Plant of the Month

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Catmint Nepeta faassenii

  • Plant Form: Perennial
  • Water Use: Low, moderate
  • Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall x 2-3 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, part sun
  • Bloom Time: Late spring (May), summer (June, July)
  • Native to: Asia, Europe, Africa
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F

It’s hard to believe that this delicate-looking plant is so sturdy. Catmint is tolerant of most southwest garden challenges, including cold, heat, drought, poor soil, rabbits, and deer, while offering long-blooming flowers, attracting butterflies and bees, and providing scented foliage for bouquets and dried potpourris.

Catmint is beloved by gardeners for a host of features: it is fast-growing, long-lived, low-maintenance, resistant to browsing animals and pests, attractive to butterflies and bees, water-wise, and is graced with periwinkle-blue flowers over a long bloom season. This cornerstone of many xeriscape gardens is also cold hardy, heat tolerant, drought-tolerant, easy to grow, and tolerant of most soil types. Its gray-green foliage is lacy and aromatic, deterring rabbits and deer, but charming humans; scented foliage is used in dried potpourri and in fresh arrangements. Cut flower stalks are great in bouquets. Deadhead spent flowers or shear back stems for denser plants with more lush second blooms. This compact perennial is lovely cascading over walls, walkways, and containers, and makes an attractive rock garden accent or small-scale groundcover. Perfect in borders, containers, mass plantings, rock gardens, along paths, and to hide the knobby “knees” of rose bushes.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for May