Methods for planting and caring Catmint (Nepeta)

Methods for planting and caring Catmint (Nepeta)

If you’re looking for a flower to light up your garden, Catmint is one of the best choices for you. With brilliant blooms and lightly fragrant, Catmin will become a stunning addition to your landscape. In this article, gardenhow.net will show you the methods for planting Catmint. 

All about Catmint

catmint

Information about Catmint

Firstly, let us take a look at information about Catmint

Nepeta is a genus of flowering plants with about 250 species. These plants are members of the Lamiaceae family, and some are referred to as Catmint or Catnip plants. They originated in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, and have now become naturalized in North America.

Catmints are herbaceous perennials with a height of 24 to 36 inches (0.6-0.9 m) and a width of 12 to 36 inches (0.3-0.9 m). Some variations reach a height of 4 feet (1.2 m) and a width of 3 feet (0.9 m).

Moreover, they have heart-shaped, light green to gray-green leaves that grow opposite on a sturdy stem.

They grow tubular flowers in a variety of violet, blue, purple, white, or pink colors. Some species may show petals spotted with small violet dots.

Catmint plants attract butterflies, bees, and other insects with their fragrant flowers and leaves.

Catmints are beneficial herbs that are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. In addition, they are high in potassium, iron, and manganese.

Why should you choose to plant Catmint in your garden?

Catmint can thrive in almost any environment if you love them completely and provide them with proper care when they are in need.

This type of flower is a low-maintenance plant that may be grown both indoors and outdoors with little effort.

Catmint is a fantastic filler plant for providing color and green foliage between later blooming flowers because of its spreading habit. That makes your garden more harmonious. Another reason is that these flowers have a really distinctive and visually beautiful color combination that is completely relaxing to the eyes.

In addition, according to experts, Catmint has many uses and advantages for gardeners. 

Therefore, planting Catmint is a great idea for your garden. 

Catmint in garden
Catmint in garden

Varieties of Catmint

Catmint includes a variety of kinds and cultivars, each with its own set of characteristics and uses. 

Nepeta walkers’ low (Walker’s low Catmint)

Walker’s Low Catmint (Nepeta Walker’s Low) is a robust cultivar with dark lavender-blue blooms and scented gray-green foliage in late spring. 

It thrives in full sun to part shade and grows in spreading clumps up to 2-3 feet tall and broad (60-90 cm) on normal, dry to medium, well-drained soils.

Moreover, Walker’s Low Catmint has won numerous honors, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (2012) and the Perennial Plant of the Year Award (2007).

Walker’s low Catmint
Walker’s low Catmint

Nepeta Six Hills Giant ( Catmint)

The vigorous herbaceous perennial Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant (Catmint) is famous for its billowing, fragrant gray-green leaves that are crowned with 9-12 inches spikes (22-30 cm) of rich violet-blue flowers in early summer. 

Walker’s low Catmint
Walker’s low Catmint

Nepeta cat’s pajamas

‘Cat’s Pajamas’ is a compact, floriferous variety of catmint with lavender-blue blooms that run the length of the stems and a shorter bloom time than other types. From late spring to early summer, the little lavender-blue blooms bloom from around the bases of the tall stems up to the tips.

Nepeta cat's pajamas
Nepeta cat’s pajamas

Nepeta nervosa Blue Moon ( Catmint)

Catmint (Nepeta Nervosa ‘Blue Moon’) is a small, compact variety of catmint with a short blooming season and a low spreading habit. From early to late summer, it produces big, dense lavender flower spikes on full, bushy plants. They can grow up to 12-16 inches tall.

Nepeta nervosa Blue Moon
Nepeta nervosa Blue Moon

Nepeta Neptune

It is a bushy, compact perennial with fragrant, toothed leaves and tall spikes of relatively big, deep blue-purple flowers with dark purple calyces.

Nepeta Neptune
Nepeta Neptune

Purrsian Blue Catmint

At maturity, ‘Purrsian Blue’ has fragrant silver green foliage that produces lovely, naturally rounded clumps that grow 14 to 18 inches tall and 18 to 30 inches wide. It blooms in late spring and continues to do so throughout the summer until the first frosts of autumn. Periwinkle blue blooms with dark purple calyxes abound on this floriferous variety.

Purrsian Blue Catmint
Purrsian Blue Catmint

Nepeta junior walker

The stunning herbaceous perennial Nepeta x faassenii Junior Walker (Catmint) has a low, spreading habit and forms a dense clump of small, fragrant gray-green leaves all season.

If you want to add gorgeous, long-blooming, fragrant, and easy-to-grow flowers to your rock gardens and cottage gardens, discover the different varieties of Catmint flowers. When you try to figure out types of Catmint, planting Catmint becomes an easier challenge.  

What is the best time and place for planting Catmint?

When to plant Catmint?

According to estimation, the best time for planting Catmint is in the fall or spring (when the last frost threat has passed). Hardiness zones of Catmint are 4-8 ( USDA). 

Where to plant Catmint? 

Catmint can be planted in a variety of different garden environments. It can be grown in a sunny herb garden alongside other herbs that prefer sunny, well-drained soil.

Furthermore, Catmints are low-growing perennials that are perfect for spreading and softening the façades of a border, near a path, or in a raised bed.

Catmint is suitable for underplanting rose bushes because of its low spreading growth and soft color, and it looks more attractive when planted in groups or on long drifts.

In addition, you also can plant Catmint in pots. 

What is the best time and place for planting Catmint?
What is the best time and place for planting Catmint?

What are the conditions for planting Catmint? 

Catmint requires a sunny location and soil that drains well, so avoid heavy soils like clay, which can become waterlogged. You plant them in moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.5.

You make sure that the spacing of Catmints is from 18 to 30 inches to enable rapid growth and propagation and plant characteristics. Powdery mildew or leaf spot can develop on overcrowded plants, especially in hot, humid climates.

Methods for planting Catmint

Planting Catmint from seed is one of the simplest ways to obtain new plants. You can plant them in the pots or in the garden to create a vibrant picture. 

Sowing Catmint seeds 

  • Step 1: Choose the proper time

Sow seeds indoors 4-8 weeks before the last frost date in the winter. 

Once daytime temperatures are regularly above 10°C (50°F), transplant or direct sow 4-6 weeks following the last frost date.

It can also be planted directly where it will thrive in September in warmer climates.

Sowing Catmint seeds 

  • Step 2: Starting sowing 

Use good quality seed compost to sow your seeds in boxes or trays. Cover lightly with sieved compost, cover, and set aside to germinate on a windowsill or in a greenhouse.

Sowing Catmint seeds 

  • Step 3: Transfer the seedlings

Pinch back the seedlings’ growth tips when they are 2-3″ tall for fuller, bushier plants.

Transplant outdoors in the middle of spring at a distance of 12 to 18 inches, or grow in a container.

Planting Catmint in a pot 

  • Step 1: Choose a proper pot and place

Catmint, like most varieties of mint, thrives in pots. Many gardeners prefer to grow it in a container because it prevents it from spreading out of control. The proper pot will create an opportunity for growing Catmint. 

First of all, choose a pot that is at least 200mm wide and has sufficient drainage holes.

Place the pot in the sun or partial shade.

  • Step 2: Prepare the soil and plant Catmint

Fill the pot with high-quality potting soil that includes slow-release fertilizer.

Take the plant out of its container. Backfill the hole with dirt and gently firm it down.

  • Step 3: After planting Catmint

Gently add in the water and maintain the mixture moist at all times.

It’s time to transfer the plant to a larger pot or divide and replant a part in a similar-size container with fresh potting mix when the roots grow out of the drain holes or the plant gets root-bound.

Planting Catmint in a pot 
Planting Catmint in a pot

Planting Catmint in the garden

  • Step 1: Choose and prepare the location in the garden

Choose a sunny or partially shady location with well-drained soil.

Then, you can enrich the soil to provide nutrients for Catmint’s growth.

Choose a sunny or partially shady location with well-drained soil
Choose a sunny or partially shady location with well-drained soil
You can enrich the soil to provide nutrients for Catmint’s growth.
You can enrich the soil to provide nutrients for Catmint’s growth.
  • Step 2: Plant Catmint

When planting Catmint seedlings in a prepared garden bed, make sure they are at least 20 to 30cm apart.

Dig the planting hole twice as wide as the root ball and to the same depth. Take the plant out of its container.

Then, backfill the hole with soil and gently firm it down. Form a raised ring around the plant to create a well, allowing water to flow where it is most required. There is water in the well.

Plant Catmint
Plant Catmint
  • Step 3: After planting Catmint 

Gently water in and maintain the soil moist at all times. 

Mulch to a depth of 5 – 8cm with an organic mulch such as bark chips, woodchips, or pea straw, keeping it away from the plant’s base.

Taking everything into consideration, planting Catmint is not a difficult task. Following the above methods for planting Catmint, you can create gorgeous Catmint flowers in your garden.  

Catmint Care

The Catmint plant is pretty simple to care for in the appropriate growing condition. 

Light

Catmint thrives in a wide range of light situations, from full sun to moderate shade. Catmint plants benefit from afternoon shade since it protects them from the harshest rays of the daytime sun. In the hot summer months, shade is very necessary for catmint plants.

Temperature

In warm climates, catmints prefer cool temperatures and benefit from afternoon shade. High heat and humidity are often too much for them.

Watering

Water your catmint plants often at first, then less frequently as they become established—usually within a few months.

For example, in the absence of rain, first-year plants require frequent watering, every couple of days for the first week, then roughly one inch of water per week for at least a month. Catmints are drought-tolerant once established and do not require watering.

Note: Avoid watering too much because the plant really dislikes getting wet feet.

Water your catmint plants often at first, then less frequently as they become established—usually within a few months
Water your catmint plants often at first, then less frequently as they become established—usually within a few months

Fertilizing

In the fall, consider adding nutrient-rich compost to the area around your plant. You won’t need to fertilize your catmint plant if you don’t want it to grow.

Mulching

Every spring or autumn, mulch catmint plants with a 1-2-inch layer of compost or organic mulch. This keeps the roots cool, retains soil moisture, and keeps weeds at bay while providing the nutrients that plants require to stay healthy the next year. 

That’s all the guidance you need to take care of Catmint. It’s essential to provide the appropriate conditions for Catmint to grow and blossom. 

You should mulch Catmint plants with a 1-2-inch layer of compost or organic mulch
You should mulch Catmint plants with a 1-2-inch layer of compost or organic mulch

How to prune Catmint?

Pruning Catmint is one of the most important steps in caring for the Catmint process. Catmints can grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet and a width of 2 to 3 feet. Both deadheading and shearing will enhance the appearance and blooming of catmint, but they must be done at the right time of year. You can prune Catmint in summer and winter. 

In summer

When it comes to pruning Catmint, most people consider that summer is the best time to prolong its blooming. Catmint blooms from late spring to late autumn, producing hundreds of small tubular violet-blue flowers gathered at the tips of the stems.

As the flowers fade, the individual flower heads can be removed. 

After the first flush of blossoms dies back in midsummer, another option is to prune the entire plant by half.

Moreover, with respect to deadheading the individual Catmint stalks, you should prune the stem far down or at its base, so that the pruned stem does not protrude over the surrounding foliage.

In addition, if you want to cut back the entire Catmint plant, you can use fine pruning shears to cut the plant down to half its original height.

Prune Catmint in summer
Prune Catmint in summer

In winter 

In many areas, Catmint dies back with the first frost, and the dead growth must be removed to make room for the new, fresh foliage in the spring.

With long, cold winters: It’s better to wait until the spring thaw to prune Catmint.

In milder climates: After the plant has gone dormant or dead back due to the cold, you can prune back the entire plant in the autumn.

Prune Catmint in winter
Prune Catmint in winter

Caring for Pruning Shears

Pruning shears that are sharp, clean, and sanitary will help plants recover faster after pruning and prevent diseases from spreading in the garden. 

Pruning shear blades that are dull, nicked, or pitted can harbor bacteria, viruses, and fungi due to their uneven surface.

Note: 

  • It’s best to keep the blades honed or replace the pruning shears completely every few years.
  • Cleaning the blades with hot water and sanitizing them after each use is also beneficial.
  • You can use a household disinfectant to disinfect pruning blades, as bleach can be highly corrosive to metal.

In conclusion, pruning Catmint in the winter or late autumn has many advantages. It will keep the garden bed looking tidy until new growth develops in the spring, preventing catmint from flopping over onto neighboring plants, clearing out locations where pests can overwinter.

Propagation 

Catmint plants will continue to grow and bloom for many years. There are some methods for propagating Catmint such as seeds, cuttings, division, etc.

Growing Catmint From Seeds

First of all, if you want to cultivate Catmint from seed, choose a non-hybrid variety or a seed firm that sells hybrid variants. 

The steps to cultivating catmint from seeds were previously mentioned on gardenshow.net. 

By Division

In the spring, find a section of the plant with developing shoots and a good root system. With a spade, cut it vertically. You can even divide the plant into smaller sections if it is particularly large.

Dig up the separated section with care. Backfill the resulting hole in the landscape so that the section of the ground that is still exposed is not visible.

In a new location, replant the divisions. Water it frequently and keep the soil moist until it has recovered from transplant shock and has begun to show new growth, which normally takes less than a month.

propagating Catmint by division
Propagating Catmint by division

From Cuttings

Cut a healthy section of stem 4 to 6 inches long with a sharp knife or pruners in late spring to early summer. Remove the lower half of the stem’s leaves.

Cut a healthy section of stem 4 to 6 inches long with a sharp knife or pruners in late spring to early summer. Remove the lower half of the stem's leaves.

Place the stem in a small container filled with moistened potting mix or in a glass filled with non-chlorinated tap water.

Place the stem in a small container filled with moistened potting mix or in a glass filled with non-chlorinated tap water.
Place the stem in a small container filled with moistened potting mix or in a glass filled with non-chlorinated tap water.

Keep the cutting area bright but out of direct sunlight. Water the soil regularly to maintain it evenly moist, or replace the water in the glass every few days.

Plant the new plant in a larger pot or garden soil.

Pests and Diseases 

Pests and Diseases of Catmint

Pests

Catmint attracts some cats. Cats may push on plant stems, knocking them over. They frequently roll around on downed plants, crushing sensitive stems and leaves.

If this is a worry for you, cover newly planted or transplanted catmint with chicken wire to keep your cat from eating it or rolling about in it.

Furthermore, the essential oils of Catmint are repellent to many garden pests, such as cabbage surveyors, squash bugs, and fleas.

Spider mites show up as tiny black dots on the foliage, causing yellowing and drying of the affected leaves.

Whiteflies and aphids can congregate on leaves and feed on the sap of plants. Honeydew is a sticky substance secreted by both of these pests, which can lead to the growth of sooty mold.

Spider mites
Spider mites

Diseases

During cool, wet weather, bacterial leaf spot, caused by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas, can affect plants. On the foliage, you could detect yellow ringed dots with red centers, as well as damaged blooms.

Another disease is leaf blight. A blight can kill plants fast (as in the case of the catastrophic late blight), or it can cause deformity and delay growth in some cases. 

For planting Catmint successfully, suitable strategies are necessary to prevent pests and diseases and create a stunning atmosphere. 

Catmint companion plants

You can mix catmint with other plants to make a vibrant garden. Catmint is simple to combine with other perennials and annuals since it comes in gentle colors, with blue/purple blossoms on top of a cool gray-green background such as  

Moreover, you can plant a stunning border of Catmint with irises and Siberian spurge, or add a pop of color to the rose and catmint combination with yarrow. For long-lasting blooms and ease of upkeep, combine yarrow and Catmint with Agastache and foxtail lilies.

With the addition of Catmint, Black-eyed Susan, Daylily, and Coneflower all look gorgeous. 

There are numerous different plant combinations that work well with Catmint. Verbena, Agastache, lavender, and tufted hair grass are all good companion plants for catmint.

With Catmint, the planting options are truly endless. You can combine Catmint with like-minded plants. Those that grow in comparable conditions to catmint, such as full sun and typical garden soil with little to no water, are hardy in your area.

Catmint companion plants
Catmint companion plants

Harvesting and Preserving

Pick the leaves and flowers while the plants are blooming in midsummer to harvest.

Once the plant is at least six inches tall, you can harvest the leaves at any time, though they are most flavorful when the plant blooms, when the concentration of oils is at its peak.

Late in the day, after the dew has dried, is the ideal time to pick. Cutting the top third of each stem is the easiest method to harvest the leaves.

Then, you can dry Catmint’s leaves and flowers. 

Hanging stems in bundles in a dark, dry place until the leaves can crumble and come off the stems easily is the easiest way to dry your harvest.

In a dark cupboard, put the dried leaves and blossoms in tightly closed glass jars.

Uses for Catmint

Planting Catmints not only lights up your garden, but also brings high-use values to our life. Let’s explore it. 

Catmint’s edibility and culinary uses

Steep the leaves and flowers to make a calming herbal tea with a gentle minty flavor and a sweet fragrance. You can also eat the leaves of young Catmints. They have a pleasant minty flavor and a light scent, which makes them an excellent aromatic addition to salads.

Health benefits

In fact, Catmint provides many health advantages for life. Here are some benefits:

  • The first thing we should mention is relieving tension as well as improving sleep quality. Nepetalactone is a chemical found in Catmint. As a result, this herbal tea is excellent for easing tension and anxiety. It even has a mild sedative effect that might help you sleep better and ease insomnia.
  • Catmint tea can help with digestive problems such as stomach aches, excessive gas, diarrhea, and nausea.
  • It also helps with respiratory problems like colds, coughs, and chest congestion.
  • Catmint may also assist in the relief of stomach pain and menstrual cramps. 
  • Catmint has a diuretic effect, which causes sweating and increases the frequency of urination. As a result, this herb is frequently prescribed for the treatment of fever and water retention.
  • Finally, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to treat arthritis, hemorrhoids, and insect stings.

Note

  • Pregnant women and individuals with pelvic inflammatory disease should avoid catmint since it can cause menstruation. 
  • During menstruation, it’s also a good idea to avoid or restrict catmint consumption because it might make periods heavier. 
  • Finally, because catmint has minor sedative properties, it should be avoided before driving or two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

Q & A

What Is The Difference Between Catmint And Catnip?

It’s easy to mistake these two plants and think they’re the same thing, but they’re two different plants. Both belong to the Nepeta genus and are members of the mint family — Catnip is Nepeta cataria, and catmint is Nepeta mussinii. 

Catmint is typically used as a lovely, blooming perennial in beds, although Catnip has a weedier appearance. Catmint blooms for a longer period than Catnip. Catnip blooms are usually white. 

Does Catmint attract cats?

Catmint, as the name implies, attracts cats. Although it does not have the same amount of appeal as Catnip, it has a similar impact on cats. Cats enjoy Catnip because it contains Nepetalactone, which is also present in catmint but in fewer amounts.

Not all cats are drawn to both Catnip and catmint. These plants may drive the majority of cats insane, yet they may not affect others.

Is Catmint annual or perennial?

Catmint (Nepeta) is a flowering perennial that is attractive, hardy, and easy to cultivate. It is known for its scented foliage, which attracts cats, hence its name. Its aromatic leaves are green or gray-green, and its stems are covered in little two-lipped mauve or blue blooms from summer through autumn. 

Final Thoughts 

Catmint explodes into color in early summer with rich purple blossoms for a magnificent exhibition. Catmint is one of the best choices to not only create a highlight for your garden but also provide many beneficial uses. The above article from gardenhow.net has provided methods for planting Catmint as well as further information related. Thank you for taking the time to read the complete gardenhow.net article.

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