Gardening

How to plant hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

The hyssop is a plant that can reach 20 cm to 1 m in height, with flowers that can be violet, pink or white. Much appreciated as an ornamental plant in gardens, and its flowers attract bees and butterflies, it is also a plant grown for medicinal purposes and for the use of its leaves and flowers as a spice. Its flavor is strong and somewhat bitter, presenting an intense and pleasant aroma of mint, which makes its leaves used only in small quantities in salads or as a spice for other dishes. Some beekeepers also cultivate the plant to feed their bees, which thus produce aromatic honey with a distinct flavor.

Climate

The hyssop grows best in warm subtropical weather, but it also withstands low temperatures.

Brightness

You should receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily.

Ground

Cultivate preferably in light, well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 5 and 7.5, but hyssop can be grown in almost any type of soil that has good drainage.

Irrigation

Irrigate in order to keep the soil always moist for the first few months, but without getting soaked. Well-developed plants tolerate short periods of drought and can be irrigated more sporadically. Excess water in the soil harms these plants.

Planting

The hyssop can be propagated by seeds, cuttings or division of well-developed plants.

Sow in the final location or in sowing and other containers, and transplant the seedlings when they are large enough to be handled. The seeds take a week or two to germinate.

Well-developed plants can also be divided, or branches of 5 to 10 cm can be partially buried in pots kept moist for rooting to occur.

The spacing between the plants can be from 30 to 60 cm. This plant can also be grown easily in large pots.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.

Every three or four years the plants need to be renewed, as they become woody and become less productive.

Harvest

In domestic plantations, leaves can be harvested when necessary from two or three months after planting. In commercial plantations, whose objective is the extraction of essential oil, the harvest is normally carried out only from the second year, when flowering occurs, although it is also possible to make a small harvest in the first year.

The leaves are most aromatic when flowering occurs, and the flowers can also be harvested and consumed.

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