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Borage — It’s Pretty Awesome!

Borage blossoms and seeds

Borage (Borago officinalis) blossoms and seeds

Edible, medicinal, an excellent companion plant, and a favorite of bees, borage (Borago officinalis) is quickly becoming one of my favorites too. In the same family as permaculture favorite, comfrey, I’ve had much better luck growing borage here in SW Austin. Borage offers a lot of the same benefits as comfrey (edible, medicinal, soil building, integrated pest management), but one difference is that, unlike comfrey, borage is an annual. It self-seeds with vigor though and I’ve saved some of the seeds to spread around other parts of the yard.

I plan to spread some seeds in with the strawberry plants I put in a couple of months ago. I read that borage and strawberries are a particularly good pairing since the borage attracts insects that predate on most strawberry pests. It is also rumored to improve strawberry flavor and yields.

But strawberries aren’t the only plants that benefit from being planted with borage, it will help any plant that it’s planted with by creating a living mulch and cycling trace minerals back into the topsoil as its leaves decay.

Borage plant (on left), with Bock for scale.

Borage plant (on left), with Bock for scale.