Home Herbs Borage: A Versatile and Beneficial Herb for Your Garden | Growing, Harvesting, and Uses

Borage: A Versatile and Beneficial Herb for Your Garden | Growing, Harvesting, and Uses

by Donna
3 minutes read

Borage: A Versatile and Beneficial Herb for Your Garden


Borage is a hardy annual herb that’s easy to grow and provides edible flowers and leaves. It’s a popular choice for gardens because it attracts pollinators, improves the quality of other plants, and has medicinal properties.

Growing Borage

Borage is well-suited to all USDA hardiness zones. It prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade. The seeds should be sown 1/4 inch deep in rows set 18 inches apart in February or March. Germination typically occurs within a week or two. Once the seedlings are two inches tall, thin them to about 12 to 15 inches apart.

Harvesting Borage

Both the leaves and flowers of borage are edible. The flowers have a cucumber-like flavor and can be used in salads, beverages, and desserts. The leaves are also edible but have a slightly prickly texture, so it’s recommended to wear gloves when handling them. Young leaves are less prickly and more tender.

To harvest borage flowers, simply snip them off the plant. To harvest borage leaves, select the young ones and gently pull them from the stem. Continual harvesting and deadheading will promote new growth and extend the harvesting period.

Companion Planting with Borage

Borage is an excellent companion plant for many vegetables, including cucumbers, beans, grapes, squash, and peas. It improves the growth and quality of these plants by attracting pollinators and deterring pests.

Medicinal Properties of Borage

Borage has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It’s high in calcium and potassium, which can help prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes. It also contains silica, which can be irritating to some people, so it’s important to wear gloves when handling the plant.

Borage Seeds

Borage seeds are relatively large and easy to collect. They look like small, hard seed pods with grooved sides and a cap on the top. Once the flowers have faded, the seed pods will turn brown and dry. You can harvest the seeds by shaking the seed pods over a bowl or paper.

Tips for Growing Borage

  • Borage is a self-seeding plant, so it will readily produce new plants from its own seeds.
  • Borage spreads from seeds above ground rather than underground stolons.
  • The plant can grow to be between 18 and 36 inches tall and 9 to 24 inches wide.
  • Borage is susceptible to powdery mildew, so it’s important to provide good air circulation around the plants.
  • Borage does not like to be transplanted, so it’s best to sow the seeds directly in the garden.


Borage is a versatile and beneficial herb that’s easy to grow and provides a variety of uses in the garden and kitchen. With its edible flowers and leaves, companion planting benefits, and medicinal properties, borage is a valuable addition to any garden.

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