The Agastache Kudos™ Series: Planting a Pollinator Paradise For Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin is a compact-growing plant, perfect for containers. Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin is a compact-growing plant, perfect for containers.

The Agastache Kudos™ Series: Planting a Pollinator Paradise For Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

 

By David Salman, High Country Gardens Chief Horticulturalist

My introduction of Agastache rupestris (Licorice Mint Hyssop) through the High Country Gardens catalog in 1996 was a milestone that caught the attention of gardeners, nurseries and plant breeders across the country. Its appeal has continued over the years and it’s now grown internationally in Europe and across North America. The popularity of Agastache rupestris eventually caught the attention of professional plant breeders, and over the past 10 to 15 years, there have been many new Agastache hybrids and seed-grown cultivars introduced to gardeners on both sides of the Atlantic.

Dan Heims, owner of Terra Nova Nursery in Portland, OR has been a visionary breeder of perennial plants, and is renowned for his groundbreaking breeding work with Heuchera (Coral Bells) and Tiarella (Foamflower).

About a decade ago, he became enamored with Agastache, and with his team of plant breeders, began work on the creation of new garden worthy hybrids. I’ve been very impressed with Terra Nova’s ‘Blue Boa’, a, tall, long-blooming lavender-purple flowered hybrid that we’ve offered through High Country Gardens since 2017.

So we decided to add some more of their hybrids to the High Country Gardens line-up, the Kudos™ series. The Terra Nova breeders had several primary goals on which they focused to breed the Kudos™ series.

Agastache Kudos™ plants have:

  • A compact and bushy form - much more compact than other Agastache
  • A range of bright and unusual flower colors.
  • Improved cold hardiness over a wider range of the US (especially wetter parts of the country).
  • Adapted well to growing in areas that have hot, humid summer weather.
Agastache Kudos™ AmbrosiaAgastache Kudos™ Ambrosia
Agastache Kudos™ Ambrosia

Agastache Kudos™ Ambrosia (PP#25,614) has multi-colored flowers on compact flower spikes.  The flowers are a mix of creamy coconut, pale orange, and light rose-pink.

Agastache Kudos™ GoldAgastache Kudos™ Gold
Agastache Kudos™ Gold

Agastache Kudos™ Gold (PP#26,410) is a rare yellow-blooming variety, with an abundance of showy golden-yellow flowers on compact flower spikes.

Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin
Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin

Agastache Kudos™ Mandarin (PP#25,381) is very showy, with eye-catching bright orange flowers on compact flower spikes.

Garden Care of Kudos™ and Other Agastache

  • Plant them in a well drained garden loam (avoid clay soils) in full sun. 
  • Leave the stems standing over the winter months and cut back hard in mid-spring to a height of 3 to 4 inches.  In early to mid-spring, there will be a tight mound of leaves at the top of the crown. Remove the old stems from the previous year just above the new foliage.
  • Don’t over-feed; a fall top dressing of compost and Yum Yum Mix is all they need to flourish. Too much high nitrogen fertilizers will shorten their lifespan and make the plants floppy.

Recommended Companion Plants for Kudos™ Agastache

The Kudos varieties are much more compact growers than many of the species and older selections in the trade. Thus they are good choices for the front and middle sections of the perennial border and fit nicely alongside other small to medium sized perennials.  They combine beautifully with ‘Select Blue’ Catmint (Nepeta) and ‘Walker’s Deep Blue’ Catmint (Nepeta), ‘Moonbeam’ Tickseed (Coreopsis), Gayfeather (Liatris) and ‘Ultra Violet’ Salvia (Sage).

Shop Agastache Plants

  1. Agastache Kudos™ Gold, Hummingbird Mint, Photo courtesy of TERRA NOVA® Nurseries, Inc.

    Agastache Kudos Gold (Hummingbird Mint or Hyssop) is compact-growing and extremely long-blooming with golden-yellow flowers on short, tidy flower spikes from late spring to September...

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    Kudos™ Gold Agastache Kudos™ Gold Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache Kudos™ Gold PP#26,410
    As low as $12.99 Sale $10.39
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache Kudos Gold (Hummingbird Mint or Hyssop) is compact-growing and extremely long-blooming with golden-yellow flowers on short, tidy flower spikes from late spring to September. The nectar-rich tubular-shaped flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds. Kudos Golds yellow flowers are an unusual color for the Agastache family.
  2. Desert Solstice Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop), Agastache Desert Solstice

    The flower spikes of Agastache Desert Solstice (Desert Solstice Hummingbird Mint) are remarkable for their fullness, large size, and exotic colorization. The plant is like a semi-dwa...

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    Desert Solstice Agastache Desert Solstice Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache Desert Solstice
    As low as $11.99 Sale $9.59
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    The flower spikes of Agastache Desert Solstice (Desert Solstice Hummingbird Mint) are remarkable for their fullness, large size, and exotic colorization. The plant is like a semi-dwarf form of our best selling 'Desert Sunrise' but with more flowers. A High Country Gardens introduction.
  3. Texas Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop), Agastache cana

    Texas Hummingbird mint is a very rare wildflower with aromatic, raspberry- pink flowers that cover the plant for several months in late summer. Highly attractive to hummingbirds....

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    Agastache cana Texas Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache cana
    As low as $10.99 Sale $8.79
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Texas Hummingbird mint is a very rare wildflower with aromatic, raspberry- pink flowers that cover the plant for several months in late summer. Highly attractive to hummingbirds.
  4. Desert Sunrise Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop), Agastache Desert Sunrise, Hybrid Hummingbird Mint

    Desert Sunrise Agastache is a hybrid native wildflower that blooms for months with tall spikes of orange and pink tubular flowers. The nectar-rich flowers are highly attractive to hu...

    Learn More
    Desert Sunrise Agastache Desert Sunrise Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache Desert Sunrise
    As low as $11.99 Sale $9.59
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Desert Sunrise Agastache is a hybrid native wildflower that blooms for months with tall spikes of orange and pink tubular flowers. The nectar-rich flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds. The plant has aromatic, mint-scented foliage and flowers.

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