How to Grow and Care Agastache Easily

In the how to grow and care Agastache guide, discover the fascinating world of this highly productive herbaceous perennial. Despite its challenging pronunciation (“ah-GAH-stuh-kee”), Agastache boasts over 22 distinct species, each celebrated for its remarkable ability to attract pollinators. Among these species, you’ll encounter varieties with familiar and descriptive names like anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), licorice mint (Agastache rupestris), and hummingbird mint (Agastache cana).

In the how to grow and care Agastache guide, explore the captivating world of this herbaceous perennial. Derived from Greek, the term “agastache” symbolizes an abundant ear of grain, paying homage to its profusion of flower spikes. Beyond its value as a beneficial garden plant, agastache showcases remarkable beauty, showcasing a vivid spectrum of colors, including pale pink, deep purple, blue, red, orange, and white. Moreover, it releases a delightful minty and herbal fragrance, making it a sensory delight. Additionally, agastache can be dried to craft a delightful herbal tea, adding versatility to its many attributes.

While primarily native to a significant portion of North America, agastache also traces its origins to Asia and South America. How to grow and care for agastache, the most commonly cultivated variety is hummingbird mint (Agastache cana). It originates from the southwestern United States and Mexico and thrives in xeriscape gardens due to its ability to endure the intense heat and drought of arid climates.

If you want to know how to grow and care agastache in your particular environment, it’s worthwhile to explore the various types available. Some agastache species exhibit greater tolerance towards temperate growing conditions. By understanding their specific requirements, you can determine which agastache variety would best suit your needs.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

Agastache possesses natural defenses against deer and rabbits, making it resistant to their browsing. Additionally, how to grow and care agastache: it serves as an irresistible magnet for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, attracting these vital pollinators to your garden. With its relatively lengthy blooming period, agastache provides a vivid display of color for several weeks during the summer season. This perennial plant is closely related to catmint, another flowering perennial known for its ability to attract pollinators and support their populations.

Botanical Name:
 Agastache rupestris, Agastache foeniculum, etc

Common Name:  Giant hyssop, hummingbird mint, licorice mint

Plant Type:  Herbaceous perennial

Mature Size:  3 to 5 ft. tall

Sun Exposure:  Full sun

Soil Type:  Lean soil, well-drained

Soil pH:  Slightly acidic

Bloom Time: Summer

Flower Color:  Various (blue,purple, red, orange, pink, white)

Hardiness Zones:  3 to 10 (USDA) (depends on variety)

Native Areas:  North America, Asia, South America

How to Grow and Care Agastache

Agastache Care

Similar to numerous perennials found in cottage gardens, agastache exhibits a remarkable ability to grow abundantly and reliably provide seasonal bursts of color and delightful fragrance. However, due to its origins in desert environments, agastache does not thrive in excessively rich or fertile soils, which are often characteristic of traditional cottage gardens. As a result, incorporating agastache into a cottage garden necessitates creating a separate section specifically tailored to its unique growing requirements. In this designated area, agastache can be planted alongside other plants that thrive in lean soil conditions, such as sedum, bearded irises, Russian sage, and black-eyed susan. By regularly trimming back spent flower spikes, the plant can be encouraged to produce more blooms and experience increased growth throughout the blooming season.


When selecting a location to plant agastache, it is essential to consider its preference for full sun exposure. This resilient perennial thrives in areas that receive ample sunlight and can readily withstand the intensity of the hottest sun during the day. Therefore, it is crucial to keep this requirement in mind when determining the ideal placement for agastache in your garden or landscape.


For optimal growth, agastache, a plant native to desert regions, thrives in soils that are lean and possess low levels of nutrients. If you have loamy soils with higher nutrient content, it can be beneficial to enhance their suitability for growing agastache by incorporating a small amount of sand. The addition of sand helps to improve soil drainage and create a leaner soil composition, more closely resembling the preferred growing conditions for agastache. By making this adjustment, you can create an environment that promotes the healthy development of agastache in your garden or landscape.

How to Grow and Care Agastache


While agastache appreciates thorough watering, it is important to note that consistently moist conditions are not suitable for this plant. Instead, watering practices should mirror the natural conditions found in desert environments. Ideally, agastache benefits from periodic heavy watering, simulating the occasional bursts of rain commonly experienced in arid regions. Following this, it is essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings, imitating the subsequent days of intense sun. By adhering to this watering routine, you can provide the optimal moisture levels for agastache, promoting its healthy growth and ensuring its adaptation to desert-like conditions.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

Climate and Moisture Levels

Agastache exhibits a remarkable ability to withstand high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for areas exposed to intense afternoon sun. However, it is crucial to note that this plant is not well-suited to humid conditions. Persistent moisture can have detrimental effects on agastache, leading to root rot and yellowing of the leaves. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid planting agastache in consistently moist spots. In particular, caution should be exercised in regions with high humidity levels.

During the winter months, it is essential to ensure that the roots of agastache remain dry, especially in USDA zones 5 or 6. To prevent root rot caused by slow thawing of frozen soil in spring, it can be beneficial to create a protective barrier around the base of the plant using gravel or similar materials. This barrier acts as a sort of mulch, helping to keep the roots dry and safeguarding the plant’s overall health during the colder months. By implementing these measures, you can create an environment that supports the successful growth and well-being of agastache.


Agastache does not require additional fertilizer, as it is naturally adapted to thrive in lean soils. However, to ensure its continued health and vigor, applying a top dressing of compost in the autumn season can be beneficial. This practice involves spreading a layer of compost over the soil surface surrounding the agastache plant. The compost gradually releases nutrients into the soil, providing a gentle boost to the plant’s overall health and vitality. By incorporating this simple maintenance step, you can support the long-term well-being of agastache without the need for excessive or synthetic fertilizers.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

Types of Agastache

‘Blue Fortune’ is an enchanting European hybrid featuring gentle periwinkle blue flowers. This particular variety showcases excellent resilience to rainfall and exhibits remarkable cold hardiness, suitable for USDA zones 4 to 10.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

‘Licorice Mint Hyssop’ is a robust and sturdy variety characterized by soft orange-colored flowers beautifully complemented by dusty purple calyxes, creating a unique and stunning color combination. Its fragrance blends the delightful notes of licorice and mint, offering a sensory feast. This variety is also known as “threadleaf giant hyssop.”

How to Grow and Care Agastache

‘Agastache Cana’ flourishes with profuse soft rose pink blooms, making it a captivating addition to any garden. With a suitable range of USDA zones 5 to 10, it thrives in containers and boasts an extended blooming period, gracing the landscape from early summer to late autumn.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

‘Agastache Firebird’ stands out as a vibrant burst of color, featuring striking grey-green leaves and coppery orange flowers that irresistibly attract hummingbirds, adding liveliness to any outdoor space.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

‘Agastache Honey Bee Blue’ represents a classic variety with its softly bushy flower spikes adorned in pale lavender blue. The slightly larger bluish-green leaves enhance its overall appeal, making it an attractive choice for gardens.

How to Grow and Care Agastache

Propagating Agastache

When propagating agastache from cuttings, begin by using pruning shears to carefully remove 6 to 8 inch pieces of green stems during late summer or fall. Strip off the lower leaves from the stems and lightly scrape the exposed portion using a sharp knife. Next, dip the scraped part of the stem into a rooting hormone and place the stems into a small pot filled with a sterile mix of perlite and sand. Water the cuttings gently and cover them with a large plastic bag or a humidity dome to create a moist environment. After 2 to 3 weeks, check for root growth by gently tugging on the stem. Throughout the process, ensure that the soil remains slightly moist. Once new leaves begin to sprout, you can remove the cover.

Grow from Seeds

Once agastache is established in the garden, it tends to spread vigorously. To control its growth or propagate new plants, dividing the existing clumps can be done on an annual basis or as needed.

When it comes to growing agastache from seeds, it’s important to note that they require a period of cold stratification to germinate successfully. The recommended approach is to directly sow the seeds in the garden during the fall season, exposing them to the cold temperatures of winter.

To sow the seeds, gently press them into the loosened soil surface. In the fall, it is advisable to moisten the seeds every few days, providing sufficient moisture for germination, especially if your region experiences winter snow. The moisture from the snow will help the seeds imbibe the water they need to sprout when spring arrives.

However, if your winters are dry and devoid of snow, occasional light watering of the seeds is recommended. This will aid in their germination when the temperatures start to warm up in spring. By following these guidelines, you can promote successful seed germination and establish new agastache plants in your garden.

How to Grow and Care Agastache