Believe it or not, a lot more goes into growing delicious scallions than just planting bulbs or seeds in the ground, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best.
Seasoned gardening veterans understand better than most the power of “companion planting” and why it’s hugely important to think about where you plan your scallions and not just when you plant them.
The right companion plants near your scallions cannot only boost your yield, but can significantly increase the deliciousness of your scallions and protect them from pests, too.
Below we dig a little bit deeper into the ins and outs of the top 10 scallion companion plants you’ll want to consider tucking into your garden at the same time your scallions are going to the ground!
Top 10 Scallion Companion Plants
Other companion plants suitable for your garden:
Beets are a perfect companion plant for almost any member of the onion family (which scallions fall into), acting as maybe the best all natural insecticide and pesticide you could ever hope to use.
Beets naturally protect against aphids as well as sugar beet flea beetles, insects that are known to absolutely devastate delicate green vegetables like scallions. These root vegetables also offer protection against rabbits and deer that are going to want to munch on your young scallions, too.
Best of all, this kind of protection against these pests is 100% passive (you don’t have to do anything on your own to leverage these benefits) – and you get a crop of beets to harvest on top of that!
Cabbage and scallions planted alongside each other have always been a popular pairing with veteran gardeners, both offering one another mutual benefits.
Scallions are going to drive away cabbage worms, cabbage maggots, and cabbage “loopers” that could eat your entire cabbage harvest from the inside out and leave you nothing but a couple of leaves.
On the flipside, cabbage provides a bit of a shield against the pests that plague scallions and other onion crops – but also offer a little bit of extra shade and groundcover to help make sure that your young scallion shoots aren’t eaten by rabbits or other furry little wild neighbors that would eat your garden before it reached maturity.
Having carrots plated close to your scallion crop (ideally right in the middle of your entire onion family crop, even) will give them a ton of protection against carrot flies.
Carrot flies have been known to wipe out entire harvests, faster than you ever would have thought possible, but they don’t like to mess around even kind of close to onion crops.
There’s something about the aromas and oils that onions put out into the air that naturally repel these nasty little flies, giving your carrots 100% passive protection. You’ll be a whole lot happier with your carrot harvest if you had scallions planted around or amongst your carrot crop.
One of the biggest reasons to add chamomile to your scallion harvest is to dramatically increase the flavor potential of your scallions.
Thanks to the cross-pollination capabilities of companion crops (something that your neighborhood pollinators are going to handle for you) chamomile can naturally boost the sweetness and richness of your scallion flavors.
On top of all of that, chamomile also naturally introduces some very beneficial antifungal and antibacterial properties into your garden.
You’ll be able to protect against root and bulb infections much better than you would have been able to otherwise, all without having to fool around with any commercial or chemical interventions.
Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of companion plants from the same family that work well with one another – but scallions and leeks run against the grain in a big way.
Both of these plants are going to require similar nutrients from the soil, both of them like the same kind of water and sun conditions, and both of them work to elevate the flavor of one another while also helping to protect against dreaded onion flies.
It’s never a bad idea to mix leaks into your scallion planting set up.
If you are working in a garden where space is at a premium you’ll want to consider mixing your scallions into your lettuce crop – right in the very same ground, even.
The cool thing about scallions is that they have a significantly shorter root depth than lettuce. This means that they can be planted (quite literally) right on top of one another with absolutely zero negative effects.
You’ll be able to save a significant amount of space in your garden, won’t have to worry about these crops competing for resources against one another, and will enjoy the added benefits of your onions helping to protect your lettuce against pest infestations.
While the freshest summertime strawberries are about as delicious a fruit as you can pull from your garden, these plans are very vulnerable to all kinds of problems – especially of the insect and past variety.
Aphids love nothing more than to totally wipe out strawberry crops before they mature, robbing you of your fresh, juicy, sugary sweet farm grown strawberries completely.
Mix scallions into your strawberry crop, though, and you’ll protect passively against aphids and other insect infestations. Both your scallions and your strawberries will get a flavor boost from these companions being planted amongst one another, too.
8. Summer Savory
Summer savory doesn’t take up a whole lot of room in a garden, but when grown amongst your scallions (or even just in relative close proximity) it’ll help to speed up their growth cycle and sweeten their flavor.
This means you’ll be able to get more scallion crops out of each annual harvest but you’ll also have sweeter, fresher tasting scallions to boot.
9. Swiss Chard
Scallions are a short rooted onion that require pretty moist soil to thrive in. Swiss chard planted nearby your scallions can help provide a little bit of extra leaf cover, shading the soil, preventing it from drying out, and holding a lot more moisture for your scallions all at the same time.
On top of that, your scallions will protect against pests and insects that would otherwise wipe out your Swiss chard crop. It’s about as mutually beneficial a companion plant relationship as there is.
The oils and aromas that your fresh scallions are going to produce every day in the garden work to actively repel all the bugs and insects that would love nothing more than to decimate your tomato plants.
If you’re going to seriously grow tomato crops you want to be sure that you have a whole bunch of scallions planted nearby, and that those scallions continue to develop throughout the tomato growing season.
They are the best protection you’ll have against tomato devastation short of busting out chemical sprays and potentially dangerous toxins.
Bad Companion Plants for Scallions
Certain plants should not grow near your scallions because they won’t benefit them in any way. Here are some of the plants:
Due to their nitrogen-fixing capacity, beans have high nitrogen needs. Although this ability is useful for the soil, it can have a negative effect on the growth of scallions. When you grow both plants in the same location, beans will compete with scallions for nitrogen. Eventually, scallions will not be able to produce an optimal yield, and their growth will be stunted.
Even though garlic and scallions belong in the same genus, they shouldn’t be planted together. Garlic has the same nutrient needs as scallions, which can cause competition between the two plants. As a result, one or both of these two plants will experience slow growth and produce little yield.
Further, if garlic or scallions suffer pest infestations, the pests will spread easily to the unaffected plants.
Avoid planting your scallions with corn because it requires lots of nitrogen to grow. When both plants are growing in the same space, corn can get nitrogen from the soil. As a result of this, the scallion’s growth will be limited, and its yield will be minimal.
At the end of the day, companion planting is a bit of an advanced tactic that seasonal gardeners understand better than most – but it’s not that hard to pull off for rookie gardeners with just a little bit of planning and just a little bit of foresight.
Pick any of the top 10 scallion companion plants we highlighted above (or a couple of them, even) to mix in amongst your scallion crop and you’ll be a whole lot happier with your harvest this year and every year from here on out!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do scallions take to grow and mature?
Scallions are a perennial plant that can grow up to 3 feet in height, though they usually get harvested a lot earlier than that (usually around 12 inches tall) – and are harvested a couple of times each growing season. It generally takes anywhere between 60 and 80 days for scallion plants to mature enough to harvest.
What kind of soil do scallions like best?
Scallions (like most other plants in the onion family) love to be planted in nutrient rich but well draining soil that can maintain decent levels of moisture all throughout the growing season.
Packing in your scallion roots or bulbs tight amongst one another (making sure they are planted shallowly) can help maintain moisture levels and also keep weeds at bay.
When should I plant my scallions?
Growing scallions from seed should be done indoors about eight weeks before your last frost date, giving them an opportunity to solidify a bit before you move them into the harsher conditions outdoors.
These plants can also be directly seeded right into your garden say four weeks before the final frost date, though they’ll take a little bit longer to make sure and get ready for harvest.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below