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6 Best Cantaloupe Companion Plants & What Not to Plant

Choosing the best cantaloupe companion plants can be hugely beneficial to the plant’s flavor and growth. Cantaloupe is a tasty fruit full of summer goodness – plus it is the easiest of all the melon varieties to grow!

Whether you are a gardening expert or have just started taking it seriously, it’s time to add some cantaloupe to your garden. Not only will you get to devour its sweet taste in salads and desserts – but when paired with the right companion plants, cantaloupe will totally thrive and benefit other garden plants as well. 

Ready to discover the best companion plants for watermelon and cantaloupe? I’ll give you the scoop to help grow delicious, healthy cantaloupes in your garden. Let’s dive in, shall we? 

Summary of How to Grow Cantaloupe

Before I dive into all the combinations, let’s take a quick look at how to grow cantaloupes.

Cantaloupes, like honeydew and watermelon, are a type of melon belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. Like other Cucurbitaceae plants, they grow best in sunny locations and well-drained, fertile soil.

While cantaloupes love warmth, too much of it can cause the plant to get cranky and let its flowers fall off, so ideally the temperature should not rise above 95 to 100°F.

A steady moisture supply is also needed to keep these plants happy. Supplemental water in the early stages is required; however, once the melons have attained a good size, you should reduce the frequency. 

Reducing water during this time increases the sugar content of the mature fruit, maximizing the fruit’s sweetness. 

Typically, cantaloupes should be ready for harvesting anywhere from 60 to 100 days after planting. 

A good indicator of this is when the peel turns creamy yellow and the melon separates easily from the vine with a light touch. 

However, on occasion, you may come across a stubborn fruit, and in such cases, it is advisable to carefully cut it from the vine rather than pulling, which may damage the melon and lead to a poor-quality fruit.

Best Conditions for Growing Cantaloupe

Best Climate Warm-season crop that grows best at average temperatures between 65 and 75 °F. 
Plant Spacing Plant in groups of two or three seeds, spaced 2 feet apart
Planting Depth1-2 inches (25-50mm) in mounds
Time till Harvest60 to 100 days
Position Full-sun
Life CycleAnnual
Best conditions for growing cantaloupe

Best Cantaloupe Companion Plants

Now that you know how to grow cantaloupe, let’s move ahead to plants suitable for cantaloupe companion planting. 

Below is a list of some of my favorite combinations to consider to get the most benefit from your crop.

Nasturtium plant with orange flowers growing in the garden, companion plants for cantaloupe

Nasturtium

Looking for a natural pest deterrent for your cantaloupe? Look no further than these bright blooms. 

Nasturtiums are frequently planted alongside cantaloupes due to their outstanding ability to deter pests, saving your cantaloupes from nuisance insects and their harmful effects. In addition to this, these flowers may also enhance the flavor and growth of your cantaloupes. 

Did you know that Nasturtium also serves as a great spinach companion plant? Check out my article to learn all about this fruitful combination. 

hand pulling ripe radishes in garden, cantaloupe companion plants

Radishes

Surprise, surprise, your favorite radishes aren’t only nutritious and delicious but also work well as cantaloupe companion plants. 

They’re excellent soil aerators and can keep the soil around your plant loose and easy to work. This ultimately results in healthier and stronger cantaloupes.

Fresh green lettuce, companion plants for cantaloupe

Lettuce

Maximize the use of your garden space with the simple but powerful pairing of cantaloupe and lettuce. 

Lettuce not only provides a crisp contrast to the sweet melon but also keeps the fruit from rolling around and getting damaged. 

A bonus is that it grows fast and is easy to maintain; therefore serving as a great beginner-friendly option. 

Tansy

Herbs like parsley, oregano, mint, and tansy are another dynamic pairing that helps protect your cantaloupes against striped cucumber beetles and squash bugs. 

To use tansy as a companion plant for watermelon and cantaloupe, simply plant it near your melons and cut it back when it grows too large. No hassle, only benefits! 

Green corn field, cantaloupe companion plants

Corn

Corn and cantaloupes are another powerful duo in the garden. Cantaloupes provide shade to the corn, while corn provides natural support for cantaloupe vines. 

The plants also benefit from symbiotic nitrogen fixation, where the corn releases nitrogen into the soil for supplemental fertilisation, helping both plants grow healthy and strong.

Fresh green beans in the garden, companion plants for watermelon and cantaloupe

Beans

Beans are another nitrogen-fixing plant that aids the growth of cantaloupes by providing essential nutrients. 

Additionally, beans can help regulate soil moisture and keep the soil cool by providing shade, the ideal growing conditions for cantaloupes. And let’s not forget about their ability to attract beneficial pest-feeding insects, making them an excellent natural pest control solution.

Bad Cantaloupe Companion Plants

While many garden favorites get along well with cantaloupe, there are still some varieties you should keep far away from your muskmelon.

potatoes in soil ground in garden, organic vegetables, cantaloupe companion plants

Potatoes

Planting cantaloupes with potatoes is a route you should avoid. This is because the deep roots of potatoes are heavy feeders and can steal valuable nutrition away from your cantaloupes. And because potatoes can rot if kept in too moist soil, they aren’t fit to grow in the same soil as cantaloupes. 

Green cucumber, bad companion plants for cantaloupe

Cucumbers

There are several reasons why cucumbers aren’t a good match for cantaloupes. For starters, they are large, vining plants that compete with their fellows for water, light, and nutrition.

Secondly, they require a lot of space to grow and attract many bugs that like to feed on cantaloupe plants. So grow these two in different rows for best results. 

watermelon on the ground, bad companion plants for cantaloupe

Watermelons

Here’s an important tip: never plant melons near other melons. Planting cantaloupe alongside its cousin watermelon can cause them to compete for space, light, and other vital elements, hindering their growth. More so, both cantaloupes and watermelons attract the same pests, resulting in greater plant deterioration. 

FAQS: Best Cantaloupe Companion Plants

What should you not plant next to the cantaloupe?

Planting squash, cucumber, and watermelon near cantaloupes is not recommended as they are susceptible to the same pests as cantaloupes and can negatively impact its yield. Also, because they are all vining plants, they will compete for space.

Can cantaloupe be planted next to zucchini?

No, zucchini is not a good companion plant as it feeds on the same nutrients as cantaloupe, slowing down its growth. 

Can I plant cantaloupe next to onions?

Alliums like garlic and onions are an excellent natural pairing with cantaloupes as they can help deter cucumber beetles and aphids – cantaloupe’s natural predators. 

Final Words on the Best Cantaloupe Companion Plants

Now that you know the best cantaloupe companion plants, I hope your garden grows quicker and more productively. 

What’s your favorite buddy plant for cantaloupe? Do you have any suggestions for our line-up? Let’s talk in the comments below. 

Happy Gardening! 

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About the Author

Elle Reed is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle. “Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.