Hyssop Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Hyssopus Officinalis”

Our Guide to Hyssop plants for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for "Hyssopus Officinalis"

Looking for a new semi-evergreen shrub to add to your plant collection? Look no further than Hyssopus Officinalis!

Hyssopus Officinalis, or commonly known as Hyssop, is an aromatic, semi-evergreen shrub that many gardeners love thanks to its minty flavorful leaves. A great thing about Hyssop is that it attracts beneficial pollinators to your garden.

This bushy perennial was once people’s favourite herb to grow. In ancient times, it was valued for its medicinal and aromatic purposes. Even in modern times, people have used this aromatic herb to treat digestive and intestinal problems such as liver and gallbladder conditions, intestinal pain or gas, colic, and even loss of appetite. Hyssop also has health benefits for respiratory conditions such as coughs, the common cold, respiratory infections, asthma, and sore throat. It is also a natural treatment for skin problems such as irritation, burns, or bruises.

As for its aromatic uses, people use Hyssop as a gargle or in baths to cause sweating. It is also used as a flavouring in foods and a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, and skincare products. As you can see, this plant has many different purposes from being an aromatic herb great for a lot of foods, such as salads or fruit dishes, to a beneficial tea that can alleviate respiratory problems.

Ready to learn more about growing and caring for Hyssopus Officinalis? Keep reading below!

About Hyssop

  • Hyssopus Officinalis belongs to the family of Lamiaceae or mint family. It is native to Southern Europe, the Middle East, and the area surrounding the Caspian Sea.
  • The botanical name of Hyssop is Hyssopus Officinalis. This shrub is also known by plenty of other names, such as Herbe de Joseph, Ysop, Hysope, Jufa, Hisopo, and others.
  • Hyssopus Officinalis is a great plant choice for any garden. It is usually grown in herb gardens and as an ornamental plant. Yet, it also makes a great edging plant when grown in masses. Hyssop can also be an amazing container plant and you can even grow it on your balcony or indoors.
  • It is considered to be a flea beetles and cabbage moths repeller. For this reason, Hyssop is usually planted as a companion to cauliflower, cabbage, and grapes. It is also commonly grown next to lavender, rosemary, garlic chives, and catmint.
  • Hyssop is really easy to grow and low-maintenance. As long as you provide it with its basic growing needs, you shouldn’t find it difficult to care for it.
  • Hyssop is sun-loving and prefers to be grown in areas with full sun. It can also adapt to partial shade. Whether you grow your Hyssop in your outdoor space or in a container indoors, make sure you place it in a spot where it gets a lot of sunlight daily.
  • This semi-evergreen perennial is a very cold hardy plant. It can resist temperatures down to -13°F (-25°C). There’s no need for winter protection if the climate in your area gets this cold during the winter months.
  • Hyssop needs well-draining and compost-rich soil. This shrub is very sensitive to root rot, a disease that causes, as the name implies, the roots of hyssop plants to rot. Overwatering is the main cause of root rot. Thus, it needs soil that allows excess water to go through it to avoid rotting.
  • Hyssop is not considered to be toxic to humans. In fact, people have consumed this aromatic shrub for centuries in foods and natural medicines. Yet, it is believed that the oil product can cause seizures in some people. The good news is that it is safe to grow your Hyssop around your kids and pets.
  • Hyssopus Officinalis doesn’t have many pest problems. Specialist growers believe that it is highly resistant to most pests and diseases. The only common disease that it is susceptible to is, as mentioned above, root rot when grown in soggy soil.
Hyssopus Officinalis
Hyssopus Officinalis

Hyssop Features: An Overview

  • Hyssop features a woody stem at its base from which several upright branches grow. It can grow up to 18 to 24 inches (45-60 cm) in height and about 12 inches (30 cm) wide.
  • It has narrow, pointed, dark green, and glossy leaves. The leaves of Hyssop grow opposite one another on the woody stems.
  • In mid-summer to late autumn, during the blooming season, Hyssop produces half-inch pink, blue, or, rarely, white flowers that have a strong pleasant fragrance. Its flowers grow on spikes, similar to lavender.

Growing Hyssop

Caring for Hyssop isn’t that difficult. This semi-evergreen shrub is very resistant to cold and most common pests and diseases. All that it needs to grow happy and healthy is to provide it with its most basic growing needs.

You need to pay attention to its lighting preferences. More precisely, Hyssopus Officinalis prefers to be grown in full sun or partial shade. So, no matter where you grow your aromatic herb, be it in your garden or in a container inside your home, make sure that you place it in a spot where it gets at least a few hours of full sun and partial shade in the afternoon.

Despite being a resistant shrub, your Hyssop can benefit from some feeding. You can use organic fertilizer to feed your Hyssops, such as compost tea or fish emulsion. When to fertilize your Hyssop? We recommend fertilizing it during the growing season, which is during the summer months.

When grown as a garden plant, Hyssop needs some pruning to prevent the plant from becoming too tall. What’s more, cutting its foliage also encourages the shrub to become bushier.

Planting Hyssop

Planting this semi-evergreen perennial is as easy as it is to care for it. The only important thing to do when planting your Hyssop is to keep in mind what it needs to grow healthy and happy. You should consider things such as soil and lighting preferences.

Sow the Hyssop seeds about 10 weeks before the last expected frost, and then plant them in your garden or container just beneath the soil’s surface, about 0.6 cm deep. It will about 14 and 21 days for the seeds to germinate. We recommend planting the seeds at about 12 to 18 inches away from each other to allow enough space to grow.

Hyssop Essential Oil
Hyssop Essential Oil

When choosing a spot to plant your Hyssop, remember that this shrub prefers to be grown in full sun. Since this plant is sun-loving, you should choose a spot in your outdoor space where it will get full sun for at least 5-6 hours every day. It is best for the plant to get partial shade in the afternoon to avoid sunburn.

Next, keep in mind this plant’s soil preferences. Hyssop needs compost-rich and well-draining soil. If you’re planning to grow your Hyssop outdoors, it’s best to first feed the soil with organic feeding like compost. To ensure well-draining soil, you can combine the soil with sand or pebbles for improved water drainage.

The good news is that this plant is very cold-hardy. For this reason, you don’t have to worry that the climate in your area is inappropriate for growing Hyssop, even if the winter months tend to get really cold.

If you want to grow your Hyssop as a container plant, besides keeping in mind its growing needs, make sure you plant it in a large container that can accommodate this shrub’s large root system.

Watering Hyssop

Overwatering your Hyssop is a sure way to kill it! This aromatic herb is really resistant to most disease and growing conditions. However, it cannot resist root rot if it is grown in soggy soil.

It is better to underwater your Hyssop, especially since this shrub is somehow drought tolerant than to overwater it.

The best way to water your Hyssop and ensure that you don’t overwater it is to use the “soak and dry” watering method. This method implies for you to allow the first few inches of the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Propagating Hyssop

There are several different ways to propagate your Hyssop. This aromatic herb can be propagated via seeds, cuttings, and division.

To propagate your Hyssop via seeds, sow the seeds in spring and wait for them to germinate ( about 14-21 days) before planting them into individual pots or directly in your garden.

To propagate your Hyssop via root division, wait for the spring or fall months to do it.

Cuttings are best taken from the mother plant in late spring to early summer. Use 6-inch long cuttings for propagation. We recommend dipping the cuttings in rooting hormone before planting them in the soil.

In Conclusion

Hyssopus Officinalis is an amazing plant to have in your garden or home. This aromatic shrub will repay your care in so many ways. It will delight you with its lovely minty fragrance. Its leaves will be a delicious aromatic herb in your foods. It will also allow you to use it for its medicinal benefits if you are a fan of natural remedies.

Hyssop is really easy to care for and grow as it is tolerant and resistant to different problems or growing conditions. As long as you ensure that the plant gets enough sunlight and you don’t overwater it, you’ll really enjoy having a Hyssop in your garden or home.

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact

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