Anise Hyssop is like Licorice in your Garden

Hyssop is simple to cultivate and care for in an ornamental or herb garden. Plants self-sow freely, but unwanted seedlings are easily removed. This plant belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), but its fragrant leaves smell like licorice, hence the name anise. Salad dressings, herbal tea mixes, and potpourri can all benefit from anise hyssop.

Quick Growing Guide

Botanical Name: Agastache foeniculum

Botanical Family: Lamiaceae

Also Called: Blue Giant Hyssop

En français: Agastache fenouil

Colours:

Blooms:

Water: Medium

Hardiness Zones:

Anise hyssop leaves and flowers are edible and cn be harvested. This plant is native to northern North America, including from Ontario to British Columbia in Canada.

Pollinators

The blooms emerge in succession, offering a long nectar season and making Anise Hyssop particularly appealing to pollinators such as bumblebees, mining bees, leaf-cutting bees, sweat bees, and masked bees. It also attracts a variety of butterflies, skippers, and moths, as well as hummingbirds. The seeds may be eaten by goldfinches and other birds.

How to Grow Anise Hyssop from seed

It is best to start the seeds inside in the spring. Push the seed gently into the soil without covering it. Throughout the germination phase, keep the soil moist. When the risk of frost has gone and the leaves have appeared, harden the plant by placing it outside in a sheltered area for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the time spent outside. Plant seedlings should be transplanted into the garden after about a week, keeping them moist as they grow.

Harvesting Anise Hyssop

The best time to harvest its leaves is when its flowers have just finished blooming. Using garden scissors and starting from the plant’s base, snip leaves moving up the plant as needed. Some recommend to gather leaves first thing in the morning. To dry tea leaves, cut complete stems about 4 to 5 inches from the plant’s base and take the leaves away.

It’s flowers, on the other hand, should be harvested when they are about three-quarters open.

You can eat the flowers, make tea from the leaves and flowers (dried or fresh), mix in alcoholic drinks, as a healing infusion wrapped within a cheesecloth, and placed under your pillow to help sleep.

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