Catmint

Nepeta granatensis

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Nepeta granatensis is a perennial species in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is a herbaceous perennial that typically grows to around 1.4m high. It has an upright habit, producing vertical spikes of white blooms dotted with purple markings, these open from yellow-white buds. Foliage is aromatic, leaves are oval in shape and toothed along the margins, they measure approximately 7.5cm in length. As the name suggests, cats are attracted to this plant and will often eat the leaves or roll in the foliage. Most of the plant is edible and can be used in soups or sauces or brewed into a tea. This species is fairly drought tolerant once established, making it a great choice for dry soils.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest leaves as flowers begin to bloom, from early summer to early autumn. Cut off the top leaves, stems, and flowers (if desired).

Propagation

Seed

Start seeds indoors and transplant in Spring or direct sow. Sow seeds shallowly and space 30 cm apart. Germination takes 7-21 days.

Division

Divide the root ball every few years in spring or autumn, especially when the clump starts to die back in the center.

Cuttings

Make softwood cuttings in early summer.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

The pretty flowers attract bees and butterflies.

Repels harmful insects

When combined with garlic and made into a tincture, it makes a safe insecticide for plants, deterring aphids and Japanese beetles. Combined with lavender the plant helps keep mice and rats away.

Pot plant

This herb can be grown in a container.

Drought resistant

The plants are heat and drought tolerant making them good plants for dry areas.

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

European, Turkey and Iran.

Natural climate

Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline, Acid

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

Make the leaves into a tea to help sweat out a cold, treat insomnia or to help unwind.

Edible

Catmint can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. The leaves and shoots can be added to soups and sauces. The leaves and flowers can be made into a tea.

Notes

Medicinal

Personality

Family

Lamiaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Blue

Scent

Mild

Problems

Slugs, powdery mildew and leaf spot. Catmint deters most pests.

Companion plants

Strawberries, eggplant, lettuce, sweet peppers, fennel, onions

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