your favorite Agastache?

rouge21_gw(5)August 23, 2013

I have a spot that is currently occupied by an Aster frikartii "Monch". In lots of ways it is a good performing plant. Most notably is the lengthy duration of bloom i.e. It starts to flower in late July or early August and this continues into fall. As well it is definitely a water sipper...very important to me. The only negatives are that it is a bit of a flopper and given its location I would like the flowers to be more visible from more of a distance.

(current picture below)

I am contemplating using an Agastache instead in this very much full sun location. I have no experience with Agastache and so I need your advice.

When do Agastache begin to bloom?

Are they as hardy as this Aster I have now? And is it similarly water conserving?

And what are you favorite blue or purpley flowered Agastache?

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 7:26

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LOL!! I just reread your post, rouge, after composing my ode to agastache and then realized your last line asked specifically for blue or purple agastache..........and these are my very least favorite of any types (sorry!). The ones I favor are those most beloved by hummers and in the intense "hot" color palate - reds, oranges, tangerines, corals, yellows. These are very long bloomers for me (started in July - will go till frost in late October), drought tolerant and require virtually no care. They just need really good siting as far as drainage is concerned, especially with our wet PNW winters.

If you want to add some serious color, my faves include 'Firebird', 'Summer Glow' (love the yellow flowers held against the dark purple calyces!) and just plain old apricot colored Agastache rupestris (aka rootbeer plant).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:20PM
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gardengal48, I am so glad you posted your "ode" as my initial request for blue/purple is not set in stone. I will for sure consider a "hot" color.

After reading a bit more on-line re this plant it appears to me that it may be a bit iffy re its ability to survive our winter ;(. I am curious as to which GW members have had success over-wintering Agastache in a zone 5 or even better, a zone 4?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:45PM
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I live in agastache-land, i.e. the hot Southwest. I think that is a long way from you, so what works here might not do well for you.

Like gardengal, my favorites are the hot colors - Coronado Red is top of my list. The color is a mix of dark orange and red. I planted it in June, and it has been in bloom continuously, drawing hummingbirds while asking for very little other than full sun.

I planted Black Adder about 6 weeks ago, and it is just starting to flower. It is a darkish violet-purple which you might like. These are planted with Acapulco Trio which is supposed to have red/coral/light purple flowers. In reality, it is mostly purple, so that might work for you too. I think all agastaches are drought tolerant, they're always recommended for xeric gardens. And most seem to have a long season of bloom.


Edit: I'm linking a thread from the Salvia forum with lots of pictures of agastaches in bloom, plus some other info you might find useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: agastache thread

This post was edited by jadeite on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 18:09

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Thanks very much Cheryl for pointing out the earlier GW thread. I will read it with relish.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gardengal48, is that âÂÂSummer Glowâ the yellow one from High Country Gardens? I just love Agastaches, but I barely have any left. All my favorites are gone. I had âÂÂAvaâ from HCGs, that was a hot pink I guess. It grew for me but was never really robust. It came back after two winters, but didnâÂÂt come back his spring. Very disappointed, I thought I finally had one that would grow in my loamy clay soil. It was supposed to be hardy to zone 5.

I even tried rupestris, that everyone said came back for them in zone 5 and it didnâÂÂt come back after the first winter. I have âÂÂBlack Adderâ but there must have been something wrong with the one I bought, because it has three sticks with blossoms at the top, losing itâÂÂs lower leaves and itâÂÂs in itâÂÂs 2nd year. âÂÂGolden Jubileeâ has come back after two winters and Honey Bee Blue not only comes back every year, but it reseeds. I forget, is that the one that smells like root beer when you harvest the seed?

I also tried, âÂÂTutti FruitiâÂÂ, âÂÂOrange Flareâ another one from HCGs, and âÂÂPurple Pygmyâ from Bluestone. None of those stayed more than a season or two.

I tried planting them in a section of the perennial bed that has some gravel and sand layered beneath the top 12 inches of soil and I have it on a slight slant with a rock edging that I thought had pretty good drainage. To no avail. I can't help but think it is the combination of clay soil with winter snow cover that does them in.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:43PM
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I'm surprised you can keep Monch alive in zone 4, as it is described as very iffy in zone 5 and 6a. If you can grow it, you can replace it with Wunder von Stafa(with umlaut), it is identical but without floppiness(one of my favourites and the hardest of them all, I lost Jungfrau last winter).
My favourite "blue" agastaches are Black Adder, Blue Fortune and Serpentine .

This post was edited by wieslaw59 on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 18:52

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:47PM
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sharoncl(z5 WI)

I have had no problem over-wintering Agastache 'Ava', 'Black Adder', 'Blue Fortune', and 'Golden Jubilee' in zone 5 Wisconsin. They all come through our long cold snowy winters just fine, particularly if planted in a raised bed to avoid the winter wet/spring thaw.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:13PM
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I haven't grown any of the blue more moisture tolerant Agastaches since others have commented on their tendency to seed, and August to mid September is a time that I am not always around to do deadheading. I've tried several of the zone 5 and 6 hybrids of some of the western species, and none have survived the winter even in a sandy, well-drained hilly site. Agastache rupestris will often last 3 or 4 years for me before we have a winter where conditions are too damp or cold for it. However, I grow mine on a hill in fine sandy loam with gravel around the base of the plant. I don't know if you can provide it with well-drained conditions or not, but it's a plant I love for its frosty foliage, lavender and apricot flowers, and its popularity with pollinators. I replant each time I lose it since I can't imagine not having it in my garden.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:45PM
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After seeing it perform in my garden the past 4+ years, I've decided A. rupestris is a keeper even though it does seed around a bit. The bees absolutely love it so in my view it gets as much real estate as it wants. Sources say it's hardy to Z5 while other cultivars are hardy only to Z6.

Other cultivars haven't been hardy in my full sun garden. Even grown from seed via winter sowing, A. foeniculum & A. aurantiaca disappeared over winter. I'm disappointed to lose them of course but figure if it were meant to be, it would be. Still, both pink and white turtlehead have survived so that's something to celebrate.

rouge21 - I'm sorry you're located in a colder zone than Agastaches are rated for but wish you luck if you decide to give them a try.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I am enjoying my second year with Agastache 'Blue Blazes' immensely. It is by far the largest and showiest of all blue agastaches, with enormous, ever-expanding flower spikes that are beloved of bees and butterflies (I don't have hummingbirds in my inner city area so can't comment on that particular aspect). It is a hybrid of Agastache foeniculum with Agastache 'Desert Sunrise' (cana x rupestris). I had no trouble overwintering small plants during a horrible winter with no snow cover, countless freeze/thaw cycles and sometimes torrential rains. Plants are currently 4'+ x 4'+, but could probably be trimmed to a smaller size. I love this one!

I also grow 'Blue Fortune'. It is also a nice plant that is great for pollinators, but it is not nearly as showy as 'Blue Blazes'.

I started some Agastache rupestris from seed last summer and planted two resulting plants in late summer of last year. One survived (the other perished because I think it was too shaded) and is currently smothered with lovely orange-ish pink blooms. I occasionally see a few bees enjoying it, but they much prefer 'Blue Blazes' instead.

I plan on trying out 'Ava' and 'Desert Solstice' soon. It seems like all agastaches are known to be glorious for a few years and then suddenly and unexpectedly die out. The definition of a short-lived perennial?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:33PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Rouge, I saw 'Sonoran Sunset' in a trial garden here and it was spectacular. I am also wary of agastache in zone 4 but if I can find this plant I'd love to give it a try. It was a coral color with sagey green leaves. Love at first sight!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:42PM
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you can replace it with Wunder von Stafa

I recall you mentioning this variety in a thread...last year? But I had no luck finding "wunder" anywhere :(.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:50PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Blue Fortune is reliably hardy in my Z:4 garden. All the same good traits listed by others. Golden Jubilee is also hardy and self seeds less than Blue Fortune for me.

Firebird, grown from traded seed, is a favorite as I love the delicate, airy form. Mine is more pink with orange/apricot tones. One died after two years, probably too wet that winter/early spring. The other is planted in the drip line of a maple tree so is in a drier area. Each spring I wonder if it will survive, three years so far.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:55PM
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No problem keeping Agastache alive here, I do have them in a raised bed in full sun though. To me the blue and purple ones are boring....I have a couple of the pink and red ones from bluestone. Also agastache cotton candy which is probably one of the most vigorous plants I have ever seen. Horrible conditions, root competition from arborvitae, hot afternoon sun, three transplants and it just keeps flowering without missing a beat. Wish the color was a little darker though.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:41PM
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I love Agastache, but I just stick to the basic rupestris. Then if it doesn't come back, I have lots of seeds to start new plants. They bloom the first year. I had one at my old house that was next to the foundation, and it lived for years and years. The ones further away from he house were good for two or three years, and then I would just move a seedling to replace it. Not sure how long they will last at my new house, so far two years. We haven't really had a cold winter to speak of for a while though.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:14AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Rouge- try looking for 'wonder of staffa' for a US source.
Try one of the non-purple agastaches, even a small plant will take off its first year and put on a nice show. I have 'tutti fruitti' I believe and it's on its third year laughing at heat and drought the whole summer. I do nothing to overwinter, but lately we rarely drop below zero. The soil is shallow clayish with little improvement, but it's a very sunny exposed spot, which they seem to like. I never trim them back until spring.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:32AM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Do agastache reseed a lot? I'd like to try them but I am wary of overly enthusiastic seedlings. What say you?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:57AM
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The only one of mine that seeds some is 'Golden Jubilee.'

If you want a nice blue/purple Agastache, 'Summer Sky' is awesome. It glows!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:24PM
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A. rupestris doesn't seed in my garden, but does in Gardenweed's. So perhaps seed doesn't have time to ripen here?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:32PM
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I have gotten only a few seedlings each year, and they could be moved or pulled easily. We have a very short frost free season here, though, May 15-Sept 30. I have collected seed and planted it, and it all seemed to be viable, so I don't really know why they haven't seeded more around the plants.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

The one that I get the most reseeding from is Honey Bee Blue and I still feel that I'm happy with the amount of reseeding I get and if you want to remove it, it's very easy. The 'Golden Jubilee' also reseeds gently, but I have it at the edge of the lawn, so I can't say how it would behave in the middle of a border. The western agastaches have not produced one seedling in my garden. I don't remember seeing any of them set seed. When I've had them flowering, I am usually deadheading to keep them blooming, so that might have something to do with it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:43PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I have had some self seeding with Blue Fortune and Golden Jubilee. None with Firebird though it does set seed which I have collected and sown.

This post was edited by mnwsgal on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 22:48

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Thanks for all the feedback re all things "Agastache".

I think I have access to these hot color varieties:




    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:54AM
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