The Faassen’s catnip enriches the garden with numerous lavender-blue flowers, which are very popular with bees, and a wonderfully fragrant foliage.
Profile of Faassen’s catnip:
Scientific name: Nepeta x faassenii
Plant family: mint family (Lamiaceae)
Other names: symphytumoot
Planting time: Spring
Flowering period: May to September
Soil quality: gritty to loamy, moderately nutritious
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, group planting, planters, rose companions, borders, cottage garden, flower garden, roof garden, rose garden, rock garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4
Bee and insect friendly: yes, very much
Plant characteristics and classification of Faassen’s catnip
Plant order, origin and occurrence of Faassen’s catnip
The Faassen’s catnip (Nepeta x faassenii) is a garden hybrid that was created by crossing two catnip, namely Nepeta racemosa and Nepeta nepetella. It is part of the large family of the mint family (Lamiaceae), as you can easily see from its appearance.
Characteristics of Faassen’s catnip
Depending on the variety, Nepeta faassenii is between 30 and 60 centimeters (12 and 24 inches) high. The pretty perennial grows bushy. The arched shoots give the fast-growing plant a relaxed look.
The striking, fragrant leaves are gray-green colored and serrated. Depending on the variety, the hairy leaves are broad to narrow lanceolate and oppositely arranged on the stems.
The numerous, blue-violet flowers appear in May and then bring color into the garden until September. The long flowering period makes the Faassen’s catnip a very valuable perennial for the summer garden. The lip shaped flowers spread a tart aromatic fragrance. They grow up to 1.20 centimeters (0.5 in) long and are arranged in long, spike-like inflorescences that hardly bear leaves.
Faassen’s catnip – cultivation and care
A warm location in the bed is ideal for the sun-loving perennial, but the Faassen’s catnip also feels comfortable in relatively dry open spaces.
The soil should be well drained and dry to fresh. A moderately nutritious substrate is sufficient.
If you want to use the Faassen’s catnip for greening the area, set about eight perennials per square meter. Nepeta faassenii can also be used as a solitary plant, but it is best used in groups of three to twenty plants. It is best to plant in spring, in autumn there is a high risk that the young plants will not grow properly and then be damaged in the first winter.
You can divide the perennials in spring or multiply them with cuttings. Since the varieties are largely sterile, these are the only ways for them to multiply.
In addition to the blue-flowering species that gives the Faassen’s catnip its name, there is also the white-flowering variety ‘Alba’. The intensely violet-blue flowering variety ‘Walkers Low’, which also performed best in the perennial shrub, is currently particularly widespread and popular among gardeners. The silver-gray blooming variety ‘glacial ice’ has also proven to be very free-flowering and stable. The wide variety ‘Kit Cat’ impresses with light purple flowers with reddish goblets.
Cutting back after the first bloom leads to a long flowering period well into autumn and is therefore highly recommended. The compact growth habit is also maintained by regular pruning. The perennial is quite undemanding, but it is sensitive to winter wetness. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that the soil remains well drained and that the perennial is protected from moisture if necessary over the winter months.
Diseases and pests
Cats can be attracted to the aromatic fragrant perennial and then like to settle in the middle of the cluster, which can damage the plant. Faassen’s catnip is also susceptible to root rot due to winter wetness.
Faassen’s catnip is hardy. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is 4.
Use in the garden
Nepeta faassenii is a tireless flowering plant and a valuable bee pasture. Among other things, the perennial is very suitable as a rose companion and can also be planted over a large area, for example on open spaces in public greenery. It is a good substitute for lavender in cooler, rough locations. Faassen’s catnip also cuts a fine figure alongside strongly colored bedding plants such as yarrow, spurge, asphodeline or evening primrose.