What is Borage (Borago officinalis) and How Do You Grow it?

After years of being bathed in a market of pharmaceutical medications from seemingly every source of media, many people have turned back to the old ways of treating ailments with herbal powders, teas, and tinctures instead.

Unfortunately, some herbs are hard to find, or they are too costly to purchase, which is why there has been an increase in the interest of growing herbs instead.

One of the easiest and most important herbs to have in a herb garden is borage. This herb has blue flowers shaped like stars that are pretty, but it also has a wide variety of medicinal properties too. Although it isn't very finicky, it does have a few particular growing requirements.

A Thriving Environment

Borage is considered to be a Mediterranean herb. It prefers the same full sun that other types of Mediterranean herbs like oregano and rosemary enjoy. But if there is a little shade in the area, it will still manage to survive.

This herb is not one that needs an excess of water. In fact, its soft stems won't do well if it gets too much of it, so watering just once or twice a week is usually enough for borage.

The soil for borage is of no great importance. However, its favorite is a sandy mix because this encourages drainage. Clay varieties don't work as well since they often hold onto water.

The roots get very long and straight, and they are somewhat fragile. They bury into the ground quite quickly, but this takes space. Because of this, it is best to plant borage into the ground of a garden instead of in a pot.

The delicate nature of the roots also makes the plant difficult to transplant to other locations of the garden. It is best to find the perfect area to plant it in before getting it started to prevent damage to it from occurring.

Growing this herb from seeds is the easiest. Some people prefer to buy pre-grown seedlings, but it isn't necessary. Once the plant is established in an area, it will reseed itself regularly.

Borage is a medium sized herb, so it works well as a border plant to other taller varieties of herbs. It doesn't take long to reach its mature height either. Most people plant it in the spring, so it is ready by mid to late summer.

About the Author Gary Friis

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1 comments
Adrienne Abbott says September 18, 2016

I am wondering if freezing mature leaves is ok. My thought was to chop, freeze, then bag them for future stews, soups, and sandwich spreads. Are the mature leaves okay to harves? Anything I have read states gathering leaves before blossoms emerge. Thank you.

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