Agastache (Hyssop)

Fragrant and colorful—just ask the pollinators

Agastache plant, or hyssop, has been grown by gardeners for centuries as a medicinal plant. However, the newer varieties have earned a place in the perennial garden as well. The original hyssop plant for sale was quite large and somewhat messy. It also was susceptible to powdery mildew. The newer varieties of agastache plant are more compact with the flowers held above the foliage for maximum impact. Originally, the plant flower was limited to a purple flower, but today there are varieties that bloom in bright purple, coral, pink and rose. The flowers are tubular in shape and grow along the flower-filled stem.

It’s that flower-filled stem that has earned this plant its other common name: hummingbird mint. Hummingbirds love this plant, and they help fill the garden with a minty fresh scent you can enjoy any time of day. Best of all, if you love pollinators, not only are hummingbirds attracted to this plant, the bees and the butterflies will want their share, too. The plant will be in bloom from late spring to fall, and the flowers are great as cut flowers for your favorite vase and windowsill. These newer varieties of hummingbird mint are also highly resistant to powdery mildew, which makes them easier to tend to as you are watering your garden and maintaining the beauty of your garden bed. This is a great easy-care plant that deserves a place in every perennial garden.