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Common name: Cat mint
These tough plants are easy to grow and low maintenance. Use them in borders with other perennials or as in informal edging as an alternative to lavender. Trim after flowering to neaten. Dwarf types can be grown in rock gardens.
The floppy stems of these upright plants splay outwards. Usually lavender-blue flowers (sometimes white or yellow) are produced in narrow spikes among soft greyish-green leaves throughout summer and beyond.
Catmints will grow in any soil that drains easily, ideally in full sun, though will tolerate light shade. Some catmints thrive in dry soil.
Permanently wet soils can cause plants to rot off and die. Plants struggle in deep shade.
The appeal of these plants to cats is well known, and some cat toys are stuffed with dried leaves. While many cats can flatten plants in their excitement, some are more disdainful or just have a little chew.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.