Borage Borago officinalis

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


B. officinalis is a large, branched annual with coarsely hairy, ovate leaves and branched cymes of starry, bright blue flowers 2cm across over a long period in summer

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Borage, Starflower, Bee Bush, Beebread, Bugloss, Burrage, Cool Tankard, Ox's Tongue, Tailwort.

    • Common names

      Borago advena, Borago aspera, Buglossoides arvensis, Lycopsis arvensis, Lithospermum arvense.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Culinary Uses: Borage, also known as starflower, has cucumber-flavored leaves and flowers that are often used in salads and garnishes.
    • Companion Planting: Borage is believed to repel pests and can enhance the growth and flavor of certain vegetables and fruits when grown nearby.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Borage flowers are a good nectar source, attracting bees and other pollinators to the garden.
    • Edible Flowers: The vibrant blue flowers of Borage are both decorative and edible, adding visual appeal and a sweet taste to dishes.
    • Enhances Soil: Borage has deep taproots that can bring up nutrients from deeper in the soil, potentially benefiting surrounding plants.
    • Ornamental Value: Borage makes an attractive plant in flower gardens or borders with its vivid blue flowers and fuzzy foliage.
    • Culinary Oil: Borage seeds are a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is used in the production of borage seed oil for culinary purposes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Borago officinalis, commonly known as borage, has been used for its potential to reduce inflammation.
    • Demulcent: Borage has mucilaginous properties which can soothe irritated tissues.
    • Diuretic: The plant has been traditionally used to promote urine output.
    • Expectorant: Borage may help in expelling mucus from the respiratory tract.
    • Galactagogue: Borage has been traditionally used to increase milk production in breastfeeding women.
    • Emollient: Borage oil, extracted from the seeds, is used for its moisturizing and skin-softening properties.
    • Adrenal restorative: There is some traditional use of borage as an adrenal tonic, although scientific evidence for this use is limited.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Borage can be used as a natural dye for fabrics; the blue flowers yield a delicate greenish-blue hue.
    • The plant can serve as a companion plant in vegetable gardens, as it can help to deter certain pests.
    • The leaves and flowers of borage have been traditionally used to add flavor and decoration to cocktails and beverages.
    • Borage can be incorporated into oils and butters for culinary purposes, imparting a subtle cucumber-like flavor.
    • This plant is often used as a mulch or green manure because it adds nutrients, including potassium and calcium, back into the soil when decomposed.
    • The flowers of borage can be crystallized and used as edible decorations, adding a touch of elegance to desserts and pastries.
    • In some cultures, borage has been used to make a fermented tea, enhancing the flavor profile of the beverage.
    • The flower nectar of borage is a favorite among bees, making it a valuable plant for supporting pollinator populations in the garden.
    • Borage can be used in floral arrangements, with its vivid blue flowers adding contrast and texture to bouquets.
    • The fibers from borage stems have historically been explored for making paper and cloth, though not commonly used for this purpose today.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Borage is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Borage is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Courage and Bravery: Borage, also known as Starflower, is traditionally associated with courage. It was believed that drinking borage tea would imbue knights with bravery before battles.
    • Forbearance: The plant's resilience and hardy nature symbolize patience and the ability to endure challenging situations.
    • Happiness and Wellness: Borage has been long thought to bring joy and good health to those who consume it or keep it nearby, possibly due to its medicinal properties.
    • Relief from Melancholy: Because of its bright blue, star-shaped flowers and uplifting effect on mood, borage is often associated with lifting spirits and providing relief from sadness or depression.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring to early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Borage should be watered thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which typically means approximately once per week. They prefer deep, infrequent waterings to encourage deep root growth, so apply about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per plant each time you water. During hot or dry spells, you may need to water more frequently to maintain consistent soil moisture. Reduce watering in the winter or during periods of heavy rain to prevent waterlogging.

  • sunLight

    Borage thrives in full sun, receiving at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for borage is an area where it can enjoy uninterrupted sunshine throughout the day. If grown indoors, a south-facing window is ideal to provide the most light.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Borage prefers moderate temperatures and grows best when daytime temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate a minimum temperature down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Borage is somewhat cold-hardy and can survive light frosts, but for optimal growth, keep it within the preferred temperature range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning borage is not usually necessary as it is a fairly self-sufficient plant. However, you can remove spent flowers to encourage additional blooming or pinch back the tips of young plants to promote bushier growth. The best time for pruning or deadheading is when flowers begin to fade.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Borage prefers a well-drained, rich soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A soil mix with compost and loamy soil is ideal for borage.

  • plantRepotting

    Borage, being an annual plant, typically does not require repotting. It is usually grown from seed and harvested within one season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Borage is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does not have specific humidity requirements for healthy growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use well-draining soil, sunny spot, and water when topsoil is dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, enriched soil, water regularly, space 12 inches.

    • Hardiness zone

      Borage is suitable for USDA zones 2-11.

  • circleLife cycle

    Borage (Borago officinalis) follows a typical annual plant life cycle. The life cycle begins with seed germination, which occurs in the spring when soil temperatures are warm enough. The seeds quickly sprout, and the plant develops a rosette of fuzzy, oblong leaves near the soil surface. As it matures, borage produces a flowering stalk with clusters of star-shaped bright blue flowers which are attractive to pollinators like bees. After pollination, the flowers develop into four-angled nutlets, which are the seeds that will propagate the next generation of plants. Finally, post seed dispersal, the borage plant dies, completing its life cycle within one growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: Borage (Borago officinalis) is most commonly propagated by seed. The best time for sowing borage seeds is in late spring or early summer, after the last frost has passed, as the plant prefers warmer temperatures for germination. To propagate borage, simply scatter the seeds over the soil in a sunny location where you wish the plant to grow. There's no need to cover the seeds with soil because they need light to germinate. Maintain moisture in the soil until germination, which typically occurs within 5 to 15 days. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall and sturdy, thin them to about 12 inches (approximately 30 centimeters) apart to allow adequate room for growth. Borage is often direct-seeded as it does not transplant well due to its long taproot.