Monday, August 2, 2010

Spotlighting Agastache




Can't say enough good things about agastache or anise hyssop. It's one of the most important plants in my garden. Beautiful, carefree and extremely popular with many varieties of butterflies. Its muted lavender spires make a lovely contrast to any of the brighter colored blooms like rudbeckia, heliopsis, helenium, etc.


I have experience with two cultivars of agastache. Both seem to be hardy in my zone 5a-4b garden. Blue Fortune has recently become very popular with gardeners everywhere, and with good reason. I see it locally in most garden centers. No pests, drought tolerant, licorice scented foliage, with an extended bloom period, these plants requires no care at all and butterflies are the big bonus. There are many other varieties of agastache but most are not reliably hardy in my cold winter zone.



Golden Jubilee is the only other agastache I grow. It is very similar to Blue Fortune but has red tinged, chartreuse spring foliage. In my garden, both are middle of the border plants reaching about three feet tall (can be cut back in spring to reduce height). Golden Jubilee can be started from seed.




On my July 26 post I showed a photo of Blue Fortune with about 50 Clouded Sulfur butterflies nectaring on the blooms. Agastache blooms from late June through July and into August.

Agastache prefers well drained soil but it does not seem to be bothered by my heavy clay even during some very wet springs and summers we have had in the past. It is perfect for hills and slopes and raised beds that drain too quickly for many plants.

33 comments:

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I agree Marnie, Agastache is great! I have Rosita and Blue Fortune in my alley garden - pretty carefree. I will try cutting them back next year so they do not get so tall.

Eileen

Louise said...

Hmmm, I have just the spot for some.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The agastache blooms look like mint blooms. The mint here really brings in the bugs.

sunnycalgirl said...

Beautiful pictures! I was not familiar with agastache at all...

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Marnie. Your Golden Jubilee is so beautiful. I love the leaves.I have the Blue Fortune and this is its first year. I hope they get bigger and better with age. Gorgeous butterfly images.

Rose said...

I had one plant last summer--labelled only 'Anise Hyssop', so I'm not sure of the cultivar--but it didn't come back this spring. You've convinced me I definitely need to add this next year to my butterfly garden! Actually, I was eyeing several pretty pink and salmon-colored varieties in catalogs this spring and just didn't get around to ordering any. I love the foliage of 'Golden Jubilee'--it looks almost like a coleus.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....I love agastache. It also does well in my heavy clay soil. I would not be without it, it certainly does draw in the butterflies. Mine has spread around the garden, I don't think there is a border without it. I do not mind at all......

Love your photographs, they show the plant at its very best.....

Rosey said...

The butterflies really seem to love your Agastache. I am going to have to try this plant out, if I can keep it alive through my zone 4 winter.

Always a pleasure to visit and see what is blooming for you, Marnie!

tina said...

I like these not only for their low maintenance but for the upright spiky form of the plant. Very nice indeed!

BeadedTail said...

I didn't know about these plants before but it sounds like something I could keep alive! I'll have to look into it!

The butterflies are gorgeous!

Southern Lady said...

I'll have to try some in my raised bed. It seems to drain really quickly. My other plants have a tough time in that area. Carla

Gail said...

I thought the winter rains killed it, but it must have been something else. I am now growing it in containers with great success~Love it and like you said~it brings in the pollinators! Gorgeous photos~gail

Kay said...

Great butterfly photos.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

LOL, I think this is one of the few plants I *don't* have--might you be saving seed from them for the seed swap?!?! :)

Kathleen said...

I just purchased my first two 'Blue Fortune' plants Marnie. The bees have already found them even tho I haven't planted them in a permanent spot yet. I'm very excited to finally have some in the garden ~ I hope they get visited by half the number of butterflies you have ~ I'd be satisfied with that!
I grow several other agastaches very successfully so I bet they would do well in your garden too. 'Cana,'and 'rupestris' are two that come to mind off hand that are very reliable and self sow easily. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them ~ the hummingbirds love them here too. Another bonus.

Cameron said...

Great plants! There were swallowtails all over my agastache this week. I've never had so many butterflies at one time. 'Blue Fortune' holds up better than 'Golden Jubilee' for me. GJ got a bit sunburned during the 100+ degree temps.

Dawn said...

OMGosh! What a pretty plant for those pretty flutter flowers.

Vetsy said...

Hi Marnie thanks for stopping by, I'll have to update the story on those darn sparrows".. They are really making me angry!..

Your garden is lovely.. I like the hyssop too" had the Blue fortune but it didn't return from last year either..

I didn't know there were a Golden hyssop called Jubilee..It's so pretty, I must make a note of it for my garden next year..

Thanks for sharing...

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Very nice post, Marnie.... So interesting what does well in certain climates and what does not...

Anything which attracts beautiful butterflies like you have is worth getting...

Hugs,
Betsy

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

What a lovely plant. Those spires are impressive.If it grows in my heavy clay soil, it's got my vote! Another plant to add to my ever-growing list of plants to buy.
Your butterfly photos are wonderful as always. What a beautiful array you have in your garden.

Peeoknee said...

Yes, I agree also. These are great plants for the garden. So many different ones. I love your 'Golden Jubilee' I will have to invest in this one. I only have two 'Sunset-24" small flower-tubular and coral/orangey, and a blue one I can't think of the name right now. But just awesome. Care free Plants.

walk2write said...

They're lovely plants, foliage as well as blooms. I've thought about planting it but wonder if it would become invasive here. So many plants that are kept in check by the cold up north tend to run wild down here. I haven't seen it yet in any of the garden centers, but that isn't any indication of invasiveness. You would be amazed at how much ecological damage they still do, taking advantage of naive transplants from the north--like me.

Skeeter said...

Looks like they attracts many flutterbugs indeed! I adore anything which attracts butterflies as they are my colorful friends...

joey said...

Beautiful post, Marnie, and your butterfly photos, stellar! I am convinced I must incorporate agastache into my already too crowded garden. Happy August :)

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I'm very fond of agastaches, and you're right, they sure are butterfly (and bee) magnets. Got my hands on Golden Jubilee this year and was very pleased about that. It's not flowering yet, but with that foliage, it doesn't have to.

Naturegirl said...

Marnie if it attracts butterflies I want to grow it!I wonder if it would do well in a woodland garden?
I will become familiar with woodlands soon!

Racquel said...

The only one of my Agastache that has done well this year is 'Sunset'. It has tolerated the drought and heat really well. :)

Msrobin said...

Believe it or not, my anise hyssop has struggled to establish itself here. But it does seem to be doing better, so hopefully next year it will spread itself around a little better.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I just bought three golden jubilee today! I love these.... Such great color and fast growing.

garden girl said...

We have Blue Fortune, and while I still wish it was a brighter blue, I really love it, and so do the pollinators. It gets no more than three hours of filtered sunlight a day. It grows and blooms beautifully in our dry shade, and has only needed supplemental watering after moving it.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I've never seen that Golden Jubilee agastache before. It sure has pretty foliage! I thought it was coleus when I first saw it.

I enjoyed seeing your butterflies, and did make it to the post with all the sulphurs earlier this evening.

I forgot to say I love your new template and header.

Judy said...

Marnie, I have tried growing anise hyssop a couple of times, and it never reseeds itself. I am most disappointed, as I would so love to have some!

Anonymous said...

Is there anymore information you can give on this subject. It answers a lot of my questions but there is still more info I need. I will drop you an email if I can find it. Never mind I will just use the contact form. Hopefully you can help me further.

- Robson