Borage is a type of flowering herb that is relatively easier to grow. The growth rate of this plant is quite fast. Because of its easy and fast-growing ability, many gardeners prefer planting it.
It is an edible herb which is also known as starflower and bugloss. This plant gives birth to star-shaped flowers that seem beautiful. You will also observe that the borage plant usually flourishes well in a sunny spot.
For more optimal growth, make sure to plant it in well-drained soil. Also, bees are easily attracted to the borage flowers, due to which you might require extra protection.
Though this plant is old-fashioned, many homeowners love adding it to their garden. As the borage plant comes from Mediterranean countries, it is relatively more popular than in any other part of the world.
This plant yields blue flowers that look beautiful. Now, as you are familiar with the borage plant, you might question how to grow it. Following, you will get to know everything about the borage plant.
How to Plant Borage in the Soil?
As compared to other plants available in the market, the borage does not need special care. Even with a little care, you can grow the borage plant with ease. The best thing about borage is that it can even grow in the driest soils.
Though it can grow in soil with bad conditions, we would still suggest you plant it in moisture-retentive soil. The reason behind this suggestion is that the borage plant grows quite well in the moisture-retentive soil.
Even if you have drought-like weather in your area, you can still grow this herb. The popularity of this herb is increasing because it is fast-growing and easier to maintain.
Besides, for the planting of borage, you will require borage seeds. You can also blend the borage seed in the compost to get better results. After mixing the seed with the compost, keep it around 12 inches in depth before planting.
Planting the seed deeper will help it to develop well. In early spring, planting the seeds should be sown 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Make sure to do the planting process after the last frost has fallen.
You will also need to thin them once they are 6 to 8 inches tall. Because borage is fast-growing, you will get a full-plant of borage within eight weeks. After eight weeks, you can harvest the flowers and leaves of borage as per your requirement.
Ensure to remove all the deadheaded flowers from the plant so that it blooms well. Taking better care of your plant will help you get a longer harvest time. Moreover, you can also seed the borage plant indoors, but after 3 to 4 weeks, you should transplant them into the garden.
Apart from this, the borage plant does have some disease problems as well. Powdery mildew is one of the prime concerns that you may face during borage growth.
How to Plant Borage in Pots?
Similar to the soil, you can also grow the borage plant in pots if you want. For this, you will need to keep it at least 12 inches deep. Once you are done with sowing the seed, make sure to add the standard potting mix.
You can use different items as a potting mix as per your convenience. However, if you are planting the borage in the pot, make sure to water it every week for its better growth.
But remember not to overwater it because, in that case, you might end up harming your borage plant. Further, on planting the borage, you might notice various black seeds. The reason behind it is that the borage plant generates many black seeds, which you can use later.
You can easily transplant those seeds elsewhere in the garden whenever you want. Keep in mind that the borage self-seeds very freely, due to which you should be careful because they can grow in large numbers because of self-seeds.
How to Grow Borage?
Apart from planting, another difficult task that beginners usually struggle with is the growth of borage. It would be best to consider various things when the borage plant is in its growth phase. These things include;
No matter what plant you have planted, watering is the prime thing in growth. If you want your borage plant to grow well, then ensure to water it regularly. You will have to continuously water borage until it gets established.
Once the borage plant gets established, you might notice dryness in the soil. Depending on the soil and plant, you can set the frequency of planting as per your wish.
Other than watering, feeding the plant is also quite essential. However, borage does not need too much feeding like other plants. Remember not to plant borage in soil rich in nitrogen because it might not bloom in such a location.
For feeding your borage plant, you can utilize compost tea. Compost tea will make the soil suitable for the growth of the borage plant.
Apart from the compost tea, you can also utilize a dilute solution as a fertilizer. However, ensure that the dilute solution is of the fish emulsion because it will help you attain flowering plants.
Factors to Take Better Care of Borage Plant
Though borage plants can grow in a harsh environment, you should still take care of borage if you want it to grow well. Following are some factors that you should put into consideration for better care of borage.
If you have full sun in your area, then the chances of growth of the borage plant will be higher. For the optimal growth of borage, make sure to put the plant in an area with around six hours of sunlight per day. Keeping the plant in full sunlight for that long will help you gain stocky stems.
When planting an herb or a plant, the soil is the prime thing. If the soil is not good enough for planting, your desired plant will not grow even if you put much effort into it. Therefore, first, you will need to improve the quality of your soil.
Unlike many other plants and herbs available, borage can grow in harsh soil as well. So, no matter what type of soil you have, you can plant borage as per your wish. However, keep in mind that the borage growth will not be optimal if your soil is dull.
So, if you want a better borage plant, you should choose the desirable soil. Ensure that the soil is well-drained and has an optimal pH level. A pH level between 6 to 7 is fine for planting and growing borage.
Not only borage, but also you can establish a large variety of plants and herbs in soil with pH levels around 6.0 to 7.0. You can measure the pH level of your soil with the help of litmus paper or an indicator.
Apart from litmus paper and indicators, the colorimeter is also an essential tool for measuring the pH level. However, litmus paper is quite easy to apply and will give you a pH range that anyone can easily calculate.
Furthermore, if your soil is not optimal enough to grow your desirable plant, you can use various organic matters. With the help of organic matters, you can add all the missing components to the soil required for better soil maintenance. Adding the organic matter will further give a nutritional boost to the plant.
No matter what type of plant you grow, watering it is quite essential. If you want your borage plant to establish well, ensure watering it regularly. You can water it every alternative day for its better growth.
Depending on the needs of the plant, you can even water it less or more often. But make sure to keep on the water the plant until it gets established.
The reason behind it is that the borage plant requires regular water to get properly established. Once the plant gets mature, you can minimize the amount of water usage.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity is another thing that you need to look at for the plant growth. As the borage is a hardy herb, it can easily handle harsh temperatures as well.
No matter whether it is winter or summer, the borage can withstand it. However, hard frost can damage the borage plant. Therefore, if there is frost in your area, you should take great care of your borage plant for better growth.
Apart from temperature, there is no such humidity needed for borage. No matter what humidity it is, the borage plant can flourish easily.
Like other plants, you can use fertilizer for borage as well. Make sure to use a fertilizer that is suitable for edible plants. The fertilizer will provide all the vital nutrients to the borage plant and let it thrive.
There is a vast range of fertilizers available that you can buy as per the requirement of the plant. However, for the borage plant, we recommend using a fertilizer that has a high phosphorus number. Fertilizer with high phosphorus will boost the borage flower.
Benefits of Borage Plants
There is a vast range of benefits that you will get from using a borage plant. Some of these benefits include;
Research has shown that borage can also help to minimize inflammation. Borage has strong anti-inflammatory properties that will let you deal with inflammation.
Another study has proven that the borage seed oil can also defend against oxidative cell damage, which is usually the prime reason for inflammation.
A study conducted on 74 people has shown that taking borage oil for up to 18 months can also help reduce rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, if you have an inflammation problem, you can take borage herb to get rid of it.
Promote Skin Health
Another reason to try the borage herb is that it can promote skin health. The oil produced from the borage herb has a high quantity of GLA, which is a fatty acid. This fatty acid can help you boost the function of your skin.
Apart from this, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the borage herb are another reason that enhances skin health. You can also improve your skin health naturally with the help of the borage herb. It will further improve wound healing.
Some researchers have also proven that the borage plant will let you deal with common skin conditions. If you have an atopic dermatitis skin condition, you should try borage herb to get rid of it.
Help Treat Asthma
Asthma can also be relieved by using a borage herb. The reason that it can help treat asthma is that it minimizes inflammation and swelling.
One of the studies has shown that consuming borage oil with echium seed oil can reduce inflammation in people with mild asthma issues.
Apart from this, another 12-week study proves that supplements that have borage oil in them can also depreciate asthma and inflammation. Though these are some proven studies about borage herb about health benefits, you should still use it one doctor’s advice.
If you are a beginner who wants to grow plants that do not require much attention or effort, you should prefer planting borage. The best thing about borage is that it is simpler to grow and does not need much attention.
Only giving this plant the required amount of water and feeding will do the work for you. Make sure to provide the required amount of water to borage so that you get it in the best shape.
Another thing that should focus on is feeding. Though the borage plant does not require much feeding, you will still have to look into this matter during the initial stages. There are different items that you can use as feed for the borage plant.
Some of the most important items that people use as fertilizer are compost tea and a dilute solution of fish emulsion. So, at your convenience, you can use any of the fertilizers.