Growing Blue Borage

Latest Update 8th December 2016.


  • Borage is a vigorous large herb in an Ecobed and attracts honey bees in large numbers.  It produces pretty blue flowers in large numbers in early summer in a warm temperate climate.
  • I grow it as an annual to increase plant diversity in my garden, and use it as a companion plant for climbing beans, spinach, cabbage and tomatoes.
  • Borage's leaves and flowers are edible, but I only use it as a beneficial insect attractant.
  • After it finishes flowering, I cut it down and add it to my compost heap.
  • Variety:                                                  Borago officinalis.
  • Family group:                                         Boraginaceae.
  • Garden bed type:                                     Ecobed.
  • Recommended soil pH.                           6.0 - 7.0.
  • Minimum sun per day:                            3 hours.
  • Plant spacings (centres):                        750mm.
  • Climate:                                                  Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                             Southern hemisphere.
Growing Conditions.
  • Comfrey needs full sun.
  • It grows well in moist fertile soil, and loves hot weather in an Ecobed.
Soil Preparation.
  • Clear a space in spring by removing old mulch, dead leaves and unwanted organic material.
  • Apply a 60mm top dressing of homemade compost. and cover with about 50mm of straw mulch.
Growing Instructions.
  • Propagate Borage from seeds sown in jiffy pots in an EcoPropagator, and transplant them when ready into a prepared bed.
  • Once the plants start to grow vigorously apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks.
Harvesting and Storage.
  • I don't harvest Borage as food, but it makes a very useful addition to my compost heap after flowering is finished.
Organic Pest Control.
  • Borage has always been resistant to pests in my garden, but it is said to attract moths and butterlies away from tomatoes and cabbage to reduce damage from their hungry grubs.
  • General.
    • Repeated foliar sprays of aerated compost tea should deter most airborne pests and diseases.
    • Proper soil preparation and regular applications of home made compost should help control soil borne pests.