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Nepeta (NEP-eh-tuh)

Common Name:  Catmint, catnip

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to somewhat dry, drought tolerant

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  (3) 4 - 8


Nepeta s. 'Candy Cat'

N epeta 'Walker's Low'

Nepeta Description and Cultural Information

Nepeta x faassenii, Faassen's hybrid catmint. 2 - 3'. Catmints have soft gray-green foliage and wiry stems with clusters of violet to lavender-blue, tubular flowers. 'Blue Wonder' is a compact plant growing 12 to 15" with lavender-blue flowers. 'Six Hills Giant' grows to 3' with deep violet-blue flowers. 'Walker's Low' grows 24" high and quite wide with soft lavender-blue flowers. 'Kit Cat' is a true dwarf growing 12 to 16" high. Zones 4 - 8.

Nepeta subsessilis, catmint. 24 - 30". This catmint is different from others in that it is native to moist, slightly shady areas with good drainage. It has aromatic, glossy green, spear shaped and lightly toothed foliage and relatively large 1" long blue flowers, making it the showiest blooming in the Nepeta family. 'Candy Cat' is a nice selection with light pink flowers. Zones 3 - 8.

Nepeta sibirica, Siberian catmint. 3'. This catmint is quite cold hardy and is more upright than N. x faassenii. It has blue flowers and is quite long blooming. Zones 3 - 8.

How to Grow:  Plant catmints in average, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade, and partial shade is usually best in the South. Plants are quite drought tolerant and most varieties prefer relatively dry conditions with the exception of Nepeta subsessilis which prefers some regular mositure. They are all very long blooming and can be encouraged to rebloom if cut back half way after the first set of blooms finish, or if the plants start to open in the middle, often a conditions of soil that is too rich, they can be cut to the ground after blooming and will grow a nice new mound. Propagate by stem cuttings or division, plus self-sown seedlings are possible.

Landscape uses:   Use catmint as a sunny border plant along paths and garden edges where their aroma will fill the air when brushed against in passing. They make good companions with other summer perennials such as yarrow, daylilies, Veronica, Dianthus, and red valerian (Centranthus). Although they may attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, the garden forms do not really attract extra cats.

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