Borage Plant

You can grow borage in minutes. Borage may be a decorative herb festooned in summer with clusters of intensely blue star-shaped flowers. The leaves and flowers of borage taste like cucumbers. The flowers are often floated in summer drinks and candied for adornment . The leaves are often utilized in salads, sandwiches, and desserts or sautéed like spinach. Borage isn’t a finicky herb; it’ll grow in most gardens as long because the soil is well drained.

GET to understand BORAGE

  • Botanical name and family: borage (Boraginaceae—forget-me-not family)
  • Origin: Southern Europe and Western Asia
  • Type of plant: Borage may be a warm-season annual herb; however, sometimes flowers don’t appear until the second year—making borage a sometimes biennial.
  • Growing season: Summer
  • Growing zones: Grow borage in zones 3 to 10.
  • Hardiness: Borage tolerates heat and funky weather but won’t survive a tough frost.
  • Plant form and size: Borage grows 1 to three feet tall and wide; it’s shrubby with branching stems.
  • Flowers: Borage has intensely blue, star-shaped flowers that grow in drooping clusters at the ideas of stems; flower buds have a silvery sparkle from ubiquitous white hairs.
  • Bloom time: Borage blooms from early summer until the primary frost in fall.
  • Leaves: Borage has grey-green oval leaves that grow 4 to five inches; the leaves have a rough-textured surface covered with stiff velvety hairs.


  • Best location: Plant borage fully sun; it’ll tolerate partial shade.
  • Soil preparation: Grow borage in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to the planting bed and switch it under to 12 inches before planting. Borage will grow in poor soil or alkaline soil as long because it is well-drained. Borage prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Seed starting indoors: Borage is often started from seed indoors 6 to eight weeks before the last frost. Start seed in biodegradable pots which will be set within the garden to avoid root disruption. Seeds germinate in 7 to 10 days.
  • Transplanting to the garden: Transplant borage seedlings to the garden after the last frost in spring. Borage quickly develops a taproot so take care when transplanting to not damage the basis.
  • Outdoor planting time: Sow borage seed within the garden after the typical last frost date in spring when the soil has warmed. Sow seed where it’ll grow; borage is difficult to transplant. The seed must be covered for germination. Seeds also can be sown within the garden in fall; seeds will germinate the subsequent spring.
  • Planting depth: Sow borage seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep.
  • Spacing: Thin plants from 18 to 24 inches apart once they’re to eight inches tall. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart.
  • How much to plant: Grow 1 borage plant for cooking; grow 2 to 4 plants for tea or preserving.
  • Companion planting: Plant borage near basil, leeks, pumpkins, kale, nasturtiums, pansies, marigolds, and parsley. Borage is claimed to strengthen the pest and disease resistance of plants growing nearby, particularly strawberries. Honeybees love borage. Plants will attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Borage is claimed to discourage cabbage worms.


  • Watering: Borage requires even regular water until established. Once established the soil can dry out between waterings.
  • Feeding: Borage doesn’t require feeding; avoid soil rich in nitrogen or plants might not bloom. Fertilize with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion to offer flowering plants a lift.
  • Mulching: Mulch around borage to stay foliage off of the bottom where it’s going to rot.
  • Pruning: Pinch back plants when 6 inches tall to encourage bushiness. you’ll prune back borage by one-half in midsummer; this may encourage new tender leaves for late summer harvest
  • Care: Keep planting beds well weeded to avoid competition for moisture. Tall plants may require staking or support. Remove faded flowers to prolong blooming.
  • Container growing: Borage grows easily in containers. Choose a container 12 inches deep and wide or larger; borage forms a taproot.
  • Winter growing: Borage is an annual which will die down in freezing weather. In mild-winter regions, borage may survive the winter to flower again next summer.


  • Pests: Japanese beetles are sometimes interested in borage and can eat the leaves. Japanese beetles are often controlled with neem oil or excluded by covering plants with a floating row cover.
  • Diseases: Borage is often vulnerable to plant disease in constantly wet soil otherwise it’s no serious disease problems. Fungal leaf spot may occur; spray plants with compost tea to regulate fungal diseases.


  • When to harvest: Snip fresh, young leaves in spring and summer as required . Harvest young leaves before they develop bristly hairs. Older bristly leaves are often coarse. Flowers are often snipped individually or in clusters as soon as they open.
  • How to harvest: Cut or snip leaves and flowers with a garden snip or scissors.


  • Flavor and aroma: Borage leaves and flowers have a cucumber-like flavor, cool and fresh-tasting with a small saltiness. Add borage to any dish where you would like cucumber flavor like green salads. Use borage leaves and stems as a flavoring.
  • Leaves: Use young borage leaves raw, steamed or sautéed in butter like spinach. Steamed leaves are often eaten as a vegetable. The furry coating on leaves disappears when steamed. Mince young leaves in yogurt or over soups, salads, curries, fish, and chicken dishes. Leaves and flowers enhance cheese, fish, poultry, eggs, most vegetables, green salads, ice beverages, pickles, and dressing . Use leaves to form flavored vinegar. Use mature leaves sparingly; they will be toxic when ingested in large quantities.
  • Flowers: Add fresh borage flowers to salads or sandwiches. Flowers are often floated in drinks or candied to be used on cake, ice cream, and other desserts. Freeze flowers in ice cubes or drop freshly picked flowers in drinks.
  • Stems: you’ll eat borage stems peeled and chopped like celery.


  • Borage leaves are often frozen or dried, but the flavour is best when leaves are used fresh.
  • Refrigeration: Leaves and stems are often refrigerated for 3 to 4 days during a sealed bag wrapped during a damp towel .
  • Drying: Dry leaves and flowers within the microwave (a single layer on paper towels, microwaved 1 to three minutes) or within the refrigerator on a baking sheet covered with paper towels. you’ll air-dry leaves and flowers: place them during a mesh bag and hang them during a cool, dry place or put them in an uncovered bowl and stir the leaves daily until they dry.
  • Freezing: Place leaves during a bag to freeze. Leaves and flowers can also be frozen in ice cubes. Drop an cube with a frozen borage flower inside into lemonade or other clear drinks.


Seed: Borage readily reseeds; transplant volunteers before they develop taproots. Direct sow seeds in late spring.


  • Common borage (Borago officinalis): is that the most familiar borage described above.
  • Variegata (Borago officinalis ‘Variegata’): has mottled green leaves and white flowers; also referred to as white borage.
  • Creeping borage (Borago pygmaea): a sprawling plant with fragrant, pale blue blooms that appear from late spring through early autumn.

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