It's not often that a new plant turns out to be better than expected, but that's what happened with the Kudos™ series of naturally dwarf Agastache. These Hummingbird Mints (Hyssop is another common name) were bred to be small enough for containers. And they are. But in the process, the plants also acquired a much better resistance to downy mildew and improved winter hardiness! In trying to change just one factor, the plant breeders wound up improving three! Now THAT'S a newcomer we all want to welcome into our garden!
Mandarin is one of the most beautiful colors of this series, with rich orange blooms atop olive-green foliage from early summer (or earlier in hot areas) through early fall. The flowers have a touch of pink that makes their color really unique in the garden, and they -- like the foliage -- are redolent of that anise-licorice-fennel scent that is so enchanting on the warm summer breeze. They aren't called Hummingbird Mint for nothing: these winged visitors sip their nectar all season long, as do butterflies and bees. Yet many destructive insects are repelled by the scent, and steer clear. What could be better?!
Ideal for containers as well as the sunny garden, Kudos™ Mandarin reaches 24 inches high (when in bloom) and about 18 inches wide. The flowers face out, not down, so they are even showier than older varieties. And held on dense spikes, they are incredibly profuse!
But even before the blooms arrive, this plant is lovely. New spring foliage emerges a deep shade of bronze, only gradually turning green. Aromatic and well-branched, it perks up the spring perennial garden from the moment it appears.
Once established, Kudos™ Mandarin is a very adaptable to dry soil or short periods of drought, as well as heat and humidity. No more concerns about mildew in hot climates! With very little attention, this little Hyssop will grow and bloom effortlessly for years. Make it part of your garden and add it to your finest containers this season! Zones 5-10.