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Catmint Nepeta cataria

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Catmint:

Phonetic Spelling
NEP-eh-tuh kat-AR-ee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

‘Cataria’ catmint is a perennial herb in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It originated in Europe and Asia. It came to be called catmint owing to having a strong scent that cats find attractive.  

‘Cataria’ catmint requires good drainage and full sun to part shade but tolerates many soil types. The plant is resistant to drought, dry soil, and air pollution but is somewhat intolerant of heat and humidity, so give it some afternoon shade. Shear flower spikes after initial flowering to promote continued bloom. Propagate by division or seed. 

As a culinary herb, the minty-flavored leaves may be chopped and added to soups, stews, sauces, vegetables, or pasta. ‘Cataria’ catmint is a pollinator plant for honey bees as well as other bees, insects, and butterflies.  Plant this fast growing low maintenance deer resistant perennial in a cottage, sensory, herb, or children's garden.


Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The plant can become weedy, so consider growing it in a container. Many cats are attracted to ‘Cataria’ catmint, but it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It makes some cats sedated and others stimulated.

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum 

More information on Nepeta.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#moths#weedy#fragrant leaves#edible flowers#aromatic#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#herb garden#fast growing#deer resistant#lavender flowers#pollinator plant#edible leaves#larval host plant#sensory garden#nectar plant late spring#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#bee friendly#shallow soil tolerant#dry soils intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#moths#weedy#fragrant leaves#edible flowers#aromatic#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#herb garden#fast growing#deer resistant#lavender flowers#pollinator plant#edible leaves#larval host plant#sensory garden#nectar plant late spring#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#bee friendly#shallow soil tolerant#dry soils intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nepeta
    Species:
    cataria
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and Asia
    Distribution:
    Naturalized throughout
    Wildlife Value:
    Cats love it. The nectar of the flowers attracts long-tongued bees primarily, including honey bees, bumblebees, cuckoo bees (Epeolus spp., Triepeolus spp.), long-horned bees (Melissodes spp.), and leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.). Other visitors that occasionally visit the flowers include Halictid bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and skippers. The foliage is one of the food sources for the caterpillars of such moths as Sphinx eremitus (Hermit Sphinx) and the polyphagous Xanthotype urticaria (False Crocus Geometer).
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Leaves for herbal teas, soups, stews, sauces, vegetables, or pasta.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The upper stems terminate in dense whorls of flowers on spike-like racemes about 1-6" long. The flowers are small, two-lipped, white with pale purple spotting tubular flowers and bloom May through September.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Aromatic, coarsely-toothed, triangular to ovate, grey-green leaves (to 3" long). Leaves are downy which gives it a grey-green appearance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Description:
    Square stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Many cats love catnip, but it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It makes some cats sedated and others stimulated.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Nepetalactone
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves