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Lesser calamint - Calamintha

Calamintha nepeta

The small-flowered lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta) is a versatile perennial herb that enchants with countless, thyme-like flowers and a fine mint aroma.

   
 
   
 

More useful information about Lesser calamint - Calamintha

The fantastic veils of flowers, which vary from white to blue to violet, can be admired from July to autumn. All varieties of lesser calamint magically attract insects during the flowering period, bringing vitality to the garden.

The compact and upright growing, bushy plants can reach a height of 40 to 50 centimetres and are a great addition to plantings of all kinds. They come into their own in small groups or as a border and also look lovely set between taller perennials or shrubs.

 As a companion to roses, this plant is also very attractive, as it likes to emphasise the beauty of other plants with its fragrant floral abundance. Planted in pots or containers, it offers well-being and provides a pleasant freshness with its subtle aroma.

A Blooming Oasis

The robust lesser calamint likes to thrive on sunny, moderately nutrient-rich areas that can also be rocky and dry. In rock steppes, gravel beds and in the foreground of wild perennial plantings, it catches the eye with its delicate flowers. It also thrives in cracks between stones or on barren drywall. The garden forms of Calamintha nepeta are very easy to care for, which is particularly evident in the winter preparations. The plants are very frost-resistant and do not require any unusual overwintering measures. Their aromatic leaves can also be used to prepare tea.

In our Lubera® range you will find vigorous and vital varieties from the Calamintha range:

Calamintha nepeta ‘Triumphator’ is very popular. The variety convinces with its pretty floral decoration in light violet to blue and a long flowering period, which often extends into October. If you want to avoid any unwanted seed in the garden, you should choose ‘Triumphator’ because this variant is sterile. The pruning after the first main flowering phase can therefore also be omitted.

• The cultivar 'Blue Cloud' has blue-violet flowers, which can occasionally also develop shades of pink. This perennial also turns out to be a permanent bloomer during the summer. Timely pruning prevents the formation of seeds.

• The small-flowered 'Weisser Riese' impresses with its white veil of flowers, which unfolds in early July and underlines every sublime rose in the garden. This variety also provides high-quality food for insects of all kinds until autumn.

Buying Calamintha Nepeta

Calamintha nepetaThe small-flowered lesser calamint is from the genus Calamintha within the mint family. It has its natural sites in the Mediterranean region and West Asia but also occurs in warm temperate zones in Central Europe (Switzerland and Austria). In Germany, wild stocks can be observed. It is found in dry deciduous forests, on stone rubble corridors, on rocks and on walls and prefers calcareous soils. The growth is bushy and upright. The species can reach a height of up to 90 centimetres in some areas, but its garden forms are more delicate and compact.

From summer to autumn, double-lipped flowers appear on tubular, 5 to 20-flowered inflorescences, which cover almost all of the leaves due to their abundance. They are an important source of pollen for wild bees, bumblebees and honeybees.

A Tea, Medicinal and Aromatic Plant

The round leaflets of lesser calamint are mostly hairy and with entire margins or slightly toothed. The pleasant, minty aroma is released when the leaves are ground. In Italy, the wild type is used to season salads and cucumbers. The leaves are also suitable for teas and alcoholic beverages. Tea preparation is recommended in folk medicine, among other things, for colds and stomach pains.

Location and Soil

Lesser calamint likes sunny to partially shaded, warm locations and a well-drained substrate. It thrives well on dry, nutrient-poor soils. Calcareous soils are preferred, but the species and its varieties can also cope with normal garden soil. A heavy soil can be emaciated with sand.

Planting and Care

This gorgeous addition to the garden can be planted in small groups of three to five plants. The planting distance should be about 35 centimetres. The best time to plant is in the spring, although early autumn is still suitable if slight protection from frost is provided in the first winter.

Lesser calamint is easy to care for and tolerates drought if it has established itself well in the soil. In a planter, it should, however, be watered more often, with no waterlogging in the pot. Moderate fertilisation in the spring, for example with a little compost or mulch, increases the abundance of flowers.

Pruning

Pruning after flowering is generally recommended, as this stimulates a second flowering period.

In early spring, the plant can be cut off near the ground, so that new shoots can grow unhindered. Excessive self-seeding can also be avoided by cutting before the seed pods develop.

Dividing and Propagating

In early spring - when the plant's internal clock is set for growth - it can be divided. A division can also be used to rejuvenate the plant since older specimens often get bare from the inside.

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