Closeup of purple flower spike with light green background. Plant Profile: Stachys monieri 'Hummelo'

Plant Profile:  Stachys monieri Hummelo

There are times when incredible plants are lackluster in their containers. Hummelo Stachys is one of those plants. 

Planted in a landscape, Hummelo holds the anticipation of bright pink flowers. Its glossy green foliage, low growing, concealing the ground. But the plants at the garden center are often only a handful of low-growing leaves. 

Customers who have trusted this recommendation have come to love this plant. Often adding more to their landscapes. This plant has proven to be so remarkable that it is the 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year®. 

Purple flower spikes over a mass of green, oblong leaves.
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc

Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’

Hummelo Stachys monieri has bright green foliage with scallop-edged, oblong leaves. It forms a low mass that will spread bit by bit across the ground. Rosy-lavender spikes of flowers rise above the clean foliage in mid-summer. Topping out at 1.5 to 2 feet, this show-stopping perennial works best at the front of the border.

Small purple flowers on spikes above leafy green foliage.
Photo Courtesy Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens

A Bit of History

German grower Ernst Pagels introduced Hummelo in the late ’90s. The plant name pays homage to his nursery and home in Hummelo, Netherlands. 

The name also ties into his German heritage while describing the plant.  “Hummel” is a German word that means bumblebee, and this plant is a favorite of bees! 

Rosy-pink flowers above oblong, serrated green leaves.
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc

It’s All About Family

You may recognize the name Stachys and Lamb’s Ear comes to mind. But this isn’t the Lamb’s Ear that you’re thinking of with its wooly, silver foliage. That Stachys is S. byzantina

Hummelo is Stachys monieri. Although it is sometimes referred to it as officianlis. It’s more like the cousin that you actually want to see at the family reunion. 

And what a huge family it is. There are an estimated 300 to 400 species within the genus Stachys.

Despite the confusing nomenclature, though, we’re here for this super tough, bee-loving plant. Regardless of what you call it, it is breathtaking.

Rosy-pink flower spikes in planting bed with blue grass against white porch.
Photo Courtesy Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens

Why is Hummelo Plant of the Year® Worthy?

To be Plant of the Year® worthy, a plant needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Suitability for a wide range of climatic conditions.
  • Low-maintenance requirements.
  • Relative pest and disease resistance.
  • Ready availability in the year of promotion.
  • Multiple seasons of ornamental interest.

From my personal experience with this plant and from customers who have planted it at their home? I am in complete agreement with all these checkpoints and then some! 

Mass of green leaves with rosy-pink flower spikes.
Photo Courtesy Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens

Where can I plant Hummelo Stachys?

Hummelo is perfect for natural pollinator gardens.  Yet, the clean foliage also lends itself to formal gardens and front landscape plantings. This stunner doesn’t box itself into one set category or garden type.

All it requires from you is full to part sun and well-drained soil. 

The Perennial Plant Association chose this low-maintenance plant for a reason. Though Hummelo may be a bit of a sleeper at the garden center in spring, don’t walk by it. Its spectacular summer show will astound you! 

Tiny, lavender flowers massed on green stems.
Photo Courtesy Chicago Botanical Garden

Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’

Zone:4 – 8
Height:1.5′ to 2′
Spread:1.5′ to 2′
Bloom Time:July – September
Bloom Description:Rose-Lavender
Light Requirements:Full Sun to Mostly Sun
Water:Medium
Maintenance:Low. Spreads slowly by creeping rhizomes.
Features:Beneficial for Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant

Sources:

Perennial Plant Association. (2019) Perennial Plant of the Year®

Missouri Botanical Garden. Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’

Wikipedia

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