How To Grow Anise

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Anise

Growing Anise

Anise is an aromatic plant and culinary herb that is used in many cultures around the world. Its seeds are used to flavor food and drinks, such as liqueurs and confectioneries, as well as for medicinal purposes. Anise also has many beneficial properties for human health, such as easing digestion and relieving symptoms of the common cold.

Cheatsheet: Growing Anise


✔️ Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost.✔️ Transplant seedlings outdoors after danger of frost.✔️ Plant in well-drained soil and full sun.✔️ Space plants 12-18 inches apart.


✔️ Water regularly to keep soil moist but not waterlogged.✔️ Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.✔️ Fertilize every 4-6 weeks with balanced organic fertilizer.✔️ Prune to encourage bushiness and increase airflow.


✔️ Harvest anise seeds when dry and brown.✔️ Hang seed heads upside down in a well-ventilated area to dry completely.✔️ Store in airtight containers away from light and heat.✔️ Use seeds in cooking, baking, and herbal remedies.

🌱 Anise grows best in zones 4-9.

⏳ Seeds germinate in 10-14 days.

🚀 Anise has been cultivated for over 4,000 years.

💪 Rich in iron, calcium, and antioxidants.

🔮 Anise tea promotes digestion and reduces bloating.


Anise is an aromatic herb from the Apiaceae family and is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. The anise flower is usually an off-white, white, or pale blue color, and the leaves have a delicate, licorice-like flavor. In many cultures, anise has been used for centuries both as a medicinal herb and as a kitchen spice, and its popularity is still growing. Growing anise is a relatively easy task and can be done in both small gardens and large, more expansive landscapes.

Getting Started

The first step to growing anise is to select the right spot in the garden or landscape where it will receive full sun. Anise will also grow in partial shade, but it does best in full sun and well drained soil. Anise is a relatively drought tolerant plant, and it prefers soil that is both sandy and free draining. It’s best to start the anise planting in late April or early May, when the soil is warmer and the days are longer.

Sourcing Quality Seeds

When sourcing your anise seeds, it’s important to purchase them from quality sources in order to maximize the chances of a successful crop. Look for seeds from reputable companies that specialize in herb, vegetable, and flower seeds. If possible, buy organic or untreated seeds, as treated or synthetic seeds can be more difficult for the plant to germinate. If buying online, read reviews from other users and find out where the seed provider is located.

Preparing The Soil

Once you have selected an area of the garden and sourced quality seeds, it’s time to prepare the soil. Anise prefers well drained soil, so try to spread a layer of compost or aged manure at least 2” deep over the surface of the soil. Water the soil, and then prepare a shallow trench or row for the anise seeds. Space the seeds 1” apart, with a depth of ¼”.

Planting The Anise Seeds

Once the trench is prepared, spread the seeds over the surface of the soil and lightly press them in to ensure they make good contact with the soil. Gently water the newly planted seeds and be careful not to disturb the delicate seedlings.

Providing Optimal Care

Once the anise seeds are planted, they should be given optimal care to ensure maximum growth and a successful crop. The soil should always be kept moist, and weeds should be removed as needed. Anise is a relatively low maintenance plant, and it does not need to be fertilized. However, providing a light layer of compost or aged manure every spring can be beneficial. Anise should be harvested when it is fully ripe – usually when the leaves turn brown, or when the small flowers start to open.

Pests And Diseases

Anise is relatively hardy and resistant to most pests and diseases, but it is still important to keep an eye out for signs of any potential problems. Aphids, caterpillars, and spider mites may feed on anise leaves, but they can be deterred with regular applications of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Anise is also susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases, so it’s important to water the plants at their base and avoid wetting the leaves.

Harvesting And Drying Anise

Once anise is mature, it should be harvested and dried as soon as possible. Cut anise stems at the base and spread the herb over a clean surface. Make sure that the anise is not overcrowded, and leave a few inches of space between individual stems. Leave the anise to dry in a warm, dark, and well ventilated area until it is crisp and brittle.

Storing Anise

Once the anise has been fully dried, it should be stored properly to maintain flavor and shelf life. Store anise in a an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic bag, and keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Anise may last for up to a year if stored in this manner.

Using Anise

Anise can be used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes, such as flavoring baked goods, making anise tea, and soothing digestive ailments. Anise can also be used as an ornamental plant, as its delicate flowers are attractive in the garden. Anise is an easy-to-grow herb that can be planted in both small and large gardens, making it a great addition to any landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential tips for growing anise?

Plant in well-drained soil, provide full sun, and water regularly.

When is the best time to plant anise?

The ideal time to plant anise is in early spring after the last frost.

How often should I water my anise plants?

Water anise plants regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Can anise be grown in containers?

Yes, anise can be grown in containers as long as there is sufficient space for the roots to grow.

How long does it take for anise to germinate?

Anise typically germinates within 14 to 21 days.

Do I need to fertilize my anise plants?

While anise is not a heavy feeder, applying a balanced fertilizer once a month can promote healthy growth.

How do I harvest anise seeds?

Harvest anise seeds by cutting the seed heads when they turn brown and dry, then hang them upside down to dry completely.

How should anise seeds be stored?

Store anise seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Anise is a great herb to grow in any garden, as it is both flavorful and useful. It can be used to enhance the flavors of traditional dishes as well as desserts, and its essential oils can be used medicinally to help with digestive and respiratory issues. Anise is also an attractive plant, with beautiful white flowers that attract pollinators to the garden. growing anise is easy, it is both drought- and cold-tolerant, and its harvesting and storage are simple and convenient.

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