Desert Solstice Agastache, Russian Sage, and LavenderDesert Solstice Agastache, Russian Sage, and Lavender

How To Plant & Grow Agastache

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, so they are very successfully grown in a high desert climate. The remaining species found scattered across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Also called Hyssop or Hummingbird Mint, all Agastache 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. The important thing to remember about successfully growing the Hummingbirds Mints is “tough love.”

Watch: How To Plant Agastache

Planting 

The key to growing the Agastache (Hummingbird Mints) is to find a hot, sunny planting site with quick-draining soil of low fertility. Agastache needs 'lean,' well-drained soils. Clay and rich, water-retentive loamy soils are a poor match for these plants. Agastache will act like annuals when grown in rich, fertile soils with too much water and fertilizer. They’ll grow and flower lushly, but are most likely to perish over the winter.

Mulching is only necessary in arid climates. Use crushed gravel at a depth of 1 to 2 inches.

Agastache appreciate deep but infrequent watering after their second growing season. 

Learn More: How To Create Well-Drained Soil

Fall Care & Maintenance 

It is essential that you not cut back hummingbird mints in the fall. To improve winter-hardiness and encourage re-seeding, leave the stems intact over the winter. Nutrients from the stems help to feed the crown and fortify it against winter cold.

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.

Wait until mid-spring in your area (a month or so before last frost) to cut them back. In mid-spring, remove old stems just above the new foliage, about 4 or 5 inches above ground level. 

 

Growing Agastache In 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 the best varieties for higher rainfall areas east of Mississippi. Learn more about choosing the right Agastache varieties for your garden in our article: All About Agastache.

 

Shop Agastache

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    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...

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    FlowerKisser® Arizona Snow Agastache (Agastache urticifolia 'Alba') is a pure white flowered form of mountain hyssop, selected for its exceptional cold hardiness and nectar-rich flo...

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    FlowerKisser® Arizona Snow Agastache (Agastache urticifolia 'Alba') is a pure white flowered form of mountain hyssop, selected for its exceptional cold hardiness and nectar-rich flowers. Stunning flowers and fragrant foliage make this a must-have addition to attract native bees and butterflies. Its very upright growth habit make it a wonderful choice for the perennial border. Deer and rabbit resistant. A 2020 High Country Gardens Introduction.
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    Agastache Glowing Embers is a fantastic selection of Licorice Mint Hyssop (Hummingbird Mint) with fragrant foliage and glowing orange-red tubular flowers that are a favorite with hummingbirds. Plant in containers to enjoy this plant in the eastern U.S. Exclusive. 24-26" tall x 24-28" wide.
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    Blue Blazes is a large growing hybrid hummingbird mint with lavender-purple flower spikes. Very long blooming, its flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees making it an essential perennial for pollinators.
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