Six Reasons to Grow Borage
by Sandy Swegel
- Bees love borage
Bees absolutely cover the plant when it is in bloom. And bloom lasts a long time and repeats throughout the season. Bees and other pollinators seem to prefer it to other nearby plants. Must be extra tasty or sweet.
- Borage is super easy to grow
My neighbor lets her’s grow along her alleyway against chain link fence. No water, no fertilizing….just run off from the grass and a bit of shade. When the plants go to seed, she throws the seed heads a little further down the fence line. Even in our arid climate, that’s hospitable enough for borage to grow. No deadheading or fussing…just lots of plants. It’s is supposed to be an annual, but it acts like a perennial….plants grow back in the same place every year.
- Birds love borage
Borage makes a lot of flowers and seed heads. In the Fall, the birds were hanging out on the sunflower heads nearby and I didn’t notice them in the borage. But this Spring morning, about eight of those little birds that chatter so much in spring were digging and rooting in the borage patch. Bird food in February is a good thing!
- Borage is edible for humans
The young greens can be added to mixed salads or steamed. (Older leaves are too hairy and not so yummy.) The little flowers are adorable in salads. Pastry chefs candy the flowers for decorating desserts.
- Borage is medicinal. It has long been a medicinal herb for skin diseases, melancholy, diabetes and heart conditions. Borage oil is an important anti-inflammatory.
- And the number one reason to grow borage: They’re Blue!!!!!
OK, that’s the real reason I grow borage. Blue flowers make me so happy and the blue of borage is one of the most amazing blues in the plant kingdom.