Will Anise Hyssop Bloom Again?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Patricia Striewe
Posted on: September 25, 2003

Thank you for welcoming questions. I’ve got an anise hyssop that’s in full bloom. I brought it inside before the storm last week and it seems quite happy getting a bit of sun near my patio door. If I take off the blooms, will it flower again?

In general, the practice of "dead-heading" plants – i.e., removing spent flowers before they go to seed – helps to induce plants to flower again. This effect seems to be related to some sort of physiological signal that plant tissues generate when the plant is successful in producing seeds. The notion is that if the plant produces seeds, thereby ensuring the survival of its genes, then why expend the resources to produce more flowers? Conversely, if the flowers were unsuccessful in producing seeds, then that triggers the plant to produce more flowers.

However in the case of your anise hyssop, it is unlikely to flower again until next summer. In our greenhouses anise hyssop is a summer flowering perennial only, which suggests that its flowering is sensitive to the length of day. If that is true, then it may be possible to trick the plant into flowering in the winter by lengthening the day with artificial light; but I don’t know if that will work because we have never tried it.

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