Hyssop is an aromatic perennial herb in the mint family. Measuring 1-2 feet in height, this self-fertile species is native to the Mediterranean. It is widely grown for ornamental, medicinal and culinary purposes. As an ornamental, it makes a great border plant and does well in containers. The flowers, forming in July through September, are attractive to pollinating bees and butterflies. As a medicinal, it is reportedly an efficient expectorant useful for bronchitis and respiratory infections. It is also effective at reducing stomach aches and gas and can even help regulate blood pressure. Additionally, hyssop is a sedative that can be taken before bedtime or after a long day as a tea. It may be brewed alone or with other herbs. A tea made with the leaves is even said to help fight plant diseases, which is reflective of its antiseptic properties. As a flavoring, hyssop can be added to soups and salads. The essential oil is also valued as an aromatic and a flavoring. Both the flowers and leaves are valued for these purposes.
Growing Information: Seeds can be sown at anytime of the year. Since the plant is cold hardy, the seeds can be cold sown so that they will germinate naturally when the conditions turn favorable. Otherwise, start them indoors just before spring to get a good head start. Just barely cover the seeds and keep them moist. Hyssop likes as much sun as possible and a light, dry soil. Once established, your plants will require trimming to keep them neat. Cut the tops off after flowering and trim at the base at the start of each spring. It can be easily propagated from cuttings or division. It is also said to have a beneficial relationship with grapes.
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