Hyssop Growing Guide
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Hyssop Growing Guide

What is Hyssop?

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a semi-evergreen perennial and a member of the Lamiaceae—mint family. The plant originates from Southern Europe, the Middle East, and the region surrounding the Caspian Sea. Hyssop makes a lovely functional and ornamental herb to grow in your garden. The plant has a sweet scent and a warm minty taste and has long been used as a flavoring for foods and beverages and as folk medicine. The plant is attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Many beneficial insects  & pollinators love the hyssop blooms.  It also provides a habitat for lacewings which prey on aphids, spider mites and many other unwanted pests.

How to Start Growing Hyssop

Hyssop prefers full sun. It may grow in partial shade but will get lanky without enough sunlight. Hyssop requires well-draining soil on the dry/loamy side with a pH of 6.5 to 8.0. If transplanting, sow seed indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. Transplant hyssop outdoors the last frost. Start seed in flats under fluorescent grow lights. Occasional pruning can help encourage the plant to bloom and keep the plant looking its best. It grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8. Plants reach maturity at about 90 days.

Start seeds anytime from late winter to late summer with a lightweight soil mix. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. As seedlings appear, gradually expose them to direct light. When the plants are large enough to handle outdoor conditions. When danger of frost is over, transplant to the garden 1 to 3 feet apart. Sow seed outdoors after the last spring frost.

Did You Know?

Hyssop is also a key ingredient in Chartreuse, a green-tinted liquor made by Carthusian monks since 1737.

Our Favorite Hyssop to Grow

Hyssop Plant Spacing

In-Ground Planting

Row Spacing - 12 to 18 inches

Plant Spacing - 6 to 12 inches

Planting Depth - 1/4 inch

Hyssop Soil, Irrigation, & Fertilizer

Soil Requirements to Grow Hyssop

  • Dry to loamy, well-draining soil
  • pH between 6.5 and 8.0
  • Rich in organic materials
  • Good quality compost added to the soil

Hyssop Irrigation Requirements

Hyssop plants need at least 1 inch of water per week. Using drip irrigation is always recommended to be sure that your plants are getting moisture directly to their root system. If you’re using conventional overhead watering techniques, try and use something like the Dramm Watering Can and water and fertilize at the base of the plant to keep moisture off the leaves.

Raised Bed Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.5 – 8.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

1/4 cup of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

In-Ground Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.5 – 8.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or ¼ cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

1/4 cup of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

Hyssop Pest & Disease Protection

Insects

Organic Controls

Horticulture Oil
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Thrips

Bug Buster-O
Aphids, Flea Beetles, Whiteflies, Moths, Armyworms

Monterey BT
Caterpillars, Cabbage Loppers

Take Down Garden Spray
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Moths

Diatomaceous Earth
Cutworms, Ants, Slugs

Sluggo Plus
Slugs

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Common Diseases

Organic Controls

Complete Disease Control
Gray Mold, Leaf Spots, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Harvesting, Preserving, and Storing Hyssop

When & How To Harvest Hyssop

Harvest hyssop leaves as needed before the plant flowers. Pick flowers when the blooms are three-quarters open. Gather flowers in the morning when the dew has dried. Snip off portions of the stalk when harvesting a small number of leaves for immediate use then strip the leaves from the stem. Cut whole branches for drying leaves or flowers. Do not wash the leaves or aromatic oils will be lost.

Storing & Keeping Hyssop

Fresh hyssop leaves can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Wrap leaves in a damp paper towel and place them inside a perforated plastic bag. For drying, hang whole branches upside down to air dry. Dry flowers and leaves on a screen in a well-ventilated shaded warm place for 2 to 5 days. Do not let leaves over dry; they will be less flavorful. Store dry hyssop leaves and flowers in an airtight container.

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Hyssop Growing Tips & Tricks

Keep Soil Conditions Ideal

Plant diseases that can damage hyssop are caused primarily by poor soil drainage and overwatering. If your plant’s leaves are yellowing and wilting, dig it up and inspect the roots. Root rot causes discolored and mushy root ends. Remove any diseased roots and replant them in soil that has been amended with sand or tiny pebbles to promote drainage.

Caring Is Cutting Down

Hyssop plants do not need to be pruned, but they can be trimmed during the growing season to maintain a neat shape. Pruning can be done to create a more compact plant and better flowering in the following year, if desired. Cut the plants back completely during early spring. This will prevent the plants from becoming too twiggy and spindly.

A Great Companion

Hyssop is known to repel flea beetles and cabbage moths when planted in vegetable gardens. This is why hyssop is often grown as a companion plant with other herbs and with cauliflower, cabbage, and grapes.

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