Those of us growing Anise herbs, do so for the fresh and popular flavor of licorice. Anise plants are native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Also, you can find it growing wild in fields. It is related to caraway and dill plants.
Anise plants have lacy leaves, and heads of white flowers that give way to seeds containing tasty oils. When in bloom, Anise displays a profusion of flowers. And that’s good because the flowers produce the seeds that produce the oils that taste so good! This plant grows 18-24″.
Anise plants are the perfect size for growing in a container on your patio or deck. And, you can grow these plants indoors during the winter months, too.
Plant height: 18 to 24 inches tall.
Hardiness Zones: 4 – 11
Annual, Pimpinella Anisum
Medicinal Uses: Anise is often used to treat stomach aches.
Main Cooking Uses:
Anise oil is extracted from the seeds.
Use leaves in salads, seeds in baking, cookies, pastries, cheese, and candies. It is also used to flavor oils and liqueurs.
Leaves and flowers can also be used as a garnish.
Anise plants are grown from seed. Directly sow seeds into your garden. Sow seeds early in the season. Then, cover the seeds lightly with fine garden soil.
For indoor starts sow seeds 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting them outdoors. Also, we recommend a heated germination mat, for faster, more successful germination.
Final Plant Spacing: Space seedlings, or thin plants to 18″ apart in rows 12 inches apart.
Days to Germination: 10 – 12 days.
Anise plants are easy to grow. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They will do well in average soils, and tolerate dry soil conditions.
Water the plants during dry periods, once or twice per week.
Also, add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice during the growing season.
Harvest flower heads after seeds have formed, and the flower head has died. Extract seeds and dry them in a cool, dry location.
Keep young plants well-weeded. Then, after they have grown several inches, apply a layer of mulch. This helps to retain soil moisture and gives the plant a neat and tidy appearance.
Established plants should do well with little maintenance.
Annual anise plants are killed by frost or freeze. Cover up spring seedlings if unusually cold weather is forecasted. Be prepared to cover up the plants in the Fall, to protect them from frost and extend the season a little while longer.
Ideal pH: 6.3 – 7.0