Growing Hyssop – Hyssopus Officinalis

Growing Hyssop - Hyssopus Officinalis

Growing Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

Hyssop is a very attractive perennial, nearly evergreen herb bearing deep-blue flowers in summer and autumn. Grow it in a flower border to save space in the kitchen beds. It is easy to raise (although not absolutely hardy) and makes a bushy plant up to about 600 trim (2 ft) tall. Its bitter leaves are used in liqueurs, stews, stuffings, and soups in moderation, and the dried leaves also in pot-pourri. One or two plants will provide enough leaves for most families, but as it is not fully hardy it is wise to raise a couple of extra ones every year — someone will almost certainly appreciate your surplus leaves — or the plants, spaced 250-300 mm (10-12 in) apart, may be used as a dwarf hedge. Although blue-flowered hyssop is commonest, pink- and white-flowered forms are occasionally obtainable.

Growing Hyssop - Hyssopus Officinalis Sow two or three seeds under the protection of a cloche or cold frame in March in 75 mm (3 in) pots of potting compost, or unprotected where the plant is to grow in April to May. Thin the seedlings to the strongest plant in each pot or position. Plants raised under protection or bought should be planted out in the autumn. A sunny, well-drained site is best; lighten heavy soils with sharp sand and peat. After the plants flower, trim off the dead flower heads (unless you wish to save seed), and in March prune the plants to a height of about 75 mm (3 in) to encourage bushy growth.

Harvest the leaves as required. As with most herbs, the flavour of the leaves is best before flowering. Use young leaves for drying.

Site: Sunny

Soil: Light, well-drained

Sow: March if protected; April—May if unprotected

Harvest: As required

25. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit & Veg, Herbs, Kitchen Garden | Tags: , | Comments Off on Growing Hyssop – Hyssopus Officinalis


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