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Growing: Hyssop

Botanical Name:
Hyssopus officinalis
Common names:
Hyssop is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that has foliage and flowers similar to lavender in appearance. Hyssop grows to a height of about 24 inches, and its green leaves, spiked upright stems and delicate whorls of flowers (white, pink or lavender in color) give off a strong, slightly musky scent. Native to southern Europe, it makes an attractive dwarf-size hedge border.
Life Cycle:
hardy perennial
full sun
Hyssop prefers fertile, well-drained soil. Hyssop seeds germinate quickly, so the easiest way to start Hyssop is to simply sow seeds directly in the ground in spring. You can also plant rooted cuttings. Cut established plants back to the ground in the spring to stimulate bushier growth, and again after flowering (not as severely). Roots should be protected with mulch over winter. Plants will establish themselves by reseeding but will deteriorate over time and should be replaced every 4 to 5 years. Hyssop grows well in window boxes and containers.
seeds or cuttings
Parts Used:
flowers and leaves
Harvesting and Storage:
Harvest flowers for medicinal purposes while in bloom. Fresh leaves can be cut as needed or cut and dried for storage in an airtight container.
Medicinal Uses:
respiratory problems; bruises; sore throat relief, rheumatism
Culinary Uses
leaves and salads add color and a light mint flavor to salads, meats and marinades.
Other Uses:
insect and moth repellant, potpourri


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