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Description

Catmint is a low spreading herbaceous perennial that grows 12-15 in. high and spreads 2-3 ft. wide. Its aromatic foliage is comprised of pale green heart-shaped leaves with serrated margins; tall spikes of deep lavender-blue flowers occur in mid to late spring.

This catmint is a hybrid resulting from the crossing of N. racemosa and N. nepetella, and has proven to be one of the most popular cultivars for garden plantings. As the common name suggests, cats are attracted to its foliage and can cause some damage when rolling in the plant. Catmint is commonly planted along borders and in perennial gardens for its springtime color and neat growth habit. It grows best in sunny locations, well-drained soils and with moderate amounts of water through the flowering cycle. By the end of fall most plants have become open and leggy; winter pruning helps restore size and renew spring growth. Several cultivars are available from nurseries and garden centers.

Water Needs

Catmint grows well throughout the Inland Empire in sunny locations, with normal winter rainfall and moderate water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water during spring and summer based on this chart will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
2"-3"
3"-4"
3"-4"
3"-4"
2"-3"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.
Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Lavender, Blue
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: All day sun
Function: Hummingbird plant, Container plant, Borders, Banks, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

These plants are easy to maintain but require a hard cut back, almost all the way to the ground, once or twice a year to renew growth and vigor. After blooming, stems will begin to look leggy and foliage will look ragged. Whenever this happens, cut plants back hard. they regrow quickly. Catmint can also be lightly trimmed any time to keep "in bounds" and to keep from growing too far into paths and walkways (S).

References

Associations

Plant Lists