Name: Borage (Borago officinalis)

This is where I get my heirloom borage seeds.

Description:
*hardy annual
*pretty blue flowers and fuzzy stems

Parts Used:
*leaves and flowers

Position:
*sunny, well-drained position
*composted soil OR sandy, poor soil (2 different sources with 2 different opinions…I must experiment!)

Propagation:
*sow seed directly into ground in spring and fall.
*you can sow in pots indoors to begin, but you must transplant early due to its’ long taproot system

Maintenance:
*Invasive-type: it self sows freely and easily so you must control it carefully so that it does not take over your garden
*keep the soil moist and fertilize in the spring

Harvesting:
*Harvest the leaves year round as required.
*Dry leaves in an oven or the traditional way (out of direct sunlight and hanging upside down)
*Pick flowers fresh as required or dry them just as they fully open
*One source said that the leaves do not dry or freeze well (must experiment!)
*You can collect the seeds as the plant dies back if you want to grow more in a specified location

Medicinal:
*The leaves are used as a poultice for sprains, bruises, and inflammation
*The plant is good for colds, flus, lung problems, and coughs
*The plant relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
*A tea made from the plant (both leaves and flowers) is said to be good for reducing high temperatures because it induces sweat
*This plant is rich in potassium and calcium

Misc:
*This is a great companion plant because it attracts bees and deters tomato hornworm and Japanese beetles
*This plant is also a great companion plant because it attracts black flies to itself, thus allowing other plants to be at peace
*Companion plant: Plant near tomatoes, runner beans, and strawberries (stimulates growth of these berries)

 

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