Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting to Know Herbs: Borage

I've grown borage for three years now and I think it's one of the easiest herbs to grow.  All I do is throw down some seed in the early spring and that's it.  I don't water, I don't prune,  no fertilizer, nothing.  A couple months after sowing it reveals itself to be quite the behemoth.

Plan to give it a nice 4x4 section to itself.  It has a decent height to it as well so avoid putting smaller herbs behind it.  Borage is classified as an annual.  It it supposed to self-sow but I've had no luck with it. Like most herbs, it grows best in a full-sun location.  The leaves and flowers taste like cucumber but you can only harvest the leaves for eating when the plant is small.  The bigger it get's the more prickly it gets.  Borage has a mild laxative effect so go easy on it until you've seen how it affects your body!   I have actually never use my borage before.  I just never get around to it.  I plant it because it's a bee magnet.  We saw some hummingbirds sipping from the flowers today so apparently they like it as well.

Pink and true blue flowers on the same plant!

There are medicinal uses to borage.  It's been used for fever reduction, depression, bronchitis and as an anti-inflammatory.   I know next to nothing about using herbs for medicinal purposes so I can't recommend using them this way.  It is something that I'm interested in and hope to learn about more in the future.

Still looking for herb book recs.  I borrowed a bunch from the library but they aren't doing it for me so I'm open to more suggestions.  Even a good website with info I can print out and bind would be great.


  1. I LOVE borage especially as a companion plant,you will find NS allows self seeding as long as you give the area enough time in the spring before turning the soil over.
    Have you been to Riverview Herbs in Maitland (Hants county) they have a amazing selection of every herb you could ever want,worth the trip.

  2. It grows wild here. It's evrywhere.