Hyssops are an exciting group of aromatic plants 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.
Many varieties of hyssops grow well in Colorado. These plants are cold hardy and can adapt to a variety of well-draining soils. Honey Bee White hyssop is a four-foot-tall white, blooming giant suitable for the back of borders. Korean hyssop grows to two feet tall and features violet-blue flowers. CORONADO® hyssop is a 15-18 inch tall Southwest native perennial which bears orange-yellow flowers.
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.
Sunset hyssop is subtle beauty from mid-summer into the fall. It features spikes of 20- to 24-inch tall orange and lavender flowers and grey-green foliage, which can spread eight to 15 inches wide. An added attraction is its captivating fragrance reminiscent of root beer or licorice. It also provides nectar-rich flowers, which attract hummingbirds.
SUNSET® Hyssop was a 1997 Plant Select® introduction and is hardy to an elevation of 7000 feet. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and average soil that drains well. Supplemental watering produces a larger plant. It is a beautiful companion for Russian sage, catmint, blue-mist spirea and a host of other Xeriscape plants.
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Updated Friday, January 17, 2014