What To Plant With Corn To Keep Bugs Away? 16 Plants Should Be on Top!

by Shelley Ryffe
Reading time: 11 min Prefer to listen?

Are you growing corn this year? Then you should prepare beforehand to harvest the best crops. As the season appears, many gardeners face bug infestations in corn.

According to FAO, the world loses about 40% of crop production to pest-related damages. As climate change is protruding, it is fueling pest aggression.

What to plant with corn to keep bugs away? If you may wonder, certain plants are super effective in keeping bugs away. And organic pest control is always better than chemical pesticides. These 16 plants you can grow alongside corn that’ll prevent pests naturally.

What To Plant With Corn To Keep Bugs Away

What can I plant with corn to keep bugs away? Companion planting deters pests, improves soil nutrition, draws in beneficial insects, provides shade, and many more. You can grow fruits, veggies, flowers, and aromatic herbs with corn. Here are the options –

  1. Winter squash
  2. Lettuce
  3. Cucumber
  4. Melons
  5. Radish
  6. Mint
  7. Hyssop
  8. Nasturtiums
  9. Marigolds
  10. Borage
  11. Dill
  12. Sunflowers
  13. White cloves
  14. Horehound
  15. Basil
  16. Thyme

Fruits & Veggies to Plant with Corn

No matter if you are planting corn from popcorn seed or any other way, these corn companion plants can be effective.

Winter squash

Winter squashes prevent weeds from growing bedside, providing a shed for the corn plants working as a “Natural Mulch.” And their prickly vines deter raccoons or other big pests. Pumpkin or other gourd family members do pretty much the same thing.


Lettuce is a common salad leaf that most home gardeners grow and is a great companion plant for corn. If you sow lettuce in between the corn rows, it will excellently grow in place of weeds.

Since lettuce is a cool-season crop, corn plants work as shade as they grow tall while maintaining a cooler temperature, extending the cultivation time. So, they make an excellent duo.


The cucumber is another companion plant that you can grow with corn as it doesn’t have long roots; corn can grow uninterrupted.

This vine plant keeps the ground moisture intact and prevents weeds from growing. And as cucumber matures within 1.5 to 2 months, corn can grow freely.


Melons have similar benefits as cucumbers. Even though they take up plenty of space and can make it too shady, they are great at keeping the weeds at bay. Now whatever variety you sow, honeydew or sugar melon, they need adequate water just like corn does. So, make sure you water the plants enough.


Radishes take only three to five weeks to harvest after you sow the seed. As a companion plant, they are quite helpful in keeping bugs away and are beneficial for corn, cucumbers, and squashes.

Aromatic Herb And Flower Plants To Grow Alongside Corn


Like other aromatic herbs, mint is not appetizing to deers. Its pungent taste keeps this grazing animal away from the corn and prevents them from destroying the plants. Wild mint has the same effect.


Like mints, hyssop and sage are useful to repel deer and flea beetles. Besides that, the medicinal plant also allures beneficial insects. However, don’t plant them near radishes.


This may seem unreasonable, but gardeners often plant nasturtiums with other plants to keep harmful pests away from the crops. The flowering plant attracts squash bugs and aphids (green flies), which are vulnerable pests for many crops. Planting them a little away from your tomatoes, corn, or squashes can prevent pest attacks.


Marigolds are excellent pest repellers and are great companion plants. They attract beneficial and predatory insects that deter nematodes or roundworms, which often destroy crops besides the aphids that grow on corn stalks.


Borage or Borago officinalis can deter pests from corn and bring them pollinators, bees & wasps. This flowering plant is also helpful for repelling cabbage and tomato worms, besides giving your garden a beautiful look.

You can pair borage with beans, squash, cucumber, and strawberries. That being said, plant these edible flowers a little away from your garden beds.


Dill, cucumber, and corn can be another trio to grow together. This aromatic herb attracts honeybees, wasps, butterflies, hoverflies, and beneficial insects that keep the harmful ones away.

It also prohibits squash bugs, cabbage worms, and aphids from attacking crops. You can pair this multifunctional herb with asparagus, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, and onions as well.


Sunflowers attract ladybugs and other beneficial insects that kill harmful insects and pests. This plant is also useful for pumpkins, beans, and squash. However, plant the dwarf sunflower variety if you want to plant them together.

White Clover

Even though white clover is more popular for its anti-inflammatory substance to improve the immune system and relieve cold coughs, farmers often grow it with other crops to benefit the soil’s properties. It incorporates nitrogen into the soil, retains moisture, and improves soil quality.

It can be a good companion plant for corn. Apart from the mentioned benefits, it will reduce the weeds. And at the end of their lifecycle, clover plants would compost in the earth, making a fabulous fertilizer for your corn plants.


Marrubium vulgare, also known as common horehound, is widely used for its medicinal benefits, mostly for being used in cough syrups. However, this perennial plant from the mint family allures many wasps and flies.


Basil is a multi-beneficial herb that repels maize weevils when planted together. You can grow basil alongside corn or keep it as a border plant. And dried basil helps store corn cobs.

Thyme: Best for Earworms

An inseparable part of any pantry, thyme is a great repeller for earworms. When planted with corn, this aromatic herb keeps the mini pests away. It assists the corn plants in growing to their full potential.

This Companion Plant Video May Help!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you plant carrots with corn?

Yes. You can grow corn and carrots together. Though they are not a very common duo, they do not harm each other.

Can you plant garlic and corn together?

Yes, you can grow garlic next to your corn plants. Due to garlic’s pungent smell, the raccoons won’t harm the corn plants.

What is the best plant to grow with corn?

Corn grows better with plants that require fewer nutrients and can repel pests. Corn, squash, and beans are the most excellent trio to grow together. You can also grow sunflowers, mints, gourds, lettuce, and radishes with corn.


Organic farming is the best for humans and nature. Therefore, we should practice more of that. Now that you know what to plant with corn to keep bugs away, you can decide which seeds to sow for the season.

And never grow your tomatoes, eggplants, and cruciferous veggies next to corn beds, as they do not go well together because both attract pests or share the same diseases.

Some plants are heavy feeders and need more nutrition. So, if you sow them together, they won’t grow well. And as the corn plant grows, it turns into a sunlight barrier for the sun-loving plants.

These best companion plants for corn you can plant together to save space, use less water, and finally ensure the healthy growth of the plants. Happy gardening!

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