Boa agastache is among the tallest of the
hummingbird mints, reaching 4 feet, and proves to
be a delight to this visiting bumblebee.
agastache comes with a lot of common names like anise
hyssop, giant hyssop and hummingbird mint, but, I assure
you, "outstanding," will be one of your
adjectives if you grow it. About a year ago I wrote
about Black Adder which was and still is dazzling in our
garden. It became the perfect backdrop in our daylily
garden, helping show off all other colors.
also had planted several Blue Fortune at the Coastal
Georgia Botanical Gardens, and as anticipated they sent
up spikes of lavender blue flowers from late spring
until frost bringing in bees and butterflies like few
other plants. They had no trouble reaching 36 inches in
height creating excitement in the garden by virtue of
their spiky texture.
Blue Fortune and Black Adder are hybrids of the U.S.
native Agastache foeniculum and Korean Agastache rugosa.
This cross has given us perennials of participation. You
will want to visit them often, even get a chair and
stake out a position to watch and enjoy. The pollinator
activity will amaze you, and for those of you who
consider yourself to be a culinary artist, these are
plants that will thrill with flavor.
have become addicting for many horticulturists, and I
admit to the affliction. So this year we added two more
selections to our gardens and already they are living up
to expectation. One is Blue Boa that won the ‘Too Good
to Be True Award’ at Colorado State University
perennial trials. It was also a winner in North Carolina
State University. Blue Boa is an unknown cross but
absolutely stunning with deep violet blue flowers and
dark green foliage. The larger flowers also attract
hummingbirds and have a tantalizing fragrance. It is
expected to be taller, topping out close to 4 feet.
last one we planted is Agastache Violet Vision. This one
is a unique cross with the Korean, A. rugosa and A.
cusickii that is native to the western United States. It
won best of Penn State Trials and features lush violet
flowers on a more compact plant, all the while serving
as a magnet for bees and butterflies.
addition to those partnered with daylilies we have the
other combined with golden milkweeds, lantanas,
mistflowers and salvias. In other words if there is a
bee or butterfly within a mile we want them making a
home at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Then we
want you to visit with your camera.
grow yours, select a site in full sun for best blooming
and to keep the plants compact and better branched. The
soil should be fertile and well drained. Wet feet will
spell doom for the anise hyssop during the winter, so
incorporate organic matter to loosen the soil or plant
on raised beds. You will want to space plants 18 to 24
the plant is drought tolerant, watering during prolonged
dry periods will pay dividends with added flower
production. If you have an established clump, feed with
spring growth using a light application of a
slow-release fertilizer. Another application in
mid-summer will keep the plants at peak for the fall.
of the agastaches respond well to any cutting back, so
feel free to do so if the plants begin to look a little
leggy or you simply wish they were bushier. It’s
funny, the branches I cut or prune always go unnoticed
by others. In other words the plant still looks great.
anise hyssops or hummingbird mints are a great choice
for cottage gardens, herb gardens and the butterfly
garden or backyard wildlife habitat. Despite being such
persevering beautiful perennials, they are still not the
staple they need to be at garden centers. This year,
however, has been much better and well worth the search.