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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 (CC BY-SA 2.0 David Wright)
  • 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

02 Feb 20, Isabel (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I come from Spain, in the north basque area, though I live in Perth. I love borage! We eat it as a vegetable, we discard the leaves, clean the stems a bit and chopped in finger lenght size, we boil with potato. Once cooked we add either raw olive oil, after ridding of some of the boiling liquid, or we fry a bit of garlic and add it to the borage together with the oil. Yum!!
03 Feb 20, anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
In 1974-5 I holidayed near Santander and Mundaka for a month at each place, loved it. I grew borage last winter spring. Plants grew 1m high and 2m across. Attracted heaps of bees.
04 Dec 19, Janet (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
What can I plant around borage so I won’t get in contact with the prickly plant? Chillies? Pepper? Lemon grass? Area is sunny but windy.
05 Dec 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have grown borage the last two years, the plants have been huge, 1.2m high and 1.8-2.0m diameter. I suggest you grow them where you are not going to walk around much.
10 May 19, NC (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Want to grow borage through the winter in Hamilton. Successful do you think?
11 Aug 18, Barbie (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
We are in Taupo where we get a lot of frosts. Our borage plants are unaffected and just keep on flowering week in week out. In Auckland our borage plants died back in late summer.
03 Jul 18, Ali babakhanian (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi where can I buy borage seed.?
04 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Boondie - New Life Seeds - The Seed Collection Company
03 Jul 18, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Green Harvest sells borage seed
29 Jun 18, Vicky Jacklin (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I am trying to attract bees to the garden and believe they love Borage. I live in Durban KZN and would like to fill two pots with Borage. Any other suggestions to attract bees to the garden bearing in mind that we have a troop of about 20 monkeys that destroy everything. They have pulled out my dianthus but strangely enough the Violas haven't been touched. I believe that placing a spoon of sugar water in strategic places also attracts bees?
Showing 1 - 10 of 36 comments

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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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