Hyssop. Add to your garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Besides, this tall and pretty plant also brings bees to pollinate your garden. The minty flavor of the hyssop leaves can be made into tea that is good for sore throats. You can put hyssop leaves in a soup or in a salad to add a little bit of flavor.
The flavor of the leaves is similar to thyme, and they can be eaten fresh, with meat, fish, in salads (as can the young shoots), in soups, stews, and in fruit dishes. You can also ground them up as an ingredient in stuffings, pies, and sausages.
The different varieties of hyssop plant produce a blue, purple or pink flowers in whirls of 6 to 15 blooms. Hyssop blooms for a long time in wonderful colors atop tall, striking stems.
Growing a hyssop plant is easy and makes a lovely addition to the garden. Hyssop makes a great edging plant when grown in masses. Most hyssop plants require well-drained soil and prefer full sun, although they will tolerate light shade. But did you know that hyssop plants can also be grown in container gardens?
When you grow hyssop in containers, make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the large root systems. The hyssop plant prefers to be grown in areas with full sun or partial shade. It needs well-drained soil, a bit on the dry side, amended with organic matter.
Hyssop and cabbage are good companion plants. Why? Because hyssop will deter the cabbage white butterfly. It has also “been found to improve the yield from grapevines if planted along the rows, in particular if the terrain is rocky or sandy, and the soil is not as easy to work as it might be.”
Hyssop is said to be antagonistic to radishes and they should not be grown nearby.
To plant hyssop, choose a sunny spot where the soil drains well or is dry. In early spring, sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in rows about 1 foot apart. In early summer, thin the seedlings to about 1 foot apart within the rows. Prune the plants occasionally and remove flower heads.
Hyssop requires little maintenance. Some types of hyssop are very drought tolerant. But all types flower better if they receive adequate rainfall or supplemental water. Hyssop will not tolerate wet soil in the winter. It loves hot weather and grows best in areas with warm summers.
If growing hyssop for use in the kitchen, it is best used fresh. However, it can be dried or frozen and stored for later use.
* Carrot & Hyssop Salad
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
½ pound carrots, grated
8 tablespoons pitted, chopped black olives
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh hyssop leaves
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to blend.
Garnish with fresh hyssop flowers, if available.
When harvesting a hyssop plant, cut it in the morning hours once any dew has dried. Hang the plants upside down in small bunches to dry in a dark, well-ventilated area. Alternatively, you can place the leaves in a plastic bag after removing them from the stems and place in the freezer until ready to use.
When you grow hyssop as a garden plant, trim back established hyssop plants heavily in early spring and again after flowering to prevent them from becoming too spindly looking. Cutting back the foliage also encourages bushier plants.
Hyssop. Add to your garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. An interesting note: While bees are attracted, many other insects are actually repelled by this flowering beauty.
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Here is the link about medicinal properties of hyssop:
Yours truly for a great garden with flowers, berries, and veggies
Polly – Organic Gardener