Gardening

How to plant agastache

Agastaches are aromatic plants usually grown in gardens for the abundance and beauty of their small flowers. Some species are grown for use in food, such as tea or seasoning, and also for medicinal purposes. In addition, bees that feed on the nectar of their flowers produce honey of excellent quality.

The two most cultivated agastache species are:

Agastache rugosa – known as Korean mint, although not really mint. This species from East and Southeast Asia is widely grown in Korea, Japan and China, where it is considered one of the main traditional medicinal herbs. It reaches up to 1.2 m in height.

Agastache foeniculum – known as hyssop-anise or hyssop-anise, although it is also not really a hyssop. Originally from North America, this plant reaches 60 cm to 1.5 m in height, and its flowers are usually bluish-violet, although there is a cultivar with white flowers.

The leaves of both species can be used for food in the same way as mint and anise. These species are widely used in teas, as they have a flavor reminiscent of anise or fennel. Its flowers are considered to be one of the most delicious among edible flowers.

Climate

It grows best in cold or mild weather and can withstand temperatures below -10 ° C.

Brightness

Direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily.

Ground

Cultivate preferably in well-drained, fertile soil and rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. However, they can be grown in virtually any type of soil that is well drained.

Irrigation

Irrigate in order to keep the soil always slightly moist, without leaving it soaked.

Planting

Agastaches can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.

Sow superficially, covering at most with a light layer of soil. The seeds can be sown in the final location or in sowing and other containers, being transplanted when the seedlings are large enough to be handled. The seeds usually take from a few days to two weeks to germinate, but it can take up to three months. The seedlings grow slowly and it can take up to two years for these plants to start flowering.

The youngest branches, 10 to 15 cm long, can be planted in pots with soil kept well moist until they take root, which usually takes about three weeks.

The spacing between the plants can be from 30 to 60 cm. These plants can also be grown in large pots.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.

Harvest

Leaves can be harvested when necessary from the moment the plants are well developed. The leaves can be used fresh or can be left to dry in a cool, ventilated place, and then stored in closed pots. However, the taste of fresh leaves is stronger than that of dry leaves. Flowers can also be picked and consumed.

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