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A Mint Relative

hummingbird mint

Any relative of mint seems to be viewed negatively by deer, which is fortunate since there are quite a few plants related to the mint family. All of the Agastache species are relatives, and they have square stems like the monarda that we grow in our flower gardens and ovate aromatic leaves like culinary mint.

Agastaches have quite pretty flowers and clusters of blooms that have two lips. The common name for members of this species is hyssop and all are perennial, but many are tender perennials that are grown as annuals, though most self-sow and a few are hardy in zones 4 or 5.

Most hyssops like full sun (especially those native to Mexico, as one might guess) and do best in rich, well-drained soil where they will spread into clumps 2-3 feet wide that can be divided in the spring

Hyssops can be grown from seed, but cultivars may not come true from seeds. Agastache ‘Cana' is called the hummingbird mint and has aromatic leaves and loose foot-long flower spikes in pink and purple from late summer to fall in zones 5-10.

Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee' has chartreuse foliage and blue-lavender flowers in zones 5-10.

Agastache‘Heatwave' is heat and humidity tolerant.

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