- botanical name: Hyssopus officinalis
- perennial zones 4-8
- height 18-24″
- spacing 6-12″ apart, in rows 18″ apart
- full sun tolerant, morning sun/afternoon shade
- prefers light rocky soil
- flower color blue
- uses in garden: as a border, great in containers, cut flower
- attracts bees and butterflies
Blue Hyssop is an ornamental herb with large amounts of strikingly bright blue flowers and a lovely bushy growth habit. It attracts bees and butterflies. The leaves are said to have a slightly bitter, mint-like flavor, sometimes used in herbal teas. Blue Hyssop is not used for cooking but has a history of medicinal use; anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties are attributed to it.
In the gospel of John, 19:59, “They filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it into his mouth.” In I Kings 4:23 Solomon “spoke of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.”
Indoors – sow several seeds 1/4 inch deep in flats in early spring. 5-21 days to germination. Thin or transplant to one seedling per cell when they are big enough to handle. When the plants are several inches high they can be transplanted outside 6-12″ apart.
Outdoors – recommended planting method – in spring, direct seed about 1/4″ deep, one seed per inch, in rows 18″ apart. Plants should eventually be given 6-12″ spacing.
Easy to grow, this plant requires little care. Bright blue-violet flowers bloom from June to October. Cut back flowers to promote more blooming.
A light rocky soil is preferable to one that is rich and moist.
Harvest – flowering tops or whole herb in flower are harvested just as blooming begins (usually mid-summer). Tie in bunches and hang under shade to dry.