Anise Hyssop/Hummingbird Mint
Sometimes it's hard to be thankful for the relentless heat we get in July and August in the Rogue Valley but having an Agastache in your garden will help you appreciate it. This late blooming perennial thrives in our heat and drought. The hyssops attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with their tubular flowers. Agastache thrive in well draining soil and can even handle gritty or nutrient poor soil. The key is getting them through our wet winters- so plant them high, add gravel or grit to the hole, and mulch with a 1/4" gravel to keep moisture from the crown. The other imperative is to not prune it back until spring when you see new growth emerging from the base. The woody stems will help it survive the rainy winter; it is usually too much water, not cold, that will do them in. Placing them in full sun, even in the winter months will also help. A deep soak every couple of weeks will get them through the summer months but once mine are established I don't water them all summer. Another bonus is their licorice, spicy scent usually repels deer. They pair great with ornamental grasses or wide leaf perennials like Euphorbia and complement the Mediterranean plants like Rosemary and Lavender.
There are many hybrids coming out all the time, in vibrant oranges, pinks, yellows, magentas, and purples, but the sunset tones are my favorite. They can vary in height but are usually at least 18"-36" tall and wide. Check out the nursery for the latest finds.
Some of our favorites of the moment:
Agastache rupestris - lovely peachy orange tones with fine, spicy/licorice scented foliage, one of the most reliable and cold hardy
Agastache 'Tutti Frutti'- tall, pink blooms and larger leaves. Can get 3-5' tall
Agastache foeniculum- Anise Hyssop- a taller, upright species with larger green leaves and spikes of purple flowers heavily scented like Anise or Licorice. Edible leaves and flowers, in the herb family.
Agastache 'Summer Fiesta'- orange-red blooms on 28" tall stems, this one will rebloom into fall
Agastache 'Blue Boa'- this is a big one! A tall, showy variety that can get 2-3' tall with striking purple flowers.