Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’

Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low'

Nepeta × faassenii ‘Walker’s Low,’ selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 2007, is an excellent garden plant adaptable to almost any sunny garden in USDA cold hardiness Zones 3 to 8. ‘Walker’s Low’ creates a backdrop of silvery-green foliage and dainty lavender-blue flowers (Figure 1) and combines well with other herbaceous perennials. Like other catmints, ‘Walker’s Low’ also contains nepetalacetone, and its aromatic foliage makes catmint a good choice for herb gardens. ‘Walker’s Low’ also incorporates well in large combination containers and is suitable for alpine and arid gardens because it tolerates drought after establishment in the landscape. Plants continue to bloom all summer long, provided that spent flowers are removed. The charming blue flowers of ‘Walker’s Low’ attract butterflies and bees while the plants are rabbit and deer resistant.

Nepeta × faassenii, commonly known as catmint or catnip, is a hybrid of N. nepetella and N. racemosa and is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). ‘Walker’s Low’ was discovered in Ireland and introduced in Europe in 1988. Contrary to its name, ‘Walker’s Low’ is one of the taller catmint cultivars; full-grown plants may rise up to 2 to 3 feet in height. ‘Walker’s Low’ also is very vigorous; once planted, single plants quickly grow 2 to 3 feet wide. 

Production Tips

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ does not produce viable seeds and is commercially propagated by shoot-tip cuttings or divisions. In our studies, shoot-tip cuttings dipped in rooting hormone rooted in five to seven days under mist in a propagation facility set at 72ËšF. Commercial growers can purchase plugs from propagators for finishing. ‘Walker’s Low’ is typically grown in quart-size or larger containers and, if pinched at planting to promote lateral branching, a single plug can adequately fill the containers at flowering.

In a greenhouse trial conducted at Michigan State University (MSU), 72-cell plugs were received from a commercial grower and grown in a greenhouse set at 68ËšF under a 16-hour photoperiod provided by high-pressure sodium lamps. Plugs were pinched about 20 days after receipt and further grown for 10 more days in the plug trays prior to transplant. Plugs were transplanted into 5.5-inch pots containing peat-based media and forced under the same environmental conditions as the plugs. In this study, plants flowered in an average of three to four weeks from transplant and filled the containers nicely (Figure 2). This study was conducted in the summer, and actual greenhouse temperatures may have been several degrees warmer than the setpoint of 68ËšF. In a winter trial conducted at MSU, when grown from 32-cell plugs, plants pinched at transplant flowered in three to four weeks under supplemental light and four to five weeks under low light under a 16-hour photoperiod and a setpoint of 68ËšF.

If using a larger-sized container, bulking in the final container under a short-day photoperiod, planting multiple plugs per container, planting larger-sized plugs or a combination of these strategies may ensure that plants are sufficiently large at flowering.

A vernalization treatment neither synchronizes nor hastens flowering of this perennial. ‘Walker’s Low’ is a long-day plant and in one of our studies, no plants flowered under a short-day photoperiod of nine hours. In the same trial, all plants flowered under a long-day photoperiod of 16 hours provided as a day-extension. Because ‘Walker’s Low’ is a full-sun plant, supplemental light is beneficial during forcing. In our study, when a 16-hour photoperiod was provided using incandescent lamps (low light treatment), plants were leggy and of poor quality at flowering. In contrast, under a 16-hour photoperiod provided by high-pressure sodium lamps (high light treatment), plants were more compact, well-branched, had sturdier stems and the overall quality was superior to that of plants grown under low light. 

Plant Height Control Tips

As Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ is very vigorous, height control using plant growth retardants (PGRs) may be necessary during container production. PGRs can be applied as a foliar spray, drench or liner dip. We conducted a greenhouse trial to evaluate the efficacy of paclobutrazol sprays, drenches and liner dips and uniconazole sprays on the height of Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low.’ Starting material for the PGR study was 72-cell plugs that were pinched 10 days prior to transplant (Figure 2B). Ten or 20 ppm paclobutrazol (Piccolo, Fine Americas) liner dips were applied one day before transplant by dipping plugs with slightly moist media in the PGR solution for 15 to 20 seconds. Paclobutrazol drenches of 4 ounces per 5.5-inch pot were applied at a 5 or 10 ppm rate one week after transplant when the media was moist. Two foliar sprays of 50 or 100 ppm paclobutrazol or 10 or 20 ppm uniconazole (Concise, Fine Americas) were applied one and three weeks after transplant. The foliar sprays were applied at the rate of 2 quarts/100ft2 without an addition of a surfactant. An additional set of plants was maintained to serve as a non-treated control. Data collection included flowering time and height of the longest branch at flowering.

Leave a Reply

6 comments on “Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’

  1. I have questions about transplanting Walkers Low and also about creating from cuttings. Hope you answer questions.

    I live in zone 7/8, Southeast Tennessee.
    I have 8 very healthy Walkers Low.
    I need to move them to a different spot and I would like a lot more of them without spending a fortune.

    Can you help me?

    Thank you in advance,
    Diane

  2. Bonjour a vous
    Je vie dans la région de Mirabel (Québec) et j’aimerais bien savoir comment je pourrais faire des bouture du nepeta car je trouve cette plante si belle ,je voudrais avoir les explication s.v.p. merci France

  3. I have questions about transplanting Walkers Low and also about creating from cuttings. Hope you answer questions.

    I live in zone 7/8, Southeast Tennessee.
    I have 8 very healthy Walkers Low.
    I need to move them to a different spot and I would like a lot more of them without spending a fortune.

    Can you help me?

    Thank you in advance,
    Diane

  4. Bonjour a vous
    Je vie dans la région de Mirabel (Québec) et j’aimerais bien savoir comment je pourrais faire des bouture du nepeta car je trouve cette plante si belle ,je voudrais avoir les explication s.v.p. merci France

More From Plant Culture...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 11, 2015

Infusion Technology Boosts Seed Performance, Study Sugg…

Seven-year-old wheat seed germination can increase by as much as 83 percent, according to a Vital Force Technology Study that looks at the effects of energy infusion technology on plant vitality.

Read More

February 3, 2015

American Floral Endowment Accepting Research Pre-Propos…

If you are pursuing a floriculture research project, now is the time to apply for funding through the American Floral Endowment. Research pre-proposal applications for 2015-2016 funding are due to AFE by June 1, 2015.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Marijuana’s Trajectory And Ascent To Horticultural Cr…

Marijuana growing is poised for change as growers and researchers focus on improving production practices.

Read More

December 9, 2014

Greenhouse Production: Two Years Of Basics & Beyond…

Greenhouse Grower's Basics & Beyond articles cover some of the latest news and research going on in greenhouse production. Here are article links for the last two years.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

November 24, 2014

GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile &…

The social garden app GrowIt! takes the Gold Winner award at the design100 2014 Mobile & App Design Awards.

Read More

November 10, 2014

The Perennial Farm Joins HGTV HOME Plant Collection

The Perennial Farm joins the HGTV HOME Plant Collection growers' network for 2015.

Read More
AmericanHort

November 4, 2014

AmericanHort Publishes Revised American Standard For Nu…

AmericanHort announces the revised American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is now available for industry use. The Standard reflects the consensus of the industry regarding how nursery stock — living plants other than annuals — should be specified and sold within the trade.

Read More

September 26, 2014

Master The Art Of Watering

Watering is elemental to healthy plants, but one of the hardest concepts for new employees to master in the greenhouse. Recommend these tips to start them off right.

Read More

September 16, 2014

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas Facility Provides Gro…

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas farm in Esteli, Nicaragua, is one year away from full production, but sales and quality from the two-year-old facility are right on track.

Read More
Erysimum 'Cheers' from Darwin Perennials

September 15, 2014

Darwin Perennials Takes Production Offshore In Bogota, …

With its recent purchase of a farm in Colombia, Darwin Perennials is ready to amp up supply of its perennial genetics, to provide growers with tried-and-true varieties and comprehensive production specifications.

Read More

July 23, 2014

Plan Now To Prevent Bract Edge Burn On Poinsettias

Reduce fertilizer and water, and allow your poinsettias to develop slowly during the final four weeks of production to avoid bract edge burn.

Read More

July 11, 2014

Growing Your Crops Above Their Base Temperature

Lowering temperature set points in the greenhouse may help you combat rising heating costs.

Read More

May 1, 2014

Growers Report Nutritional Problems On Geraniums

In recent weeks, several growers have contacted Michigan State University Specialists about leaf discoloration on geraniums, especially the purpling of lower leaves.

Read More

April 22, 2014

How Two Postharvest Care Products Worked On Potted Plan…

What your potted plants look like at retail translates to sales or fails. North Carolina State University researchers report on how two postharvest care products performed.

Read More
Dianthus 'Passion' from Emerald Coast Growers

March 27, 2014

Growing Dianthus Successfully

Here's some advice on transplanting and producing this classic perennial favorite.

Read More
Aquilegia canadensis

March 10, 2014

Tips For Producing Aquilegia

Advice on planting, temperature, vernalization, lighting and more on columbine from Emerald Coast Growers' head grower Josiah Raymer.

Read More
Perennials in hoop house

February 21, 2014

Overwintering Perennials: Plan Ahead To Fungicide Drenc…

Demand for perennials has increased as consumers educate themselves and seek out new and improved varieties. Overwintering perennials can become an important profit center. Here's some advice on how to overwinter successfully.

Read More
Cold damage to ipomoea

February 11, 2014

Chilling Injury On Cuttings: What To Look For

During this young plant production season when many growers receive unrooted cuttings, liners and plugs for spring production. Cuttings shippers are delaying deliveries because the tender cuttings cannot withstand the frigid temperatures.

Read More