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Is Borage Invasive? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 11:58 am

There are certain species of plants that exhibit a tendency of spreading out of control. These plants are labeled as invasive because after they are introduced from other regions into a new habitat, they tend to spread like wildfire in these new habitats. 

To common belief, birds and insects are the usual causes of invasive plants by dropping seeds that take roots into the soil. One of these types of plants is borage.

Is borage invasive? Borage (Borago Officinalis), also known as bugloss or sunflower, is an annual plant that self-seeds itself and grows out in most garden parts. Although it has numerous benefits, borage is still considered an invasive plant.

Does Borage Spread Easily?

Many plants require a lot of care and maintenance before they can grow and spread out desirably. However, this is not the case with borage. Borage is one of the easy-to-grow herbs.

Its seeds sprout in about 5-15 days and reach maturity only in 8 weeks. Borage plants grow between 24-36 inches in height and about 20 inches in width. It self-seeds and spreads easily in the garden on an annual basis.

Furthermore, it is a low-maintenance plant and doesn’t need so much care. Water the mature plants during periods of prolonged drought.

Generally, rhizomes help invasive plants like borage to spread, even more, creating an extensive underground network of plant roots.

Regular weeding and checking on the garden can help control the growth of borage. You can also cut off most of the new foliage after flowering.

Does Borage Take Over the Garden?

Invasive plants successfully outgrow other plants. On an annual basis, borage readily reseeds itself. In each year, a handful of seedlings tend to pop out in parts of the garden.

In due time, you may find out that you did not need to plant borage in your garden again as it grows out and proficiently spreads itself in the garden.

The blossoms of borage plants protrude above its large leaves, making it easy for pollinators to spot. Its star-shaped blue flowers continually bloom throughout the summer period, providing a continuous source of nectar for pollinators.

Particularly, bees visit borage more often because they find its blue hue very attractive. When you wish to have borage in your garden, it is usually best to start it indoors (in a pot) and then transplant it.

Borage has a long taproot and is best sown in fiber pots, which you can place directly in the soil as the seedling matures. It needs a sunny or part shade area and requires no special needs.

How Do You Get Rid of Invasive Borage?

Borage can be used as an ornamental and beneficial plant. It also boosts honey production when grown by beekeepers. You can use its flowers, leaves, and oil for medicinal purposes.

Examples are treating skin disorders like eczema, cough, asthma, diabetes, pain, and inflammation. Despite these advantages, it does have some major disadvantages.

These downsides are usually not worth the benefits. In getting rid of it, digging it up only doesn’t help because you would never get all of its roots. Hence, the effective ways of getting rid of borage include;

1. Using a strimmer, take off all the top growth of the borage and compost it. Afterwards, apply a solution of glyphosate when new foliage begins to emerge. The leaves would take the solution down to the root and kill them.

This can only be done when the new foliage has grown to a moderate size. You may need to apply the glyphosate a few times more after the first time.

Otherwise, adding a few drops of washing liquid to the glyphosate solution will enable it to stick to the foliage. Apply the solution only on a sunny day.

Patiently wait for about two weeks for desired effects to be achieved. Deal with this thoroughly and avoid a regrowth by digging up to remove any remnants of roots.

2. Using synthetic and residual herbicides like paraquat and diquat suppresses germination and should be applied before flowering.

Although it is not as strongly effective as glyphosate, it can still prevent borage plants from shedding viable seed and spreading out in the garden.

In getting rid of invasive borage, be careful not to allow the solution to touch the plants you wish to keep.


Plant invasion is as bad as it sounds. It doesn’t seem good enough for another plant to take over the gardening space, refusing other plants to grow out healthily.

Despite its numerous benefits, borage remains an invasive plant and should be ridden off in the best way possible. Taking out the roots after applying herbicide has proved an effective way of handling the situation.


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