Agastache foeniculum is a perennial plant. Commonly called anise hyssop, lavender giant hyssop, blue giant hyssop, and fragrant giant hyssop.
They belong to the Lamiaceae or mint family and are native plants of central and north regions of North America. They are also found in Canada.
It is an edible plant that is used to make tea and has many health benefits. In 2019 anise hyssop received the title of the international herb of the year.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to grow glowing Anise hyssop plants.
So let’s get started:
Table of Contents
How Anise hyssop looks like
This is a flowering plant that grows from 2 to 4 feet tall and spreads 1 foot wide. They are invasive so you have to prune them from time to time otherwise they will take over most parts of the garden.
Its flowers grow in a clump or group, upward and upright shape with tall bloom. The flower can catch the eyes from a long distance. They are found in blue, purple, lavender, and green colors.
The flowers bloom from June to September with vibrant lavender flowers which become more colorful near the tip of the bloom.
Their leaves are light green and oval in shape with a white tint underneath which is not edible by wild animals like deer and rabbits. However, the plant’s bloom attracts pollinators like honeybees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other insects.
The bees love their bloom as it provides them with enough nectar to produce honey. You will see the bees on the flowers from early morning till dusk.
Anise hyssop thrives in hardiness zones 4-9. If you live in these zones you can easily grow them. They are also frost tolerant and live up to 2-3 years.
You should place the pot in a spot where it gets early morning sunlight and afternoon shade. The mid-afternoon sunlight is more harsh or intense as compared to the morning, it may burn young plant’s leaves especially in the hot summer.
When to Transplant from the Pot?
Anise hyssop is a large bloom plant that needs a strong and wide root system to stand. They cannot grow to mature size in a pot or a container despite how wide and deep it is.
So, after a point, you have to transplant them in a large garden area. I recommend planting them when the seedlings become 5-6 inches.
In this stage the young plant’s root has not got too deep and strong which can be easily transplanted.
Take a grub hook, start tossing from the circumference or side of the pot and transplant it to a decided place.
You should plant them in a sunny and partial shade area (Discussed in where to place the pot question)
You can propagate these perennial shrubs by three propagation methods.
Let’s see them one by one:
Propagation from seeds is easy but their are some points to keep in mind
Always use fresh pairs of seeds. Sowing dried or old seeds might not germinate. You can buy fresh seeds from a nearby nursery or online store.
Sow only 2-3 seeds. Make a small hole in the soil and put 2-3 seeds. Sowing more seeds in a particular area will stunt the growth when plants mature.
Maintain some distance. When sowing seeds in the ground you should maintain nearly 6 feet of gap between each seed hole. This planting arrangement provides young plants enough area to take water and nutrition from the ground.
From stem cutting
Stem cutting is a common practice to propagate any plant. However, you have to do things correctly to get success.
Select any node stem and cut it using sharp shear. Do not tear or break the stem, it might leave damage on the plant.
Clear all leaves from the bottom half of the stem cutting and plant it to the ground.
Dip one end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone to have an addiction growth support. Using a rooting hormone is optional.
In the beginning, it might look wilt but after a couple of weeks, the stem starts rooting and slowly gets in shape.
Propagation from the division of the plant is a tricky method. You can create a hybrid by using these methods.
Here what to do:
Take a sharp shear and cut a stem from the plant.
Make the same cut on some other plant and join them together with a piece of cloth. Rap cloth around the cutting and join them.
After a few weeks, they get joined and start growing.
Plants or trees which are propagated from division generally do not produce seeds.
Learn about anise hyssop companion plants you grow with. This herbaceous plant has many benefits that can help its nearby plants thrive properly.
Anise hyssop varieties does not need much care, it is a perennial plant and grows itself in favorable conditions.
For gardening always use high-quality soil. Many people plant their plants in the ground directly.
However, in the ground soil minerals and nutrition are not present in the required quantity.
You can use potting mix soil for gardening. Make a medium-size hole in the ground.
Put potting mix soil into it and transplant your plant there. Pour water to moisten the soil.
You can also do a pH check of your ground soil. The anise hyssop prefers soil pH at 6.0-7.5.
Overwatering can cause diseases such as root rot and powdery mildew. Root rot is a disease caused by overwatering.
The roots of the plant get weak or damaged by excessive water which stunts the growth to sometimes kill the plant. So, it’s very essential to water the plant because only when the soil looks dry.
Avoid watering from the top of the plant. Watering from the top wet the stems and leaves which increases the chance of fungal disease.
So, always water directly in the base of the plant.
For quick and healthy growth feed your plant with nutrition-rich fertilizer in the growing season. In the growing season or spring, you can feed them once in the month for abundance.
Fertilize with an all purpose, well balanced product such as 10-10-10 (NPK).
How to prune anise hyssop
Pruning is the most important part in the plant’s growth. The flowers and leaves of the plant often get wilt or dry. These yellow-brown parts of the plant need to deadhead or cut off from time to time.
Though these leaves and blooms look dry or dead. But, they keep sucking energy from the plant. Deadheading these parts will redirect energy to grow new parts and encourage more blooms and leaves.
In the winter, pruning sends the plant dormant so that it regrows in the spring. To send plants in dormant cut some of the nodes stems by shearing.
How to harvest anise hyssop
Flower cuttings of the anise hyssop are used for decoration. If you want to use them as ornamental flowers, you can cut them when the flowers get fully matured.
Take a shear and cut the entire branch on which it blooms so that you can put them in a long case.
Take as many cuttings you want, make their bunch and tie with a wide string in the bottom.
Put the flower bunch in the pot half-filled with water. The water helps them to live fresh for a longer period. Place the beautiful bloom in a dark room. Dark places will preserve their color for a longer time.
If you want seeds to grow, plant them in a new place or give them to your friends. Then wait till flowers get dry or in position to drop from the stem.
Sniff off the dry or dead flowers and put them on paper or a box to collect their small seeds and place the box in the sunlight for 2-3 days.
Anise hyssop leaves are used as an alternative for mint. You can use them to add flavor in your dish or drink.
Remember in our childhood we all used to drink chilled mint water or at least I do.
Anyway, you can sniff off its leaves whenever you want to use it. Or You can store them in a bulk. Sniff off the number of leaves you want to store.
Place all the leaves in the cardboard box and let it get dry in direct sunlight for 2-3 days.
After that you can store all the leaves in an airtight container or packet and put it in the freezer.
It can be preserved for almost 1 year if the leaves do not get moist. The flowers of the anise hyssop are used to decorate foods and salads.
Well, you cannot store flower heads as they get dry. If you want to add them in the food you have to sniff them directly from the plant at the time of food decoration.
Perennial flowering plant
Purple, violet, lavender, blue
Hardiness (USDA Zone):
Full sun to partial shade
Time to get mature
Plant in fall for spring growth
purple, green, lavender, blue
1/2-2 inches, check seed packets
6.0 – 7.5
1.5 – 3 feet
Russian sage, yarrow, global thistle, Joe pye weed, ornamental grass
Deers, rabbits and frost
To add flavor on drink
Pollinators like honeybees, butterflies, hummingbird etc
Pests & disease
Root rots, powdery mildew, aphids
Pests and diseases
Anise hyssop is a wild plant that is mostly found in forests and roadsides. They are adaptable to most diseases. Planting them in the garden does not need much care to prevent diseases.
However, there is danger of fungal disease if:
The plant does not get adequate or sufficient air. This can be caused if you plant them closely when transplanting maintains at least 6 inches of gap between each plant.
Overwatering plant is a common mistake every beginner garden makes. The plant needs a lot of water to grow. They can grow happily in moist soil.
Overwatering plants cause several problems such as root rot, leaf spot, crown root, powdery mildew. If they pour excessive water for a long time they may also die. It also attracts insects like Ants and Aphids.
Poor drainage happens when plants get crowded. This prevents evaporation of water and the moisture gets settled on foliage and in the soil which makes a good environment of growth for fungal diseases.
To get rid of fungal diseases you can treat the plant with neem oil or use a fungicide as per instruction of the packet.
Did I Miss Anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you: which tip from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
P.S. I myself reply to every comment
Before going if you want to grow beautiful flowers in your garden? Then click on these articles also.