High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Sunset Hyssop flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4
Other Names: Rootbeer Plant, Licorice Mint
Spikes of orange flowers with lavender calyxes attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Threadlike gray-green leaves are highly aromatic.Thrives in hot spots with good drainage. Native to Arizona, New Mexico, and north central Mexico.
Sunset Hyssop features airy spikes of lightly-scented indian red tubular flowers with salmon throats and rose calyces rising above the foliage from mid summer to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive fragrant pointy leaves remain silver in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The white stems can be quite attractive.
Sunset Hyssop is an open herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Sunset Hyssop is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
- Herb Gardens
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Sunset Hyssop will grow to be about 32 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.
Sunset Hyssop is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.