Why grow borage in your garden?
We really can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to grow borage in your garden!
Yes, borage may be a little bit prickly-fuzzy. But that’s easy to get past. That’s because easy-to-grow borage has so many wonderful qualities to offer!
Top 10 reasons we grow borage:
If you aren’t already convinced to grow borage in your food or ornamental garden, consider all this generous plant has to offer:
- Borage is a magnet for all the pollinators. In fact, borage lures in bumblebees, wasps, hover flies, hummingbirds & many others. Plus, they’ll come again and again. That’s because this plant’s flowers keep refilling with delicious nectar, fast.
- And planting borage near fruiting crops like tomatoes may mean you get more food. That’s because pollinators will visit all the flowers near your borage.
- Plus, borage is edible. And it tastes a bit like cucumber. Moreover, true blue borage flowers are gorgeous decorations on cakes and in salads.
- As well, borage has a thick, drill like root that breaks up dense soil. But, it isn’t hard to pull out to remove the plant. So once an annual borage plant fades for the season, it’s easy to pull out of the soil.
- Too, borage makes a fantastic black aphid lure trap. So, when you grow borage, they may help keep pests off of other crops. Plus, wild birds and wasps will feast on the pest insects.
- And borage forms tiny thistle-like seeds to feed wild birds.
- Plus, borage self-seeds. So, once you have borage, you’ll always have borage. But again, if it pops up where you don’t want it, it’s easy to remove.
- As well, once it self-seeds, you’re likely to have several generations of borage refresh your garden in just one season.
- Moreover, chickens love to feast on borage plants past their prime.
- Finally, bunnies and deer steer clear of borage, so that’s a great reason to grow borage!
Where to grow borage in your garden?
Borage does best in full sun. And, it usually gets to about 18″-24″ tall and wide. But, I’ve seen some stay much smaller and others get taller and wider. Often when they get tall, they will get top heavy and begin to flop over and crack apart. But, if the original begins to outgrow its space or time in your garden, a self-seeded baby borage is likely not far behind.
So when the older ones start looking their worst, just pull them out. And let the youngsters take their place! (And toss the ones you pull in with your hens to enjoy as a cucumbery snack.)
Can I transplant borage easily?
If you dig up very young seedlings, it may be possible to transplant borage babies from one part of the garden to the others. But the big root on larger plants doesn’t forgive being dug up. And those plants may simply wilt to the ground if you try to move them around. As well, if you buy a borage start that is already blooming, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t last long before giving up the ghost. It’s an annual after all. Really, growing it from seed is a great way to go!
Looking for true blue flowers?
Who doesn’t want a true blue flower in their garden? And, have you noticed how few flowers are really blue? Many blue flowers are actually tinted purple, but not borage. It’s truly blue. Sometimes, under stress, it will flush pink, but that’s more rare than common.
Rumors (or are they truths?) about borage?
You may have heard that borage deters tomato hornworm, and maybe it does. We’ve grown borage by our tomato plants for many years without a hornworm showing up once — but we have no proof that the borage is what kept the hornworm away. If you have experience with borage and hornworm, let us know!
Also, Robin’s mom always says, “Borage for courage!” She claims this is based on the idea that borage was fed to Roman soldiers before battle to give them the guts to fight. Whether that’s true or not, we hope it doesn’t really require a lot of courage on your part to grow borage in your own garden.
Try it from seed; it germinates readily and generously! And that’s the truth.