The Plant Native

Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)

Highlights

These native flowers go by many different common names: Agastache, Hummingbird Mint, Anise Hyssop, or Giant Hyssop (its Latin name always starts with Agastache). Whatever you want to call it, this is a pollinator and hummingbird magnet. It also smells amazing—a little like licorice. In the summer, tall stalks are covered in tiny, bright flowers. Leave it alone in the fall and watch it turn into a seed-filled bird feeder. Hummingbird Mint is an easy-to-grow perennial that is excellent for any sunny garden. Scroll on for planting tips.

Sun – Part Sun
3-4′ tall
Longlasting summer flowers
Agastache Genus

Pollinator heaven = Hummingbird Mint

Dig Deeper

Explore the history, types, and where to plant native Hummingbird Mint

Table of Contents

Hummingbird Mint is truly one of the easiest native flowers to grow and once planted, you can enjoy it for years. It is also one of the longest-blooming native flowers, offering up bright blooms for almost all of the summer months. Dozens of cultivars provide lots of color options (although we prefer the true native species, if you can find it.)

Why plant Hummingbird Mint?

Native plants like Hummingbird Mint (Agastache foeniculum) have been around in North America for thousands of years. Every drought, blizzard, or weather event they have lived through. They know (and thrive!) in the soil and weather of their home area. All they need is rain to thrive. Native plants are always the most resilient, easy to care for, and beautiful choices for landscaping. They require minimal care (especially compared to lawns!) and can return decades of beauty.

Added bonus: Hummingbird Mint is deer-proof

Hummingbird Mint is happily NOT edible to deer—in fact, this plant helps repel deer from gardens. It is similar to other native flowers with strong scents—like Mountain Mint, Nodding Onion, and Bee Balm—that repel deer away.

Hummingbird Mint's tall stalk is perfect for hummingbird nectar access

Do hummingbirds like Hummingbird Mint?

Oh yes—Agastache is a hummingbird favorite! The tall stalk of 360-degree flowers is perfect for hummingbirds to access. If you’re looking for other hummingbird favorites, make sure to plant Hummingbird Mint alongside Cardinal Flower, Coral Honeysuckle, and Bee Balm.

Is Hummingbird Mint invasive?

Some gardeners get concerned that Hummingbird Mint can reseed itself with abandon in a garden, taking over other plants. To keep Hummingbird Mint in check:

  1. In the spring, pull out shoots that are growing too close together in the spring. Put these shoots in pots for neighbors so they can enjoy some (free!) Hummingbird Mint in their garden, too.
  2. In the fall, cut the tops off before the seed can spread. The bad news about this method is that it removes seeds for songbirds.
Hummingbird Mint + Bee Balm + Joe Pye Weed (in background) = pollinator heaven

How to plant Hummingbird Mint (and meet some cultivars!)

Hummingbird Mint is so easy to grow, and cultivars (or plants cultivated by humans) offer lots of color options. Connecticut’s famous plant nursery White Flower Farm made an overview video, introducing colors and care:

Other native plants for hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are well worth building a garden around, and their favorite nectar sources are always native plants. Read our hummingbird gardening guide for lots of tips.

Native flowers like Cardinal Flower, Coral Honeysuckle, Firebush, and Bee Balm are all worthy hummingbird-favorite companions to Hummingbird Mint.

Hummingbird Mint, Agastache, Anise Hyssop—whatever you want to call it, it’s a fantastic addition to any sunny garden. It’s long bloom time brings vibrancy and pollinators to your garden for weeks in the summer. Because it’s a perennial, plant it once and enjoy it for years. Don’t forget to view our Guide to Hummingbird Gardens, or our Best Native Plants for Birds guide if you’re looking to make some feathered friends happy. Happy planting!

UPDATED —
04/01/2024
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