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Growing Borage, also Burrage, Bugloss

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P P

(Best months for growing Borage in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Use leaves before flowers appear, otherwise they will be 'hairy'. .
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Strawberry, tomatoes, zucchini/squash. Deters pests from many plants.
  • Borage flowers
    Borage flowers

A tall, attractive plant, often grown in flowerbeds. Bright blue star-shaped edible flowers. Grow in a sunny spot with well drained fertile soil. Borage dies down in the winter, but probably you will not need to buy any more seeds as it self seeds quite vigorously and spreads around the garden. Luckily, it is so attractive that it adds to the general design.

Will grow almost anywhere but prefers well-drained soil. Can be transplanted when young but older plants do not move well.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Borage

Has a slight cucumber taste which goes well in salads and when cooked with silver beet or cabbage.
The flowers make a pretty drink decoration when frozen in an iceblock.

Your comments and tips

21 Apr 16, Raewyn McConnell (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Our Borrage plants, in a bed of light, well drained but nourishing soil, have grown wonderfully and are now in full flower (22.4.2016) They are large, but are showing signs of what appears to be collar rot. Could this be because they were mulched and it is an unseasonally damp summer, or because they have grown larger than usual and become too close together; shutting out sun to the roots? Need to know for the safety of future crops.
22 Mar 12, Penney (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I had organic blue Borage growing over this summer 2012 just North of Auckland, and have dug it up now as it was not in a good place, but heaps of bees and bumble bees visited it and now I have heaps of healthy little new Borage plants coming up everywhere and it is mid March. I have re potted them into plastic plant bags with potting mix. I thought I might try selling them at a market, but will they live? I see you say it dies down in winter....so are my efforts going to be to no avail?
28 Oct 11, Duncan (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Borage is a dynamic accumulator, which means that it collects and stores a lot of nutrients within its biomass. It sends down a long taproot, extracting nutrients from the sub-soil and massing them within the plant. The easiest way to benifit from this is to simply cut the plant back and use it as mulch. Also, the small leaves and be eaten within salads etc, and the larger ones cooked like spinach/silverbeets. They have a slight cucumber flavour to them. The flowers contain a chemical thought to help prevent cancers, although this could use more research.

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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