Hyssop Plants In Containers – Can You Grow Hyssop In Pots

Hyssop Plants In Containers – Can You Grow Hyssop In Pots

Hyssop, native to southern Europe, was used as early as the seventh century as a purifying herbal tea and to cure a slew of ailments from head lice to shortness of breath. The lovely purplish-blue, pink, or white blossoms are attractive in formal gardens, knot gardens, or along walkways trimmed to form a low hedge. How about growing hyssop plants in containers? Can you grow hyssop in pots? Read on to find out how to grow a hyssop plant in a pot.

Can You Grow Hyssop in Pots?

Absolutely, growing hyssop in containers is possible. Hyssop is, like many other herbs, very tolerant of a variety of environments. The herb can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm.) if left to its own devices, but it can easily be curtailed by pruning it.

Hyssop’s blooms attract beneficial insects and butterflies to the garden as well.

About Growing Hyssop Plants in Containers

The name hyssop is derived from the Greek word ‘hyssopos’ and the Hebrew word ‘esob,’ meaning “holy herb.” Hyssop is a bushy, compact, upright perennial herb. Woody at its base, hyssop blooms with, most commonly, blue-violet, two-lipped blossoms on spikes in successive whorls.

Hyssop can be grown in full sun to partial shade, is tolerant of drought, and prefers alkaline soil but is also tolerant of pH ranges from 5.0-7.5. Hyssop is hardy in USDA zones 3-10. In zone 6 and up, hyssop may be grown as a semi-evergreen shrub.

Because hyssop is so tolerant of a variety of conditions, container grown hyssop is an easy plant to grow and is even fairly forgiving if you forget to water it now and then.

How to Grow a Hyssop Plant in a Pot

Hyssop can be started from seed indoors and transplanted or planted from nursery starts.

Start seedlings indoors 8-10 weeks before the last average frost for your area. Seeds do take some time to germinate, about 14-21 days, so be patient. Transplant in the spring after the last frost. Set plants 12-24 inches (31-61 cm.) apart.

Prior to planting, work some organic matter, like compost or aged animal manure, into basic potting soil. Also, sprinkle a little organic fertilizer into the hole before setting the plant and filling the hole in. Be sure that the container has adequate drainage holes. Situate the container grown hyssop in an area of full sun.

Thereafter, water the plant as needed, and occasionally prune the herb and remove any dead flower heads. Use the herb fresh in herbal baths or cleansing facials. Mint-like in flavor, hyssop can also be added to green salads, soups, fruit salads, and teas. It is susceptible to very few pests and diseases and makes an excellent companion plant.

Agastache Species, Yellow Giant Hyssop, Anise Hyssop

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agastache (ah-gas-TAH-kee) (Info)
Species: nepetoides (nep-et-OY-deez) (Info)
Synonym:Hyssopus nepetoides
Synonym:Lophanthus nepetoides
Synonym:Nepeta altissima
Synonym:Vleckia nepetoides


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Where to Grow:


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

North Augusta, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jul 11, 2020, RhodyDude from Takoma Park, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Yellow giant hyssop is a very, very tall herbaceous perennial. In about 80% shade, it reliably gets over 8 feet tall in my garden. Even with the height, it is not prone to flopping. In fact, the stem is a marvel in itself as, in section, it is perfectly square and hollow inside and very strong. My kids like playing with sections of the stem and blowing in the voids as if they are flutes.

It blooms over a long time -- July through September. I'm still debating whether or not this is an attractive plant. En masse, Yellow giant hyssop plants can create a kind of candelabra effect with its flowers. The flowers, however, are nondescript, quite small, and greenish white. The large, heart-shaped leaves can be attractive, though. It's not a showy plant by any means, but it's not rea. read more lly weedy looking either.

Pollinators do love this plant. Lots of bees, bumblebees, wasps, and flies, which is kind of remarkable for something that can grow in the shade. Speaking of which, I wouldn't plant this in deep shade or full sun. In-between these extremes, it's very adaptable and, once established definitely drought tolerant.

Yellow giant hyssop grows readily from directly-sown seed in the fall. (Needs cold stratification.) It will bloom the first year of growth, but will only grow to about 4 feet or so high. Then it truly takes off in the second year.

On Jan 30, 2013, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have been trying to ID this plant for years and just found out what it was. I have at least one wild plant growing in the briers, bushes and weeds along the road frontage. The plant is about 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide ! I will definitely be collecting seeds this year to try to grow more in my gardens. It's a beautiful plant, and if the insects and hummers love it, all the better.

On Mar 18, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tall to 7' - Plant 24" apart. z5-10. Equally good in the border, and as a candidate for container growing. The better the drainage the happier the plant. Attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, with mint scented foliage.

Container Grown Hyssop: How To Grow A Hyssop Plant In A Pot - garden

Other Names: Rootbeer Plant, Licorice Mint

Sunset Hyssop features airy spikes of lightly-scented indian red tubular flowers with salmon throats and rose calyces rising above the foliage from mid summer to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive fragrant pointy leaves remain silver in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The white stems can be quite attractive.

Sunset Hyssop is an open herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

Sunset Hyssop is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting

Sunset Hyssop will grow to be about 32 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Sunset Hyssop is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Keep It Alive

  • Hyssop appreciates full sun to part sun (too much shade makes it lanky) and will grow two to three feet high.
  • Like other Mediterranean herbs, hyssop likes a warm position and well-draining alkaline soil. Before planting, mix in handfuls of organic compost to ensure good drainage.
  • Few pests or diseases bother hyssop.
  • After flowering, prune to the first set of hyssop’s leaves to maintain an attractive shape and to promote flowering for next year.

Ready to design and plant a spring herb garden? See more design ideas and growing tips in Hyssop: A Field Guide in our curated Garden Design 101 plant guides. And don’t miss:

Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for hyssop with our Hyssop: A Field Guide.

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide.

Interested in other edible plants for your garden? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various edible plants (including flowers, herbs and vegetables) with our Edible Plants: A Field Guide.

Hyssop: A Field Guide

Hyssop was once the first herb people thought of growing—used since ancient times for both medicinal and aromatic purposes. The bushy perennial herb’s spiky flowers and scented leaves earned several mentions in the Bible, perhaps most famously invoked in Psalm 57 as a means to banishing transgression: “Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

Nowadays, however, Hyssopus officinalis has a lower profile and is not as widely grown as its cousin mint or culinary herbs such as parsley, sage, and rosemary. But hyssop deserves a spot in your herb garden, where it will attract pollinators, send up spiky purple flowers, and provide you with leaves to make soothing tisanes. As a companion plant in a vegetable garden, its strongly scented leaves can repel aphids. And with a compact, bushy habit, hyssop also is a lovely, front-of-the-border ornamental plant for a flower bed.

Watch the video: Purple giant hyssop agastache rugosa in mid August