The scented nettle is a herbaceous and perennial perennial that is also known under the names anise hyssop, mountain mint, anism mint, Korean mint, mosquito nettle and blue nettle. It is one of the butterfly bloomers. The aromatic scent of anise or mint comes from the flowers and leaves of the scented nettle. The upright, pleasantly scented flower candles appear in white, pink, blue or deep purple tones from June to October, depending on the variety. The individual species also differ from one another in terms of their height. This ranges between 40 and 160 cm.
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The scented nettle has a very special effect when you put different species together in groups of 3-5 pieces on a surface so that they grow together. Thanks to their different flower colors, leaf shapes and heights, they are also a real eye-catcher in combination with a splendid candle, goldenrod or evening primrose. In this country the scented nettle is mainly grown or cultivated as a scented plant but also as a tea plant and culinary herb.
Location and soil
The scented nettle Agastache does not make any great demands in terms of location and soil. Above all, the location should be warm and sunny to full sun and not too humid. Dry locations are much better tolerated by this plant than too wet.
The scented nettle is particularly good for slightly dry, sandy soils. As a rule, however, any good garden soil is suitable. However, this should not tend to waterlogging, because this plant does not tolerate it at all.
Watering and fertilizing
The scented nettle needs to be watered, except immediately after planting, usually only when it is permanently dry. It is best to water in the morning or evening so that the plants do not burn from the sun. In particularly moist soils, you should work in appropriate drainage if possible so that excess water can drain off.
In spring you can fertilize with a long-term perennial fertilizer. Both mineral and organic fertilizers as well as liquid herbal fertilizers from the gardening trade are suitable for the scented nettle.
- After the main flowering, the plants can be cut back.
- It is best to cut them off about 5-10 cm above the ground.
- A pruning after the first flowering phase is also recommended.
- After that, there may be a second flowering.
Some types of the scented nettle Agastache are completely hardy, others only to a limited extent, whereby the blue varieties should be more frost-resistant than those with a reddish color. The blue-flowered varieties are mostly Rugosa species.
The hardy species usually tolerate temperatures of up to – 23 degrees. Despite everything, it is advisable to plant them in a protected location from the outset and to provide them with additional winter protection from too severe frosts. The greatest danger comes not only in spring and summer, but especially in winter, from waterlogging, which should be avoided at all costs.
Some conditionally hardy Agastache species should be given appropriate winter protection at temperatures as low as -10 degrees. Species that are particularly sensitive to frost should be cultivated in pots right from the start and brought to a light, frost-free winter quarters at temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees before the onset of frost.
Under optimal conditions, scented nettles often sow themselves. But they can also be brought forward under glass in early spring or from March. The seeds are placed in a substrate, which can consist, for example, of standard commercial soil with a third of sharp sand. Then the whole thing is moistened and covered either with glass or foil.
At temperatures of around 20 degrees, the seeds germinate within 20-30 days. From the beginning of May, the small plants can slowly get used to the outdoor climate and from mid-May, when night frosts are no longer to be expected, they can be planted outside. There are around 5-7 plants per square meter. A planting distance of approx. 40 cm should be maintained between the individual plants.
parts can smell the nettle Agastache in spring. To do this, they are dug up, divided and the new plants planted on the spot. It is best not to divide these plants, however, as they tend to get more beautiful over the years, provided they stay in the same location long enough.
Propagation by cuttings takes place in spring. The plants from which the cuttings are to be taken should be healthy and vigorous. At best, the cuttings should first have attached leaf buds, the leaves should not yet have developed if possible.
The approx. 5-10 cm long cutting is cut off below a leaf knot. If leaves are already formed, only the top 2-3 leaves should remain on the cutting and the others should be removed to avoid excessive water evaporation.
Now you put them in appropriate potting soil and cover the whole thing with foil if possible. If the cuttings are rooted, which can be recognized by the newly emerging leaves, they can either be separated in small pots or planted in the garden from mid-May.
Diseases and pests
Diseases and pests of any kind do not usually pose a threat to the Agastache scented nettle. An exception, however, are the nudibranchs, because they find scented nettles very attractive and tasty. Nudibranchs can eat one or more plants completely bald within a very short time, so that they eventually die.
If you can overcome yourself, you can read it over and over again, but that’s not for everyone. But you can also fall back on commercially available slug pellets, which you distribute around the plants in question. The trade now also offers organic slug pellets, which are completely harmless to other animals.
Special features of the scented nettle
- At first glance, the scented nettle is a somewhat inconspicuous plant.
- Their biodiversity ranges from dainty and low-growing species to large perennials.
- Their leaves are toothed and similar to those of the nettle or mint.
- The undersides of the leaves are covered with dense, fine hairs.
- These plants give off a pleasant scent.
- In summer they attract numerous butterflies and bees.
- The scented nettle is a colorful garden shrub that is related to mint, among other things.
- Both the flowers and the leaves of these plants are edible.
- The flowers are mostly used fresh.
- The leaves can be used fresh or in dried form.
- They are suitable for the preparation of tea or as culinary herbs.
- Blossoms and leaves can be harvested from June / July to September, depending on the species.
- The harvest should be done in sunshine if possible.
- Then the content of essential oils in the plant is highest.
Particularly beautiful varieties
- Scented nettle Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ – This perennial scented nettle is an aromatic new breed with beautiful apricot-colored panicles that appear from June to September. The Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ reaches heights of growth between 25 and 60 cm, depending on its location, and is only very conditionally hardy. Therefore, a planting in a tub is recommended and a light, frost-free overwintering at temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees.
- Scented nettle Agastache rugosa ‘Alabaster’ – White Korean mint – This clump-forming variety produces upright, greenish-white flower spikes and exudes a pleasant scent of anise and mint. It blooms from July to October and is about 60 to 80 cm high and is particularly effective when planted in small groups. It sows itself and belongs to the hardy species. It tolerates temperatures of up to – 23.3 degrees in winter.
- Scented nettle Agastache hybrid ‘Summer Glow’ – This scented nettle impresses above all with its light yellow flowers and purple calyxes as well as with its aromatic foliage. It blooms from July to September and becomes about 60 cm high. The Agastache hybrid ‘Summer Glow’ is one of the wintergreen species. It is hardy, but should be protected from severe frosts with a cover.
- Scented nettle Agastache mexicana ‘Sangria’ – Limonenysop – Agastache mexicana ‘Sangria’ is particularly suitable for regions with a wine-growing climate. It develops bright red-purple flowers from July to October at a height of between 80 and 120 cm. Due to its limited winter hardiness, it makes sense to cultivate it as a container plant that is overwintered as frost-free as possible.
- Scented nettle Agastache rugosa ‘Golden Jubilee’ – This aromatic, fragrant perennial produces blue-violet flowers from July to September and also impresses with its fragrant, golden-yellow leaves. It reaches heights of between 50 and 70 cm and is conditionally hardy. Appropriate winter protection makes sense in colder regions.
- Scented nettle Agastache hybrid ‘Astello Indigo’ – This robust and flowering variety presents itself with breathtaking deep indigo blue flower spikes, which show up in the first year from July and from the second year from June to October. The glowing flowers are just as fascinating as the delicate aromatic scent of this perennial. It becomes between 50 and 60 cm high and is suitable for both beds and tubs. With appropriate winter protection, this scented nettle is perennial.
- Scented nettle Agastache mexicana var. – ‘Toronjil Morado’ – The variety ‘Toronjil Morado’ presents itself from July to September with pink to magenta-colored panicles of flowers. It reaches heights of between 60 and 90 cm. This variety is also only hardy to a limited extent, so that it is either cultivated in a bucket and wintered frost-free or it is cultivated as an annual perennial.
- Agastache mexicana – Mexican scented nettle, Lemonysop – This upright to bushy growing Agastache species produces purple-pink flowers from July to September. It becomes approx. 60 to 90 cm high and develops a wonderful aroma. The flowers have a particularly intense sweet taste and the leaves are fruity and lemony. The winter hardiness of this species is very limited, so it makes sense to cultivate it in the bucket.
The scented nettle is a filigree plant that not only impresses with its colorful flowers, but also with its very aromatic scent. It is very easy to care for and in the right location you can enjoy rich flowering for many weeks of the year. Diseases and pests can hardly harm it, which is probably partly due to its intense fragrance. It can be cultivated both for one year and for several years. Waterlogging should be avoided at all costs and the plants should be given appropriate winter protection depending on how hard it is frost.