Hyssop

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Hyssop is an attractive herb with pretty purple, blue, pink or red flowers. It is often grown for its flavourful leaves and for the fact that it is absolutely fantastic at attracting pollinators to your garden. Hyssop is usually relatively easy to grow from seed.

Growing hyssop:

Hyssop is in the mint family. It will do best in a very warm and sunny spot and a rock garden is ideal. Make sure when planting hyssop that it will have a good quantity of strong afternoon sun. The soil must be loose and adding some sand is a good idea if you have a heavy soil as the soil must be very free draining.

Hyssop can perform very well season after season and can be planted as individual specimens or planted closer together and trained to form a border hedge. This attractive herb works well in informal wildlife gardens or more formal and ornate ones.

Start hyssop seeds indoors around eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. New plants are also easy to create by root division in the autumn.

Hyssop will tend to get much rangier and woodier as it grows so for a consistent supply of good quality leaves it is a good idea to replace the older plants every four years or so. Plants should also be cut back heavily in early spring and again after flowering to stop them from getting too spindly.

You can harvest new seeds from your hyssop plants for propagation by letting the seed pods go fully brown and dry out and then storing them over winter in a dry and dark place. Seeds will germinate fairly reliably and will usually take between 14 and 21 days.

If harvesting hyssop, it is best to cut it in the morning just after the dew has dried. It is best used fresh but can also be dried or frozen. If you want to dry hyssop then you can hang it in small bunches in a dark and well ventilated area.

Why grow hyssop in the garden?

Hyssop is high in essential oils and has a number of medicinal uses and uses in cosmetics and perfumery. It also has culinary uses though it has a strong flavour and it is not universally admired for its taste. Hyssops main application in the garden is usually as an attractant for beneficial pollinating insects and for its appearance. Since it attracts so many pollinators it is a great companion plant for any food crop that needs to be pollinated.

Since hyssop also has such a petty appearance it is also great for use in a garden border for visual appeal.  

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Quick Facts

Latin Name
Hyssopus officinalis