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Hyssopus officinalis is a small perennial shrub native to Asia and the Mediterranean regions, it has long been widespread in the wild also in North America. It has erect stems, which reach 30-50 cm in height, woody in the basal part; the small lanceolate leaves are light green, and are intensely scented. The stems have a quadrangular section and are covered with a thin down. In spring, each stem produces numerous inflorescences, at the leaf axil, which bring together some small blue-violet, sometimes even pink, flowers. In addition to being known since ancient times as a medicinal plant, hyssop is also used as an aromatic plant; the intense aroma of mint given off by the leaves, and the bitter taste, make it suitable for raw consumption in salads or even for the preparation of herbal teas. The oil extracted from hyssop is used in perfumes and liqueurs. The hyssop leaves have a very intense taste, so they are used sparingly in the kitchen.
The plants belonging to the variety of Hyssopus officinalis, for a better development, prefer the cultivation in sunny places, but without particular contraindications and problems, they can be cultivated also in semi-shaded environments. They are plants that also develop spontaneously on the Italian territory, being rustic and resistant; the specimens of this genus do not particularly fear the cold.
If grown in pots, these specimens can also be placed at home; in this case, however, they need to be placed in a bright environment, in an area exposed to sunlight.
In general, hyssop is content with rain, enduring periods of drought even without problems. If the plants of Hyssopus officinalis are cultivated in pots, it will be necessary to intervene with some supplies of water, but in a moderate manner, as they belong to a species that prefers dry soils and does not tolerate environments that are too humid. Particular attention must be paid to the fact that water does not build up, which can be detrimental to the health of the plant.
For the optimal cultivation of Hyssopus officinalis plants it is good to put the hyssop in a very well drained soil, even with pebbles or sand; in nature it develops in arid and poor soils, in decidedly unfavorable conditions for most plants, therefore, it is a variety capable of adapting without problems to the different environmental conditions, with the foresight, however, to verify that it is not placed at it dwells in a land where water stagnation forms, absolutely to avoid to allow the growth of these specimens.
The multiplication of this variety to obtain new seedlings to be cultivated generally occurs by seed, in spring; in the autumn season it is also possible to practice cuttings or divide the heads of roots.
Hyssop plants have a fairly short life, so it is advisable to replace the plants every 5-6 years, to always have a florid and luxuriant bush.
Hyssop - Hyssopus officinalis: Pests and diseases
The specimens belonging to this particular variety prove rustic and resistant, being able to grow and develop even in arid and inhospitable soils. Due to these particular characteristics, they are generally not affected by pests or diseases.