NEPETA Catmint

Catmint is popular with gardeners for use as an edging plant – it is even more popular with cats who love to roll amongst its aromatic grey-green leaves. It will flourish in sandy, stony and chalky soils but will die out rapidly in heavy or shallow soils which remain sodden in winter. The small tubular flowers are borne on upright spikes – dead-heading will encourage further flushes and the bushy plants will stay in flower from late spring until early autumn. Do not cut down the stems in autumn – remove the old growth when new shoots start to appear in the spring. An easy-to-grow plant which deserves its popularity – lift. divide and replant the clumps every three years.

VARIETIES: The basic species is N. mussinii (N. faassenii) – height 1 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: May-September. The flowers are pale purple. Taller varieties are available – ‘Superba’ (2-3 ft) produces lavender flowers and ‘Six Hills Giant’ (2 ft) has blooms which are violet. These taller Catmints require staking.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in spring (not autumn).

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