Hyssops, an exciting group of aromatic plants, are making a big splash in the plant world. Members of the agastache genus, hyssops are known for their brightly colored flowers and for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. They are generally hardy to USDA zone 5 Front Range gardens and many can be grown as annuals in containers elsewhere.
Sunset hyssop grows to two feet in height and bears orange flowers with lavender buds. Brushing against the plant's narrow leaves releases a pleasant, root beer-like aroma. Plant them in full sun to partial shade. Hummingbird mint smells like bubblegum. It reaches two feet in height and three feet in width in full sun. The mid- to late-summer flowers are rose-pink.
Other hyssops are being introduced to Colorado and tested for their cold tolerance. These include Honey Bee White hyssop a four-foot-tall white, blooming giant suitable for the back of borders and the violet-blue flowering Korean hyssop that reaches two feet in height. CORONADO® hyssop is a Southwest native perennial which bears orange-yellow flowers.
Plant hyssop in late spring to early summer. Avoid water-logging the soils in which they are planted.
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013