Tea lovers often grow hyssop in a perennial herb garden for its many culinary uses. Not only can you use fresh hyssop in salads and soups, but also the dried hyssop leaves and flowers infuse delicious flavors into both cold beverages and warm teas. Additionally, dried hyssop lends itself delightfully to potpourris, sachets and homemade skin care products. Make a flavorful hyssop tea using dried hyssop from your herb garden.
Dry hyssop by cutting plant stems from the hyssop plant before it flowers. Gather three or four stems together and secure them with a rubber band. Hang the hyssop stems upside down in a dry and warm location for one to two weeks until the leaves are dry and crispy. Remove the dried flowers and leaves from the stems and store them in plastic bags or containers.
Measure 4 to 6 tsp. of dried hyssop (more or less according to your taste preference) and 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon into the teapot. Omit the cinnamon if you wish.
Bring water to a boil. Pour the boiling water into the teapot over the tea ingredients. Cover the teapot and allow it to steep for five minutes.
Pour the steeped tea through a strainer or cheesecloth into the teacups. Add additional ingredients such as honey or sugar and milk or cream if you desire.
Serve the tea immediately.
Prune the entire hyssop shrub back to 1 foot tall in early spring.
Cut off faded and dead flowerheads during the growing season.
Trim the hyssop again after flowering. This should be a lighter pruning than the early spring pruning and is performed to keep the plant to the size and shape you desire. This pruning will also encourage the hyssop to grow thicker.
Clean the planting bed of all pruning detritus. Foliage and flowers left on the soil become breeding grounds for garden pests.
The seeds of the anise hyssop are very small. They are found in the throats of the tiny flowers that grow in whorls around the stem, creating a spike of flowers. You will know the seeds are ready when you look at a flower spike (which often maintains its lavender color at this stage) and see tiny black points at the throat of each blossom.
The easiest way to collect seeds is by cutting off the entire flower spike. To preserve seeds and avoid losing too many, gently cut the stem below the spike. Hold the spike upright (if you tip it over all the ripe seeds will fall right out) and place in a bowl or cup while you collect more flower spikes.
Once you've collected as many flower spikes as you want, spread out a clean white sheet of paper. Hold a flower spike by the stem and tip it over the paper. Many seeds will fall out as soon as you tip the flower spike over. To encourage more seeds to fall out, spin the stem between your fingers or gently rub your finger down along the flower spike.
Place the seeds on a paper towel for a day or two to ensure that the seeds are completely dry. Dry seeds prevent the risk of the seeds rotting or the potential growth of mold.
Pick out any chaff and pour the seeds into a clean dry container that is moisture proof. Avoid storing the seeds in paper or cloth as these materials are absorbent and could absorb enough water to cause the seeds to rot or grow mold.
Bacopa has rounded leaves and small, star-shaped flowers. It grows from about 3 to 8 inches high and about 1 to 1 ½ feet wide, depending on the variety. The flowers can be blue, violet, red, pink or white.
In the hottest climate, zones 9 and 10 in the continental United States, bacopa will grow outdoors as a perennial (a plant that lives for several years). In colder climates it grows as an annual (a plant that dies and has to be resewed each year).
Bacopa does best in full sun to partial shade and moist soils. Bogs are its natural environment.
Bacopa is used in hanging baskets and containers. It does well planted in groupings. Bacopa is also used as an aquarium plant.
Bacopa is relatively problem-free. The only insect that can cause it problems is the aphid.
This beautiful, fragrant flower makes a wonderful addition to herb gardens, perennial borders, and wildflower areas. Place a pot of Agastache on porches and patios where its fragrance can be fully appreciated. Flowers are lavender to purple and completely edible.
Agastache needs a fertile, well-drained soil, and although it will tolerate light shade, it will do best with lots of sun. Sow seeds in spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed a bit. Cover with 1/8 inch of soil and water sparingly once established. This plant will do very well in a dry climate.
- Attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies to the Garden
Flower spikes make a delightful, fragrant cutflower
Makes a lovely container plant
Crushed leaves can be rubbed on the skin to repel mosquitos
Leaves can be used as a seasoning and for making tea
Life Cycle: Perennial
Height: up to 40 inches
Bloom Season: Early summer to fall
Approximate seeds per ounce: 96,125
Approximate seeds per pound: 1,538,000
1 ounce covers 1200 sq ft
1 pound covers 1acre
Brahmi looks like a wetland weed. It grows as a low, spreading mat 4 to 6 inches tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Distinguishing features include the waxy stems and tiny, shiny green leaves and tiny five-petaled white flowers. Each blossom is bell-shaped and may attain a pale blue or light pink hue.
Plant brahmi in a sandy or coarse, loamy soil that is moist to wet. Ideally the soil is acidic in pH and the soil never sits in stagnant water. It grows well in containers like hanging baskets if soil remains constantly wet. Add compost to sand for added fertility.
A perennial, brahmi survives outdoors in regions where winter temperatures drop no colder than 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This correlates to U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 and warmer. Grow it as a summer annual or houseplant elsewhere.
Aerate the soil in the planting area by digging into it with the gardening fork to a depth of 12 inches. Toss the soil to the side and crush any large clumps. Sift through it, and remove any rocks or other debris. Add a 3-inch layer of well-rotted manure and mix it in to a depth of 8 inches. Replace the soil in the planting area, and rake it smooth.
Dig a hole that is three times the diameter of the Mexican hyssop’s pot and the same depth. Remove the plant from the nursery pot, and gently unwind any roots that are tight around the rootball. Place the rootball at the bottom of the hole, and pack the soil around it. Lightly tamp the soil around the base of the Mexican hyssop with your feet or hands.
Water the Mexican hyssop until the top 4 inches of soil is moist, and then keep the soil slightly moist for the first two weeks. After that, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the Mexican hyssop plants to discourage weed growth.
This decorative and long-lasting perennial herb has been widely used since ancient times. The plant grows 2 feet tall and spreads about a foot. The purple-blue flowers are about an inch ¼ inch long and are carried in long, narrow spikes. All parts of the plant give off a strong aroma.
Propagation is from seeds or by cuttings and root division. Sow seeds in spring in a light, dry warm soil. Full sun is preferred, and germination is very rapid. It will do well in a windowbox or other container and makes an attractive border or edging. Stems should be cut back after flowering, and the plant should be cut off at ground level in the fall.
Leaves have a slightly bitter, minty taste. They should be used sparingly in salad. A few leaves can be used in savory dishes such as rich stews and in marinades. Flowers can be used as an attractive garnish and in salads.
Prepared as an infusion, hyssop will soothe colic, improve digestion and eliminate flatulence. It is an excellent nerve tonic, and also helps one to build up strength after an illness. It is recommended for coughs (try combining with other cough remedies) colds, flu, and as a gargle for sore throats.
Hyssop is a desirable addition to potpourri.
Among landscaping plants, the perennial anise hyssop is rated as rarely damaged by deer. Deer do not prefer its aromatic foliage, though they may eat its buds rarely.