Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Cat Nip, Catnip
There are several Nepeta species that attract cats, but the aptly named Nepeta cataria is the true catmint that sends felines into an unmistakable state of gleeful madness. This hardy perennial originates from Europe and Asia but has become naturalized in many other parts of the world.
Catnip is a member of the mint family, so its fuzzy, oval, gray-green leaves are highly aromatic. In summer, it produces marginally showy spikes of small, white, tubular, two-lipped flowers. The blooms are followed by lots of small brown fruits that produce tons of viable seed.
Culture is simple and straight forward. Catnip is both heat and drought tolerant and thrives in full to partial sun and well-drained average soil. The only problem is that it self-sows aggressively, so the spent flowers of garden specimens should be cut back before they can produce seed. Otherwise, you will be weeding out seedlings for years to come.
Catnip is suitable as a container plant, if kept well trimmed. Its tall habit also gives it a subtly pleasing presence in sunny mixed borders as well as herb gardens. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and the foliage really attracts cats. As a matter of fact, the plants often need protection from these pointy eared pets.
7 - 1
3 - 7
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
32'-3' / 9.8m - 0.9m
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall
Gray Green, Gray
Container, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border
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