Native to warm climates of the Mediterranean, borage is a tall, sturdy herb distinguished by deep green leaves covered with fuzzy, white hairs. Masses of bright borage flowers attract honeybees and other beneficial insects all summer long. Home herb gardeners can select from four primary varieties of borage, all equally beautiful and easy to grow. Read on to learn more about various borage plant types.
Borage Plant Types
Below are the common varieties of borage:
- Common borage (Borago officinalis) – Also known as starflower, common borage is the most familiar of the different types of borage. Common borage displays intensely blue blooms with contrasting black stamens.
- Variegata (Borago officinalis ‘Variegata’) – This interesting variegated plant displays delicate, blue borage flowers and green leaves mottled with white.
- Alba – (Borago officinalis ‘Alba’) – Also known as white borage, Alba is a great choice if you’re looking for a plant with intense, white blooms. Stalks of white borage tend to be a bit sturdier than common borage and the plant usually blooms later in the season than its blue cousin.
- Creeping borage (Borago pygmaea) – Creeping borage is a sprawling plant with fragrant, pale blue blooms that appear from late spring through early autumn. Most borage varieties are fast-growing annuals, but creeping borage is a short-lived perennial suitable for growing in USDA planting zones 5 and above.
All of these plants grow well in full sun, though many borage flowers tolerate partial shade. They also prefer sandy soil, but will happily grow in just about any soil type as long as it drains well. Borage likes to be kept somewhat moist throughout the growing season, but not soggy – another reason drainage is important.
Regardless of the type grown, borage can be prone to reseeding under the right conditions, so deadheading can help alleviate this should it be a concern.
Now that you know about the different varieties of borage plants you can grow in the garden, you are well on your way to becoming a borage connoisseur.