by David Salman

A How-to Guide for Adding Agastache to your Garden

Xeriscape Agastache Companions

(Hummingbird Mint or Hyssop)

Agastache 'Desert Solstice' Agastache 'Desert Solstice'
Customer Photo: L. Jones
The Agastache are a showy, fragrant group of perennial herbs. The greatest concentration of Agastache species is found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, with the remaining species found scattered across the U.S., Europe and Asia. All of them have nectar rich flowers. The orange and pink-flowered Agastache are highly attractive to hummingbirds, while the blue-flowered Agastache are a favorite of butterflies and bees. If you grow lavender and penstemon successfully, you will enjoy growing Agastache as well. Planting The Agastache needs 'lean,' well-drained soils and they prefer gravel mulches and appreciate deep but infrequent watering after their second growing season. Maintenance To improve winter-hardiness, and encourage re-seeding, leave the stems intact over the winter. In mid-spring, remove old stems just above the new foliage, about 4 or 5 inches above ground level. Fertilize the Agastache once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II. Non-western Regions In zones 5 and 6, or areas of the country with cold, wet winters, plant on sunny south or west-facing slopes or in raised beds. The soil needs to be sandy, infertile and fast-draining. The plant's crown should be planted high and then mulched with crushed gravel to keep it drier during cold, wet weather. 'Blue Fortune' and Korean hyssop are best varieties for higher rainfall areas east of Mississippi. © All articles are copyrighted by High Country Gardens. Republication is prohibited without permission.