Borage Growing Guide

All you need to know to grow successfully!

Plant Family:
Boraginaceae
Plant Type:
Annual

Square Foot Spacing:

4
Typical Season:
Warm
Typical Zones Grown In:
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Growing Difficulty:
Easy

Borage (Borago officinalis) is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean region but is now grown worldwide. It has hairy, branching stems and produces star-shaped, blue-purple flowers that bloom from late spring through summer. The leaves and flowers of borage have a cucumber-like flavour and are often used in salads, teas, and as a garnish. Borage is also grown as a medicinal herb, with its oil and extract used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments including inflammation, anxiety, and respiratory issues. Additionally, borage is attractive to bees and other pollinators, making it a popular choice for gardens and sustainable landscapes.

How to Grow Borage Organically

  1. Choose the right time: Borage is an annual herb that is best planted in the spring after the last frost date.
  2. Select a location: Borage prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It can grow in a variety of soil types, but prefers a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.
  3. Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches and remove any rocks or debris. Add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve soil fertility and drainage.
  4. Plant the seeds: Borage is usually grown from seed. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 12-18 inches apart. If planting a large area, consider using a seed spreader.
  5. Water the plants: Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather.
  6. Fertilize the plants: Borage does not need a lot of fertilizer. You can add a light application of balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, once or twice during the growing season.
  7. Control pests and diseases: Borage is generally pest and disease-free. However, it can attract spider mites and leaf miners. Use organic methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests.
  8. Harvest the leaves and flowers: Borage leaves and flowers are edible and can be harvested when they are young and tender. Cut the leaves and flowers off the plant using a sharp pair of scissors or pruners.

Following these steps will help you grow borage and harvest its beautiful blue flowers and leaves. Borage is commonly used as a culinary herb and is also used in herbal remedies for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. The flowers can be used as a garnish, or to make a refreshing tea or flavored water.

Planting Guidelines

The following are general guides to follow. However, nothing is set in stone. Feel free to experiment!

How to Start:
Outdoor
When to Direct Sow:
March, April, May, June, July
When to Start Indoors:
None
Sprouting Time:
7-14 days

Ideal Temperature (C):

21-27°C
Depth:
0.5-1 in
Spacing (cm):
30 cm
Row Spacing (cm):
12-18 in
Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Maturity Time:
50-60 days
When To Harvest:
June, July
How to Harvest:
Cut Leaves from outside

Health Benefits

Growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for your health. Let’s check out some of the health benefits!

Is It Edible?
Yes
Edible Parts:
Leaves, Flowers
Potential Health Benefits:
Antioxidants, Vitamin C

Tips to Growing Organically

Growing without the use of pesticides and herbicides is easier than you may think and it’s better for the environment!

Companion Plants:
Squash
What Plants to Avoid:
Cucumber, Squash
Common Pests:
Aphids, Slugs, Caterpillars
Common Disease:
Powdery Mildew, Root Rot
Bonus Grow Tips:
Plant in sunny location, harvest leaves when they are young

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