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How to Grow Borage: 5 Tips for Growing Borage

Borage is a quick-growing herb that is easy to add to your garden. Pollinators love this annual herb with beautiful blue flowers. Borage leaves and flowers have a mild cucumber flavor and are a tasty addition to drinks, salads, and more. Learn how to grow borage outside and in containers with these 5 tips. 

How to grow Borage

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5 Tips for How to Grow Borage

How to grow Borage

1. Plant borage at the right time

Plant after last spring frost date. Ideal soil temperature for planting is 70°F. 

In the low desert of Arizona, plant borage seeds beginning in October and plant through January

How to grow Borage

2. Plant borage correctly

Borage has a long taproot and does best planted from seedsClick here for 100%Heirloom, non-GMO borage seeds

Plant borage seeds ¼-½ inches deep, 12-18 inches apart. Keep soil moist until the seeds sprout. Borage grows large, up to 3 feet all and wide. Give plants plenty of room. One borage plant is often plenty. 

Borage grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

For square foot gardening, plant 1 borage per 2-3 square feet.

How to grow Borage

3. Care for borage correctly

Borage is a tough plant and can tolerate some neglect. 

Water borage well until plant is established. The more water borage receives, the larger the plant becomes. 

Pinch back borage seedlings when they are about 6 inches tall to encourage a fuller plant. Trim borage as desired for size. 

Borage does not require additional fertilizer. 

Borage reseeds easily. Each borage flower develops into several seeds; harvest flowers before seeds form to prevent reseeding. 

How to grow Borage

How to grow borage in containers:

Borage has a long taproot and does best in containers at least 8 inches deep. 

Borage plants grow large; grows best in its own container. 

How to grow Borage

4. Harvest borage often

Harvest new leaves before bristles develop for best flavor. 

Pick flowers as soon as they appear. Picking flowers often encourages more production. 

At the end of the season, leave a few flowers on the plant to save seeds from. 

Borage leaves and flowers taste like cucumbers. Use them in drinks, salads, sandwiches, or candied in desserts.

How to grow Borage

5. Add the benefits of borage to your garden

Borage flowers attract pollinators — bees love it! 

Borage may repel hornworms.

Cabbagesquashstrawberries and tomatoes are good companion plants for borage. Borage can increase their resistance to pests and disease. 

At the end of the season, add borage to the compost pile; it makes great mulch and compost. 

How to grow Borage
How to grow Borage
How to grow Borage


Tuesday 24th of May 2022

I'm wondering what the best way is to harvest seeds? I've been picking the flowers and tossing them where I want them to grow. Do the flowers need to stay on the plant and dry out to produce seeds?

Angela Judd

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

It's best to leave the flowers on the plant until they develop seeds. To harvest the seeds, pay attention to the blooms. When they die back if you look inside the blossom there will be a set of 3 seeds. Once they are completely ready, they drop, but you can often harvest them just before that.