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Perennials such as Agastache are perfect for attracting pollinators to your garden. These plants’ fragrant leaves are often accompanied by beautiful, long flower heads that are irresistible to bees, butterflies, and moths. Agastache works well in mixed garden borders, containers, and a variety of other environments.
You can grow Agastache plants in light shade, but they will not thrive. Most varieties of Agastache can tolerate dry conditions, but they do not enjoy shady locations with poor drainage.
It’s a good idea to research Agastache varieties and their ideal growing conditions if you want to include them in your garden this year. Learn more about how to grow Agastache plants in this useful guide.
Does Agastache Grow in the Shade?
Agastache grows in partial shade, but it may not do very well. To grow healthy Agastache plants, you must sow seeds or plant seedlings in a sunny, warm location in your garden.
Gardeners may experience trouble when planting Agastache in the shade. Agastache plants prefer hot, dry conditions with little or no fertilizer. You can plant Agastache in borders and containers with plenty of drainage holes to achieve the best result.
Best Location for Growing Agastache
Agastache is best planted in sunny areas of the garden alongside other perennials and late-blooming flowers. They’re the perfect addition to butterfly gardens and rockeries alongside succulents and other herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
Use high-quality soil with excellent drainage if you are planning on putting Agastache in containers. The soil in your garden beds should include sand, chalk, or loam to help maintain the health of your Agastache plants.
Best Time To Plant Agastache
It is best to plant Agastache when the weather is warmer in Spring. Plant your seedlings out in March or April to give your Agastache the best chance at survival. The small plants will slowly grow and begin to bloom at the end of Summertime.
How To Grow and Care for Agastache
Agastache is easy to maintain and requires little help in the garden. They are robust plants that can provide ample shade in raised beds and prevent foliage from burning in the heat.
There are several varieties of Agastache to choose from, with different colors and flowers to suit your garden design. You’ll find around 30 species of Agastache with four main garden varieties.
Some of the most popular varieties of Agastache include the following:
- Licorice mint (Agastache rupestris)
- Wrinkled giant hyssop (Agastache rugosa)
- Mexican giant hyssop (Agastache mexicana)
- Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Agastache is a versatile, herbaceous perennial known for attracting hummingbirds and other garden pollinators. Many of the Agastache varieties are native to North America, which is why they are so tolerant of hot, dry conditions.
Growing Agastache From Seed
Agastache seeds can be sown directly into outdoor soil around 4–6 weeks after the last frost of the year. Preparing your seeds with cold stratification will help them germinate at the best time and prevent your Agastache from dying.
You can sow seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost if you are worried about low temperatures affecting your plants.
You can start Agastache seeds by following these steps:
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) deep in moist soil. Place the seed trays in a warm environment of 68–75°F (20–24°C).
- Allow up to 20 days for germination.
- Prepare the soil before planting your young Agastache plants by weeding and clearing away any debris from their new location.
- Plant the new Agastache seedlings into the soil with full sun and water generously.
You don’t have to worry about watering Agastache after the plants are well established, but it is important in the early weeks after planting.
Propagating From Cuttings
Agastache is easy to propagate from existing plants by taking healthy cuttings. The best time to take cuttings from your plant is before the new buds are about to open and there is plenty of new growth.
Follow these simple steps to propagate Agastache:
- Harvest cuttings from areas with new growth that snap. Choose Agastache shoots that have new and mature leaves.
- Dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone.
- Place them in containers with a peat-based potting mix.
- Allow cuttings to root indoors between 68–75°F (20–24°C) for up to 10 days.
Starting Agastache from cuttings will produce plants that are genetically similar to the parent plants.
Pests and Diseases
It is rare for Agastache to fall victim to pests and diseases. The most common problem gardeners may experience is root rot caused by poor drainage.
Some other problems that may occur with Agastache include the following:
- Downy mildew
- Powdery mildew
- Spider mites
You can keep pests and diseases at bay by regularly cleaning dust and dirt off Agastache leaves. Spraying the plants with water can also remove any insects or larvae that may be hiding on your Agastache.
There are insecticidal treatments that can help if the problem worsens. Any plants that are heavily infected by pests or diseases should be destroyed to prevent the spread to other areas of the garden.
Watering and Fertilization
Heavy watering is fine if your garden beds and containers have excellent drainage. Agastache can occasionally deal with excess moisture but will begin to deteriorate with consistent overwatering. Setting out a watering routine for your Agastache will prevent the roots from receiving too much moisture.
You can add sand to your soil to mimic the desert conditions that Agastache enjoys. This will also improve the airflow around the plant’s roots and prevent root rot.
Agastache grows well in low-nutrient soil. Adding fertilizer throughout the growing season isn’t necessary. Rich soil with too much fertilizer could prevent flowering and inhibit growth.
It is best to avoid planting Agastache plants in shaded areas of the garden if you want healthy plants. Agastache prefers sunny areas of the garden and minimal interference in terms of fertilization and watering.
For the best results, you should do the following:
- Start Agastache plants indoors
- Plant outdoors when all signs of frost have cleared
- Prune in the spring to encourage new growth
- Situate plants in full sun or partial shade
Agastache is a self-seeding perennial, so you can expect to see new plants surrounding the parents in the spring.