Catmint or Nepeta x faassenii (NEP-eh-tuh X fah-SEN-ee-eye) is a sterile hybrid plant. It is a cross by Dutch nurseryman, J. H. Faassenbetween of Nepeta racemosa and Nepeta nepetella. This herbaceous perennial catmint is a member of the Lamiaceae mint family of plants. Along with Lamb’s Ear and Cat Whiskers plant.
The genus name is Latin and refers to a group of aromatic plants that includes catmint. The name may also honor the Etruscan city of Nepete, now called Nepi. The specific epithet honors the nurseryman who developed the plant.
Catmint Nepeta Faassenii Care
Size & Growth
Catmint can grow to a height of 1′ or 2′ feet tall with a spread as great as 3′ feet.
The attractive, fragrant grayish-green foliage is slightly furry.
Flowering & Fragrance
The plant produces showy, fragrant blooms in shades of lavender blue. The long blooming season is from early summer during the months of May and September. The blossoms are highly attractive to pollinators.
Light & Temperature
Nepeta loves warm temperatures. They are a high light loving plant.
Catmint is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. When planting in the southern United States, choose a setting with partial shade. In the northern United States, the plant does better in full sun.
Watering & Feeding Catmint Plants
Unlike other types of Nepeta, these plants do not tolerate drought tolerant. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Fertilize catmint early in the spring with a balanced, 10-10-10 fertilizer. Use a granulated fertilizer and spread evenly around the base of the plant.
Soil & Transplanting
Nepeta is easy to grow in almost any well drained soil. While it can survive in dry to medium soils, it does best in cool, moist soil.
Grooming & Maintenance
Shear these plants back to the ground early in the springtime before their first bloom. Doing so will promote bushier growth. After first flowering, shear again to promote more blooms.
How To Propagate Nepeta Faassenii – Catmint
It’s easy to propagate catmint through cuttings. Early in the springtime, before the flowers begin to bud, take 3″ inch cuttings.
Place them in a sterile, moist medium such as a mixture of perlite and peat or coarse sand. Keep the material moist, and you should see roots and new growth within a couple of weeks.
Nepeta Faassenii – Catmint Pests or Diseases
Although these plants are hybrids, they have all the hardiness of wildflowers. The correct amount of sun and not standing in water, they will experience few if any disease or insect problems. As a bonus, catmint is deer resistant.
If plants stay too wet for long periods Crown Rot can pop up.
Is Nepeta Considered Toxic Or Poisonous?
Catmint contains the toxin, Nepetalactone, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats. Additionally, this toxin may cause some cats to become over stimulated, while others may become lethargic. [source]
Is Catmint Considered Invasive?
The seeds of this hybrid are mostly sterile. This plant cannot reseed itself and become invasive.
Suggested Nepeta Faassenii – Catmint Uses
Catmint is an excellent choice for a naturalized garden. It also does well in herb gardens, rock gardens, and along borders as an edging plant.
Popular Catmint Plant Varieties
- Six Hills Giant – one of the tallest 9″-12″ inch spikes
- Walker’s Low – long blooming season, lavender-blue flowers
- Blue Wonder – dark blue flowers, 1′-2′ foot stems
- Purrsian Blue – Blue flowers
The plant is tolerant of air pollution, rocky, shallow soil, and dry soil.