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How to Grow Borage

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Borage is a versatile plant with many medicinal and culinary purposes. It's easy to grow and can survive just about anywhere. Although it prefers sun, good soil and water, once it's established, borage can survive in partial shade, poor soil and drought conditions. Borage attracts honeybees, but is resistant to most harmful bugs and pests. The heat of summer turns the odd-looking plant with the fuzzy leaves into a riot of bright blue, star-shaped blooms.

Decide where you want to plant the borage, which needs at least partial sunlight to thrive. A site that is sheltered from the wind will prevent the long stems from breaking. Otherwise you might have to stake the mature plants, which can reach a height of 3 feet. Be sure there’s plenty of space because borage will self-seed and spread out each year.

Work any lumps and clods out of the soil. Rake in some compost or mulch.

Plant borage seeds in the spring after the final frost. The seeds should be just barely covered with soil and they should be about 12 inches apart.

Water the borage often until it’s well-established. After that time, it won’t hurt to allow it to dry out between watering.


Things You Will Need

  • Borage seeds
  • Compost or mulch


  • Borage can be started indoors. Just plant the seeds in small plastic pots about three weeks before the last frost of the season. Move the seedlings outdoors when there is no more danger of frost.

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.