Raspberry Companion Plants | What to Grow with Berries

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Growing raspberries in our backyard garden is an amazing experience! This year I’m delighted to be growing yellow raspberries as well as red raspberries for my girls (and me!). I decided to plant the berries in different spaces, though, so I quickly got to thinking about companions in the garden and what to plant with raspberries.

This is partly because I want the benefits of companion planting, but more because I had lots of plant starts and needed more space!

Handful of Red and Yellow Raspberries
Handful of Red and Yellow Raspberries

Isn’t the challenge always finding a home for all the plants and seedlings?! I hope one day I will truly feel that I actually have enough gardening space… But, for now, I am jamming little plants in wherever I can find a home!

Let’s look into some great raspberry companion plants so you’ll get the most out of your own garden spaces!

By the end of this post, I hope you’ll have a better idea of what to plant with raspberries!

Raspberry bush for sale at Rosie's Farm Stand in New Jersey
Raspberry bush for sale at Rosie’s Farm Stand in New Jersey

Do raspberries like acidic soil?

Yes, raspberries like acidic soil that is in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH, according to Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. You can test your soil to check the pH and amend the soil with acidifier and berry fertilizers designed for this purpose as needed.

By the way, here’s our post on other plants that like acidic soil!

What can you not plant next to raspberries?

Avoid planting raspberry bushes near potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and other nightshades that may spread verticillium wilt and blight. Also, do not plant raspberries near other berry crops that could spread fungal diseases that live in the soil.

I had wanted to grow raspberries and strawberries together in a raised bed, but cannot find conclusive information from a reputable source on this. For this reason, I have not yet tried this pairing.

Companion Planting Raspberry Bushes gives you more mileage out of your garden space.
Companion Planting Raspberry Bushes gives you more mileage out of your garden space.

Choosing Raspberry Companions

Some flowers, herbs, and vegetables grow well together with these beloved, thorny brambles that offer such sweet, delicious berries.

Many of the best raspberry plant companions offer beneficial uses such as for food, tea, and even medicinal uses. Find what proves most useful for your own family!

Here are a few ideas to consider for what to plant next to raspberries.

Vegetable Companion Plants for Raspberries

Growing vegetables near raspberries can be a little tricky, but some plant pairings work out better than you might expect.

Here are some ideas for companion planting with raspberries and vegetables in the garden.

  • Legumes – Some common legumes include beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Beans and other legumes often return nutrients back to the soil, making them ideal companions.
  • Garlic – Plant garlic in the fall to harvest in the summer. Its pungent scent helps to keep pests away. (BTW – You might also like these other garlic companion plants!)
  • Leeks – Also in the Allium family, leeks also work well as a raspberry companion plant. These onion-like plants boast a strong aroma to help deter Japanese beetles and other pests.

    Leeks for sale
  • Onions – Onions grow nicely under and alongside raspberries. Like their cousins in the Allium family, onions also provide helpful pest control as a natural insecticide.
  • Turnips – Turnips don’t just repel kids at the dinner table; they’re also great at repelling the harlequin beetle! Consider pungent turnips as a raspberry companion plant.
Turnips for sale at the grocery store
Turnips for sale at the grocery store

Herb & Raspberry Companion Planting

  • Chamomile – The delicate daisy-like flowers of chamomile look just lovely in the raspberry patch. Believed to offer antibacterial and antifungal properties, chamomile is a helpful companion plant for raspberry bushes.
  • Chervil – Chervil repels slugs and aphids, making it a fine companion plant in the garden. A shade-lover, plant chervil under raspberry bushes to enjoy a bit of shielding from the sun.

    Chervil works as a companion plant for raspberry bushes.
  • Chives – Likewise, chives join the ranks of garlic, leeks, and onions as natural pest deterrents and a good choice for what to plant next to raspberries.
  • Lavender – Growing lavender with raspberries adds a lovely fragrance to the air, attracting pollinators. Lavender also helps to keep deer and rabbits away.
  • Yarrow – Yarrow can help to ward off aphids and harlequin beetles, among other pests. The gorgeous flowers attract pollinators to your garden as well.
Raspberry Companion Plants - Chamomile for Tea
Raspberry bushes growing near Chamomile for Tea – Notice my golden raspberry plants in the background!
Now this makes me want to try making raspberry chamomile tea!

Flowers to Plant with Raspberries

For a pretty pop of color, consider growing flowers near raspberries. Here are my favorite companion flowers to grow near your raspberry bushes – and throughout your garden!

  • Nasturtium – Another known beneficial companion plant, nasturtiums offer some pest control properties as well. Plant nasturtiums near raspberries for a lovely pop of color and a fighting chance against squash bugs and other pests.
  • MarigoldsMarigolds as companion plants are rock stars in the garden. They’re believed to offer pest control properties and also boast a lovely pop of color.
  • Zinnias – Pollinators love zinnias and the stunning range of colors bring an amazing contrast to your raspberry patch. The vivid blossoms enliven the area with color, complementing the rather plain and sometimes sprawling raspberry canes.
Little Girl Picking Raspberries near a Border of Zinnias (Companion Plants)
Here’s my youngest enjoying a hunt for some fresh raspberries to pick. (2021) Notice the zinnias growing right outside the beds!

Cover Crops for Raspberry Bushes

Growing cover crops – and even tilling them into the soil – can be beneficial for raspberry plants as well.

In what might be considered more of a crop rotation than a companion planting effort, consider planting cover crops first before transplanting raspberries.

This can help to amend any missing nutrients in the soil to give your plants a healthy start.

  • Alfalfa
  • Buckwheat
  • Canola
  • Clover
  • Japanese Millet
  • Rye
  • Spring Oats
Dormant raspberries and gold raspberries for sale at Tractor Supply
Dormant raspberries and gold raspberries for sale at Tractor Supply

Deciding What to Grow Next to Raspberries

When deciding what to grow with raspberries, keep these key points in mind to help your decision:

  • Benefits – Consider the benefits of different raspberry companion combinations. Match up natural insecticide properties with pests you notice in your garden, or find other benefits of impact.
  • Spacing – Use caution not to crowd your raspberry bushes or other plants. Give everything ample room to grow so they all reach their full potential and yields.
  • Usefulness – Above all, be sure you’re growing things your family will enjoy and use. Most of us gardeners all wish we had more space. Consider how useful any plants will be before considering them as planting companions. Chamomile tea, for example, would be a good use of planting your chamomile and raspberries together.
  • Appearance – If you like more color in your garden, plant some flowers. Zinnias, marigolds and nasturtiums can all add a lovely splash of color to your garden’s canvas.
Raspberry bush for sale at Ken's Gardens
Raspberry bush for sale at Ken’s Gardens

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FAQ: Raspberries Companion Plants

Various herbs like chamomile, lavender, and chives grow very well with raspberries. You can also grow raspberries and vegetables like alliums and legumes together. Some flowers, like zinnias, marigolds, and nasturtiums also make great bedfellows.

Plant herbs like thyme or chamomile as ground cover for your raspberry bushes.

It is not recommended to plant other types of berries alongside raspberry bushes. Berries planted too closeby may spread disease to the raspberry plants.

Avoid planting black raspberries and other raspberries (red, golden, or purple) within about 100 feet of each other. Stark Bro’s reports that black raspberries generally fare poorly when afflicted by disease-carrying aphids that travel between plants.

Due to the rambling nature of cucumbers and the often thorny stickers of raspberries, this plant pairing may not be your best option. Consider giving raspberries and cucumbers their own spaces, even if they are nearby each other.

(This is my personal opinion. I cannot find any evidence-based supporting information one way or the other.)

Gardeners should avoid planting raspberries and other types of berries together. This can be a problem due to the potential for spreading viruses or diseases between berry plants.

Companion plant ideas for raspberry bushes, including herbs, flowers, and vegetables

These are just a few companion planting ideas for raspberry bushes to consider. Do you grow your raspberries with something different?

Share your successes and other personal anecdotes in our comments below – we’d love to hear your stories and share your tips!

05.05.22 – Updated to add photo of raspberry bush and update other images to full size. Fixed up spacing as well.

03.10.23 – Updated with some new information and broke out headings better. Updated date from 9.17.21. Added FAQs and lots of pictures.

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