Agastache Aurantiaca: How To Grow Hummingbird Mint

Agastache aurantiaca, often known as hummingbird mint or large hyssop, can convey buzzing birds to cottage gardens, significantly within the western elements of North America, together with Colorado and Arizona! They zip into view and disappear simply as quick as they arrived. Possibly you solely catch a glimpse within the nook of your eye. 

Nevertheless, if you wish to get hummingbirds to hold round your yard for longer than a number of seconds, then take into account planting Agastache aurantiaca, often known as hummingbird mint! Sure, you might make use of the pretend plastic crimson flowers crammed with sugar water, however why not plant an actual flower that may profit different pollinators like butterflies, bees, and birds as nicely? 

Large hyssop is available in many alternative varieties, however the most well-liked flower colours are normally orange or purple. There are tall and dwarf varieties as nicely, which suggests there’s hummingbird mint for each nook of your panorama. The smaller varieties make a beautiful border and the tall varieties present a backdrop for butterfly gardens and usher in bumble bees, particularly. 

Since A. aurantiaca is edible (it’s within the mint household in any case), they’re usually included in herb gardens and cottage gardens as nicely. In its native habitat it is vitally straightforward to look after and drought tolerant as soon as mature. The flowers bloom from summer season to late summer season or early fall and due to their tubular form, they’re significantly good at attracting hummingbirds. 

The Agastache aurantiaca plant has pollen-rich flowers which can be additionally engaging to bees and useful bugs, and it has loads of nectar for butterflies and moths too! When the flowers go to seed in zones which have fall in November, they supply a wealthy meals supply for birds. Agastache Aurantiaca is taken into account to be deer resistant and has properties that apparently repel mosquitos. What extra might you ask for? 

Fast Care Information

Apricot Sprite hyssop.
Frequent Identify Hummingbird mint, large hyssop, licorice mint, mosquito plant, generally anise hyssop
Scientific Identify Agastache aurantiaca
Household Lamiaceae
Top & Unfold 2-4 ft tall and 1-3 ft huge
Gentle Full solar to partial shade
Soil Fertile loamy well-drained soil with a impartial ph
Water 1 inch of water per week, drought tolerant
Pests & Illnesses Flea beetles, slugs, powdery mildew, root rot

All Concerning the Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

Agastache aurantiaca 'Mango Tango'
Agastache aurantiaca ‘Mango Tango’.

Agastache aurantiaca can be identified by many different names resembling hummingbird mint, large hyssop, licorice mint, mosquito plant, and generally anise hyssop. A few of these names are literally misnomers since Agastache aurantiaca is a unique genus than true hyssop, Hyssop officinalis. 

Although they’re each within the Lamiaceae household and have related traits and appearances, Agastache aurantiaca normally has a extra anise or licorice scent than true hyssop. For that reason, we’ll be referring to Agastache aurantiaca. You will need to observe that anise hyssop also can consult with the precise species Agastache foeniculum and Agastache cana as nicely. 

The anise hyssop flower is native to western North America, all the way in which west to Arizona, and most varieties are winter hardy perennials. They produce tall spikes of tubular flowers that are completely fitted to lengthy, skinny hummingbird payments and sure species of bees. They’re sometimes called hummingbird mints since they belong to the identical household as mints and are identified for his or her skill to draw hummingbirds to the backyard. 

Perennial transplants could be planted out in spring after the final frost or in early fall to ascertain earlier than the chilly of winter units in. The second possibility will provide you with a soar on the next 12 months’s spring development. They usually flower from summer season to fall, however in delicate climates, they’ll proceed blooming into November. Agastaches are hardy in USDA zones 4-10.

All elements of this hyssop are edible, together with flower and leaf. Along with attracting pollinators and hummingbirds, it will also be used as an herb. The flowers make a phenomenal and excellent garnish and the leaves are particularly scrumptious when brewed in tea. 

Varieties of Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

Agastacha aurantiaca 'Apricot Sprite'
Agastacha aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’.

There are a number of species of Agastache, numbering to 22 species complete with various flower colours. Whereas we’re specializing in Agastache aurantiaca right here, there are different species which can be price mentioning. 

Agastache Aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ 

Agastache aurantiaca apricot sprite boasts tall dense spikes of peachy apricot to orange flowers that bloom from early to late summer season. Agastache aurantiaca apricot sprite additionally has a bushy compact behavior and grows nicely in containers. 

Agastache Apricot Sprite is especially illness resistant, and nice for gardeners who need vibrant summer season flowers and a low-maintenance perennial backyard. Agastache Apricot Sprite can be proof against deer and rabbits. It’s excellent for areas the place you need to hold out deer and rabbits.

Agastache Aurantiaca ‘Tango’, ‘Mango Tango’

Agastache tango is one other dwarf and bushy selection that grows nicely in containers and small areas. Agastache tango produces fiery orange tubular flowers within the backyard. The brilliant orange colour of the Agastache tango flower creates a distinction that appears gorgeous planted alongside purple salvia. 

Agastache Aurantiaca ‘Coronado Hyssop’

Coronado crimson is a registered trademark. This doesn’t prohibit the propagation of this trademarked selection, however does defend the identify itself. Others might propagate this selection, however must give it a reputation apart from Coronado crimson hyssop in the event that they plan to promote it within the plant commerce. 

Agastache aurantiaca Coronado has silver-green leaves and tall spikes of orange-red flowers, akin to the palette of Agastache aurantiaca Apricot Sprite and Agastache Tango.

Associated Species

Agastache Cana ‘Texas Hummingbird Mint’

The crops on this species are often known as mosquito crops as a result of their licorice minty-scented leaves have been stated to repel mosquitos. Texas hummingbird mint produces raspberry-pink to mauve-colored blooms within the backyard. 

Agastache Foeniculum ‘Anise Hyssop’

The Agastache foeniculum species can be known as anise hyssop, which could be complicated as a result of that can be used as a common time period for the entire varieties that we’re discussing right here immediately. This anise-scented selection is normally grown for its edible leaves. 

Whereas all hyssops could be eaten, sure varieties and species are propagated particularly for his or her taste. The leaves and purple flower of Agastache foeniculum are fantastic in each scorching and iced teas. This species is extraordinarily winter hardy all the way down to colder USDA zones, together with USDA zone 1!

Agastache Rupestris ‘Apache Sundown’

The Agastache rupestris species is a hardy first-year blooming selection. Its edible foliage and blooms have a singular root beer scent! As its identify would counsel it produces sunset-colored yellow-orange blooms, very similar to the orange produced by Agastache aurantiaca Apricot Sprite and Agastache Tango. 

Caring for an Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

Close-up view of A. aurantiaca flowers
Shut-up view of A. aurantiaca flowers.

Whether or not you’ve chosen orange colour schemes of Agastache aurantiaca Apricot Sprite or the purple of a real anise hyssop, these perennials require little or no in the way in which of care. Assembly their fundamental wants will be certain that your agastache species thrive and readily self-seed much more for subsequent 12 months’s butterfly gardens! 

Solar and Temperature

All species of hummingbird mint (together with orange Agastache aurantiaca Apricot Sprite, Tango, and Coronado) do greatest in full solar to partial shade. A spread of 6-8 hours of direct daylight per day is most well-liked. As soon as established anise hyssops could be very drought tolerant. Their preferrred temperature ranges happen naturally in USDA zones 6-10. 

Nevertheless, there are varieties which have distinctive winter hardiness in colder USDA zones and could be grown in additional northern climates. Though these crops are perennials which can be designed to outlive in chilly, it’s price noting that in colder climates (above USDA zones 5), they’re tender perennials that will profit from extra safety like protection with burlap luggage beginning in November.

Water and Humidity

Like most drought-tolerant plant sorts, large hyssop doesn’t prefer to be saved in constantly moist soils. They are going to want common watering when they’re younger and/or for a number of weeks after first transplanting. Nevertheless, past this, they’ll go together with as little as 1 inch of water per week. If you’re in zones that obtain common rainfall then chances are you’ll not must water them in any respect. 

Remember to water on the base of the plant as a lot of the illness points that anise hyssop perennials endure from are the results of overly moist circumstances. These can transfer to the leaves after they get moist. In areas with excessive humidity you should definitely give them additional area to supply adequate airflow to assist resist these illnesses. 

As soon as temperatures start to dip under 40 levels Fahrenheit within the fall, chances are you’ll stop watering for the season. Your hyssop will go dormant, and zones that obtain snowfall over the colder seasons usually offers sufficient moisture. 

Nevertheless, in a very dry freeze, chances are you’ll need to water them no less than as soon as monthly to supply moist soil that protects roots, however provided that it’s after the final common frost, and provided that soil temperatures are above 40 levels Fahrenheit.


As talked about above, anise hyssop doesn’t like overly moist circumstances. For that reason, an important soil requirement is to supply them with well-drained soil. Keep away from low-lying areas of your backyard or areas close to a downspout. Any areas that don’t have entry to well-drained soil must be averted. 

The soil could be amended with compost on the time of transplant, or once you direct sow seeds. They’ll typically survive poor soil circumstances, however desire a impartial ph vary between 6.5-8. 

Fertilizing an Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

Amend the planting website with compost earlier than planting. Further fertilizer is usually not vital. In reality, it might trigger extra hurt than good. Fertilizers may cause anise hyssop to deal with producing foliage relatively than flowers. Which may additionally trigger it to flower later within the season. 

An excessive amount of fertility may cause a discount within the important oils within the foliage and flowers which may negate the aim of caring for it for those who’ve chosen to develop it as an herb for its scrumptious foliage. Fertilizers also can trigger it to develop too shortly which can lead to leggy floppy stems. 

Pruning an Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

In early spring the guidelines could be pinched again to advertise bushier development. As soon as they start blooming the flower stalks could be deadheaded to encourage extra flowers. When grown as a perennial it isn’t advisable to prune anise hyssops after midsummer. The standing stalks will present safety. They are often reduce the next spring, simply earlier than new development emerges. 

Whereas hummingbird mint or anise hyssop isn’t thought of invasive its flowers can self-seed and develop. Should you want to management this, then chances are you’ll select to chop again the flower heads on the finish of the season earlier than they go to see, nevertheless, as talked about above, depart the stalks standing till the next spring. 

Agastache Aurantiaca Plant Propagation

Whereas agastaches could be divided, probably the most dependable methodology of propagation for anise hyssop is by seed. Though anise hyssop is a perennial it may be short-lived with a lifespan of 2-3 years. It is going to, nevertheless, readily self-seed for those who keep away from deadheading the spent blooms. 

To get probably the most out of this plant’s brief lifespan it’s beneficial to let it go to seed on the finish of the 12 months to encourage new crops to take over as older crops fade away. You too can gather the seeds on the finish of the season to unfold them to different areas of your panorama. 

Seeds could be sown 4 weeks earlier than your final frost date. Hold them nicely watered whereas they’re younger tender seedlings after which again off on watering as soon as they attain maturity and turn out to be established. 

Repotting an Agastache Aurantiaca Plant

In case your plant is straight within the floor or in a raised mattress then you may skip this part! Nevertheless, there are some dwarf varieties that may be grown in containers. This makes them excellent for many who have restricted in-ground area, however nonetheless need to create a butterfly backyard or hummingbird haven. 

Should you’ve chosen to develop in containers, then chances are you’ll encounter a time when it’s essential to re-pot your hyssop. If the plant development has slowed considerably, or for those who’ve seen roots poking out of the drainage holes then this implies it’s time to re-pot your anise hyssop. 

Since agastaches are such short-lived perennials, you’ll possible get away with not needing to re-pot, offered that it’s planted in an adequate-sized container to start with. Seek the advice of the planting tag that comes together with the variability that you simply’ve chosen or the seed packets for particular container suggestions. 


Tip flowers of A. aurantiaca 'Apricot Sprite'
Tip flowers of A. aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’.

Anise hyssop is comparatively trouble-free particularly when grown in its native habitat. That being stated there are some things to bear in mind when selecting a planting website.

Agastache Aurantiaca Plant Rising Issues

Most issues happen over chilly seasons when the plant is dormant and most inclined to break. For that reason, it is suggested to delay pruning or reducing again till early spring simply earlier than new development seems. It will also be useful to supply winter safety in areas with excessive chilly like protection with burlap.

Planting your agastaches in areas that aren’t well-drained also can put them in danger for contracting illness. An agastache planted in compacted areas additionally grows far more slowly, and will not self-propagate like more healthy crops would.  


Should you discover ragged, uneven holes chewed into the leaves of your black pepper, then you could have a flea beetle subject. These small, black leaping beetles can decimate leaves if the infestation is left unchecked, Tachinid flies and sure parasitic wasps are the pure predators of this beetle. 

In a balanced ecosystem, they present up shortly after the beetles to feast on them. If human intervention is required, they are often managed with the appliance of neem oil. They will also be deterred by intercropping with thyme and mint as these beetles are repelled by the sturdy scents of those crops. 

Slugs and snails also can turn out to be a difficulty in humid and moist environments. Slug and snail injury will seem as giant ragged holes within the leaves of your plant. It’s possible you’ll even see a mucous path close to your hyssop crops. Slugs and snails are particularly lively in early spring earlier than different bugs have turn out to be lively. 

Select a slug and snail bait that’s produced from iron phosphate and is secure to make use of round wildlife and pets. Snail traps will also be made by burying a cup or tin of beer at floor degree. Snails and slugs are interested in it, fall in, and might’t climb again out. 


Powdery mildew and root rot are fungal points which can be attributable to or exacerbated by extra moisture and humidity. Present your crops with good air circulation and hold the world round your flowers freed from plant materials and particles to assist stop these points. 

A lot of the fungal points could be handled with a copper fungicide although success varies, and it’s greatest to take away contaminated plant materials earlier than it might unfold. 

Root rot, specifically, could be exacerbated by overwatering, and since anise hyssop could be fairly drought tolerant it’s greatest to underwater it relatively than threat overwatering it. The signs of root rot will seem as a mushy mushy stem, wilting, and naturally rotten roots. 

Such a rot is more durable to get better from however could be remedied if there are nonetheless contemporary, white roots that haven’t but turned to mush. In the reduction of the rotted roots and replant the pot into dry media. In case your Agastache aurantiaca is straight within the floor relatively than in containers, reduce on watering and permit the world to dry out utterly earlier than watering once more. 

Often Requested Questions

Agastache aurantiaca 'Navajo Sunset'
Agastache aurantiaca ‘Navajo Sundown’.

Q: The place is Agastache aurantiaca native to?

A: The plant is native to zones in western North America within the higher Midwest and Nice Plains in addition to West to British Colombia and South to Colorado and Arizona. 

Q: Is Agastache invasive?

A: An Agastache plant isn’t invasive, though it can self-seed and unfold 12 months after 12 months in its hardiness zones. 

Q: Is Agastache annual or perennial?

A: The Agastache aurantiaca plant is a perennial that prefers to be planted in USDA zones 5-9. 

Q: Does Agastache come again yearly?

A: Sure! As soon as your Agastache plant establishes it can come again annually in its hardiness zones. 

Q: What number of years do Agastache reside?

A: They’re short-lived perennials that normally reside for 2-3 years on common even in zones the place they’re hardy. Nevertheless, as a result of they simply self-seed, there might be new crops able to take their place not far behind! 

Q: Ought to Agastache be reduce within the fall?

A: This isn’t vital, nevertheless, they need to be reduce within the spring simply earlier than new development emerges. This goes for all species, together with Tango, and in zones the place they’re hardy as nicely.

Q: How shortly does Agastache develop?

A: They’ll develop slowly at first, with seeds taking a median of 12-14 days to germinate, however as soon as they get going they’ll unfold vigorously all through the backyard. 

Q: Does Agastache odor like mint?

A: It does! It’s in the identical household as different crops like mint and sage. Additionally it is for that reason that it’s generally known as hummingbird mint. Different varieties, like Agastache aurantiaca Apricot Sprite and Agastache tango, have various scents.  

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