Agastache propagation

warddaDecember 25, 2006

Wintering over agastache cuttings has always been a trial, and I don't like witnessing such plant suffering. Has anyone tried digging and potting clumps in March and bringing them inside for an early start? I'm going to need a lot of well rooted starts by the third week in May and I can't think of another method to bring off the desired result.

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hummersteve

I have to say I havent tried the cuttings and I havent tried what you suggest either , what Im trying to do is winter sowing of seeds from my one plant from last summer and it is my first try but , who knows. I went to the winter sowing section and it is really quite easy to do and then it remains a waiting game to see if it does actually work

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 10:45PM
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wardda

I had some success with sowing seeds in late winter. Rupestris came up easily with bottom heat but suffered quite a bit of damping off - 30 seedling became 5 or 6 at planting time. Agastache mearnsii was easier and didn't damp off nearly as badly. The problem is many of the best agastaches are hybrids and sowing seeds for them is a crap shoot. What does work is taking cuttings in late spring after the plants are growing. These will root by mid to late June and can be planted out for a late summer bloom.

I'll be interested to see how you make out with your seeds.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:36AM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Some notes on Agastache propagation: Seed will come true only if there are no other forms around for it to hybridize with. Agastaches rival Origanum in their promiscuity.

Cuttings can be taken from spring and autumn basal growth, when the leaves are less linear and thin and more wide, cordate and with serrate/dentate margins. Fertilizing them at this time produces robust cutting material. Floral stems are very difficult to root.

Ants will harvest the seeds as soon as they are ready to fall out of the calyxes, so daily monitoring is necessary.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:28PM
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hummersteve

Warrda I will be back on here to let you know if and when they germ. From the wintow sowing section on this forum it appears a lot thinning out would be on tap if they do germ. For I had oodles of seeds that I scattered.

Rich it appears I may be in luck then for it was the only agastache plant in my yard and I also had no salvia plants just just a couple hostas, but this year will be different for I have several species of salvias I will be planting. On the Agastache I have I still do not know the name of it. It is about 24in tall and has small tubular lavender flowers on it

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 3:01PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

There are two sections in the genus Agastache. Section Brittonastrum includes all the long tubular ones adapted to hummingbirds and moths (orange to red to pink; white flowers), and the other has short blue to violet (and one light yellow) that are adapted to bees. This latter section is a prolific seed producer. It includes A. rugosa (Korean mint) and A. foeniculum (Anise Hyssop). A lot of the new forms are based on hybrids of these two.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:42PM
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hummersteve

Well Rich looks like I lucked out then for Im looking for flowers that attract hummers. That sorta explains why I didnt see one hummer go to that plant. Come to think of it while at the nursery I noticed a bumblebee on the plant there and before I could get it in the ground b. bees were fighting to get on it for it was close to the color of the purple clover they go to. Well that makes me mad I just want to throw those winter sowed seeds in the garbage, but Im going to wait to see if the winter sow works, thanks Rich.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:44PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Wardda, winter sowing has a specific meaning that I think you didn't catch, based on your refernce to bottom heat. It means sowing seeds and then putting the pots or flats outdoors anytime after winter solstice to experience winter temps. Seeds germinate when the weather is to their liking and are already hardened off. They will probably have a head start over seedlings started indoors.

I have some agastaches in quart pots that I've got outdoors now- they are from last season. If you need to bring plants in to take cuttings, you might be better off potting up smaller plants from cuttings in the late summer, leaving them outside until March, thn bringing in for cuttings. of course, that advice won't help you for the coming season.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:57PM
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wardda

I hadn't considered taking cuttings in late summer and then leaving the pots outside over the winter. I figured since they were somewhat marginal in this climate that they wouldn't survive. It is certainly worth giving a try and the next time late summer comes around I'll try it.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 12:10PM
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hummersteve

Hey Guys-- I was very pleased to find that after looking at my stache of seeds that I have Agastache aurantiaca, apricot sprite which Im assuming should be orange in color. I note the directions say cover with twice the seeds thickness with soil, keep evenly moist , expose to light as seelings appear [Indoors]. Does this sound close to right for these? By the way this discovery by my dementia mind makes me happy because it should attract the hummers. The ones I have winter sowing will be of purple variety which I dont really care about for they just attract bumblebees,mainly.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 3:53PM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

My first year wintersowing - Agastache foeniculum was the first container I put outside. I sowed the 11 inch x 14 inch x 5 inch deep container with tons of seeds and sowed them very close together. When the container germinated, I planted them out in hunks (as suggested on the forum) and I had over 25 gorgeous clumps of Agastache blooming that summer. I never had to thin the seedlings - it was very easy to plant them out in hunks. I couldn't believe my results.

Carrie

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 7:12PM
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ramazz(8a VA)

Carrie:

Thanks for mentioning that! Two generous traders sent me agastache seeds and I was unsure whether to sow them inside our wintersow them. I think I will put them in containers next weekend and leave them outside.

Becky

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 9:47PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Fresh Agastache seeds of most species and hybrids germinate fairly quickly under grow lights and bottom heat.

By the way, Agastaches are very promiscuous and seed from hybrids should be labeled Agastache ex `Hybrid Name' because the progeny will be very variable, even if the seed came from a monoculture. F2 seed ranges from one of the parent to the other. I know this is true because the last time I visited Betsy Clebsch at her then brand new home, she had let the half dozen Agastaches and hybrids that I had sent her a few years previously go wild. And they really did!

Much of the Agastache blends that Ginny Hunt sells on Seedhunt came from these plants.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 12:32PM
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hummersteve

I had a lot of seed from my Korean mint or Anise Hysopp when I tried sowing a few under lights and no bottom heat I didnt have any luck, so then I decided to winter sow them in a couple of large cool whip containers and they have been there since 12-1, but I still wont be putting them in my yard since they will be bee attracters. I will have plenty of other for my rather small yard. I have to admitt Carries idea about clump planting is appealing.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 8:45PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I have had very good results wintersowing agastache BUT they do sprout later when the temps really start to warm up. I really try not to bring agastaches in for the winter b/c as Ward stated they really will sulk. I do however have a couple of babies inside this year that sprouted towards the end of the summer and it was just too late to plant them out and have them survive over the winter up here. They will be planted out this year probably by mid April.

Penny

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 2:26PM
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hummersteve

Penny, IM just winter sowing to see if it works and yes Ive heard they will come up when it warms up, just nature at its best. You might still be interested to know the two scarlet sages Im nursing along are still looking happy and healthy after over 2 and 1/2 months now.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 2:58PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Hey Steve,
Yes I read your previous posts on how well your salvias are doing...that's great! I haven't started my seeds yet. I had to move another shelf inside to put my cuttings on as I was quickly outgrowing the one I was originally using. Now hopefully I will have room for seed starting and rooted cuttings.

Penny

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 4:38PM
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buffbill_gmail_com

Would someone be kind enough to give me a precise guide as to propagating agastache by cutting? What time of year, what part of the plant, time in which to expect rooting, etc.
Thanks in advance,
Bill

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 3:44PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

The best time to get viable cuttings of Agastaches is during the spring flush of growth. The leaves will be broader than usual, and the stems will radiate from the main trunk at the base. You will find a lot more relatively thick firm green stems, which should root relatively easily. The thin, woody stems which follow later will not root quite so well. There is also a flush at the base in the autumn.

It is a real pain to do and get many plants from just a few large ones, hence the temptation to collect seed and propagate that way. The main trouble with that is gene pool reduction, which results in really wimpy specimens after a few years. Also, any hybrids after F1 will not come true.

Forms which have a lot of A. mexicana or A. barberi (A. pallida v. pallida) in them will retain a lot more of the lush thick green stem growth for a longer period, since these forms come from less xeric and more subtropical areas. These can be treated like many Salvias and have a lot longer season for taking cuttings.

Pink Lemonade, Pink Panther and Tutti Frutti are examples of such hybrids, and were all hand-crosses I released quite a while ago.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 9:53PM
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wardda

Last year was a good year for spring Agastache cuttings, all the established plants made early and strong growth so April cuttings could be taken. Within a few weeks most of them developed roots and even with the transplant into individual pots they were ready for planting by early June. Last summer here in southern New Jersey we experienced one of the worst droughts we can recall, but despite no supplemental water roughly 75% of cuttings survived. Because of conditions the plants didn't grow as large as I might have liked, but when the weather finally broke in late August they did bloom. The most successful were Firebird, rupestris, Desert Sunrise and Ava. The seedlings started in January from aurantiaca hybrids were not nearly as successful. Several hundred were planted and by fall that number was reduced to several dozen. Some of that several dozen looked kind of interesting and I am looking forward to their second year progress.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 4:36PM
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