Every gardener dreams to expand his variety of plant collection with the minimum of effort and time. They look for plants that are beautiful and also easy to nurture and maintain, without being a burden on the wallet or eating up hours of their precious time every single day. Such an attractive fragrant low maintenance plant is the Anise Hyssop plant which will surely add a new level of good looks to any garden of greenery.
More Information about Anise Hyssop
Scientifically known as Agastache Foeniculum, anise hyssop is more commonly known as licorice mint, drop plant, blue giant hyssop or Mexican hyssop. It is believed that anise hyssop has originated from Mexico, and hence the name – Mexican hyssop. Anise hyssop is an upright plant, typically 1 centimeter in diameter and around 4 feet in height. It usually adorns itself with heart-shaped leaves and pointed purple flowers which are usually 6 inches in length and which bloom particularly during the summer and early autumn. However, it can also have orange or blue colored blooms. It also attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds via its aromatic licorice fragrance. Hence, it helps in the pollination of the plants around it by bringing in such nice nectar-loving creatures. Moreover, a variety of insect tend to stay away from this plant due to its licorice scent. It is an edible perennial meaning that it matures and completes its lifecycle within three years or more. It has a number of uses in the culinary world. In fact, Native Americans had been using this herb in teas and other dishes since a very long time and used to call it Elk-mint. The leaves and flowers of the anise hyssop can not only be used to make a delectable cup of tea but it can also embellish salads and replace mint as a garnish. This is because the anise hyssop flowers are fine-looking, fragrant and flavorsome. They can also be used while preparing other dishes that contain chicken, fish or rice. Apart from its culinary uses, anise hyssop is also known to have healing properties. Therefore, it has been utilized since ancient times as an herbal medicine.
Anise hyssop is generally a low maintenance plant. These plants are typically quite easy to grow and care for. They merely need a basic level of care for them to be able to survive and develop. However it’s a good idea to know about the basic tips for growing anise hyssop plants.
Anise hyssop grows best in temperature zones 5 to 9. On average it generally grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet, although optimal conditions can enhance the growth till it reaches 5 or 6 feet. The planting process of anise hyssop is quite simple. The only thing to do is to sow the seed directly in the ground during seasons such as fall or spring. However the thing to keep in mind is that the seeds should be placed around 2 feet apart so that anise hyssop gets the space to grow and spread widely. Apart from adequate space to grow, this plant also needs enough sunlight although it can grow in light or partial shade. However it prefers to grow in full sunlight. It flourishes in moist and well-drained soil and requires to be watered frequently but not so excessively that the extreme level of moisture actually hampers their growth. This is anise hyssop plants can be found growing naturally near ponds and lakes. Although this plant is a perennial, it typically blooms within the first year. It commences growing slowly initially but later picks up its pace. This plant has the amazing capability of self-seeding and spreading effortlessly. There are, hence, two alternatives in this case. One is to allow the seedlings to grow and fill up the sparse spaces in the garden. Another is to weed them out by merely pulling them. Even the task of weeding anise hyssop is truly a fun one because it fills the garden with an aromatic scent. In order to use the leaves of the plant, cut them off at the very bottom. Collecting the seeds is also extremely easy. Just wrap the flower spikes with a paper bag and cut from the plant. Close the bag tightly and hang it in an arid location which has access to sunlight. The seeds will automatically fall into the bag when the spikes gradually dry up.
If you would like to use the leaves through the growing season, snip them off at the bottom. They can be used in teas by themselves or mixed with mints and lemon balm. Put the mixture into iced tea in the summer time for a wonderful treat. If you plan to dry the leaves, cut the plants off about 6 inches from the ground. You can strip the leaves to dry or hang the entire plant in bunches in a dark, dry place.
Overall anise hyssop is an extremely easy plant to grow and nurture. Due to the fact that it is a perennial, it only needs to be planted once and will keep on coming back every year. This vibrant plant is a delightful addition to any garden that wants to attract colorful bees and butterflies. It truly adds color and aroma to the place it grows in. Moreover, what is better than growing fresh herbs in your own garden? All you need to do is plant the seed, water it frequently and keep a bit of patience while it grows into a pretty plant with purple blossoms. You can sometimes pluck a few of the leaves to make yourself a healthy herbal tea to be drunk while you enjoy the fragrance and view of the anise hyssop from the luxury of your home.
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