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Can Borage Grow in Shade? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Sun is an essential requirement in the life of all plants. No matter how cold-hardy a plant may be, it will require a certain amount of warmth daily for better growth.

Most plants are sun-lovers, especially Borage. Borage is an annual herb that can either be potted indoors or be planted outside in the garden. Borage thrives in full sun.

The warm sunny days of winter and spring provide it ample opportunity to bloom in abundance. Since it loves sunlight so much.

Can Borage grow in shade? Borage can grow in full sun to partial shade. When grown indoors, the plant should either be placed near a sunny window or be brought outside for some time to access direct sunlight. Borage can only tolerate shading for some time, with the hope of getting sunned later on.

Is Borage Shade Tolerant?

Borage can grow in partial shade; this makes it shade-tolerant. Outdoor gardens are a better option for growing Borage.

Plant borage in the sunniest part of the garden to bask when the sun is high up and receive shade when the sun goes down. You might have to keep moving a borage plant, taking it outside during the day, and bringing it back inside after sunset.

In the absence of a sunny window, you might have to improvise an alternative means to give it the solar warmth it so desires.

Borage can grow when shaded, but they produce better yield when planted in full sun.

You can begin growing Borage from seeds indoors before transplanting them outdoors, although transplanting Borage requires extra care and experience. The plant will die if not correctly transplanted.

How Much Sunlight Does Borage Need?

Six to eight hours of sunlight each day is enough to keep your plant comfortable and thriving. Borage grown with an adequate supply of sunlight will grow faster and more vibrantly.

Spring is the best season to begin growing Borage due to the presence of sufficient sunlight. Winter and frosty autumns are the worst. Being a short-lived plant, it would take only eight weeks to reach maturity with enough sunlight.

Borage is typically an annual plant, i.e., it completes one life cycle within one year. However, you would not need to worry about replanting it the following year; it does that on its own!

Boris is a profuse self-seeder. It only needs to be planted once. Unfortunately, one plant births another through self-seeding, and the plant keeps re-germinating and springing up everywhere in your garden, and you would have to do some weeding to keep them in check.

Borage is sure to self-seed more aggressively when it receives a sufficient amount of sunlight. Sun makes a borage plant happy, intoxicated even.

Borage is a sun-lover, yes, but it is not drought tolerant. It needs to be watered regularly, but be careful not to overwater, else your plant ends up with wet feet.

Although a lover of the sun, severe sunlight will make it bolt and go to seed quickly. All the more reason borage needs partial shade!

Will Borage Grow Anywhere?

Growing a borage plant is easy and, at harvest, rewarding. Borage is not a fussy plant. It does not require strenuous care, and some varieties even thrive on neglect.

If you intend to go into gardening with Borage in mind, rest assured that you’re not in for much stress.

Borage can grow anywhere. It can survive on any soil, provided the soil is moist and well-drained. Unfortunately, clay soul is not among its best options, but it can grow on it too.

It is hardy to zones 2 to 6. The perfect growth temperature for Borage is 70°F. Borage can withstand temperatures as low as 50°F but not lower. Anything beneath 50 degrees calls for the use of cloches or a glass dome.

Borage can tolerate cool weather but cannot withstand severe frost. Soil for Borage should have a pH between 4.8 and 8.3. That is to say that Borage can grow on both acid and alkaline soil.

Borage has proven its ability to survive on poor soil, but you can aid its growth by adding compost to its soil to top up soil fertility. The compost can also help to improve soil drainage and aeration.

Borage can grow in pots as well as in gardens too.

However, potted Borage requires more care. Use a sizable container that is big enough to house the taproot of the plant. The pot should be at least 13 inches in width and depth.

It is advisable to use a single pot per plant as Borage will need sufficient space.

Ensure a space of 12 inches between each plant. A single plant can grow as big as 3 feet. Adequate spacing will give room for new plants as well as improve the airflow between the plants.

You can begin growing Borage indoors at the end of summer but only transplant them outside after the threat of frost has passed.

Borage is a great companion plant to cabbage, squash, beans, peas, cabbage, and a host of others. But, do not plant them too closely. A borage plant values its space.


Growing a borage plant is an exciting adventure. You do not even need to do much; give it good lighting and adequate watering. Once you hold your end of the deal, Borage will do the same and give you a bountiful harvest of aromatic leaves and flowers.

Borage is best sown from seed. Planting borage is a one-time deal since the plant reseeds itself every year. If you love the herb, this is a good thing for you, but you might have some weeding in your hands.

Borages thrive and love to bask in full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day, but they also need a break from the sun, hence the need for partial shading.

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