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Is Anise Hyssop A Perennial? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 10:49 am

The anise hyssop is arguably an all-time chef’s favorite. Its distinct and aromatic fragrance is hard to miss when included in soups, salads, meat dishes, and other dishes.

While it is possible to enjoy a year-round supply of fresh anise hyssop flowers and leaves, you might begin to wonder if you would need to replant the herb in the coming year to sustain the steady supply of freshness.

The anise hyssop plant is one of those garden herbs that confuse newbie gardeners.

Is anise hyssop a perennial? Yes, the anise hyssop plant is a short-lived perennial that can survive the weather hurdles within the year and live up to two or three years. You do not need to replant the plant every year. Asides from being a perennial, the plant also happens to be an aggressive self-seeder. All you need to do is cut it down a bit, probably by one-third of its original size. Once this is done, it shoots out its roots and blooms out bushier than its first year.

Does Anise Hyssop Come Back Every Year?

Anise hyssop is aggressive and vibrant self-seeder. So, it comes back every year. Self-seeding refers to the ability of a plant to reproduce and sprout without being planted.

Now, in the anise hyssop plant, it requires a little human effort to do this. All you need to do is prune off the mature leaves and woody/leggy stems. Doing this triggers the vigorous expansion of the plant.

If you happen to be a lover or planter of this aromatic herb, then you need not be worried about running short of its delicious fresh leaves during the year, especially during its second and third years.

In addition, the second year is pretty much its prime. So, it will produce its leafiest and most aromatic leaves at this point. One of the perks of having a perennial plant is not having to worry about it short of freshness during its first year.

The hyssop herb is as well a relatively easy herb to grow. The plant can grow as high as two to four feet high and about one to three feet wide in its mature state.

The perfect soil for anise hyssop would be soil that is a bit high on acidity level. A pH between 6 and 7 strikes the perfect acidity balance for it.

The plant can grow in full sun and also requires partial shade. Good growing conditions hasten and add vigor to the self seediness of the plant.

The plant can also easily be mistaken for an invasive plant because of its fast-spreading abilities. You can plant it alongside other garden herbs such as sage, bee balm, false sunflower, and a host of others.

But, it should be given adequate space to do what it knows how to do best, self-seed, and spread out vigorously.

Will Anise Hyssop Survive the Winter?

The cold hardiness of the anise hyssop plant depends on the zone in which you planted it. The herb happens to fall between a drought-tolerant plant and a cold-hardy plant.

It requires partial shade. This requirement means that both excessive sun and excess frost will damage possibly kill your herb.

The plant can withstand a temperature dip as low as -35 degrees. That does make it cold-hardy to an extent.

For most parts of the United States, especially in zone 5 and in zones where winter dips the temperature as low as -32 degrees, the anise hyssop plant is most likely to go dormant during the winter season.

The plant seldom dies during the winter season; it only acts dead, putting all forms of life and growth within it to a halt.

The good news is, its dormancy doesn’t last forever; once winter is over, the plant surely and definitely will sprout back and resume its normal activities, producing fresh and aromatic leaves that it is famous for.

So, to answer the question, ‘Will anise hyssop survive the winter?’ Yes, anise hyssop can and will survive the winter.

Why Is My Anise Hyssop Dying?

Lucky for us, the plant is not so much susceptible to a wide range of problems. While it does attract insects such as butterflies and bees, these insects mostly serve beneficial purposes.

The plant is quick to portray signs of discomfort when it encounters unfavorable conditions. Below is a list of the most common possible reasons why your anise hyssop plant is dying:

1. Soggy soil:

This is dreaded by an anise hyssop herb. Soggy soil can be caused by over-watering or poor drainage. Soil drainage and aeration are essential, especially for potted plants.

When the plant is placed in soggy or waterlogged soil for a while, its root will rot, and what’s a plant without its root? It would simply die off in no time.

The plant is a lover of well-draining soil; this completely puts clay soil out of the question of planting anise hyssop. Sandy soil and well-draining loamy soil remain the best options for it.

You might also want to consider planting it on a raised garden bed; this is one method of improving soil drainage.

2. Dry climate:

While anise hyssop is not friends with soggy soil, it is neither a fan of excessive dryness. It can tolerate drought to an extent, but prolonged dryness causes some damages.

Powdery mildew and leaf spots are some tell-tale signs that the plant is encountering excessive dryness.

Spiders also tend to create a haven on the plant’s leaves during the dry season.

However, there is a way to save an anise plant from dying from excessive dryness. Simply increase the water content of the soil by watering it more often than usual — the hotter the climate, the more water the plant needs.


The anise hyssop plant (also known as Agastache) is a short-lived perennial that can survive the hazards of yearly winter and lives up to two to three years.

The plant happens to be a self-seeder, which means it sprouts by itself without being planted, and it does this vigorously.

So, do not be surprised if you find more and more Agastache in your garden.

The plant has a habit of playing dead during the winter. Do not mistake this for actual death and weed it off. It is simply waiting for the passing of winter before it resumes its metabolic processes, which it put on hold.


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