Morello AgastacheAgastache hybrid ‘Morello' (PP# 29,527)
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Agastache hybrid ‘Morello' (PP# 29,527)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Morello Agastache grows 2 to 3 feet tall, forming many upright stems, each one topped by a 14-inch spike of stunning blooms of a rich purple-pink color. It flowers from May to September, and the blooms attract hummingbirds. The leaves turn purple in spring, and they have a minty smell – they make great tea. Grow this perennial in the front of your spring shrub borders, or among other summer flowering plants. A hybrid of wild plants from America, it fits well into low-water gardens and wild gardens, and it’s great for slopes and banks.
Plant the Morello Agastache in full sun and in well-drained soil, avoiding wet places and shade. It will grow well in rocky and sandy places too. It doesn’t need staking, and it’s usually free of pests or diseases. We like the smell of the leaves, but it keeps deer away. Just cut back to the ground in late fall and that’s it for another year – a great low-maintenance plant.
If you have hot areas in your garden, you already know how hard it can be to keep them full of flowers, especially during the hot months of the year. Well, here is your answer – the Morello Agastache. This plant is a special hybrid of plants sometimes called Hummingbird Mints or Giant Hyssop, and it is the answer for vibrant summer color and beauty in tough spots. It has enormous flower spikes up to 14 inches long, packed with vibrant purple-pink blooms that keep coming and coming, keeping this great plant in bloom from May to October – yes, that’s right, 6 months of incredible blooming. Growing close to 3 feet tall it’s a robust and tough plant that thrives in sun, heat and drier conditions. Even before the blooms arrive the new leaves are tinted purple for early color, and of course this plant is loved by bees and hummingbirds, so bring the family out to enjoy the spectacle.
The Morello Agastache is a sturdy perennial plant. It dies back to the ground in fall and then returns the next spring to quickly grow to its full size. Within a few years the stems will be reaching about 2 in height. Young plants send up 3 to 8 stems, while older plants send up many more, reaching a spread of about 2 feet. The stems are strong and stand up without needing any staking or tying. The leaves are in pairs along the stems, from the ground up, and each leaf is oval to triangular, about 2 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide, with a softly serrated edge. In cool weather and extreme dryness the green leaves take on rich purple-brown tones which are very attractive. A crushed leaf gives off a wonderful pungent scent of mint and licorice, and it can be used for tea.
The flower stem, which develops at the top of the leafy stem, is way bigger than in other Agastache. It is up to 14 inches long and almost 2½ inches wide. Amazingly, there are up to 700 flowers in that spike (yes, someone counted them). The flowers are in dense clusters circling the stem, making a virtually continuous column of never-ending color. The flowers are slightly more than an inch long, shaped like a flattened bell, and a rich purple-pink to burgundy-rose color. Flowers open in succession, with the first blooms appearing as early as May, and continuing into September. New flower spikes develop to replace the old ones, each one blooming for weeks and weeks. Bees and hummingbirds love the flowers, so get ready to thrill your children with the presence of these wonderful creatures.
This tough plant is a real sun-lover, so use it at the front of sunny borders all around your garden. Plant it in front of shrubs that will have bloomed in spring, or in front of evergreens, whose dark color really shows off the bright pink of the Morello Agastache. Plant it in groups across dry areas and on slopes – space plants 15 inches apart for solid coverage. It fits perfectly into a xeric, or low-water garden, and also into natural gardens, since it is a selection of a plant native to North America.
Both cold and heat resistant, the Morello Agastache grows well in zones 9 and 10 and in well-drained soil in areas as cool as zone 5.
This is a plant for the sunniest parts of your garden, and more than one or two hours of shade will reduce flowering and weaken the plant. Plant it in well-drained soil, even sandy or gravel soils, and avoid wet areas, especially in zones 5 and 6.
Pest and disease problems are very rare in the Morello Agastache, and deer avoid this plant too. There is no need to stake and tie it, like many older perennials needs, so it’s very easy to grow. Remove flower stems that have finished blooming to encourage more, and in late fall cut it back to just a couple of inches tall. That’s it – done for the year.
Agastache is a plant in the same family as mint, found mostly in North America, where there are 20 species, but also in Asia, where there is one species. The unusual name is from Ancient Greek, ágan stákhus (ἄγαν στάχυς), meaning “very much (like) an ear of grain“, describing the flower spike. Terra Nova Nurseries, in Canby Oregon is a plant tissue-culture startup success story that began in 1992 in a tiny greenhouse. A big player in the industry today, it is both a plant breeding lab and a producer of plants by laboratory methods. Janet Egger created the Morello Agastache by hybridizing three wild species – Agastache cusickii, a white species natives to Idaho and Oregon; Agastache cana, from New Mexico and Texas, with dark pink flowers; and Agastache pallida, a tall purple variety from Arizona and Mexico. The hybrid plant Janet produced was patented in 2018, with the name ‘Morello’.
“Excellent. One of the best“, at the 2017 Pennsylvania State University perennial trials. ‘Best of…’ at Penn State 2017 trials. ‘Top 10’ award at University of Georgia perennial trials in the same year. Rated 4.8 out of 5 at 2017). #4 of the top pollinators (in order of attractiveness) at Ohio State University trials 2017, “Appealing architecture; consistent, all-over blooming“, said another expert. The Morello Agastache is a real winner, and a plant you will love in your garden. But order now, because we can never keep the best down on our farm.