How To Grow and Care For Agastache Foeniculum

Agastache hyssop, often known as Anise hyssop, is a powerhouse with regards to attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and huge native bees to your wildflower gardens. As a member of the mint household, it’s also typically known as hummingbird mint. 

The tubular flower form and abundance of nectar are what appeal to hummingbirds and likewise present bee forage. Throughout peak bloom, summer season to early fall, this excellent plant sends up slender flower spikes that may create pretty perennial borders alongside butterfly gardens. 

Not solely are they a helpful pollinator attractant, however the purple flowers and foliage are additionally edible. The anise hyssop plant is usually grown in herb gardens and used as a therapeutic herb.

The edible flowers are stated to have a licorice scent with an analogous style, thus the nickname Anise hyssop. It combines nicely with different edible native perennials, resembling bee balm. 

Rising Anise hyssop vegetation is a breeze! They’re drought tolerant as soon as established and never choosy about soil sorts. Their ease of development, lack of pests, and no want for fertilizer make them a gorgeous selection for these all for natural gardening as nicely. 

They readily self-seed, which suggests you possibly can accumulate Anise hyssop seed and have a unending provide of those native vegetation to many of the US! 

Fast Care Information

Widespread Title Anise hyssop, Aromatic big hyssop, blue big hyssop, lavender hyssop
Scientific Title Agastache foeniculum
Household Lamiaceae, the mint household
Top & Unfold 2-4 toes tall and 1-3 toes extensive
Mild Full solar to partial shade
Soil Nicely-drained, sandy, loam, moist soils
Water Drought tolerant as soon as established
Pests & Ailments Deer resistant, root rot, leaf spots, powdery mildew

About Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop has related development habits and smells to different vegetation within the mint household.

Agastache foeniculum, or Anise hyssop, shares a typical title with many different vegetation within the mint household which have related development habits, scents, and look. Different frequent names embrace blue big hyssop, Aromatic big hyssop, and lavender hyssop. 

Regardless of the frequent title, it’s not intently associated to true hyssop (Hyssopus spp.), a European plant historically used as a therapeutic herb. Regardless of the frequent title, Anise, and its licorice scent, it’s not associated to Pimpinella anisum, a very totally different plant within the carrot household. 

This plant is native to north-central and northern elements of North America, most notably the Nice Plains and different prairies. This clump-forming perennial is particularly nicely suited to dry upland forested areas. 

The commonest flower coloration of this native perennial is purple. Nevertheless, there are a lot of different varieties and colours, resembling powder blue flowers, clear blue flowers, red-violet flowers, creamy white flowers, and pink flowers. A couple of of those varieties are Blue Blazes, Blue Fortune, Purple Haze, and Desert Dawn. 

The flower spikes bloom alongside tall upright stalks that appeal to bees. These flower spikes are hooked up to sq. stems adorned with medium inexperienced Anise hyssop leaves as much as 4 inches lengthy with toothed margins. Though they’re perennial, they’re short-lived, and most vegetation final about 2-3 years.

Anise Hyssop Care

No matter what coloration of Agastache foeniculum you select, it’s simple sufficient to develop Anise hyssop with its low upkeep care necessities.

Offering them with their very best rising circumstances will guarantee they readily self-seed and produce flowers in your butterfly backyard for years to return! 

Solar and Temperature

Close-up of an Anise Hyssop flowering plant in full sun, in a garden. The plant has beautiful spike-shaped clusters on long stems, consisting of densely growing small tubular flowers surrounded by showy bracts.
Anise hyssop thrives in full solar however can tolerate partial shade.

Anise hyssop prefers full solar. It will possibly additionally survive partially shade, although it could develop tall and lanky when it receives lower than 6 hours of daylight per day.

For the bushiest and fullest vegetation doable, it’s finest to decide on a planting web site that receives 6-8 hours of daylight per day – except you reside in an space that frequently receives temperatures above 80 levels Fahrenheit through the summer season. 

On this case, partial shade could profit them by offering a break from excessive warmth. Anise hyssop does nicely in its native vary, which incorporates areas all through USDA rising zones 4-9. The very best temperature vary through the rising season is about 55-60 levels Fahrenheit at evening and 65-75 levels through the day.

These perennial vegetation can tolerate temperatures right down to 10 levels Fahrenheit within the winter.  In the course of the winter, they may die again to the bottom, however lighter inexperienced foliage will return within the spring. 

Water and Humidity

Close-up of an Anise Hyssop plant blooming in a garden in the rain. The plant has tall thin stems with beautiful lanceolate green leaves with serrated edges. The flowers are tubular, purple, arranged in thick spikes on tall stems above the foliage.
Anise hyssop is drought-tolerant as soon as established however requires constant moisture throughout institution.

Anise hyssop is sort of a drought-tolerant plant as soon as established, which makes it the proper selection for low-water use or xeriscape gardens. They may want constant moisture with a view to turn into established, nevertheless. Throughout this time, it’s best to water early within the day and keep away from wetting the foliage. 

Water on the base of the plant with a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Since Anise hyssop is native to sizzling and dry areas, it doesn’t do nicely with extreme moisture and humidity. Permit the world to dry out between waterings. 


Close-up of a garden bed with Anise Hyssop plant seeds sown. The soil is loose, dark brown. A piece of paper is inserted into the soil with the signature of the sown seeds "Anise Hyssop".
Anise hyssop requires well-draining soil, with sandy soil being preferable.

The one factor that Anise hyssop is not going to tolerate is poorly drained soils. The kind of soil can differ extensively so long as it’s well-draining. Sandy soils are the desire due to their capacity to empty away moisture and keep away from standing water.

Because of this, you must also keep away from planting your Anise hyssop in a low-lying space or close to a downspout. 

Keep away from including an excessive amount of natural matter or compost to your soils, as these can retain an excessive amount of moisture. If rising your Anise hyssop in containers, it’s possible you’ll need to add perlite to your potting combine to make sure you present your vegetation with well-drained soil. 


Close-up of a blooming Anise Hyssop in a sunny garden against a blurred green background. The plant has large spike-like clusters on long stems with many small tubular pale purple flowers surrounded by bracts. A beautiful butterfly sits on a flower. The butterfly has orange wings with black patterns.
Anise hyssop usually requires compost on the time of planting and doesn’t want further fertilizer.

Amending the planting web site with compost as soon as on the planting time is usually all of the fertilizing your Anise hyssop will want. Further fertilizer shouldn’t be obligatory. Fertilizer could cause Anise hyssop to deal with foliage manufacturing relatively than flowers and may also trigger it to start producing blue flowers later within the season. 

An excessive amount of fertility could cause a discount within the important oils discovered within the foliage and flowers, which might negate the aim of cultivating this plant, particularly when you’re rising it as an herb for its aromatic foliage. Fertilizers may also trigger it to develop too tall too rapidly, leading to a tall, leggy, floppy plant. 

Pruning & Deadheading

Close-up of Anise Hyssop in bloom in the garden. The plant has purple tubular flowers that grow in dense spikes on tall stems. It has green heart-shaped leaves arranged in opposite pairs along the stems. Some flowers are brownish due to wilting.
Pinch again foliage in spring and deadhead spent flowers for extra bloom.

In early spring, the guidelines of lime-green foliage may be pinched again to immediate bushier development. As soon as they start blooming, it’s possible you’ll deadhead spent flowers to advertise further bloom. When grown as a perennial, it’s not advisable to prune the stalks utterly again on the finish of the season. 

Whereas pruning Anise hyssop at most phases of development may be helpful, you’ll need to depart about 6 inches of the stalks standing to offer safety over the winter. They are often in the reduction of the next spring, simply earlier than new development emerges.

Moreover, when these stalks are left standing, the vegetation will go to seed and may self-sow and unfold if you need much more violet-blue flowers of Anise hyssop in your backyard. 


Close-up of an Anise Hyssop seed head in the garden, against a blurry background. The seed head is a dry spike-shaped inflorescence with small seeds inside.
Accumulating or letting seeds fall on the soil’s floor in late fall or winter yields the very best outcomes.

As talked about above, Anise hyssop can self-seed and unfold 12 months after 12 months. It doesn’t, nevertheless, have the potential to turn into invasive. Though it’s a perennial, it’s short-lived, and guardian vegetation solely final for 2-3 years. Because it drops seeds, new vegetation can be able to take their place. 

You possibly can let seeds fall the place they could in your perennial borders on the finish of the season or accumulate seeds to sow them extra deliberately all through the panorama. Sowing seeds on the floor of the soil in late fall or winter yields the very best outcomes.

Most species require a interval of chilly stratification with a view to germinate correctly, however all the time examine the seed packet for particular directions. 

Repotting & Transplanting

Top view, close-up of an Anise Hyssop dwarf cultivar in a white flowerpot, on a wooden table. The plant has beautiful curving stems covered with smooth, dark green, narrow, oblong, oval leaves.
Anise hyssops may be grown in containers, and repotting could also be obligatory if development has slowed.

Most Anise hyssops are grown straight within the floor. Nevertheless, there are some dwarf varieties that may be grown in containers. For those who’ve chosen to develop in containers, it’s possible you’ll come to a time when you should repot your plant.

If plant development has slowed considerably otherwise you’ve observed roots poking out of the drainage holes, then it’s time to contemplate repotting. 

Since anise hyssops are such short-lived perennials, you’ll seemingly get away with not needing to re-pot. That is 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 range that you simply’ve chosen or the seed packets for particular container suggestions. 


Anise hyssop is comparatively trouble-free, particularly when grown in its native habitat. That being stated, there are some things to remember when selecting a planting web site.

Rising Issues

Top view, close-up of a garden bed with a growing young Anise Hyssop plant. The plant has erect stems covered with opposite pairs of bright green lance-shaped leaves with serrated edges.
Delay pruning Anise hyssop till early spring and provide winter safety in areas with excessive chilly.

Most rising issues happen within the winter when the plant is dormant and most prone to break. Because of this, it is suggested to delay pruning till early spring, simply earlier than new development seems.

It may be helpful to supply winter safety in areas with excessive chilly like protection with burlap. 

Planting your hyssop in an space that isn’t well-drained may also put them in danger for ailments. It might develop extra slowly, battle to flower, and never self-seed as readily as more healthy vegetation. As talked about above, selecting a location with well-drained soil is crucial for that reason.


Agastache foeniculum has no identified main pest points.


Top view, close-up of an Anise Hyssop dwarf cultivar in a white flowerpot, on a wooden table. The plant has beautiful curving stems covered with smooth, dark green, narrow, oblong, oval leaves. Anise Hyssop flowers are tubular, blue-violet, densely spiked on tall stems above the foliage. Some flower spikes are wilted, dry, rusty brown. The plant is covered with cobwebs due to pests.
Stop fungal points by offering good air circulation and avoiding overwatering.

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

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

Root rot, particularly, may be exacerbated by overwatering. Since anise hyssop may be fairly drought tolerant, it’s finest to underwater it relatively than danger overwatering it. The signs of rot will seem as a smooth mushy stem, wilting, and naturally, rotten roots. 

This sort of rot is more durable to get well from however may be remedied if there are nonetheless contemporary, white roots that haven’t but turned to mush.

Reduce the rotted roots and replant the pot into dry soil. In case your Anise hyssop is straight within the floor relatively than in containers, in the reduction of on watering and permit the world to dry out utterly earlier than watering once more.

Steadily Requested Questions

Q: Does anise hyssop like solar or shade?

A: Anise hyssop prefers full daylight however will tolerate half shade. Half shade may be helpful in locations with excessive warmth in the summertime. In any other case, go for full solar. 

Q: Is anise hyssop invasive?

A: It’s not thought-about to be invasive, although it is going to unfold regionally by self-seeding. 

Q: Is anise hyssop the identical as lavender?

A: No, it’s not. It might have an analogous look with lavender purple blooms. It’s additionally in the identical household of vegetation and is usually known as Lavender hyssop, it’s not the identical as an precise lavender plant. 

Q: Are you able to eat anise hyssop?

A: Sure, each the flowers and the foliage are edible. 

Q: Does anise hyssop repel bugs?

A: Sure, its robust scent is alleged to concurrently repel pests and appeal to helpful bugs and pollinators like bees and butterflies. Just like hummingbird mint, it is going to additionally function a hummingbird magnet! 

Q: Is anise hyssop poisonous to pets?

A: It’s not thought-about to be poisonous to pets. 

Q: Do you in the reduction of anise hyssop within the fall?

A: Delay pruning your hyssop till early spring, simply earlier than new development emerges. 

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