Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sunset Hyssop, Licorice Mint
Agastache rupestris

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agastache (ah-gas-TAH-kee) (Info)
Species: rupestris (rue-PES-tris) (Info)

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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12 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive wildmudpuppy On Jul 17, 2010, wildmudpuppy from Lula, GA wrote:

Three Sunset Hyssops went into the ground last autumn. At this moment the tallest is taller than I! I'm 5' 5.5"; it's 5' 8", including the flower at the end of that branch! I did not expect them to get much taller than 2'. I don't have any idea what caused it to grow so big, but it's been a joy. Ruby-throat hummingbirds love to drink out of the flowers, darting from bloom to bloom.

Neutral learningplanter On Jul 3, 2010, learningplanter from Milan, MI wrote:

Jackson, Michigan, zone 5. This is a beautiful airy plant for informal and xeriscape gardens. I grow it from seed. It is very easy to start from seed indoors. The seedlings grow quickly indoors. I planted Agashtache rupestris each of the last three years. Each year I loose about 1/3 of the plants over the winter. I am not sure if the winter is too cold. Most likely the garden mulch keeps the winter soil too wet. I simply plant more each spring and keep trying. My soil is very sandy, almost beach sand. The young plants do need supplemental water the first year or two. A little fertilizer seems to help.

Positive tcs1366 On Sep 26, 2008, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this little plant. I grew it by seed [Winter Sowing Method] and it did bloom the first year. The plants are still quite small [maybe 12-14" tall] and not filling out yet. I'm hoping next year they will be much bigger. Nice addition to the garden.

Positive CurtisJones On Jun 10, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Agastache rupestris, also known as Licorice Mint, is a Southwestern U.S. native. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees flock to its bright orange and lavender flower spikes. An airy plant, with an explosion of color, reminiscent of the evening sunset, it has greenish-gray foliage that exudes a pleasant root beer scent that reminds some of licorice or mint when touched. The leaves make a refreshing tea. Plants are drought-tolerant when established. Agastache rupestris was a Plant Select winner in 1997.

Positive saya On Jul 30, 2007, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is absolutely my favourite agastache. Very aromatic smells after a candy that we, in Netherlands, call 'dropjes'.. It has pretty grey-green feathery foliage. I always cut it back into a round habit. By that it keeps also compact...even with heavy rainfall. I 've been surprised how tough this little plant is. I took this plant, raised from seeds that I got in trade (Thanks!), with me to my new house and garden. It has stayed in a pot somewhere between many others for nearly a year. A little neglected because I've had still so much to do in the house after moving. It has survived frosts and a lot of winterwet. Even now..the most wet summer ever...doing great in my garden. It does'nt seed around like some other agastache do. The plants are I find it difficult to save seeds of it.

Positive rsmallen On Jul 4, 2007, rsmallen from Northampton, PA wrote:

Does not like wet winters...I use gravel as mulch rather than wood mulches since our winters tend to be wet. The grouping I have planted is equal amounts of Gaura Whirling Butterflies and Sunset Hyssop with lesser amounts of Lavender Munstead and Perovskia Little Spire. We love it!

Positive krdixon On May 16, 2007, krdixon from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant grows from the roots each spring to 2-3 feet tall in my heavy clay soil. It's not fussy, doesn't need much water, and can tolerate a fair amount of shade. The smell is absolutely wonderful and it's one of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds. The foliage is thin and airy, so my personal preference is for Agastache cana and A. cana x rupestris hybrids, which are a bit more full and bushy.

Positive bluespiral On Jan 8, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

We really enjoyed a grouping that revolved around this particular agastache in summer of 2006, so am sharing it here -

The overall airiness of this plant contrasts beautifully with the thicker, pebble-surfaced leaves of purple sage (Salvia officinalis purpurea), which echoes the mauve calyxes of the A. rupestris flowers while at the same time contrasting with their apricot color.

Rue and the other hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) associate well with this group, and if you don't mind how invasively calamint (Calamintha nepeta) self-sows, its small, grayish, woolly leaves with airy sprays of tiny lilac flowers add more interest as part of the foreground, with Salvia guarnitica 'Brazilian Black and Blue in the background.

Repeat this agastache a few times down a border of the foregoing so that it further complements a large, deep purple morning glory like Ipomoea 'Hatsu Arashi' planted overhead in an arbor. Hatsu Arashi flowered well and produced a lot of seed for this coming summer in spite of only having 1/2 day of sun "thanks" to a monster silver maple.

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 21, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Love any and all Agastaches! They are the best summer flower in the garden! Long blooming, smells great, looks beautiful and attracts Hummers!

Leave the stems until the next Spring when new green growth appears, then cut the old ones.

Positive renwings On Oct 7, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Prefers lean, well drain soil. Very fin foliage. Smells remarkably like root beer! It is very pleasant to brush against this plant while weeding the herb bed. The scent fills the air and lingers.

Neutral donaldcorken On Mar 5, 2006, donaldcorken from South Strafford, VT wrote:

I purchased 3 small plants from High Country Gardens in the spring of 2004, and planted them in a hot dry sunny bed in zone 5a. They have been VERY slow to establish. One of the plants was a foot tall by the end of 2005, but the other two aren't much bigger than they were when they arrived in the mail.

Positive CaptMicha On May 18, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has everything going for it, yummy smell, gorgeous flowers and a hummingbird/butterfly attracter to boot.

It looks great in containers but I've learned the hard way that it may not survive a hard winter above ground.

Positive LilyLover_UT On Jan 16, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Agastache rupestris grows quickly from seed, and it's terrific for attracting hummingbirds.

Positive kns1313 On May 12, 2004, kns1313 from Tijeras, NM wrote:

Live in mountains of New Mexico at 7000', annual rainfall about 10". Several specimens throughout garden, full sun to part-sun. Water 2 times per week, 20 oz per time, plants get to waist high. Heavily mulched with chipped/shredded wood.

I propagate readily via seed and soft-cuttings.

Neutral poppysue On Mar 19, 2002, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Sunset hyssop is a wonderful plant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. Plants grow up to 2-feet tall and produce spikes of tubular, coral colored blossoms in late summer. The fragrant foliage has an unusual smell of root beer. Plants prefer well-drained soil and are tolerant of poor dry conditions.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chino Valley, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Concord, California
Knights Landing, California
Richmond, California
San Jose, California
Aurora, Colorado
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Dolores, Colorado
Washington, District Of Columbia
Cape Coral, Florida
Land O' Lakes, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Itasca, Illinois
Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Ellicott City, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Dracut, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Horton, Michigan
Lincoln, Nebraska
Hudson, New Hampshire
Kingston, New Hampshire
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Tijeras, New Mexico
La Fayette, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Bend, Oregon
Hermiston, Oregon
Molalla, Oregon
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Northampton, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Santaquin, Utah
Herndon, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Radford, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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