The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) selects a different plant each year based on meeting certain criteria, including low maintenance needs, adaptability to a wide range of climates, pest and disease resistance, multiple seasons of interest and ease of propagation.  The 2021 pick is Calamintha Nepeta.  The past winners can be seen  here.

Calamintha Nepeta is undemanding and dependable and provides the perfect foil for other summer bloomers and foliage.  It has so many marvelous characteristics, that it’s easy to see why the Perennial Plant Association named it the 2021 Perennial Plant of the year.

Features of Calamintha Nepeta Subsp. Nepeta – Perennial Plant for 2021

DESCRIPTION - It has compact mounds of tine white flowers blush with a hint of blue with age.   Calamintha Nepeta should be placed where its delightfully fragrant foliage can be touched and brushed. It’s very long blooming, all the way until frost.   The height is 14” and plant spacing 14” apart.   They attract a large number of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.   Nice fragrance but deer resistant and bunnies and woodchucks don’t bother them.  It’s related to the garden Mint, without the spreading habit.

NEEDS-   It likes full sun and well-drained soil.  Very drought tolerant.  Leave the fine, twiggy steps up over winter to catch light snowfalls. 

USES -  Perfect for beds, borders and rock gardens.  Excellent groundcover, edging plant for walks, patios or herb gardens.  Attractive when sprawled over retaining walls or in containers.   These plants make great fillers or also looks good planted with plants of a bolder texture since this plant has a fine texture.

MAINTENANCE - No pruning needed but in colder climates, plant may die back to the ground and start again.  Simply cut it back in the fall or spring after it dies back. Dead stems can be removed once it buds out and starts again.

UNIQUE QUALITIES –  Doesn’t flop over in torrential rains.

There aren’t a lot of plants than can do it all…please the bees and the gardener and discourage deer.  You’ll enjoy this all season without a  lot of fuss.

If you would like to know more about low-maintenance perennials like Calamintha Nepeta or discuss what shrubs and flowers would work best within your landscape, then contact Whitehouse Landscaping.  Our design experience and horticultural knowledge in landscaping and hardscaping can create an outdoor space that is beautiful, distinctive, livable and truly sustainable.