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Catmint

Nepeta mussinii

Catmint is a hardy border plant with downy silver-grey leaves and spikes of purplish-blue flowers. As the name suggests, cats are attracted to the plant and will often eat the leaves or roll in the plants. Most of the plant is edible and can be used in soups or sauces or brewed into a tea. The plants are fairly drought tolerant once they are established, making them great plants for dry areas.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting 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.

Geography

Origin
European, Turkey and Iran
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-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
Purplish-blue, pink or white.
Scent
Mild

Problems

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

Companion plants

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

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