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Author Topic: The Hyssops, huge nectar/pollen plants for the bees!!!  (Read 9538 times)
Cindi
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« on: April 26, 2008, 08:53:20 AM »

I have three pictures that I would like to show of the two cultivars of anise that I planted last year.  They are perennials and are coming up gangbusters now too, I will be taking many cuttings and propogating the "bush" type, the name of the cultivar is "Blue Fortune", the other type is a floppy asise that I grow from seed.  If you get any chance, get to a nursery to get some of the anise hyssop for your bees, they will thank you, it grows well anywhere.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi

The mother anise hyssop (Blue Fortune cultivar)plants that I take cuttings from



A close up of the mother plant



Bees on the mother plant



A picture of what the cuttings look like when they begin to set their blooms



This picture shows the mother plants on the left and some of the cutting plants on the right.  The mother plants are pretty much finished blooming, while the younger plants keep the blooming season going on until frost kill because they are a younger plant.  This keeps the plants in bloom almost all summer when they begin to bloom. (oops, did it again, posted a picture twice, bad me).  The mother hyssops are the larger plants on the left with the flower blooms that are pretty much on their last leg..




Lastly, this is the anise anisata that I take the seeds from, the bees love it too, but it is more of a floppy plant, this is what the seed plants will look like this summer when they begin to bloom for you.  Enjoy and have that beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi

« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 11:44:17 PM by Cindi » Logged

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 10:28:15 AM »

Looks good Cindi. I have lots of flowering plants, trees and shrubs too, and will keep a look out to see what they like best.
We have lots of sweet rocket (hesperis) here, and I'm hoping it's a good bee plant.
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Brenda
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 07:03:35 PM »

Great pics Cindi!

I really want to add this all around my area as well.  I ordered 100's of anise hyssop seeds and have been attempting to germinate them.  They are very slowly starting to come up now (I'm germinating them indoors in coir cubes), but only a few.

If anyone knows of any wholesale suppliers of Anise Hyssop starts somewhere here in the PacNW U.S. please send me a PM.  I may have to resort to "plan B" if these seeds don't start taking off soon. 

Cheers,
Dane
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 11:39:25 PM »

Dane, if you are having trouble germinating them, my first question, have you left them uncovered.  Most annuals that I know of require light for germination, if you feel a need to cover any annuals seeds, I would suggest merely a dusting of medium to hold them in place only.  I don't cover the anise and they germinate like wildfire.....if you need seed for the anise anisata, the floppy looking one, I would gladly send you some down. Say the word.  When you are looking for the Anise Hyssop, like the tall one in the pictures, ask for Anise Hyssop, Blue Fortune, that is the cultivar that I grow. 

The anise doesn't grow that fast, but once it is transplanted outside it takes off like wildfire. 

You need to tell me if you have covered the seed or if you have left it uncovered, that is very important to me, good luck finding the Anise Hyssop, you should be able to find good sized plants in nurseries pretty soon, their perennial stocks should be coming in.

I wish that you lived closer.  I took about 120 cuttings from one of my mother plants and they are setting roots.  They will be fully rooted and ready for transplanting outside in about 3 weeks, they will bloom in July, and carry on until frost kill, the mother plants bloom earlier and end a little earlier too.  Man, I wish that there was a way that I could get some cuttings to you, seriously.  They take about 15 minutes to put these many many cuttings into rooting hormone and into little 2-1/2 inch deep pots, my kingdom that I could get some to you. Sorry.  Best of this beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 11:40:34 PM »

Brenda, I am pretty sure that bees love hespiris, something rings a bell in the back of my mind.  Have a beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 07:48:08 AM »

Cindi,
 I have some of those plants. I didn't know the name I just got them because they were covered in bees when I bought them. 
  I can't seem to start the seeds. How do I start the cuttings?  how long do I make them and when do I do it?
  Thanks for your help,
   Jim 
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 09:16:15 AM »

OK Jim, here goes, this may get a little boring and lengthy, remember I love to ramble, hee, hee.

I don't know what stage of growth the mother plants are at right now, but I usually hit them when they have many new shoots coming up that have at least three sets of leaves.  You can take cuttings any time after they are taller too, but I find taking the cuttings really early promotes the plants to be even more strong and when they are little bit older I divide them, and I aggressively divide them.

First lets talk about division.  Perennials usually respond really well to division after a few years, many plants demand division to keep them growing well.  By division I mean cutting them into hunks and planting those new hunks.  Sometimes an axe is required, other times a shovel.  Hyssop can be divided by a shovel.  I divided two plants yesterday, the original mother plants, of the mother plants I got about 6 new plants each to move around (2 mother plants).  I left a hunk of the mother plant in the ground, she will grow to massive size this year because of the division.  Next year I will divide about 15 more like that because they will need division, and holy smoking smokers!!!  I will just have to figure out what to do with the next many, many that will need division in a few years time, hee, hee.

OK, now onto the cuttings.  I have a pair of snips (not the green ones that JP sent up to Frantz, that is a joke by the way, teasing JP).  These are little scissor like snips.  I grap a stem, I am going to speak blatently here.  I cut that stem to below the second set of leaves, just above the third leaves,

That leaves a stem with a set of leaves and the new growing tip.  Not very tall, I should take a picture to show you, I will do that later on today, so look for a picture tomorrow morning of the actual look of the plant. 

I use rooting hormone, this is not necessary, but I believe it really allows the cutting to get an extra good leap into life.  I put a little bit of rooting hormone on the stem below the leaf set.  I place this stem into the soil and push it into the medium until the set of leaves is just barely beneath the soil medium (the soil must be moistened prior to putting the stem in it).  You will see the leaves kind of sticking out of the soil.

The plant will wilt and it will look terrible for about 2 days.  Then after two or three days the stem will begin to stand up straight and within two weeks, the cutting will have roots.  You can then plant this entire cutting and small root ball into the ground, or you can leave it for a little bit longer.  It is very simplistic and takes no time whatsover.  I did about 100 cuttings in about 1/2 hour in all time length.

I am going now to take a picture of the bunch of cuttings and I will pull one out of the soil to show you what I am talking about, never mind waiting until tomorrow, so this will take a few minutes.  I will suspend this post for now.  C.U. in a few minute

OK, the first picture shows the tray of cuttings, 32 cells, 2 cuttings in each one.  They are wilted looking, but beginning to restore the strength of the cutting, they will be upright and growing well in a couple of more days



A single cell so you can have a good look



A cutting that has two sets of leaves, the lower set that I bury the very base of the leaves slightly under the soil medium



A cutting that has one set of leaves, the set that I bury the very base slightly below the soil medium



I don't like to make the stem any longer than 2 or 3 sets of leaves for strength of the cutting for standing back up.

I hope that these pictures clarify exactly the process.  Let me know if you require any further information, I will help you.  Have the best of this most wonderful day, Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 09:55:57 AM »

Hey Cindi, you just gave me a great idea!  At my CSA Jen has this plant in the U-cut area...I remember it being covered in bees last summer and it is a good looking one too.  I can U-cut myself some plants! I already have all the stuff,another DUH moment for me rolleyes  Dane, I can start some for you if you like, I have some of the priority all you can cram boxes, think it's bout $8? most non-woody herbs are a high % of success. The bees love lemon balm & chox mint too..have tons & doesn't even die when pulled up & left in the sun for a couple of days  shocked  Jody
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 10:22:42 AM »

Great pics Cindi!

I really want to add this all around my area as well.  I ordered 100's of anise hyssop seeds and have been attempting to germinate them.  They are very slowly starting to come up now (I'm germinating them indoors in coir cubes), but only a few.

If anyone knows of any wholesale suppliers of Anise Hyssop starts somewhere here in the PacNW U.S. please send me a PM.  I may have to resort to "plan B" if these seeds don't start taking off soon. 

Cheers,
Dane

I bought twenty bare root plants last year for a dollar a piece from ebay. All flowered well, and 16 made it through winter. One or two died b/c squirrells removed dirt next to roots however. I looked on ebay and saw only seeds this year, but I would keep checking. I also by them from a local herb grower, for about $3/piece but they are in 4" pots.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 08:56:08 PM »

cuttings are for spring, when do I devide?  I think I'd try deviding one of my plants to see if I can do it without killing the plant. I'm definitely going to try some cuttings.  I saved your instructions and photos so I can try this out. Thanks for your help.
Jim
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 11:34:38 PM »

Jim, I divided my mother plants yesterday.  They would have I would say about 4 or 5 sets of leaves on the stalks, so if yours even have a few leaves divide them now.  It won't hurt, will only help them out.  If you flouke up, all the roots underground will still be alive and will send up new shoots, plants have an amazing will to survive, hee, hee, best of this beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 12:10:58 AM »

Dane, if you are having trouble germinating them, my first question, have you left them uncovered. 

 <snip>

Thanks Cindi!  Excellent cuttings tutorial in your subsequent post as well.  I do wish we were closer.  I love cloning as a propagation method.    edit ~> I forgot to add, misting the clones often (keeping them moist) and out of intense direct sunlight until they've established a root system will help avoid early, over-transpiration/dehydration.  There's some excellent hydro (aero) cloning methods/devices as well.

I did have them just resting in the pockets of the starter cubes, uncovered (yet surrounded by moist medium on all other sides).  After some time (2 weeks?) of that I've just recently tried covering the ungerminated ones thinly (w/same starter cube material).  Anyways - no further worries on this batch, all my other garden plants are going off well.  Smiley

Konasdad ~> thx - I think that is the same packaging & price my local nursery quoted me.  I'll probably get a few of each - my seedlings that germinated & some 4" pots from the nursery.  If they do well I'll have loads of cuttings available come next year.  My cats are evil on the squirrels (& if they weren't, I would be). 

Cheers,
Dane
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 06:50:44 PM »

Cindi ,
 I did the division.  It worked just fine. we had a nice rain storm right after so they hardly had time to wilt. They look great!!  I'm so glad you are here. 
The bees and I thank you very much.
   Jim 
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2008, 11:51:05 PM »

Jim, excellent!!!!  How many divisions did you make from the mother plants?  Just curious, curiosity never got this cat!!!  If you wanted to be really crazy, and take tons of time, a plant that has a root ball say of about 12 inches across could probably be divided into about 10 plants.  Each hunk of root will make new plants, it is an extremely fast and vigorous way of dividing plants, meaning about how quickly they grow from root division, compared to say, cuttings.  They are already totally established plants with all their little hair roots.  So glad that you listened to my advice, thank you for that.  Enjoy the new plants, take pictures to show us your conquest of nature!!!  Beautiful and most wonderful day on this great planet, Earth.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2008, 08:10:27 AM »

Cindi,
 I cut the mother in half and didn't disturb it.  Then I took the 1/2 and divided it 3 times. So I've got 6 new plants from 2 mother plants.
 I know that the few plants that I have don't make a difference in honey production but I love watching the bees work my bee plants around the house.
have a happy day,
  Jim 
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 10:47:35 PM »

When I want to propogate plants I just bend a branch over and cover some leaf joints with soil and wait a couple of months.  I then clip the brance at the ground level parent side and have a new rooted plant. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 08:48:33 AM »

Brian, the art of soil layering, that is wonderful.  I am not sure if that is the correct terminology or not, I know there is also one called air layering, I have done that one too with indoor plants, that makes for some interesting stuff.

I have never tried what you do, but I have heard about it.  It is especially useful when doing this with shrubs, like rhododendrons and the like.  I am going to give that a whirl sometime.  I see my honeysuckle bush do this thing on its own alot.  I had always wondered why the bush kept getting wider and wider until I saw one time that where the branches had touched the ground, roots had set on the bottom of the branch and new growth occurred.  Nature does have its ways, now doesn't it, hee, hee.  Most beautiful day, wishes for good health for us all, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 10:31:27 AM »

My anise hyssop is in bloom, but it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the chasteberry (vitex).  I was watching one wild bee buzz around the hyssop, and it was interested, but seemed like there was an invisible force field around the blooms. Seemed to hover 2-3 inches from the flower - if it got any closer, it would back off, fly circles around the plant, then come back in and hover again.  I watched for about five minutes, and it finally went to one flower for nectar. But the vitex was loaded with bees, and they were feeding. 
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Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2008, 09:27:53 AM »

Vetch, now isn't that just interesting.  My hyssop won't be blooming until the middle of July or so, and it is loaded and I mean loaded with bees, even though I have the phacelias and borage which are enormous nectar/pollen plants blooming all summer, at the same time.  Maybe my species is particularly attractive for honeybees, it is the Blue Fortune cultivar, have you seen the pictures that I have put on the forum of the bees on mine?  Check it out.  Have a most beautiful, greatfully wonderful day, love our life, every minute of every day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2008, 01:25:19 PM »

Cindi, thanks for this post! I planted three hyssop in my flower garden and gave one to the doctor friend on mine. They have been flowering for quite awhile and have bees all over them, not my bees but oh well. If it was not for this post I might not have even know about this plant.
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