HomeHerb SelectionPopular Herbs5 Reasons Walker's Low Catmint Belongs in Every Garden

5 Reasons Walker’s Low Catmint Belongs in Every Garden

Catmint is a classic perennial flower that has been gracing gardens for centuries. Of the many varieties of catmint, Walker’s Low is arguably one of the best. This compact variety puts on an abundance of beautiful blue blooms throughout the growing season without needing any deadheading or maintenance.

In addition to gorgeous flowers, Walker’s Low catmint boasts fragrant foliage, adaptability to various conditions, disease resistance, and deer/rabbit resistance. These attributes make it an excellent choice for nearly any garden.

Here are 5 key reasons why Walker’s Low catmint deserves a spot in your landscape.

What is Walker’s Low Catmint?

Walker’s Low catmint (Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’) is a hybrid variety within the Nepeta genus. It’s a cross between Nepeta mussinii and Nepeta faassenii. This compact perennial reaches only about 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

Like other catmints, Walker’s Low features small lavender-blue flowers on terminal spikes blooming from late spring through early fall. The gray-green aromatic leaves remain attractive all season long. This variety stands out for its tidier, mounded form than most catmints.

Walker's Low Catmint
Walker’s Low Catmint

Reason 1: Excellent Flower Production

One of the biggest assets of Walker’s Low catmint is its incredible flower power. Each plant is smothered in dozens of delicate tubular blooms when in full bloom.

The flowers emerge on short spikes above the foliage in late spring. Bloom time lasts from May through September in most climates. Deadheading is not required to encourage more flowers with this variety. The blossoms just keep coming all season long.

These pretty lavender-blue blooms have a wildflower type of appearance. They attract plenty of pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. You’ll often see these flowers buzzing with activity.

While the individual flowers are small, each plant becomes blanketed with blossoms when mature. Walker’s Low catmint packs a big floral punch in the landscape for an extended bloom season.

Reason 2: Fragrant Foliage

In addition to beautiful blooms, Walker’s Low catmint boasts aromatic gray-green foliage. The leaves give off a pleasant minty scent when brushed up against or crushed.

This clean fragrance comes from the mild nepetalactone compound found in catmints. Besides being enjoyable for gardeners, the scent also lures in pollinating insects.

The odor serves as a natural insect repellent too. Plant Walker’s Low catmint around patios, decks, or open windows and let the fragrance deter mosquitos and other pesky bugs.

The foliage remains clean and attractive looking all season, with minimal disease or insect damage. The plants maintain a tidy mounded form through summer before dying back in winter.

5 Reasons Walker's Low Catmint Belongs in Every Garden

Reason 3: Adaptability

Another benefit of Walker’s Low catmint is its adaptability to various growing conditions. This tough plant is easy to grow in most settings.

It thrives in a wide range of soils, including clays, loams, rocky ground, and sand. The ideal pH range is 6.0 to 8.0. Walker’s Low catmint grows well in nutrient-poor soils and requires very little fertilizer.

While it flourishes in full sun, this variety also tolerates partial shade. It can handle hot humid climates as well as colder northern regions (zones 3-8).

Once established, Walker’s Low catmint has good drought tolerance. Mature plants only need occasional watering except in very dry conditions. The foliage may wilt on the hottest days but bounces back after watering.

The adaptability and ruggedness allow this compact catmint to succeed in challenging parts of the landscape like hellstrips, rock gardens, or areas plagued by reflected heat.

Reason 4: Disease Resistance

Trouble-free performance is another advantage of planting Walker’s Low catmint. This variety has excellent resistance to most common plant diseases.

Powdery mildew, leaf spot, crown rot, rust, and other fungal issues rarely impact Walker’s Low. This dependable perennial stays lush and healthy season after season.

The disease resistance makes maintenance easy. There’s no need for spraying or other treatments to prevent problems. Just sit back and enjoy the floral show!

Other catmint varieties like Six Hills Giant and Junior Walker can struggle with powdery mildew damage. But Walker’s Low keeps pumping out pristine flowers regardless.

The disease resistance is partly linked to the aromatic oils naturally occurring in the foliage. These oils likely help deter fungal spores from taking hold.

walker's low catmint
Image Credits: Andrea_44 | License details

Reason 5: Deer and Rabbit Resistance

Hungry deer and rabbits can wreak havoc on garden plantings. Fortunately, it is rarely damaged by these critters.

Deer tend to avoid grazing on catmint due to the pungent fragrance and flavor. Rabbits also turn up their noses once they get a whiff of that minty odor.

This natural pest resistance helps keep your garden intact. Plant Walker’s Low catmint along borders or pathways where deer wander. Use it in rabbit-prone areas as a safer bet than tulips or hostas.

Having a go-to deer and rabbit-resistant perennial like Walker’s Low catmint is invaluable for gardens in rural areas. You can be confident your efforts will be enjoyed instead of devoured overnight.

Key Takeaways

  • Delivers masses of pretty blue blooms from late spring through early fall without the need for deadheading.
  • The clean minty fragrance of the foliage deters pests, attracts pollinators, and adds sensory appeal.
  • This tough, adaptable plant thrives in various conditions including poorer soils, heat, humidity, drought, and part shade.
  • Excellent disease resistance allows it to resist powdery mildew and other common fungal issues.
  • Deer and rabbits tend to avoid grazing on this variety due to its aromatic qualities, making it critter-resistant.

With long-lasting blooms, pleasant fragrance, ruggedness, and pest resistance, Walker’s Low catmint is a perfect choice for nearly any garden setting.

Conclusion

For a reliable, low-maintenance perennial that keeps the garden looking great, it’s hard to beat this compact variety. It blooms its heart out while resisting deer, disease, drought, and poor soils. If you’re interested in more herbs that thrive in full sun, check out our Full Sun Herb Garden guide.

The fragrant gray-green foliage and vivid floral display attract pollinators while repelling pesky insects. Adaptability allows it to thrive in challenging parts of the landscape.

No garden should be without this beautiful, aromatic, rugged plant. It offers season-long color and sensory appeal for very little effort. Plant some today and see your landscape transformed!

FAQs

How big does Walker’s Low catmint get?

Walker’s Low catmint typically reaches 12 inches tall x 24 inches wide when mature. It has a tidy mounded form. This dwarf variety stays much more compact than standard catmint.

What color are the flowers of Walker’s Low catmint?

Walker’s Low catmint features delicate tubular lavender-blue flowers on short spikes blooming from late spring through early fall. The color is similar to that of Russian sage.

Is Walker’s Low catmint invasive?

Walker’s Low catmint is not invasive. It grows in a restrained, clump-forming habit and does not spread rapidly or seed itself aggressively like some perennials. The division may be needed every 2-3 years to control growth.

What zones is Walker’s Low catmint hardy in?

Walker’s Low catmint is cold hardy through USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 8. It can withstand winter temperatures down to -30 F when established. Provide winter mulch in very cold regions.

Does Walker’s Low catmint spread?

Walker’s Low catmint grows outward in a slow, clumping habit to about 24 inches wide. Occasional division every few years can help restrain growth and promote vigor. It does not spread aggressively or become weedy.

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