Story by Kenny Coogan
Hyssop can be grown in containers, along perennial borders, or trimmed to form a low hedge in sunny gardens or along walkways. Author Henry Beston of Herbs and the Earth (1935) says, “The garden has no more quietly dependable and satisfactory border plant.” Hyssop’s showy purplish blue, pink, or white flowers bloom from mid to late summer.
European women were known to keep pressed hyssop flowers in psalm books to sniff to keep awake at services! Medieval monks made soups, Romans made wine, and today we use hyssop teas. Leaves or flowers can be added to salads.
Hyssop can be easily grown from seed in seven to 10 days. Spring is also a good time to divide plants. Hyssop may self-seed and transplants easily.
Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Name: Hyssop
Botanical Name: Hyssopus officinalis
Bloom Description: Purplish blue
Bloom Time: June to September
Flower: Showy, fragrant
Height: 1½-2 feet
Spread: 1-1½ feet
Suggested Use: Herb, naturalize
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Tolerate: Deer, drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow-rocky soil
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Water: Dry to medium
UDSA Hardiness Zone(s): 4-9