Agastache aurantiaca 'Coronado'
Many of us have seen or may have grown Agastache - a genus native to the US and Mexico. Agastache plants are hardy members of the mint, Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) family, which may explain why they grow so well once established. This season we discovered an interesting cultivar called Coronado Hyssop - also known as Orange Hummingbird Mint or Jewel of the Sierra Madre. We started out with six, small plants purchased from a local garden center - all have been blooming non-stop, adding color to the garden throughout the summer. And, their nectar-rich blooms have attracted hummingbirds too!
Perennial Coronado Hyssop is hardy to USDA zones 4b to 8b and blooms reliably from spring until fall. The silver/gray foliage has a pleasant fragrance and delights anyone who runs their hand along the stems for a sniff. Some compare the pleasant aroma to root beer, mint or licorice.
Suitable for Growing in Containers
This striking hyssop grows well in either part sun or full sun and can reach 12 to 18-inches tall with a 1 to 2-foot spread. Coronado Hyssop combines attractively with other plants in containers, adding variety to summer arrangements. A beautiful combination is with the deep orange tubular blooms of Cigar plant (Cuphea ignea) - making it a double delight for hummingbirds. Our container gardens include Coronado Hyssop, coleus, salvia and other annuals and perennials in ceramic pots on our front porch.
Easy to propagate
Coronado Hyssop grows easily from seeds or from stem cuttings rooted in water.
The delicate blooms are edible and can be used to decorate cakes or enhance jams and salads, along with other edibles such as nasturtiums and bee balm.
Like salvias, agastaches prefer good drainage. Mulching around these plants for moisture retention is not recommended.
Considered a Xeric plant, Coronado Hyssop can tolerate drought conditions once established. The word xeric comes from the Greek word 'xeros', meaning dry. Xeric plants can be watered regularly, but the idea is to conserve water and irrigate less. Xeric plants prefer not to be over watered.
Coronado Hyssop is just one type among many agastache cultivars. Other agastache cultivars that may catch your interest include: Coronado Red, Sunset Hyssop, Agastache cana, Agastache cana 'Purple Pygmy', Agastache Desert Sunrise, Agastache Tutti-Frutti, and Agastache Blue Fortune.
What agastache grow best in your garden?
Photos: thumbnail Copyright ©2014 Wind. Blooms photo Copyright © Annie's Annuals and Perennials. Used with permission. All rights reserved.