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How to Propagate Borage

Borage, an annual herb native to Syria, is also known as starflower. It grows to up to 3 feet, has fuzzy stems and leaves, and blooms in shades of blue or pink. It is commonly used for oilseed and as an ornamental garden plant, although it was originally grown for food and medicine. Once established, it will self-propagate, and is able to spread its seeds in a 4-foot radius. For that reason, it's a good idea to give the plant a wide berth. While the mature borage plant is quite hardy, the seedlings are fragile and should be sown directly in the garden, when all danger of frost is past. Borage is hardy to all USDA zones, although it prefers cool weather.

Choose a spot in the garden that gets sunshine for most of the day.

Dig the planting bed to a depth of 6 inches, turning the soil and crushing any large clods of dirt.

Add a 2-inch layer of manure to the planting bed and mix together well. Level the area with a rake.

Place the seeds on the surface of the soil, 12 inches apart, and cover with a very thin layer of soil. They should be planted no deeper than 1/4 inch.

Use the fine mist setting on your hose to moisten the seed bed, and keep the soil moist during germination. The seeds should germinate within five days to a week.

When the seedling is three weeks old, add a thin layer of mulch around the base.


Borage attracts bees while it is blooming, so you may not want to plant it near the entrance to your home.

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