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Borage Borago officinalis

Growing Borage: Tips at a Glance

Native to Mediterranean climates, borage has since Homer's day been a prized medicinal and culinary herb; as a companion plant in an edible garden, it will ward off pests.

  • Type Edible herb
  • Lifespan Annual
  • USDA Zones All
  • Light Sun
  • Water Well-drained soil
  • How to Plant Sow seeds
  • Companions Strawberries, lettuce
  • Design Tip Bee magnet
  • Days to Mature 56

Borage: A Field Guide

Borage comes by its nickname—starflower—honestly, with bright blue or white starbursts when it blooms.  It will thrive in sunny spots with well-drained soil and if bees had to pick a favorite flower, this annual herb would win; its nectar proves irresistible to pollinators.

Don’t be misled by the fact that Borago officinalis is a true annual, which means its life cycle unfolds over the course of a single year. (An annual plant germinates, grows, flowers, and dies in the course of a growing season.) You can count on borage to self-sow in the garden; it will pop up next year in unexpected but delightful clumps. Borage is also delicious in salads, its leaves adding a flavor reminiscent of cucumber (borage flowers are sweet like honey—try them). Tip: Watch out for its hairy leaves, which can be prickly; wear gloves when you’re cutting back or pulling borage plants from the garden.

Planting, Care & Design of Borage

More About Borage

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