Mint-scented Leaves and So Many Glorious Blooms!
Such an improvement over older varieties, it may as well be a whole new species!
Variety: ‘Marvelette Blue’
Item Form: (P)Pkt of 25 seeds
Zone: 4 – 8
Bloom Start to End: Early Summer – Mid Fall
Seeds Per Pack: 25
Plant Height: 8 in
Plant Width: 12 in
Bloom Size: 0.5 in
Additional Characteristics: Award Winner,Bloom First Year,Butterfly Lovers,Easy Care Plants,Flower,Fragrance,Free Bloomer,Pest Fighter,Repeat Bloomer,Season Extenders
Bloom Color: Blue
Foliage Color: Medium Green
Light Requirements: Full Sun,Part Shade
Moisture Requirements: Dry,Moist, well-drained
Resistance: Cold Hardy,Disease Resistant,Drought Tolerant,Pest Resistant
Soil Tolerance: Normal, loamy,Clay,Poor
Uses: Border,Containers,Foliage Interest,Outdoor
(P)?Pkt of 25 seeds
Marvelette is out to put Calamint on the map — or at least into the garden of everyone who loves rich fragrance, pretty late-season blooms, and beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies! This award-winning European series has come to America, and Blue, winner of the Fleuroselect Gold Medal, is its star!
Marvelette is such an improvement over older Calamints that it may as well be a new species. First of all, it blooms the first year from seed — in fact, you can go from germination to blooms in about 3 months! (How many perennials can claim that?!) Second, it offers much brighter blue blooms than the species, which is a pale lavender. Third, it is drought- and dry-soil tolerant, making it a good choice for today’s water-starved gardens. Fourth, it has a compact, VERY free-flowering habit that will keep the bees and butterflies happy all season! Fifth, it begins blooming much earlier than the species, yet continues into fall as well. Sixth — well, you get the idea!
More about these blooms! They are pure azure-blue, ?-inch wide, and very abundant, arising on long, slender stems pointing straight up above the large, mint-scented foliage. They begin in early to midsummer and continue right into fall, which is a boon for those of us who have a bit of a “between season” dull period as summer turns to fall.
The habit is compact, which is good because Marvelette looks super in a tall planter or color bowl as well as the border. Expect it to reach about 8 inches high and spread perhaps a foot wide, with a mounded, domed habit topped by more flowers than you would believe possible.
This perennial (it’s actually a small shrub) does best in full sun in northern and mild climates, a bit of afternoon shade elsewhere. Generally easy to please, it is a great choice for sloping banks and garden odd spots where you are concerned about soil quality, erosion, rocky patches, shallow soil, and other problems. Marvelette to the rescue!
The blooms are lovely, but you are going to love this Calamint both before and after the flowers appear. That’s because the large leaves, held very densely on this plant, have a fabulous mint scent when brushed or crushed. You know what this means — you’ll want to plant Marvelette near entertainment areas in the garden, along pathways, and anywhere else it can be touched! The mint scent is refreshing and spicy, such an unexpected pleasure!
Are you new to growing Calamint? The species (Calamintha nepeta) has not been widely used in American gardens, but we get the feeling that Marvelette is about to change all that! It’s so drought-tolerant and adaptable to poor conditions that it should get plenty of use in the garden, and it’s pretty enough for containers as well!
Begin the seeds indoors about 8 weeks before you want to transplant it in spring. The seeds need light to germinate, so drop them onto the bio sponge of your Bio Dome (you can put them in the pre-drilled holes or set them on top of the sponge; the Dome will work either way), or sow them on top of your seed flat. Germinate at 65 degrees F, and expect it to take 15 to 30 days to see the first sprouts.
Once the seedlings emerge, lower the temperature a bit if possible (60 to 65 degrees F is ideal) and grow on until the plants have a few sets of true leaves, which usually takes about a month. They are then ready for transplant into garden or permanent container, and they will bloom just about 2 months later in full sun to part shade. Enjoy! Zones 4-8. Packet is 25 seeds.
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