Star anise is a spice that is widely used in South East Asian dishes, so if you've ever had some type of curry, chances are, you've tasted star anise! The name comes from its obvious star appearance and smells and tastes a lot like black licorice. If you're a fan of exotic dishes, we definitely recommend growing your own star anise as it brings the most incredible aroma and taste to any dish! Today we'll be showing you to how grow star anise directly from seeds!
How to Grow Star Anise
Star anise grows best in USDA zones 8-11, but you can also try growing it indoors!
Planting Star Anise:
- Plant star anise seeds either indoors or directly outside (as long as outdoor temperature is at least 65-70F).
- Make sure soil is moist, and if planting in a pot, make sure the pot has good drainage.
- Add compost to the soil.
- Choose a warm, sunny location and never let your star anise plant outdoors if the temperature falls below 15C.
- If you live in a tropical climate, plant your star anise in partial shade – too much sun could burn the plant.
- Once planted, water regularly.
- Soil should be moist at all times.
- Add about 3 inches of compost to the soil.
Harvesting Star Anise
- Star anise takes about 6 years to grow from seed to harvest.
- If you're impatient, think about purchasing a more mature plant (6 years is a long time after all!)
- Pick the fruits (they're actually fruits, not seeds) once they are green.
- Once the green fruit are picked, sun dry them to get that reddish-brown color.
It may seem like an unusually long time for star anise to grow, but it is well worth it! The amazing flavor of star anise can take any dish to different heights!