How To Grow And Care Agastache Plant

Table of Contents

Agastache is tricky to pronounce, but it remains an herbaceous perennial plant that is well-loved in any garden to lure pollinators. Still, the common ones with more than 22 species are Agastache foeniculum, Agastache rupestrist, and Agastache cana. The Agastache flowers display colorful flower spikes, adding energy to the landscaping.

More About Growing Agastache Plant

The Agastache is a tough plant, but you would not think that with one glance looking at the graceful flower spikes with scented leaves. The Agastache is a short-lived perennial plant lasting up to three years in colder climates.

When planting Agastache, it self-sows and will keep popping up for years in the garden. Still, in warmer climates like in the USDA, hardiness zones 5 to 9 grow outdoors, and you can find some hardiness to grow in zone 4.

The Agastache goes by many names, from hyssop, giant hyssop, anise hyssop, and hummingbird mint. Yet the plant Agastache is different from the Hyssopus officinalis (also a hyssop) and the Pimpinella anisum (anise).

But they all belong to the same mint family and are native to North America. You find them in different colors, from purple and orange to red. The Agastache grows up to four feet tall, but you can find compact cultivars growing a foot tall.

You see the colorful blooms from early summer through to fall. The leaves are green-blue with a sweet anise smell and a hint of mint. The best part is all the varieties you can eat.

Agastache Plant Care

Growing Agastache does not need fertile soils to provide you with a display of blue flowers. The anise-flavored leaves will be a welcome smell year-round. Still, it helps to research the species you have as some are suitable for a xeriscape garden with heat and drought. While others can grow in cooler climates.

Well-Drained Soil For Plant Agastache

potting mix

When it comes to Agastache care and soil, it does not need fertile soils to grow. You can grow Agastache in lean soil with a low level of nutrients. You can add some sand to your loamy soil to improve it for growing.

The important thing is that Agastache grows in well-drained soil. So whether you grow it indoors or outside, ensure that the soil drains well.

Lighting Needs For The Agastache Flower

Agastache@flickr

Depending on where you live, the Agastache flower grows well in raised beds in warm climates in the full sun. It can tolerate desert climates, but it helps to provide especially afternoon shade to prevent foliage burning. Most outdoor plants in the species thrive in arid climates and are sure to attract hummingbirds to your garden. These plants are, to some extent, drought tolerant.

Watering The Agastache Family

The Agastache loves deep watering with moist soil but must not remain wet the whole time. Hence, you can water deeply and leave the soil to dry between your watering. Too much water will result in root ball rot, killing your indoor plant. You may need to water more in the hot sun to keep those tubular flowers looking great.

For indoor plants, we recommend investing in a moisture meter.

Temperature and Humidity

Agastache

Compared to most other outdoor plants, Agastache thrives in high temperatures and can flourish in spots with afternoon sun. However high humidity is not suitable for this plant as it will remain moist, and the leaves will turn yellow.

During cold seasons the plant needs winter guard as the roots need to remain dry. For this reason, you can add gravel around the plant base or a mulch barrier to prevent the roots from freezing.

Fertilizer For Agastache Plants

Your plant does not need added feeding, but you can provide it with well-rotted manure, organic matter, or pine needles in the fall to provide it with winter protection. Doing this will help with new growth in spring.

Even if your plant is cold-hardy, we still recommend providing your plant with mulch protection at the base to prevent root rot.

Propagating Agastache

Using crown division, cuttings, or seed heads, you can propagate your plant in mid-spring or fall.

Agastache seeds

Planting seeds is a straightforward and cost-effective way to grow these lovely herbaceous perennials. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to plant Agastache seeds:

Steps for Planting Seeds:

  1. Agastache seeds can be planted in the spring or early summer. Ensure the last frost date has passed in your area before sowing the seeds.

  2. Fill seed trays or small pots with a good-quality seed starting mix. This mix provides a loose, well-draining medium for seed germination.

  3. Scatter the seeds evenly over the surface of the seed starting mix. You can lightly press them into the soil, but don’t bury them deeply; they need light to germinate.

  4. Water the soil gently but thoroughly using a watering can or a spray bottle. Ensure that the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Keep the soil moist at all times.

  5. To create a humid environment for the seeds, you can cover the seed trays or pots with clear plastic wrap or a clear plastic cover. This helps maintain humidity around the seeds and promotes germination.

  6. The seeds require light to germinate. Place the seed trays or pots in a bright location with indirect sunlight, or use grow lights to provide adequate illumination.

  7. Ensure that the temperature is consistently warm, ideally around 70°F to 75°F (21°C to 24°C), to encourage germination. A seed heating mat can help maintain the desired temperature.

  8. Check the soil moisture regularly. It’s essential to keep it moist but not soggy during germination.

Agastache seeds typically germinate in 2 to 4 weeks, though it can vary. You can remove the plastic cover once you see seedlings with their first true leaves.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, usually with a few sets of true leaves, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into your garden.

Space them according to the specific variety’s recommended spacing. If transplanting outdoors, choose a sunny location with well-draining soil.

Ensure that the outdoor soil has been adequately prepared with compost or organic matter to provide nutrients.

Harden off the seedlings by slowly exposing them to outdoor conditions for about a week before planting them in the garden.

Growing Agastache from cuttings

  1. Choose a mature and healthy Agastache plant that you want to propagate from. It’s best to take cuttings in early spring or summer during the growing season.

  2. Using clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors, take stem cuttings that are 3 to 5 inches long. Make the cuts just below a node (the point where leaves are attached) to ensure you have a portion of the stem with growth potential.

  3. Remove the lower leaves from each cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top. This helps reduce moisture loss and encourages root development.

  4. You can dip the cut end of each stem into rooting hormone powder to promote root growth. While this is optional, it can improve the chances of successful propagation.

  5. Fill small pots or seed trays with well-draining potting mix. Make holes in the soil with a pencil or stick to insert the cuttings.

  6. Place the stem cuttings in the holes, pressing the soil gently around them to ensure good contact.

  7. Water the cuttings thoroughly after planting. The soil should be consistently moist but not soggy.

  8. To create a humid environment that encourages root development, you can cover the pots or trays with clear plastic bags or wraps. This helps trap moisture. Make sure the plastic doesn’t touch the leaves.

  9. Place the pots or trays in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can be too intense for the newly propagated cuttings.

  10. Check the cuttings regularly for signs of root growth, which may take weeks to months. You can gently tug on the cuttings to feel for resistance, indicating that roots are forming.

  11. Keep the soil consistently moist and maintain a humid environment by misting inside the plastic cover if needed.

Once the cuttings have developed strong and well-established roots, you can transplant them into larger pots or your garden.

Agastache Varieties

When looking to brighten up the garden, you have a wide selection of Agastache varieties available:

Blue Fortune

blue fortune

The Blue Fortune is a European hybrid that blooms soft periwinkle blue flower spikes. The variety can take a bit more rainfall and is cold-cardy in the USDA zones 4 to 10.

Licorice Mint Hyssop

Licorice Mint Hyssop

It is another hardy variety that blooms orange-colored flowers with a dusty purple calyx. The combination is unusual but gorgeous. You get a combined fragrance of mint and licorice that is a feast for your senses.

Many gardeners refer to it as the threadleaf giant hyssop.

Agastache Cana

Agastache Cana

The drought-tolerant perennial plants display a soft rose pink flower. It grows well in containers and has a long blooming period from summer to late fall.

Agastache Firebird

Hyssop

The plant colorful, from the green-gray foliage to the coppery orange flowers.

Agastache Diseases and Pests

From the Agastache seedlings to mature plants are relatively pest free, making them great to have in the garden. The Agastache deer-resistant plant only needs good air circulation, and best not to wet the plant crown as it can lead to fungal diseases.

Furthermore, ensure that the surrounding soil is free of debris, and if needed, add some sand or a soil amendment to improve the drainage to prevent root rot.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best time to collect the vegetation from your Agastache is in the morning, from spring to late summer. The best is to wait until the plant grows bunches of leaves before harvesting for the first time. Then, you can dry the leaves and flowers as they last for months.

The plant works well in pollinator gardens, butterfly gardens, naturalized areas to wildflower meadows. Grown in full sun, it provides food and nectar for the local wildlife. The anise hyssop also grows well in a container garden for flower arrangements.

The plant is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, and people use the Agastache rugosa to treat fever, headaches, digestive issues, cancer, and more.

Anise Hyssop, or Hummingbird Mint, is often considered deer-resistant. While no plant can be guaranteed to be entirely deer-proof, Agastache has characteristics that make it less appealing to deer, from the fragrance, texture, and taste.

Whether or not you overwinter Agastache plants depends on your local climate, the specific Agastache variety, and your gardening preferences. Agastache is generally considered hardy and can survive winter in many regions.

Agastache typically blooms in the summer, from late spring to early fall, depending on the specific variety and local climate.

Some varieties of Agastache are invasive as they self-seed freely, but you can easily pull out the seedlings. Alternatively, remove the spent flower spikes before it drops the seed.

The agastache flower, also known as hummingbird mint or hyssop, comes in a flower color ranging from pink, purple, and orange. They have a sweet, minty fragrance and are often used in teas and as a culinary herb.

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