Last year I started a whole bunch of perennials from seed for a
butterfly/hummingbird garden. Agastache foeniculum ("Blue Spike" anise
hyssop) was one of them. The plants grew well and bloomed that first year. I
wasn't that crazy about the light lavender color so I've been wondering if I
want to keep them.
WELL, let me tell you something- I made the mistake of letting these
things go to seed and now they're popping up all over the place! They are,
by far, the worst offender in my garden. Now I wonder if I'll ever get them
In all of my research I don't remember seeing any mention of how
invasive the seedlings can be. There's even an article about them in the
June 2003 issue of "Garden Gate" magazine and it doesn't mention their
prolific self-seeding. It says to propagate them by division!
I have half a mind to rip out the original plants (which are 4 feet tall
this year!) just because I'm afraid I'll miss dead-heading one of the flower
stalks before it spreads its seeds to my neighbor's garden.
Well, I just wanted to get that out of my system.
Doug in NJ.
I started some from seed about 4 years ago. I agree that they are prolific
self-seeder. In the spring I have thousands of them appearing around the
established plants and a few here and there a few yards away. I don't find
them troublesome as I can just cultivate with a hoe or hand cultivator and
the seedlings are eliminated. The variety that I have isn't very showy
(licorice blue). It does attract a lot of bees and butterflies. I let it
go to seed and leave it as-is all winter because it gives some interest to
the garden. I also enjoy the fragrance of the foliage. I have several
weeds that are far more troublesome: Virginia creeper, wild honeysuckle,
wild strawberry, creeping Charlie, bind weed, thistles, onions, poke weed,
and a very troublesome unidentified weed that spreads like crazy and
produces clusters of small, dark pink flowers.
YES!!! That is the weed. I pull and pull and it keeps reappearing. It got
established in a the bad that has astilbe. I didn't notice it for some time
as the leaves tend to blend into the astilbe. Now it is in the lawn also.
I have used Round-up and it just keep going.
I have many anise hyssop plants spread around. They are very
beautiful, but they bloom during the same time as bergamot, so the
hummers only use anise-hyssop very early in it's bloom time (ie just
before bergamot blooms, one week in late june early july in nw NJ).
Then they all fly over to bergamot.
The anise-hyssop seems to be spreading around, but I've let it
continue to spread. The deer tend to wipe out new growth in early
spring, so many plants never make it to the summer. It is a bee and
butterfly magnet while in bloom, and I hope many people will think
about planting this extremely easy-to-grow plant, which is also native
to north america.
It is also considered a good honey plant for apiarists.
Unfortunately, most apiarists up here are ruined due to bear problems.
The bears tear through thousand-volt fences to get honey. Most
beekeepers I knew don't even rebuild. Tens of thousands of dollars of
equipment destroyed, the rest walking off in the black brute's belly.
Good thing there's going to be a hunt this year.
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