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Common Borage Guide


Borage, a symbol of courage and bravery in Celtic and Roman lore, hails from the Mediterranean region and is lauded for its beauty, taste, and medicinal uses. The pretty star shaped flowers are edible and used for salads, garnishes, and teas. Some say the flowers taste like cucumbers!


Borage grows best in warmer weather between 65°F-80°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 3 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 12-14 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 65°F-80°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the borage seeds indoors in biodegradable trays or pods that let the roots grow through 2 weeks before the last frost date; germination is best between 70°F-80°F. It can be transplanted outside 4 weeks later.  Borage grows a tender taproot so be incredibly careful when moving.

Sow seeds ¼ -½ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart with rows spaced 12 inches apart. Germination will take 8-14 days. Thin the seedlings to 12 inches apart if they start competing for space or light.


Borage likes full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Water often and don’t let the soil dry out but be sure to check it is not soggy already. Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Do not let it sit completely dry overnight.

No additional fertilizer is required but if needed use aged compost or compost tea. Mulch the area to deter weeds.


Borage is full grown in 50-55 days. You can harvest the flowers and leaves by picking them off or snipping them with scissors. They are self-seeding and will continue to grow year after year in the same spot. They are better used fresh in salads and tea. 

Pruning back often will encourage bushier growth.


Japanese beetles, root rot, fungal leaf spot – floating row cover, neem oil, don’t water from above.

*Companion plant borage with strawberries, basil, pumpkins, kale, nasturtiums, marigolds, parsley, and tomatoes. *

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