agastache ava

How To Grow And Care For Agastache Ava

‘Ava’ is a cross between two Agastache species native to the southwestern United States (A. cana x A. barberi). It’s known for its fragrant, sweet-smelling flowers and foliage. Agastache Ava is known for its towering spikes of deep rose-pink blooms held by raspberry-red calyxes, making it one of the best plant introductions. Beginning in mid-summer, this strong hybrid Hummingbird Mint blooms over several months.

Agastache Ava is resistant to deer and rabbits, and it attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It’s also a long-blooming perennial that provides vibrant color for weeks in the summer. Catmint, another pollinator-friendly blooming perennial, is a related relative.

Growing Ava

With its large spikes of rich rose-pink flowers, raspberry-red calyxes, and sweetly fragrant leaves, this imposing hybrid between Agastache cana and Agastache barberi will be the focus of any landscape. The spikes stretch up to a foot or more in length and deepen in color with each passing week as flowering begins in mid-summer and lasts for months. It may also be plucked and dried, like beautiful dark-flowered Lavender, to create a fragrant eternal flower.

Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:

  • Latin name: Agastache Ava
  • Other names: Giant hyssop, hummingbird mint, licorice mint
  • Native to: North America, Asia, South America
  • Invasiveness: No
  • Tenderness: Herbaceous perennial 
  • Sun: Full Sun
  • Water: Desert-type
  • Soil: Sandy Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 5 through 10
  • When to plant: Fall
  • Spacing: 18-24 in.
  • Plant height: 1.2-1.5 ft.
  • Bloom period: Mid summer to fall
  • Time to maturity: 2-3 years  
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: 10-10-10
  • Toxicity: No
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: Yes

When happy, this plant takes about three seasons to develop and will survive for many years. Plant in well-drained, enriched garden soil. Fertilize in the middle of the fall and leave the stems standing until winter. In mid-spring (not in the fall), trim the entire plant back to 3″. (cutting propagated).


Agastache Ava thrives under heavy soaking, however, it does not thrive in persistently damp circumstances. Watering schedules should ideally mirror desert conditions, which include large rainstorms every now and again, followed by days of scorching heat.


Agastache Ava enjoys full sun and may thrive in the warmest part of the day, so bear that in mind when determining where to put it.


In full sun, it grows easily in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Tolerant of a little amount of mild shade. It’s critical to have good soil drainage. In hard clay soils that hold moisture, plants will perform poorly and may not survive the winter. The adaptability of loamy soils for growing Agastache Ava can be improved by adding a little sand.


Agastache Ava does not require additional fertilizer, but a fall-top dressing of compost will keep it healthy. Before growing Agastache Ava, amend the soil with compost. Too much fertility, on the other hand, will cause the plant to flower less frequently and later, as well as diminish the essential oils in the leaves and flowers. It can also make the stems floppy, allowing them to fall over more easily.


They are not invasive. Agastache Ava will spread fairly quickly in the garden once introduced. Humidity is not good for Agastache Ava, and keeping it in a constantly damp environment would most likely cause its roots to rot and its leaves to yellow. It is also crucial to keep the plant’s roots dry over the winter, especially if you’re growing in USDA zones 5 or 6. Using gravel as a mulch barrier at the base of the plant can help prevent root rot caused by frozen soil that defrosts slowly in the spring.

Growing Ava In Containers

Because Agastache Ava seeds require cold stratification to thrive, the ideal technique is to plant them in the garden in the fall, when the temperatures are cooler. In the fall, carefully press seeds into the soil surface, then water them every few days; if your location receives winter snow, this will provide enough moisture for them to grow in the spring. If your winters are dry, a little soaking of the seeds every now and again will help them sprout when the spring temperatures rise.

Care & Tips

Once established, plants can withstand heat and some dry soil. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooming. Agastache Ava hybrids are often hardy to USDA Zone 6 or higher. Plants should be placed in protective places (e.g., southern exposures) when winter survival is a concern, with leaf and flower stems left in place over the winter for further protection. Plants will be protected by sandy/gravelly mulches, which will aid to prevent rot. Hybrids developed from seed are unlikely to succeed.

Common Problems

Hummingbird mint is a hardy plant that requires little maintenance once planted in bright, moist soil with adequate drainage, however, it does require regular maintenance to look its best. Hummingbird mint needs to be pruned on a regular basis to maintain its attractiveness as the season progresses. Remove the spent blooms with a snip to stimulate more blossoming. After the plants have gone dormant or the stems have been damaged by frost, cut down the entire plant almost to ground level in the autumn. Taking the stems off in the autumn will not harm the plant; it will just maintain it neat and allow new growth to develop in the spring.

Propagating Ava

Remove 6 to 8-inch segments of the green stem using pruning shears in late summer or fall to grow Agastache Ava from cuttings. Lower leaves should be stripped away, and the exposed stem should be lightly scraped with a sharp knife. Dip the scraped section in rooting fluid and place the stems in a sterile mix of perlite and sand in a tiny pot. Cover with a large plastic bag or a humidity dome and water carefully. In 2 to 3 weeks, gently tug on the stem to check for root growth. When fresh leaves begin to grow, remove the cover and keep the soil slightly damp.

Wildlife attracted by Ava

Ava’s lovely flowers attract a lot of butterflies, including the endangered Monarch butterfly, who feasts on the easy-to-get nectar. Honey bees and bumblebees are among the pollinators attracted to Ava blossoms.

Uses For Ava

It’s useful as a filler, as well as for bulk planting and naturalizing. Edging and providing color to a landscape are the most obvious and typical uses. It has a minty, herbaceous scent and can be dried to produce a herbal tea.

Ava comes back year after year in warm climates. It self-sows readily in chilly climes, making it a yearly addition to your yard. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees are drawn to the blossoms.

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected].