If you live in an area where Agastaches thrive and would like to have them in your home, you need to know whether they need to be cut back. This is particularly important since pruning is part of the care checklist for many similar garden plants, and ignoring it usually yields serious consequences.
Agastache needs to be cut back in late fall and early spring to encourage healthy growth and protect the plants from harsh winters. Late-fall pruning involves removing dead stems and leaves the plants significantly shorter. On the other hand, early-spring pruning only removes the top of the stems.
In the rest of this article, I’ll explain why you should cut back Agastache plants and how to go about it step-by-step. I’ll also cover extra care tips to prepare you for the relatively-easy task of introducing Agastache to your garden. Let’s get started!
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Why You Should Cut Back Agastache
Plants like Agastache can thrive in different places without human intervention, so it’s safe to say your plant can survive even if you don’t cut it back. However, it would be wise to prune it at a certain point to help it thrive even more (source).
As with any other plant, the main goal of pruning or cutting back is to encourage blooming in the upcoming season. Cutting back your Agastache helps it direct all its energy on growing and producing new bulbs rather than spending it on old stems that are almost dead.
Although Agastache plants can survive and bloom either way, cutting them back helps refresh and rejuvenate them. This extra step can make a difference in your flowers, making them healthier and better looking. And as I’ll explain below, it may stop them from being hit by cold winter winds.
When To Cut Back Agastache
Generally, it’s recommended that you cut back your Agastaches during early spring and late fall. Early-spring pruning is typically done to encourage growth and ensure that the flowers are fuller.
Cutting back Agastache in late fall encourages growth, but it’s also useful for another reason.
Agastaches are perennial plants. That means they bloom during the spring and summer, die during fall and winter, and grow once again by the time spring comes back.
As perennials, they might still have dead stems by winter, which can be a problem because the cold and harsh winds can pull the whole plants from their roots.
Cutting back your Agastaches during winter can help you solve the above issue, in addition to helping the plant refresh and grow better. While some people only advise cutting your Agastache back once during spring, others maintain that pruning it twice a year keeps the plants healthier (source).
Any time other than spring and winter is not ideal for trimming or pruning Agastache because it may do more harm than good. Trimming during the summer may encourage new growth. The problem is, the cold may permanently damage the new stems before they even get a chance to grow.
How To Prune Agastache
Pruning your Agastache doesn’t take much time or effort as long as you know how to proceed. First, you must ensure that you have sharp pruning shears so you don’t damage your plant. You also need to clean the shears well by washing them with soap because dirty shears can cause diseases.
In the fall, you should deadhead your Agastache by cutting the dead flowering stems. Make sure you cut the stem at an angle and above a bud node.
If you want to shorten the plant back to a significant extent, shorten all the stems until they are close to the ground. Don’t worry about destroying your plant; you’re simply shaping it and allowing it to bloom better in the spring.
During spring, you should only cut back the tops of the stems. You can just shorten the plants a bit to make sure they grow in an orderly way.
Other Tips for Growing Agastache
Now that pruning is out of the way, I can offer you some additional tips on growing Agastache. Agastache plants are pretty low maintenance, so you don’t need to pay much attention to them after they’ve fully grown.
However, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind if you want these plants to thrive:
- Plant your Agastache in early spring or fall to ensure it won’t suffer from temperature shock. If you’re planting cuttings, do it in spring. If you’re using seeds, plant them during fall.
- Agastache can be propagated using three different ways. You can use seeds, cuttings, or division, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Division is quite useful because it helps you maintain the main plant as well.
- While it’s important to water young Agastaches, you should generally keep them dry once they are grown. Agastaches don’t like too much moisture, so you should plant them in well-draining soil.
- Agastaches like the sun, so be sure to plant them in a spot that gets a lot of sunlight throughout the spring and summer. This plant thrives in higher temperatures. That’s why It’s often found in USDA zones 4 to 10.
- Some of the most popular Agastache varieties are Blue Boa, Salmon Pink, and Tango (source). There are many more types and colors of Agastache, but these often form the basis for wonderful patterns in most gardens.
Agastaches are great garden plants available in many varieties. They don’t require much care, but you should consider cutting them back once or twice a year to ensure they grow more healthily and don’t get damaged during winter.
To cut your Agastache back, take sharp and clean garden shears and cut the stems at an angle. If you’re pruning your plant before winter, cut a significant part of the stems to protect them from the cold and to make sure they grow better in the spring.