ensure successful companion planting with arugula, keep the following criteria in mind:

Similar Growth Requirements:

Choose companion plants that have similar sunlight, water, and soil requirements as arugula. This ensures that all plants in the vicinity can thrive in the same growing conditions.

Complementary Growth Habits:

Select plants with compatible growth habits to avoid competition for resources such as space, nutrients, and water. Look for arugula companion plants that complement arugula’s growth patterns and don’t overshadow or crowd it.2

Types of Plants That Thrive with Arugula

Arugula has various compatible companion plants that can enhance its growth and contribute to a harmonious garden. All in all there are 9 arugula companion plants:

To make it more clear for you, here is the detailed explanation:


  1. Basil: The aromatic oils of basil can repel pests and enhance the flavor of arugula when grown nearby.
  2. Dill: Dill attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which prey on arugula pests such as aphids.
  3. Cilantro: Cilantro can help deter harmful insects while adding a fresh flavor to arugula dishes.

Leafy Greens

  1. Lettuce: Planting lettuce alongside arugula provides shade and acts as a living mulch, helping to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  2. Spinach: Spinach shares similar growth requirements with arugula and can thrive when planted together, maximizing the use of garden space.
  3. Swiss Chard: Swiss chard offers a beautiful and nutritious companion to arugula. Its vibrant colors and upright growth create an appealing visual contrast.

Other Compatible Plants

  1. Nasturtiums: These flowers attract aphids and other pests away from arugula, acting as sacrificial plants. Plus, their edible leaves and flowers make a delightful addition to salads.
  2. Marigolds: Marigolds repel certain pests and attract beneficial insects, helping protect arugula from damage.
  3. Radishes: Radishes help deter flea beetles, a common pest of arugula. Additionally, their fast growth can indicate soil quality and aid in crop rotation planning.

By selecting suitable companion plants, you can create a harmonious garden ecosystem that benefits both arugula and its companions. In the next section, we will explore different companion planting techniques for arugula.

Companion Planting Techniques

Arugula Companion Planting Techniques

Implementing proper companion planting techniques is crucial for maximizing the benefits and ensuring successful growth of arugula and its companions. In this section, we will explore different techniques that can be employed to create an optimal environment for your arugula and its companion plants.

Interplanting Arugula with Companion Plants

Mixed Planting

Interplant arugula and its companion plants together throughout the garden bed. This method promotes symbiotic relationships and allows for efficient space utilization. This is very useful for arugula companion plants.

Row Planting

Alternatively, plant arugula in rows and dedicate separate rows for arugula companion plants. This approach simplifies maintenance and harvesting while still reaping the benefits of companion planting.

Succession Planting and Crop Rotation

Succession planting involves sowing new arugula and companion plant seeds at intervals, ensuring a continuous supply throughout the growing season. This technique helps maximize yield and extend the harvest period.

Crop rotation is another important aspect to consider. Avoid planting arugula companion plants in the same location each year. Instead, rotate their placement to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases in the soil.

Proper Spacing and Timing

To optimize growth and prevent overcrowding, ensure proper spacing between arugula and arugula companion plants. Follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each plant variety.

Consider the timing of planting as well. Some companion plants may have different growth rates or seasonal preferences. Plan your planting schedule accordingly to ensure all plants thrive together.

By employing these companion planting techniques, you can create a balanced and productive garden environment for your arugula and its companions. In the next section, we will delve into managing pests and diseases through natural methods within the context of arugula companion planting.

Managing Pests and Diseases

Arugula Companion Plants diseases

Effective pest and disease management is crucial for maintaining the health and vitality of your arugula and its companion plants. By utilizing natural methods and taking advantage of companion planting, you can minimize the risks and keep your garden thriving. Let’s explore some strategies for managing pests and diseases within the context of arugula companion planting.

Natural Pest Control Methods

Attracting Beneficial Insects

Companion plants such as dill, cilantro, and marigolds can attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. These insects feed on arugula pests like aphids and help control their populations naturally.

Companion Plants for Pest Deterrence

Certain companion plants, including basil, dill, and nasturtiums, emit strong scents that deter pests. Planting these companions near arugula can help repel insects and protect the crop.

Common Pests and Diseases Affecting Arugula


Aphids are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can cause damage to arugula leaves. Regularly inspect plants for aphid infestations and employ natural pest control methods, such as attracting beneficial insects, to manage their population.3

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are notorious arugula pests that chew small holes in the leaves, leading to damage and reduced vigor. Companion plants like radishes can help deter flea beetles. Additionally, row covers or physical barriers can be used to protect young arugula plants from these pests.

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that can affect arugula, causing yellow or brown spots on leaves. To minimize the risk of downy mildew, ensure proper spacing between plants for adequate airflow and avoid overhead watering, as moisture promotes disease development.

Implementing good garden hygiene, providing proper air circulation, and regularly monitoring your plants for pests and diseases are important preventive measures.

By incorporating these natural pest control methods and staying vigilant against common pests and diseases, you can maintain a healthy garden ecosystem for your arugula and its companion plants.

What Not to Plant with Arugula

arugula companion plants health

While arugula companion planting offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to be aware of plants that may hinder the growth and development of arugula. Certain plant combinations can lead to competition for resources or create unfavorable growing conditions. In this section, we will explore incompatible companion plants for arugula and explain why they are not suitable choices.

Understanding Incompatible Companion Plants for Arugula

To ensure the success of your arugula companion planting, avoid planting certain types of plants in close proximity to arugula. These incompatible plants may have conflicting growth requirements or release compounds that hinder arugula’s growth.

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Arugula

The list of bad arugula companion plants as an overview:

Brassicas (such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower)

Brassicas belong to the same family as arugula, and planting them together can lead to competition for nutrients and space. This can result in reduced growth and yield for both plants.

Alliums (such as onions and garlic)

Alliums release compounds that can inhibit the growth of neighboring plants, including arugula. Avoid planting alliums near arugula to prevent stunted growth and potential flavor changes in both crops.

Legumes (such as beans and peas)

Legumes are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they convert nitrogen from the air into a form usable by plants. However, excessive nitrogen from legumes can cause leafy greens like arugula to focus on vegetative growth rather than producing quality leaves. This can negatively impact arugula’s flavor and overall harvest.

Potential Negative Effects of Planting Incompatible Plants Near Arugula

Planting incompatible companions near arugula can result in:

  1. Increased susceptibility to pests and diseases: Unfavorable plant combinations can attract pests or create conditions conducive to disease development, putting arugula at risk.
  2. Stunted growth and reduced yield: Competition for resources or allelopathic effects (compounds released by certain plants that inhibit the growth of others) can lead to stunted growth and decreased productivity for arugula.

It’s crucial to carefully plan your arugula companion planting and avoid pairing it with plants that may negatively impact its growth. By selecting compatible companions and avoiding incompatible ones, you can create a thriving and harmonious garden ecosystem.


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the world of arugula companion plants and the multitude of benefits they offer. By incorporating suitable companions, you can create a harmonious garden ecosystem that promotes the growth and health of arugula while maximizing the overall productivity of your garden.

Throughout this article, we discussed the importance of companion planting and how it can enhance the growth of arugula. We explored the description and nutritional value of arugula, as well as the role of companion plants in providing pest control, increasing yield, and improving flavor and aroma.

Selecting appropriate companion plants based on compatibility and growth requirements is crucial for successful arugula companion planting. We discussed various companion plant options, including herbs like basil and dill, leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, and other compatible plants like nasturtiums and marigolds.

Implementing companion planting techniques such as mixed planting and succession planting, as well as considering proper spacing and timing, further contribute to the success of arugula and its companions in the garden.

We also addressed the importance of managing pests and diseases through natural methods and utilizing the properties of companion plants to attract beneficial insects and repel pests.

In conclusion, arugula companion planting offers a multitude of benefits for both the arugula crop and the overall garden health. By implementing the techniques and tips discussed in this guide, you can create a thriving garden full of vibrant arugula and its companion plants.

Remember to experiment and explore different companion plant combinations to find what works best for your specific garden conditions. Enjoy the process of companion planting and the bountiful rewards it brings to your arugula harvest and overall gardening experience.

  1. Jilani, M. I., Ali, A., Rehman, R., & Nisar, S. S. S. (2015). Health benefits of Arugula: A review. International Journal of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences8, 65-70. Retrieved from: iscientific.org
  2. Murphy, C., & Pill, W. (2010). Cultural practices to speed the growth of microgreen arugula (roquette; Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa). The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology85(3), 171-176. Retrieved from: Cultural practices to speed the growth of microgreen arugula (roquette; Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa): The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology: Vol 85, No 3 (tandfonline.com)
  3. Menéndez, A. I., Romero, A. M., Folcia, A. M., & Martinez-Ghersa, M. A. (2010). Aphid and episodic O3 injury in arugula plants (Eruca sativa Mill) grown in open-top field chambers. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment135(1-2), 10-14. Retrieved from: Aphid and episodic O3 injury in arugula plants (Eruca sativa Mill) grown in open-top field chambers – ScienceDirect

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