Persian Catmint as Perennial of the Year 2007

Persian Catmint as Perennial of the Year 2007
Walker’s Low Persian catmint is a delightful perennial, which has been named the 2007 Perennial of the Year. A member of the mint family, this is an excellent plant for the landscape.

Since the stems tend to trail somewhat, this makes an excellent ground cover. In addition, it is a suitable choice for rock gardens, and herb gardens as well as for perennial beds and mixed borders. Also, this would be good for butterfly and hummingbird gardens.

This plant is versatile enough to grow in planters and other containers. It reaches about one to 1½ feet in height with a slightly larger spread, up to two feet.

Walker’s Low Persian catmint is best known for its fragrant greenish-gray foliage. This is notched along the edges, and has the opposite typical leaf arrangement seen in members of the Mint family. Another trait it shares with its relatives is the square stem.

This perennial is well-known for its lovely purplish-blue blossoms that open in whorls on large crowded spikes. About one to two inches long, these are shaped like typical mint blossoms. The first flush of blooms will show up in the spring. To encourage the plant to rebloom, cut it back by about half. It will reward you by being more floriferous than ever. In fact, it will continue blooming until frost.

Walker’s Low Persian catmint is recommended for USDA zones three through ten.

The Persian catmints need a well drained soil. They prefer a neutral pH. These are unbothered by rabbits and deer. There are virtually no insect or disease problems. Once these are established, it can tolerate drought.

While full sun is usually best, the exception is in the South and those areas with really hot summers. In those locations, Persian catmints benefit from some afternoon shade

Walker’s Low Persian catmint is only one of the varieties of the Persian catmints that are available. Others include ones with either white or blue blossoms. Among the better known ones are Blue Beauty, Blue Wonder, Snowflake, and Six Hills Giant.

As the name implies, Persian catmint was originally native to Persia (present-day Iran) and the Caucasus.

Walker’s Low Persian catmint can’t be grown from seeds since this is a sterile hybrid. Instead, you’ll need to buy plants or obtain cuttings from another gardener.

The Perennial of the Year is chosen by the Perennial Plant Association. This program has been in existence since 1990. It promotes easy care perennials that are adapted to most areas of the country. The one chosen must also provide multi-seasonal interest as well.

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