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Herbaceous Perennial

Nepeta cataria
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

catmint [2]

N. cataria is an herbaceous perennial forming a loose clump of branched stems with oval to triangular, greyish-green, toothed, strongly aromaticleaves that are highly attractive to cats. Small white flowers spotted with violet are borne in long, dense, terminal spikes from summer into autumn.

Other common names
cat in clover
catnep
see morecatnip
cat's heal-all
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple White Green Grey Silver
Autumn Purple White Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Lamiaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Nepeta can be annuals or, more commonly, perennials, with paired, usually aromatic leaves, and terminal spikes or panicles of 2-lipped, tubular flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, SW & C Asia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in early autumn or by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Trim after flowering to keep plants compact

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and snails

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews in dry summers

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