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Agastache

A highly aromatic plant with fine tubular flowers on upright vertical stems, Agastache are multi-purpose and multi-dimensional plants for the garden.  The foliage has an intense liquorice scent which is referenced in the common names ‘Anise Hyssop’ or ‘Giant Hyssop’.  It is also widely recognised by the common name ‘Hummingbird mint’ in recognition of the bountiful nectar that Agastache produces for bees and other beneficial insects.  Flowers are edible and plants are easily identified by tubular open-mouthed flowers and square stems.  Plants in the Agastache genus belong to the Lamiaceae family, well recognised by its other aromatic members, including Mints, Salvias and Lavenders.

Agastache are generally recognised to sit in two main groups, which are distinguished by the form (shape) of the plant and the flower.  The first group is distinguished by dense, bushy plants usually with double flowers and broader aromatic leaves (e.g. Agastache rugosa ‘Blue Fortune’ or Agastache rugose ‘Golden Jubilee).  This group creates a distinctive mound in the garden and, as they originate from central Asia and North America, require slightly more seasonal watering.  The second group originate from areas of Mediterranean climates like California and Mexico (e.g. Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ and Agastache mexicana ‘Lemon Fiesta’) and have sparser and airier flowers and foliage.  Though they have thinner foliage, they ‘mesh’ with other plants and have a looser, less formal effect in the garden – but are no less wondrous!  The images below demonstrates these two different groups.

Agastache have multiple uses in a garden.  Adding their flower spikes to a summer garden creates areas of dense colour and drama.  By planting close to a vegetable patch or orchard they will be invaluable in encouraging bees and beneficial insects to increase pollination.  The flower stems make excellent cut flowers.  Whether in a vase or in the garden, they will delight with their fragrant foliage and joyful blooms.

Cultivation Information

Agastache have a long and glorious season every summer, starting late spring and flowering right through to the start of autumn.  As with all flowering plants, deadheading will encourage repeat and extended flowering through the season before finally cutting back spent flower heads at the base in autumn.  To grow successfully, Agastache require fertile, well drained soil, created by digging in organic matter before planting.  Autumn is an ideal time to plant, giving time for a strong root system to establish before the dry days of summer.  A full sun position is a must and, if you live in a region with strong winds, plant in a protected position as the stems can be brittle and snap in wild weather.  As with other sun-loving herbaceous perennials, Agastache enter dormancy in cooler regions over winter.

Varieties with double flowers and dense form

Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’

Elegant spikes laden with soft, powder-blue flowers are held over deliciously fragrant foliage for months on end.

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Agastache ‘Blue Boa’
The longest-blooming Agastache that Diggers has come across. The deep violet flowers are abundant for at least 5 months of the year. 

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Agastache ‘Pink Fortune’
A vertical flowering plant with soft candy-pink petals encircling deep maroon bracts. The resulting flower stems create an exceptional flower display that lasts for months. 

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Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
A clump-forming flowering perennial with outstanding chartreuse foliage and lavender-like flowers from summer through autumn. 

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Agastache 'Sweet Lili'
Beloved Agastache for its long flowering season and performance through summer’s dry conditions. ‘Sweet Lili’ is favoured for airy flowering spikes; the top third of the plant holds delicate tubular flowers of amethyst and apricot.

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Varieties with single flowers and sparse form

Agastache 'Salmon and Pink'
This agastache goes on and on through summer, with pink fluted flowers that age to orange giving the unique bi-coloured effect. 

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Agastache ‘Lemon Fiesta’
Celebrate sunshine with spires of sparkling yellow flowers, renewed in continual succession throughout summer and autumn. Each tubular flower is set against a dark burgundy calyx, contrasting beautifully. 

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Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’
Brighten up your garden from mid-summer to autumn with this zesty apricot agastache. 'Apricot Sprite' has a wonderful airy form, combining well with grasses and ground covers 

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Browse the range

A highly aromatic plant with fine tubular flowers on upright vertical stems, Agastache are multi-purpose and multi-dimensional plants for the garden. Browse our range today.

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The secret to dividing perennials

Download our easy to follow, step by step guide to dividing perennials.

Designing your own garden

Join Andrew Laidlaw, landscape architect at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria,
as he shares a step-by-step design guide for home gardeners.

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