Plants - Perennials

Catmint: A hardy perennial with nine lives

Plant these easy-to-please, vigorous growers to add some cool colours to your garden


Here’s how to keep your plants looking like the cat’s pyjamas:

Soil
Well drained, especially in winter; ideally on the sandy side.

Exposure
Full sun preferred, part shade tolerated.

Feeding & watering
Keep fertilizer (especially nitrogen) to a minimum in all but the poorest soils. Drought tolerant in most situations; water only if plants start to droop.

Maintenance
Clip back in July for repeat flowering until frost. If necessary, control spread by cutting around clump with a spade; severed pieces can be replanted elsewhere.

Pests
None—unless you count cats, which may snack on it and roll in it. Most cats, however, won’t chew catmints to the ground or go bonkers around them.

Diseases
Powdery mildew may appear in late summer. To prevent it, water at soil level to avoid wetting leaves; provide good air circulation.

Propagation
Divide clumps in spring. Most hybrids have sterile flowers, but N. cataria, N. nervosa and N. subsessilis can be started from seed in a cool greenhouse.

 

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