How to Plant and Grow Hyssop Plant (Hyssopus Officinalis)
Gardeners at home tend to grow Hyssop ( Hyssopus officinalis) due to its dark, green leaves, which can be used for flavoring soups, salads, stews, liqueurs, and more.
The attractive plants have wooden stems, small pointed leaves, red, pink, blue, and white blooms, and flowers. They are highly appealing to butterflies and bees. Hardy perennial grows 2-3 feet tall.
Originating from South Europe, Hyssop was used in the 7th century to cleanse the body and as a medicine. The plant is believed to be able to treat various illnesses, including head lice and shortness of breath.
Find out how to plant and cultivate this ancient plant in your garden by following this simple guide.
Botanical Name Hyssopus officinalis
Common Name: Hyssop
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial herb
Hardiness Zones: 4 – 9 (USDA)
Exposition to Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Soil TypeChalky and loam. Well-draining soil
Soil pH6.6 – 8.5
Mature:75-85 days starting from the seed
Height:12 to 24 inches
Spacing12 or 24 inches spaced apart
Bloom Timing: Spring to fall
Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Caring for Hyssop
- The leaves of this plant are medium-sized and utilized for soups, salads, and liqueurs
- Flowers include red, pink, white, and pink
- Start seedlings indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. patient when it comes to germination
- Plant seedlings outside after the last frost.
- Select a spot that gets all-day sun and dry soil that drains well.
- Freshest and best quality
- Very few diseases and pests are thought to be an excellent plant companion
Hyssop Plant Care
The Hyssop plant (Hyssopus officinalis) is native to southern Europe and the Middle East. Recently, it is now a common plant across the northern part of Europe along with North America, where it can flourish at the edge of roads and in meadows with wildflowers.
Hyssop is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae), and, in this regard, it displays the characteristics of its mint relatives, such as how it forms its flower as well as its square stems and highly aromatic leaves. Fortunately, as most mint species have, it cannot spread quickly and become invasive.
The plant’s essence has been used to make desserts, sauces, liqueurs, and sweets, and it is also utilized to enhance the scent of products like soaps or perfumes. But, Hyssop is much more than an herb used for culinary purposes or as a medicinal one. It is also a plant that can become a beautiful ornamental plant!
It’s beautiful when planted in the rock garden, either as a border plant, the focal point, or even in clusters, due to its lush leaves and bright flowers that draw pollinators. The nectar it produces is delicious honey, so beekeepers also appreciate it.
The hyssop-derived oil from this plant contains insecticidal, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
The Persians utilized hyssop oil for body lotions in the past to help maintain the skin’s health and enhance the skin’s tone and color.
In Europe, the oils were burnt as an air purifier. In other parts of the world, the leaves were brewed into teas to treat respiratory ailments like nasal throat, throat, and lung problems.
Hyssop plants were also used for topical ointments that could be used to treat infections and wounds.
Hyssop plants like full days of sun; however, they can tolerate a little shade. Ensure your plant receives at least six hours of sunshine daily for maximum growth.
It thrives in fertile, well-drained loam. However, it also can tolerate the driest, sandiest soil. Hyssop thrives in the pH range between 6.6 and 8.5.
The hyssop plant needs constant irrigation until it becomes established. Once it is, it will tolerate drought. Ensure to water deeply after the top couple of inches of soil has dried to ensure optimal plant health.
This is also the case for plants grown in containers, although the time between watering and drying is shorter.
Use a watering container or timed drip hoses to irrigate plants to soil level in the morning. Be cautious not to let the leaves get damp. Plants do not need to be watered during winter.
This plant is a herbaceous one that thrives in USDA zones 4-9. It does not usually need any protection against frost and can withstand cold temperatures down to -35degF.
In colder climates, plants can appear rough on the outside, but careful pruning during spring will help with this.
When the first buds appear in spring, you should fertilize hyssop plants using the highest-quality liquid fertilizer that is balanced and balanced.
Introduce a slow-release fertilizer into container-grown plants to replenish nutrients lost during watering.
Let dead leaves and stems stand through the winter. For a more compact plant and to keep it from spinning, cut it back 2 inches off the ground in spring and after it has bloomed in the fall if you’d like.
Removing the deadhead in case you don’t want tiny hyssops sprouting everywhere in your yard since it self-seeds very quickly is recommended.
Every 4 to 5 years, you should replace your mature plants with new ones If you’re keeping the plant as a perennial. With age, plants become wooden, and their condition decreases.
If they are solely decorative, they will last long as sturdy and woody plants without needing replacement.
How to Plant and Grow Hyssop
Hyssop likes full shade to partial shade and well-drained, dry soil. Before planting, put on the ground with plenty of organic matter, such as animal compost or manure. It’s also beneficial to apply a small amount to add Organic fertilizers into the planting hole.
Hyssop can be grown in rock gardens, containers, or window containers. Find our article about Herbs for Pots right here.
How to plant Hyssop from seeds
When purchasing Hyssop seeds or plants, be sure to buy Hyssopus Officinalis, which isn’t Anise Hyssop. Although they’re similar-sounding names, they’re entirely different plants!
Seeds should be planted indoors near the ground 8-10 weeks before that last freeze. Hyssop seeds will sprout in 14 to 21 days. Transplant in the spring following having had the final frost. Place plants at 12 to 24 inches distance.
In the autumn, new plants are developed through root division. Pruning the first leaf set after flowering can make the plant more compact and more flowers in the following years (watch the How to Grow an Herb Garden video).
How to Harvest and Store Hyssop
The youngest leaves can be harvested along with stems as required. Cut them in the morning; the dew is dry for maximum flavor. Avoid washing the leaves, or the aroma oils could disappear.
Hyssop is best enjoyed fresh. However, it can also be stored in frozen bags or dried. To dry the cuttings, tie them into smaller bundles, then hang them upside-down in a dark, well-ventilated room. Once dry, take the stems from the leaves and keep them in a sealed container. Grind or crush just before making use of (watch the How to Dry Herbs video)
Seed Saving Instructions
Seeds are ready for harvest when the capsules are dried and dark brown. The tablets can be removed, and the seeds can be easily separated with a hand.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases that can affect Hyssop
Due to the essential oils that the plant has, It naturally repels the majority of pest insects.
Indeed, several articles claim that the perennial herb is a deterrent to insects like fleas and caterpillars of cabbage when planted within the vegetable garden. This is why hyssop plants are frequently used as garden companions, together with cauliflower, cabbage, and grapes.
However, some plant diseases that may affect the hyssop plant are mainly caused by poor soil drainage.
If the leaves on your plant are wilting and yellowing, take it down and examine the roots. Root rot can cause discoloration and mushy ends to the heart.
Take out any damaged roots and plant them back in soil modified with sand or small pebbles to aid drainage.
Though it’s not expected, powdery mildew may affect Hyssop flora.