Borage, also known as starflower or bee bush, is an edible herb with beautiful blue flowers that are said to attract bees and beneficial insects to the garden. Growing borage from seed is a simple process; however, there are some important steps to take to ensure that your plants thrive. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to successfully grow borage from seed.
Growing borage has many benefits! Borage is an easy-to-grow, hardy annual that offers numerous benefits for the garden. First, it is an excellent source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, providing much-needed forage for them. It is a great source of organic matter to add to the compost pile, improving its quality.
Its beautiful star-shaped flowers make a striking addition to the garden. Lastly, borage’s leaves and flowers are edible, making it a great addition to salads and other dishes. With all these benefits, there is no reason not to include borage in your garden!
When to Start Seeds Indoors
Borage is a hardy annual that can be grown in zones 3-11, though some varieties can handle colder temperatures. In areas where temperatures drop below freezing, it’s best to start seeds indoors four to six weeks before your last expected frost date. If you’re starting seeds directly in the ground, you can wait until the soil has warmed up to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Start Seeds Indoors
To start borage seeds, you will need to begin by gathering the necessary supplies, which include potting soil, seed trays or pots, and the borage seeds. Fill the pots or trays with moistened potting soil, and then sprinkle the borage seeds lightly over the surface of the soil.
Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, and then water the pots or trays to moisten the soil. Place the pots or trays in an area that gets full sun and keep the soil consistently moist. It can take anywhere from 7-14 days for the borage seeds to germinate, and once the seedlings reach a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots or into the garden.
There are a number of varieties of borage that will all sprout under the same set of conditions. These include:
- Alba – Borago officinalis
- Violet – Borago officinalis ‘Violet’
- Blue Borage – Borago officinalis ‘Blue Borage’
- Common Borage – Borago officinalis
- White Star – Borago officinalis ‘White Star’
- Variegata – Borago officinalis ‘Variegata’
- Pink – Borago officinalis ‘Pink’
- Alba grandiflora – Borago officinalis ‘Alba grandiflora’
- Tall White – Borago officinalis ‘Tall White’
- Dwarf White – Borago officinalis ‘Dwarf White’
When to Transplant Borage Seedlings Outdoors
Once your borage seedlings have reached a height of 4-6 inches, they’re ready to be transplanted outdoors. Make sure to harden off the seedlings for a few days before transplanting them. Plant the seedlings in well-draining soil in an area that gets full sun and space them a few inches apart. Water the newly transplanted plants regularly and add a layer of mulch to the soil to help keep the soil moist and the roots cool.
Growing borage from seed is a simple and rewarding process. With the right conditions, you’ll have beautiful borage plants in your garden in no time!