Dropmore Blue CatmintNepeta ucranica x racemosa ‘Dropmore Hybrid’
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Dropmore Blue Catmint is a perennial plant with gray-green leaves and a beautiful billowing and trailing habit of growth. It forms a low mound a foot or so tall and wide – perfect for edging beds along paths and around paved areas. It blooms from May to September with spikes of violet-blue blooms, creating a blue and gray cloud that takes your garden layout to the next level. Plant it among rocks and on slopes, at the top of a wall or in low-water gardens. In warmer zones it can be used as a permanent plant in boxes and planters. It is aromatic, and the flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
Grow your Dropmore Blue Catmint in full sun, in well-drained soil of any type. Once established it is drought resistant and thrives in drier areas, as well as in ordinary garden conditions. It is untroubled by pests, diseases, deer and rabbits, and resists salt as well. Cut it back to the ground in late fall, and you can trim it over after the first flush of flowering, to keep it neater. It is sterile, and won’t seed around, and this also encourages an abundance of blooms.
Catmint, with its billowing mounds of gray-green leaves and vibrant blue flowers, has become a garden classic. Seen in all the best-looking gardens, and incredibly photogenic, this edging plant ties your planting together like nothing else can, and creating a wonderful calm yet vibrant feel, never clashing with any other colors, but instead bringing them all together in a symphony of nature. Once you see its effect you will never want to be without it, but if you live in colder parts of the country winter survival can be a problem. So don’t just plant the first catmint you find, plant the Dropmore Blue Catmint. This charming low-growing variety was created in the chilly Canadian province of Manitoba, specifically for local conditions, so it thrives and lives a long life, even in zone 3. Choose this catmint and you will avoid the disappointment of finding it dead next spring – whatever the winter throws at it, it’s gonna come bouncing back. Not just tough but beautiful, this plant is also perfect when you want a lower edging, closer to 12 inches than the 24 to 36 inches of most other varieties. So it’s perfect for smaller gardens, using in planters, and edging narrow paths.
Dropmore Blue Catmint is a perennial plant that dies back each fall and returns the next spring. It grows rapidly when it wakes up, soon making a low mound of branches a foot or so tall, and about 18 inches across, once it has been in you garden for a couple of seasons. The aromatic leaves are oval, with toothed edges, and no more than an inch long. They cluster all along the stems, making a bushy, rounded plant. The leaves are gray-green, covered in fine silvery hairs, so the whole plant has a beautiful silvery green look, making all the plants around it look more beautiful. By early summer the first flowers appear, and these are in clusters at the end of every stem. They open over a long period, keeping a beautiful haze of blue floating over your beds for weeks and weeks. The tiny, ½-inch flowers are irregular trumpets of rich violet blue, in clusters along the upper portion of the stems. This plant is aromatic, and somewhat attractive to cats, but it is not the true catnip (Nepeta cataria) that drives them crazy, so most cats won’t tear at it or roll on it. The flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds too. It doesn’t create seeds, which simultaneously keeps it flowering constantly, from May to September, and also stops it being a pest and sprouting seedlings around your garden.
The Dropmore Blue Catmint is the quintessential edging plant for all your sunny beds. Grow it as a continuous edge, or as scattered clumps – either way it looks simply gorgeous. Let it spill over onto a paved surface, or plant it a little further back in a bed edging a lawn. In warmer zones it can be planted in containers and boxes to spill over the edges, surviving winters just fine. Plant it among rocks and boulders for a flash of color, or at the top of a wall. It looks especially effective with pink roses. For a continuous planting space the plants 12 to 15 inches apart.
Dropmore Blue Catmint is without doubt the best catmint for zones 3 to 5, with fantastic cold resistance. It will also grow well in warmer zones, where you want a smaller catmint.
All this plant asks for is its place in the sun. Avoid shady areas, especially in colder zones. In zone 8 some afternoon shade is fine, and may be beneficial. Plant it in any well-drained soil. Acid or alkaline, it doesn’t matter. It grows well in poor soils – some people would say better – and thrives in open, exposed places.
Dropmore Blue Catmint is almost never bothered by pests or diseases and deer and rabbits generally leave it alone. It needs almost no care – just cut it back to the ground in late fall. You can keep it neater for longer, and encourage the maximum flower display, by lightly trimming it after the first blooming is finished. This will tidy it and keep a neat, blue mound right into fall.
The catmints, Nepeta, are a large group of similar-looking plants that grow all through Europe, North Africa and as far as Central Asia. Besides the natural species, several of our best garden types are hybrids of two species, which has the advantage of reducing or eliminating seed, and keeping them blooming a long time. The variety called ‘Dropmore Hybrid’, was created in the 1920s (official release date 1932) by the famous Canadian plant breeder Dr. Frank L. Skinner, a scientist with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and Conservation. He worked at their breeding station in the small town of Dropmore, Manitoba. He crossed together Nepeta ucranica, a species from the Ukraine, and the dwarf catmint, Nepeta racemosa (called N. mussinii at that time). It still remains today the most cold-resistant catmint available.
If you live in a cooler zone, then this is the catmint you need, but don’t overlook it if you are in a warmer area, because it’s the perfect lower catmint for smaller spaces and planter boxes. It is rarely available outside of Canada, so order now, because we have many customers in cooler zones impatient for this plant.