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. Poquito™ Lavender Agastache, Garden Image

    Agastache hybrid ‚Poquito™ Lavender‚ PP#30,530 (Dwarf Hummingbird Mint) is prized for its compact bushy growth, long season of bloom, large flowers, and tolerance to he...

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    Poquito™ Lavender Agastache Poquito™ Lavender Hummingbird Mint Agastache 'TNAGAPL' PP#30,530
    $12.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache hybrid 'Poquito™ Lavender' PP#30,530 (Dwarf Hummingbird Mint) is prized for its compact bushy growth, long season of bloom, large flowers, and tolerance to heat and drought. Densely packed, bright lavender-pink flower spikes bloom from summer to mid-fall, attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators. A true garden work horse, it provides color, cut flowers, and sweet minty fragrance. One of the most compact Agastache plants available, it is the perfect fit for small space gardens, containers, and sidewalk gardens – a whole new way to enjoy this favorite waterwise perennial.
  2. Poquito™ Butter Yellow Agastache, Hummingbird Mint

    Agastache hybrid ‚Poquito™ Butter Yellow‚ PP#30,403 (Hummingbird Mint) is an award-winning dwarf Hummingbird Mint prized for its compact bushy growth, long season of bl...

    Learn More
    Poquito™ Butter Yellow Agastache Poquito™ Butter Yellow Hummingbird Mint Agastache 'TNAGAPBY' PP#30,403
    $12.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache hybrid 'Poquito™ Butter Yellow' PP#30,403 (Hummingbird Mint) is an award-winning dwarf Hummingbird Mint prized for its compact bushy growth, long season of bloom, large flowers, and tolerance to heat and drought. Like golden sparklers, it brightens the garden all season long with sunny yellow flowers. One of the most compact Agastache plants available, it is the perfect fit for small space gardens, containers, and sidewalk gardens. Enjoy the hummingbirds and other pollinators as they flock to the densely packed flowers.
  3. Kudos™ Silver Blue Agastache, Hummingbird Mint

    Agastache hybrid ‚Kudos™ Silver Blue‚ PP#25,344 (Dwarf Hummingbird Mint) blooms non-stop from late spring to fall with blue blooms. Fragrant foliage and a compact form ...

    Learn More
    Kudos™ Silver Blue Agastache Kudos™ Silver Blue Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache Kudos™ 'Silver Blue' PP#25,344
    $12.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache hybrid 'Kudos™ Silver Blue' PP#25,344 (Dwarf Hummingbird Mint) blooms non-stop from late spring to fall with blue blooms. Fragrant foliage and a compact form are perfect for a sidewalk garden, containers, or small gardens.
  4. Pink and Orange and Silver Agastache rupestris, Agastache rupestris, Licorice Mint or Sunset Hyssop

    Agastache rupestris (Licorice Mint Hyssop) is one of the best, most durable species in the Agastache family. With smoky orange flowers held by lavender calyxes, the entire plant is s...

    Learn More
    Agastache rupestris Licorice Hummingbird Mint (Sunset Hyssop) Agastache rupestris
    As low as $13.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache rupestris (Licorice Mint Hyssop) is one of the best, most durable species in the Agastache family. With smoky orange flowers held by lavender calyxes, the entire plant is scented like licorice and mint. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric). A 1996 High Country Gardens introduction. 2023 Plant Of The Year.

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