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

31 Jul 20, Rita (Australia - temperate climate)
Contrary to the growing season of Borage I'm in Central Victoria and we have had it growing since autumn rains came. We have had several severe frosts this season and it is still going gang busters. I have noticed though that there is tending not to be seeds being produced, most likely from the lack of bees around in the cold. Something to do with climate change maybe?
03 Aug 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
This website is only a general guide for planting. DO read the statement at the bottom of the page, local conditions come into play. I (and I am not part of Gardenate) believe most of the planting guidance here is from soil temperatures required to germinate seeds. People say don't plant corn until it is warmer weather, probably Sept/Oct. I had corn self germinate in my garden two weeks ago, middle of winter. Tomatoes another warm weather crop has been germinating all winter. I had borage last autumn/winter, was going no where until the winter solstice then it took off, plants 1.5m wide and 1m high. The year before I has 1 bee come each morning, with the borage I had 80-100. Disease has wiped out a big % of the worlds bees. Plant some flowers etc to encourage them to come to your garden and increase their numbers. Miss used words, climate change, where I live, is it changing from sub-tropical to tropical, I don't think so.
07 Jun 20, Mateo G Gomez (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Hello, I live in the american southwest so I don't have the ability to grow in ground. I really want to grow borage and see the beautiful blue flowers and use it as a calming recipe in my teas. Is there any tips you could give me please? Best wishes Mateo G. Gomez.
08 Jun 20, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Mateo, Borage is pretty tough and will grow easily in a container.
23 Apr 20, Susan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Please note that bugloss is an echium. Think Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare), common in Otago and also makes great honey; and Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans). The Boraginaceae was split into eleven distinct families in 2016, of about 2000 trees shrubs and herbs including comfrey and forget-me-not - see the wikipedia entry for more information.
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!!
25 Mar 20, Jamie Graham (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks Isabel. I have borage all around my garden, it is a beautiful plant and the bees love it but I have never quite known what to do with it. Now I do.
22 Mar 20, Nagore (Australia - temperate climate)
Hola Isabel, me llamo Nagore y me gustaría hacer una huerta así que vine a esta web en busca de información pero por lo visto solo tiene unas zonas climáticas especificas y yo vivo en Navarra en un pueblo cerca de Iruña,como por ahora solo estoy recogiendo información me gustaría saber si me podrías decir un poco como empezar o que plantar por estas fechas y así. Gracias Hi Isabel, my name is Nagore and I would like to make a vegetable garden so I came to this website in search of information but apparently it only has specific climatic zones and I live in Navarra in a town near Iruña, as for now I am only collecting information I would like to know if you could tell me a bit how to start or what to plant around this time and so on. Thank you
24 Mar 20, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hola Nagore, You could try the USA zones 9 or 10. 9a is Portland Oregon (Csb: Warm-summer Mediterranean), 10 is Los Angeles (Csa: Hot-summer Mediterranean). They should be fairly close to the Pamplona coastal mediterranean climate.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 44 comments

Please note that bugloss is an echium. Think Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare), common in Otago and also makes great honey; and Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans). The Boraginaceae was split into eleven distinct families in 2016, of about 2000 trees shrubs and herbs including comfrey and forget-me-not - see the wikipedia entry for more information.

- Susan

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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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