Jenkins’ Seed Packets: Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop
Agastache foeniculum

Anise Hyssop is a tough, upright native perennial wildflower with bright purple spikes of flowers emerging in June and persisting through September. As the name suggests, the leaves of this plant are very fragrant. Best planted as a mass in an open sunny spot or in a dry perennial bed. 

Natural Habitat: Open fields, meadows
Light Requirements: Sun to part shade
Soil Requirements: Average to dry soil
USDA Hardiness: Zones 4-8
Size: Height of 2’ to 4’
Wildlife Value: Pollinators, hummingbirds
Deer Resistance: Resistant

Germination Requirements:

Anise Hyssop seeds require 30 days Cold Moist Stratification (abbreviated CMS in many reference guides). Stratification is the process of pre-treating seeds to overcome the seeds’ natural inhibitors that prevent germination in less-than ideal circumstances. They also require light to germinate, so they should be surface sown. This means you do not cover the seed when you sow it.

Cold Moist Stratification can be accomplished by sowing the seeds and setting them outside when temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees. Seeds can always be kept cold longer than the required number of days, so it is fine to sow these in December and leave them outside for the entire winter. They will germinate when the soil warms up in spring. Alternately, you can mix the seeds with a small amount of moist (not wet) sand, perlite or vermiculite in a baggie and place it in a refrigerator for 30 daysIf you choose to hold them there longer than 30 days, check the seeds periodically. Some seeds will germinate in the baggie. You will see the first root, the radicle, poking out. This is fine if you catch it early. After chilling the seeds for 30 days, sow them by spreading out the contents of the baggie on the surface of your medium.