Borage and Hornworms.

flowersnhens(Maine 4)May 21, 2009

Has anyone planted Borage to deter tomatoe hornworms and does it work?? I have some borage germinating in my greenhouse so I can plant them around my tomatoes.

ALSO: I tried growing parsnips last year and they never germinated. I know you need very fresh seed to have success with parsnips. I planted fresh seed about 10 days ago and still nothing. Do they take a while to germinate???

Thanks, Flowersnhens

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowersnhens(Maine 4)


    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yea I'm not sure why, companion gardening is a promising field and alternative to pesticides and such.

I'm planting a bunch of borage liberally all over my tomato and basil patch and seeing how it works. Wikipedia says it's the "wild card" of companion plants, so we'll how that turns out

I'm sorry I can't offer you more though, I'm in the same position as you

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Hi TAKADI,,Thank you for your response. I am also planting Borage ALL OVER my tomatoe patch, as well as basil. Last year I planted basil around one patch of tomatoes and another one I did not plant basil and the one with the basil had NO HORNWORMS and the one without basil planted were loaded !!. It must help. ANyways, please let me know how your experiment turns out. Have fun !!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never tried Borage but somewhere I read that petunias help deter many bugs including hornworms. In all past years of growing tomatoes IÂve been plagued with many, many hornworms. I tried it this year putting petunias around all my tomatoes and so far IÂve seen not a single hornworm around anywhere. And a lot less bugs of all kinds near my tomatoes, peppers, and onions planted as companions.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Hi Rojyn: That is good to know. I also have had good luck SO FAR. I did plant Basil and Borage around my tomatoe plants and I havent' seen any hornworms yet. I will plant petunias around them next year along with the borage and basil,,just for extra protection. lol. Keep us posted !!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 8:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me update that since I've planted my tomatoes I haven't had any pests. And since the borage has bloomed, it has attracted alot of bees and butterflies...haven't seen the cucumber beetles that were rampant before as much.

That could be a coincidence but who knows.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 1:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowersnhens(Maine 4)

update here: I have planted Borage and Basil around my tomatoes and no hornworms yet, however, my husband found one in the garage this morning,,,hahah...better place for him than in my garden.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I have planted lots of basil and borage around my 15 toms. Not a single hornworm yet [fingerscrossed]

I planted radishes and oregano w/ my cucurbits and did lose all of my acorn squash and volunteer pumpkins to SVB. Planted late pumpkins for a fall harvest, hoping the timing helps w/ those. I have started seeing cucumber beetles recently.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted borage last year- just know that it gets HUGE. Gorgeous, but HUGE, to the point where I removed it to get at the tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowersnhens(Maine 4)

UPDATE FOR 2010: So, not one hornworm after planting my borage last year..and it reseeded itself this year. I have it popping up all over the place,,which is fine,,,that will help to keep them away this year too. yay !!!. Yes, it does get big,,but as long as it does its job, I don't care. Happy Gardening every one !!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is my experience with Borage and Opal Basil inter-planted with my tomatoes:

First, let me start off by saying that I have never, ever had a single hornworm in my garden.

However, last year (2012), following advice from experts on the Internet (eg P Allen Smith and others). I decided to interpant Borage and Opal Basil with my tomatoes.

Now remember, I have never seen a hornworm in my garden in 20 years. However, last year after planting the Borage and the Opal Basil there were hornworms. IMHO, the Borage did not repel the moth or its hornworms from my garden. Even worse, it appears to have attracted the creatures to my garden. So, I am not a believer in Borage.

I have Yarrow planted that comes back every year and it attracts the tiny parasitic wasp that lays eggs on the hornworms. So, some of the hornworms that I found did have the eggs/cocoons on them.

I hand-picked the hornworms off of the plants. I really hated doing that and of course I wore gloves. I threw them into the driveway where birds flew down and devoured them.

The hornworms that had the wasp eggs/cocoons attached to them I left because I want to see more of those parasitic wasps around.

Just one hornworm on a plant can do devastating damage -- as I have learned.

This year I will not be planting Borage. Borage is a very ugly plant. It has very ugly furry leaves that look like an ugly weed. The flowers are a very pretty blue but they droop down.

I understand the flowers and are edible and are often used to decorate cakes and used in salads or used as a garnish.

The Borage plants do get big and they were in the way of being able to care for my tomato plants and picking tomatoes.

There was one positive thing that I did notice about the Borage. It attracted Honey Bees.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:40PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Vegetable Companion Chart
There are still requests for my chart. That can only...
Do companion benefits still apply when not planted in same soil?
Hi! I couldn't think of a succinct way to pose this...
companions for asparagus
In the spring I'm planting a large bed of asparagus....
strawberries as a groundcover in potted fruit trees/bushes/vines?
Is it a good idea to use strawberries as a groundcover...
If nasturtiums keep bugs away what's eating mine?
I have nasturtium seedlings that are being eaten by...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™