Catmint, Nepeta species

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A potpourri (below) of catmint/Nepeta species information as a supplement to other articles.

A plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page. It's a pivot point, one list of links to ours and others' articles that involve catmint/ Nepeta species.

'Walker's Low' and 'Blue Wonder' varieties of catmint are deservedly popular -- dense, heavy blooming and reliable in a wide range of soil conditions... so long as they have sun. So steadfast are they, and so willing to cover the ground with weed-excluding mats, that they are being planted in masses along highways as erosion control.

There are several garden worthy catmint species although this low growing hybrid, Nepeta x mussinii is probably best known.

There are several garden worthy catmint species although this low growing hybrid, Nepeta x mussinii is probably best known.

Their purple blooms in late spring, with some repeat in late summer, are impressive even at 70 mph.

Below: It's an easy, colorful filler in the sunny landscape. Care consists of cutting it to the ground each spring, checking for weeds, then shearing or weed-whacking the plants' tops after spring bloom to encourage a second flush.

Cats are attracted to catmint, although it doesn't have as strong a narcotic effect as catnip (Nepeta cataria). One client who enjoyed the catmint we planted for him as a groundcover, eventually asked us to replace it with something cats would not frequent, because he'd observed that song sparrows also favored it, for their low nests. The birds were not very successful in it because of the cats' frequent visits.

Read more about catmint (Nepeta species):

Design topics:
     Designing alternative lawns: No lawn park strip
    
 Drought tolerant plantings include catmint: page 12 in What's Coming Up 110
     Easiest, best perennials 
     Front row perennials for hot places, page 3 in What's Coming Up 89 
    Perennials in foundation plantings
     Slowing to sniff: Designing with fragrant plants

Care:
     Cut back hard after bloom: Growing Concerns 620 
     ID the best plants for hot summer weather and tend them to get the best show

We're just introducing this set of perennial info pages. We hope you'll comment. Let us know if the format was useful, share your suggestions, tell us we shouldn't have this page at all... anything helps!

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