Hummingbird Mint; A Perfect Perennial for Pollinators
Yes, another article about perennials because June is Perennial Gardening Month! As temperatures have warmed, we are seeing more and more pollinators out and about. Keep reading for details on one of our favorite perennials for pollinators, hummingbird mint.
Agastache (Common names include Hummingbird Mint and Hyssop)
Ever heard of this perennial? It’s well loved by hummingbirds, as you might suspect from the name. In fact, it’s in the top 5 perennials to plant for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. You know what doesn’t love it? Deer! Yes, an easy to grow perennial that deer won’t mow down. This alone makes agastache a winner! Plus the blooms are gorgeous and last all summer long. And they love hot sun, and are drought tolerant once established. Hummingbird mint checks a lot of boxes, right?!
The leaves and blooms of some species of hyssop are fragrant (like licorice and mint) and are sometimes used in drinks and foods. The flower stalks also hold well after being cut, making them a great cut flower. You can also dry them for later use in arrangements.
How to Grow Hummingbird Mint
Be sure to plant in fertile, well-drained soil. Wet soil in the winter will stress hummingbird mint and it might not come back strong the following spring. You can mix this plant in your container plantings with other annual or perennial pollinator plants or plant in the ground. ‘Poquito Butter Yellow’ (pictured above) and ‘Mango Tango’ (you guessed it, mango orange colored blooms, image below) are both compact varieties and make good border perennials. ‘Blue Fortune’ is a pale blue blooming, taller growing variety with a mature height of 24-36 inches and features more narrow bloom spikes. ‘Blue Boa’ has larger, more dramatic bloom spikes in a dark blue color and is also a taller variety, maturing at around 36″.
Our perennial grower, Jen M. had this to say about the ‘Poquito Butter Yellow’ variety in her New Perennial Selections for 2020 blog post:
“Ok, truth time: this one I grew for me! It won the “Classic City Award” from the trial gardens at UGA (University of Georgia) last September. This variety has been applauded by many horticulturists so of course we need this one too! Grows only 13” tall.”
As of today, June 9th, 2020, we still have some of each of the mentioned varieties left… but they are popular so call for an inventory check before coming out to get one!