Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Agastache rupestris:
Licorice Mint Hyssop

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Form: A subshrub with herbaceous stems growing from a woody base.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 2-3' high and 1.5' wide.
Flowers: Orange-red, tubular, with a purple calyx (sepals at the base of the flower), arrayed on spikes, dark purple-tipped stamens extending beyond the tube, edible. Cultivars are available in several colors. The flower tubes are naturally wrinkled.
Bloom: Summer to mid-fall.
Fruit: Tiny brown seeds.
Leaves: Green to silver-green, lance-shaped, with a licorice or root beer fragrance, edible.
Stems: Green to silver-green, herbaceous, growing from a woody base, square in cross-section, no thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 5-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes when established.
Sun: Full sun to avoid fungal diseases. This plant may get leggy in part shade.
Water once established: Once or twice a month. Moist soil shortens its lifespan. It should be kept dry in winter.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline). It is sensitive to salt and dies in saline soil.
Mulch: Bare soil is best because it dries quickly. Gravel is a second choice. Avoid organic mulch which keeps the soil moist and promotes disease.
First Year Care: Water lightly every day to establish an extensive root system, but do not overwater.
Prune: Remove spent flowers to extend bloom. Cut nearly to the ground after the last frost to spur new growth.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, root division.
Uses: Ornamental, hummingbird garden, xeric garden. The leaves are used in teas, the flowers are used in salads. For other culinary mint plants, see Low Water Culinary Herbs.

This plant is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae). The Agastache plant genus is often called Hummingbird Mint. Other common names for this plant are Sunset Hyssop and Threadleaf Giant Hyssop. This plant does not like high humidity or soil that stays moist.

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Agastache rupestris: Licorice Mint Hyssop - flowers

Agastache rupestris: Licorice Mint Hyssop

Latest update: February, 2019
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