Learn how to grow hyssop in your herb garden as a hedge enclosure while picking it for the pot, the medicine cabinet and for the home-made liqueur. Well the Benedictine monks indulged in it so why not you?
Make sure you have the right herb. There are a few plants that have the name hyssop, so look for Hyssopus Officinalis.
The herb is a hardy perennial existing happily outside in planters or in the ground. It can survive temperatures as low as -5 Celsius which is 23 Fahrenheit. Pretty hardy!
If you decide to grow outside, sow the seeds in May to June or indoors March to April and then transplant in a prepared plot about 12 inches apart. Push them ¼ inch below the surface of the soil in a sunny position. The flowers will appear late summer in July to August.
My potted plant is presently sheltered in the greenhouse and seems to like it in there. I have it growing in a hairy plant pot made from coconut fibre but don't know how these pots will fair when it comes to protecting roots from frost.
I like them and think they are great for herbs because they drain out extra moisture that herbs never like and you never need to remove the pot when transferring your herbs into the ground because the pot is bio-degradable.
I don't need to water it so much now that the colder weather is here. It is happy as a lark in there!
This bushy herb has dark, spear-shaped, slightly hairy leaves about 1 to 1 ¼ inches average length. The taste is a strong bitter minty flavour.
Hyssop is an attractive evergreen herb so you don't need to stress that it's going to be bald during the winter months.
It will look fresh and nice with plenty of leaves all year round allowing you to pluck a good amount to add to winter stews and soups, or for medicinal purposes like wine, I mean uh-mm...poultices and tinctures.
Ease up on how much you use in your cooking! A small amount of leaves is all you need really as it has a strong flavour.
Sow the seeds at anytime of the year if you are keeping it indoors. Or take a stem cutting between Spring and Autumn from an existing plant growing outside.
Hyssop likes slightly alkaline, well draining soil so a good all purpose compost will be fine to use. John Innes composts have a balanced mix to suit most plants at different stages of growth.
Keep it by a south or east facing window to get a good amount of sun and well hydrated. But during the winter as long as conditions behind glass are not hot, reduce the frequency of watering.
When flowers appear in summer they will be a blue tinged violet, pink or white and they can be dried and used to make tea for bronchial catarrh problems in winter months, or for anxiety and poor digestion.
Keep in mind that anyone pregnant should not consume hyssop. It can cause contractions and menstrual bleeding.
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