About Purple Giant Hyssop: Giant Hyssop grows wild across the central prairie regions of the United States and Canada. Native Americans used the rough, serrated leaves in poultices to relieve poison ivy rash, as well as brewing them for tea. A popular choice for planting in perennial gardens, it attracts bees and butterflies as well as small birds. As a cut flower, it performs very well; in Holland, research and development is under way to produce a hybrid of this variety especially suited for the cut flower industry. Giant hyssop can usually be found growing wild in meadows, along fences, or in deciduous woods and brush.
Purple Giant Hyssop Germination: Direct sow in the fall, to provide the required period of cool stratification naturally; the seed will sprout in the spring. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting on the surface of the soil. To starting the stratified seed indoors, plant on the surface of a flat with bottom heat of 70 degrees F and consistent moisture. Germination should take place within 6-10 days. As soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle and there is no chance of frost, they can be transplanted 18-24" apart. Hyssop prefers full or partial sun, and tolerates a wide variety of soils from dry to rather wet.
Growing Purple Giant Hyssop Seeds: Keep young seedlings watered. Medium to moist soil is best for hyssop, but the plant is somewhat drought tolerant once it reaches maturity. Plants will bloom the second year from seed. It reseeds itself readily, so if volunteer plants are not wanted deadhead the faded flower spikes. This plant attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Harvesting Purple Giant Hyssop: Fresh leaves can be individually harvested for tea, salads, or medicinal use throughout the growing season; in the morning after the dew has dried is the best time for harvesting. Take individual leaves first from the bottom of the stem and work up to the top. Do not remove more than 60% of the plant at any one time. To harvest entire stalks for drying, cut them 2-3” from the ground and hang them upside down to dry.
Saving Purple Giant Hyssop Seeds: When the flower spikes begin to dry and turn brown, remove them and spread them out to dry; thresh them to remove the seed. Shaking the entire plant’s seed heads into a container is also effective, but the process should be repeated daily until all the seed has matured. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Purple Giant Hyssop Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Lavender Hyssop, Blue Giant Hyssop, Fennel Hyssop, Fragrant Giant Hyssop Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer-Early Fall Height: 60-72 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 4a-6b Seeds Per Oz: 76,500 Produces square stalks with serrated, slightly hairy green leaves and a dense growth of 8" purple flower spikes.