Nepeta ‘Neptune’ is like that guy at the party who moves from group to group, you know the type, a bit of a social butterfly..? Because, what you see before you may look like herbaceous perennial, but that certainly shouldn’t limit where it spends its time in your garden. This brand new selection of Catmint will be just at home in a patio container with your Petunias as it would be looking svelte in a wide sweeping border, nudging up against some Lupins. The social butterfly of your backyard – let it mingle!
We all love Lavender, don’t we? But, boy, it can be a pig to grow sometimes! That mediterranean heritage means it doesn’t like much water either. Because, as gardeners, we tend to focus on watering our plants, a lot! Lavender don’t like that. But, we’d miss that colour if it weren’t in our gardens. This is where Nepeta can be super useful!
Robust, rounded plants look good even before they burst into bloom. Of course, like many Nepeta, they are enjoyed by cats too, and you may have to protect them from rollicking cats in the border! Plants flower for a long period too, in fact that’s why I feel confident enough to recommend it as a patio plant too! And we know how hard patio plants are expected to work during those summer months.
How was this plant created?
The breeding and selection programme for Nepeta ‘Neptune’ began way back in 2011, as grower Kees Jan Kraan looked at the very handsome Nepeta kubanica and wished it were a smarter looking plant. It was a comfy sweater rather than a well-fitted suit.
Kees soon set to work, changing the habit of this Nepeta over many generations. Soon enough, it was a neater, more shapely plant, which deserved a place in every garden, even places that go down to -25C!
Nepeta kubanica was an often overlooked species, as there can be many other Catmints to choose from in the garden. This species was discovered on the Kuban Peninsula of Caucasus, Russia, and so already had cool season qualities and a robust attitude. The new breeding simply built on those qualities. The result, after thousands of seedlings and rigorous selection, was one very special plant.
What’s different about this plant?
Nepeta ‘Neptune’ sits in a very lovely colour palette, one which is a favourite with many gardeners across Europe and beyond. The blue-mauve florets deserve a closer look too, their delicate veining is such a joy! Cut a few stems for indoors in a vase too. The stout, shorter habit of this plant cannot be underestimated either. What was a bit straggly species is now a smart garden plant.
Where can you plant Nepeta ‘Neptune’?
Here is where your creativity is the only limit! The mauve pillow of Nepeta would be fabulous in patio pots, where it’ll hold it’s own against the usual suspects, Petunias, Begonias and the like! Or, plant it into a bedding scheme, placing it somewhere between the front and the middle!
Both those suggestions might be seen as a bit racy by the neighbours.. so you might prefer to stay traditional and plant it into your cottage garden border with Delphiniums, Lupins and the like. But, I wouldn’t do that, I like shocking the neighbours!! 😉
Wherever you plant it, you’ll have a low maintenance plant that is distinctly unfussy and will flower it’s heart out! Blooms will keep coming from June to September, and every year too!
Where can you buy this plant?
Plants are available in garden centres across Europe, or by mail order from here
How to grow Nepeta ‘Neptune’ :
Flowering time: June to September
Location: Borders, bedding, patio pots
Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
Light: Sun to part shade
Hardy: Survives down to -25C! Plant are deciduous.
Care: Prune lightly after flowering, just to tidy up!
Size: 30cm (12″) high x 30cm (12″) in spread
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America). Nepeta ‘Neptune’ is bred by Kees Jan Kraan.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook.