mints like the compact Little Adder bring in
pollinators like bees, butterflies and
mints, also called anise hyssops, are among my favorite
perennials. In fact they are must have plants in my
garden for their non-stop blooming ability and a
penchant for bringing in pollinators like few other
plants. So when Little Adder made its debut as a compact
powerhouse version I was eager to give it a try.
mints like Blue Fortune, Blue Boa and Black Adder can
easily reach 36 inches and maybe more. The thought of an
18-inch tall version was most appealing as I was already
mentally combining it with Bandana Cherry Sunrise
lantana, or yellow blooming asclepias. If it did what I
was hoping it would make the ultimate partner with
Golden Lace Patrinia and Little Red Joe Pye Weed. But
would it bloom and would it bring in pollinators like
its larger cousins.
answers to all of my questions, yes and superbly yes.
The plants stay compact, but they get wider, and somehow
they magically keep on producing spikes of blue violet
flowers. Some catalogs feature photos with an almost
purple bloom but mine are showing more-blue with touches
of lavender. The bees were hitting on it as the first
blooms began to open.
Blue Fortune and Black Adder are hybrids of the U.S.
native Agastache foeniculum and Korean Agastache rugosa.
Little Adder is different in that it is straight
Agastache rugosa. It is recommended from zones 3A to 8B
which means a huge region of the country can garner the
green thumb with this plant all the while relishing in
the fact that they are planting one of the best plants
in the market for pollinators. You will notice that
despite their diminutive nature they still bring in bees
butterflies and hummingbirds.
of my region is overrun by marauding deer laying waste
to almost any flower in their path. You will be happy to
know that hummingbird mints like Little Adder are not on
the menu. To grow yours select a site in full sun for
best blooming and to keep the plants 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 20 to 24 inches apart.
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 or hummingbird mints 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. Little Adder seems to appreciate a little
deadheading every now and then.
long hot summer lies ahead and there are very few plants
that will bloom all summer until frost in the fall;
compact Little Adder is one that will giving you great
value for your garden dollar. Oh yes and it will return
next year too!