Top 4 Bad Companion Plants For Lettuce

With the rising costs of fresh produce, there’s never been a better time to start your own food garden. Lettuce is one of those crops that is a dream to grow, being very easy to cultivate and harvest. If you are familiar with the growth guide, growing lettuce will be simpler.

You have plenty of options for homegrown lettuce, including romaine, iceberg, arugula, endive, and more. However, there are some bad companion plants for lettuce that will diminish its ability to thrive. 

A bad companion plant is one that will either deplete any nutrients being sent to your lettuce, or is one that doesn’t grow well in the same conditions that lettuce needs.

These bad companions might also be plants that don’t grow well with good companion plants of lettuce that will help enhance its quality, taste, and boost its growth rate. 

No matter which type of lettuce you choose to grow in your garden, you want to avoid planting certain vegetables near it as they’ll hinder the success of your overall harvest.

From taking important components of the soil away from your lettuce to attracting unwanted pests, bad companion plants, while few and far between, can wreak havoc on lettuce and many other similar plants. 

Bad Companion Plants For Lettuce

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Lettuce is a great plant to grow in a garden for so many reasons, no matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener.

You have the ability to develop quite an illustrious garden around your lettuce, as there are a plethora of plants that actually become enhanced when planted around this delicious leafy green. Lettuce can even be grown indoors with the right conditions. 

Companion planting can be of great benefit to the overall success and health of your garden. This type of gardening ensures every plant gets what it needs to grow, while also adding even more depth of flavor and positive growth to each crop.

Additionally, strategic planting can keep bad pests away and attract pollinators to keep your plants growing. 

The following plants, while delicious in their own right, aren’t suitable for growth beside your lettuce crops. The good news is that there are a plethora of plants and vegetables that will successfully grow beside lettuce.

Bad companion plants, however, will take everything essential from your lettuce plants, making sure they aren’t able to grow successfully. 

1. Fennel

Fennel is a delicious vegetable that adds unique flavor to many dishes, but it’s not a very nice plant to a lot of other vegetables. It’s not only an unsuitable companion for lettuce, but it also impacts the growth of other delicious greens like beans and peas. 

This is because fennel plants essentially steal any source of nourishment from lettuce and other plants, making it so they aren’t able to grow to their potential.

If you want to plant fennel in your garden, you should make sure you have a dedicated space away from other plants to allow it to develop fully without impacting the health of other crops.

2. Cabbage

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Just like lettuce, there are multiple plants that fall under a cabbage classification. You could easily accidentally plant a cabbage-derived plant next to lettuce without realizing it, such as broccoli, kale, or cauliflower.

The family of crops that fall under cabbage, also known as brassicas, have chemicals that aren’t compatible with lettuce seeds. 

Cabbage plants can make it difficult for your lettuce seeds to establish themselves properly in the soil. This is because they impact the way that lettuce roots implant into the soil, meaning they can’t absorb the water and nutrients they need to start growing. 

3. Calendula

Calendula is a pretty yellow flower that can add a lot of visual beauty to a garden. However, it shouldn’t be planted near your lettuce. This is because this flower is known for attracting various slugs to a garden that, while not necessarily bad, can be disastrous for your lettuce and any other nearby crops. 

These slugs will essentially eat through your lettuce, and it can be really difficult to deter these slugs from getting into any of your edible plants when these flowers are around. 

4. Sunflowers

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Sunflowers can be a beautiful flower to grow in a garden, not only because they grow tall and gorgeous, but they give you some delicious and nutritious seeds. Since these flowers do grow so large, they can have an impact on the success of what’s planted around them, including your lettuce plants. 

Sunflowers can also have an impact on how your lettuce seeds are able to germinate. Germination is an essential process for any plant to grow from a seed to a fully developed crop or flower.

Your lettuce wouldn’t be getting enough water to help nutrients from the soil travel where they need to grow in order for your lettuce plants to blossom. 

Also read: How Many Lettuce Seeds Per Hole?


There are not many bad companion plants for lettuce, but the ones that are bad can make it nearly impossible to grow your leafy greens. This is why it’s so important to do your research before you decide to develop a vegetable garden.

Going into gardening with a plan of action will ensure every crop has the opportunity to grow to its full potential and beyond. 

Even though there is some planning involved, it’s not as complicated as it might seem to grow vegetables and herbs at home. It ends up being a cost effective way to have some healthier foods at home should you have a little bit of time and green space to dedicate to lettuce and other delicious crops. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Not Plant Near Lettuce?

In addition to what has been listed above, you should also avoid planting parsley, foxglove, blueberries, potatoes, and garden chervil next to lettuce.
The list of plants that don’t mix well with lettuce isn’t long, thankfully. As mentioned, these plants won’t allow your lettuce to have a sufficient amount of resources needed to grow completely. 

You should also consider plants that grow especially tall and wide, as well as plants that need a lot of space as not being suitable around lettuce. This is because they may end up overpowering your lettuce’s ability to thrive, though they may not necessarily impede their growth completely; they might only slow it down. 

Can Basil And Lettuce Be Planted Together?

Basil is actually a fantastic companion plant for lettuce, as it is for many other crops. Not only will you have a delicious herb to enhance numerous recipes, but the basil acts as a natural mosquito deterrent to keep them away from your delicious produce.

So many bugs enjoy munching on delicious and crispy lettuce, and basil ensures that they aren’t able to do so.

What Are The Best Companion Plants For Lettuce?

There are a multitude of plants that make for great companions to lettuce, so you have the opportunity to build a lush garden that’ll give you plenty of options for healthy dishes. Good companion plants include tomatoes, squash, carrots, radish, and onions, but there are many more to choose from. 

There are some flowers that are also fantastic companion plants for lettuce, as they keep common pests from invading your crops while also bringing beneficial pollinators to your garden. Aromatic herbs such as garlic can be planted in between lettuce crops to keep pests away and help you maximize space. 

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