Ridiculously cute, aren’t they? I go back and forth about which seedling is cuter: borage or nasturtium. It’s a tough call.
I grow borage every year, for a couple of reasons. Mostly, out of practicality. The flowers make a beautiful, cucumber-flavored addition to salads. Borage leaf tea is delicately reminiscent of cucumber as well, and is a diuretic that supposedly helps fight fatigue. It also works as an excellent tonic if you’re trying to detox your system (it makes you sweat. Weird, but true. You can almost feel all of the impurities seeping from your pores after you drink a cup of borage tea.)
That may have been TMI. Sorry.
In addition to its culinary uses, borage is very attractive to bees and other pollinators. When the borage is in bloom, my garden is at its busiest where pollinators are concerned. You can hear the bees buzzing as soon as you approach the vegetable garden. For that reason alone, it’s worth reserving a bit of space to add at least a couple of borage plants to your garden.
The other reason I grow borage is simply because it’s beautiful. What’s not to love about clusters of delicate, bright blue flowers held aloft, towering above rows of lettuce and pots of tomatoes? And I love that every once in a while, you’ll get a rogue pink bloom in there.
Borage is easy to grow, either sowed directly into your garden after your last frost date or from transplants. It will re-seed readily, so that’s something to keep in mind. I don’t consider it a problem, but if you’re the type that doesn’t want your garden over-run with blue flowers, you might want to be more careful about making sure you deadhead before the flowers go to seed. Borage is not picky about water — but you need to tailor the watering to how you plan to use your borage. If you want lots of leaves for tea, then be sure to give it about an inch of water per week. However, if you’re growing it mainly for the flowers, let it grow a little on the dry side. Honestly, I don’t bother watering mine at all unless we’re going through a major dry spell. It does just fine, and I get loads of gorgeous blue blooms out of it.
Do you grow borage in your garden? What do you use it for?