Nepeta subsessilis is a species of nepeta that is native to moist mountain slopes in Japan. ‘Blue Panther’ is a bright blue, large-flowered Nepeta which is grown from seed and flowers during the first year. It can be grown as an annual or as a flowering perennial.
This more compact and uniform cultivar is a sturdy plant that is winter-hardy and has a good branch structure. Different in habit from the low, edging types of Catmint, this species forms a bushy, upright mound of fragrant, glossy green leaves.
It grows to around 20cm (8in) tall and 25cm (10in) wide. A good mid-border selection, the plants are also suitable for containers.
The showy spikes of large medium to dark blue, scented tubular flowers are produced from June until the end of September, atop square, leafy stems clad with aromatic, toothed, green foliage. They are extremely attractive to bees and butterflies and are excellent for cutting.
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade, the plants can be divided in early spring. They work well as an informal low hedge or mixed in the border with other annuals or perennials.
Nepeta subsessilis ‘Blue Panther’ was submitted it to the new plant competition Plantarium 2015, the Dutch trade fair for hardy nursery stock and was awarded with a Bronze Medal.
The judges of the Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society wrote in their jury report: “A nice addition to the range, as a compact pot plant it is very floriferous at a young age.”
Sowing: Late winter to late spring or sow late summer to autumn.
Sow seed on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots or trays. Cover seed with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. Germination 7 to 21 days at temperatures of 16 to 22°C (60 to 70°F). When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots to grow on.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12in) apart.
Sowing Direct: Sow in spring to early summer when all risk of frost has gone.
Seeds can be sown outdoors, directly where they are to flower. They can be broadcast in drifts or can be sown in more formal beds and borders.
Sow the seed in short drills from March to May, at temperatures around 20°C (68°F). Cover lightly with soil, mark the sowing areas with a ring of light coloured sand and label if sowing more than one variety in the same bed.
Seeds germinate in two to three weeks. The seedlings can be told from nearby weed seedlings quite easily. Thin the seedlings out so they are finally 30cm (12in) apart by early summer. Alternatively, leave them to grow as small clumps, of 4 to 6 plants every 30cm (12in) or so. Compost should be kept slightly moist, but not wet at all times.
For best results, plant in any ordinary, well-drained soil in full sun.
To prevent cats from flattening the plant, insert several twiggy sticks into the centre.
If the soil is particularly poor, fertilise a little with weak solution of liquid fertilise. Otherwise do not fertilise as this can encourage leafy growth at the expense of flowering.
Prune back older foliage on the outside after blooming to encourage new growth and a more compact, denser plant. Lift and divide large clumps in spring, replanting divided specimens with lots of well-rotted organic matter. If powdery mildew becomes a problem prune out the affected areas.
Fresh or dried, the leaves make a refreshing and therapeutic tea which is high in Vitamin C and has traditionally been used to treat such conditions as nervousness, insomnia, hyperactivity, colds and fevers. Cut and dry all parts when harvesting for cats.
Cut flower stems for floral arrangements.
Cottage/Informal Gardens, Wildflower and Wildlife, Borders and Beds
Nepeta subsessilis is native to moist mountain slopes in Japan. It bears the largest flower clusters of any catmint. Bloom spikes may be 20cm (8in) long and 8cm (3in) wide. The plants typically grows in a mound to 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in) tall. The species plants perform best in cool, moist soils, they generally lack the drought tolerance in summer that is typical of most other nepetas.
Nepeta comes from the town Nepet(e) in the Lazio region of Italy. where Catmint was cultivated.
The species name subsessilis The prefix sub, signifying partially or almost; and sessile, from the Latin sessilis, meaning low or sitting.
The term is used in biology (of a plant or animal structure) to describe to an organism that is anchored to a substrate, thus cannot move about freely. Mussels and barnacles are examples of sessile organisms.
In plant biology it means attached directly by its base, without a stalk or peduncle. It is used to refer to a leaf or flower that has no stem of its own but is attached directly to the main stem of the plant. The word subsessilis means 'nearly but not quite sessile' or 'nearly stalkless'.
Nepeta species are known as catnip or catmint because of the famed effect on cats. Nepeta pleasantly stimulates cats' pheromonic receptors, typically resulting in a temporary induced euphoric state. Although Nepeta cataria is the true catnip which house cats love, the leaves of Nepeta subsessilis are also attractive, albeit it less so, to cats.
Plantarium is the premier Dutch trade fair for hardy nursery stock. The trade show is held in The Netherlands every August.
It features new varieties of perennial plants and shrubs and has over 300 international exhibitors. The show attracts visitors from 48 countries and is an important platform for all sectors involved in the perennial market.
Nepeta subsessilis ‘Blue Panther’ was submitted it to the new plant competition Plantarium 2015, the Dutch trade fair for hardy nursery stock and was awarded with a Bronze Medal. The judges of the Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society wrote in their jury report: “A nice addition to the range, as a compact pot plant it is very floriferous at a young age.”
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25mg Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 1200 seeds / gram Family Lamiaceae Genus Nepeta Species subsessilis Cultivar Blue Panther Common Name Misogawo-so, Japanese Catmint Other Common Names Catnip or Catneep Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Spikes of large medium to dark blue, scented tubular flowers Natural Flower Time Mid summer to early autumn Foliage Aromatic Position Sun or Partial Shade. Soil Well drained soil. Time to Sow Late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn Germination 7 to 14 days