Masses of flowers in summer, fragrant and an excellent plant for the border or rock garden Nepeta are a group of easy care perennial plants.
Most widely known as catmint, and cats do really love this plant, however this is only one of a number of related plants that carry the name in some form. Although Catmint is also used to make herbal infusions and tonics, it is the garden worthy nature of many species that appeals.
Excellent in the garden as an edging plant, the taller types can look great mixed in further back.
Most varieties have pink to purple flowers, some are taller growing than others, some mound forming and some very upright in habit.
Best grown in cool to temperate zones in full sun to part shade. A humus rich moist soil suits all, as long as it is well drained.
If you are looking for a tall variety try N. ‘Six Hills Giant’. For that lower edging plant N. ‘Walker’s Low’ is great.
The easy care nature is what appeals. Nepeta need cutting back one a year and that is about all.
Plant is a sunny position in a well drained humus rich soil.
Water in with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
And that about it.
Try to avoid fertilizing Nepeta. It tends to get very leggy and ‘falls over’ if it grows in to rich a soil. Certainly low nitrogen fertilizer is best.
You can prune back hard after flowering, say by 50 %. You will find that this usually forces a good second flush of flowers. You can prune back again in early spring. These two pruning times will ensure a good bushy habit and a long lived plant.
Be a little wary with some varieties, afew do like wet soils, while other like the dry.
All prefer a well drained soil. Excellent for mass planting or including in the cottage garden. All suited to USDA Zones 3 – 11.
- Ornamental Catmint (Nepeta faassenii)
Lavender flowers in big drift, useful in the border as a low growing edging plan
- Nepeta mussinii
This is a dwarf variety with deep purple flowers.
- Lesser Calamint (Calamintha nepeta).
- Nepeta cataria (true Catmint)
The on that cats love.
- Nepeta Walkers Low.
Very long flowering, mound forming perennial with soft pink to lavender flowers.
- Nepeta grandiflora
A tall bushy plant, very upright in habit and an excellent addition to a cottage garden or mixed border.
- Nepeta ‘Longipes’
A taller growing variety to around 3ft, soft pink flowers
- Nepeta x ‘Six Hills Giant’
Deeper blue flowers, long flowering clump forming perennial that grows well in full sun to light shade. Leaves resemble those of mint.
All are easy by division of established clumps in early spring as new growth commences.