HARDY PERENNIALS: NEPETA

Though’Catmint’is one of the commonest of dwarf hardy plants, it remains one of the most widely used. The correct name is reckoned now to be N. faasenii, but as it is too well known as N. mussinii, is never likely to be accepted. The constant demand for this plant is due to its habit of dying out in winter through wetness. In dry places it will survive on poor soils, to give successive displays, but it does improve for being divided into quite small pieces every 2-3 years. N. mussinii grows about 12 inches and flowers from June to September, but the taller N. ‘Six Hills’, with stems about 2 feet, is less neat and tidy. An uncommon variety with much larger flowers exists in N. grandiflora ‘Blue Beauty’. This has erect spikes of lavender blue flowers, 18-20 inches high from June to August, but the roots are rather rampant below ground and replanting every 2-3 years is advised. All three Nepetas are best planted or divided in spring and division of N. mussinii in autumn may well prove a fatal mistake.

NEPETA mussinii

NEPETA mussinii

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