Catmint (Nepeta faassenii)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Zones 1-24, 30, 32-43
• Full sun
• Moderate watering

Catmint blooms from mid- to late spring into summer, when loose spikes of small, clustered flowers form a lavender blue haze above the undulating mounds of soft gray-green, 1-inch leaves. The delicate-looking plants provide a nice contrast to larger, stiffer flowering perennials and annuals; they're an excellent underplanting for roses, too. And in cold-weather climates, they offer an alternative to lavender (Lavandula).

Catmint needs only moderate watering, but will take more if soil is well drained. If dead flower spikes look unsightly after the first flush of bloom, cut them back with hedge shears; this may encourage a second bloom in late summer. If the whole plant looks untidy and floppy after bloom, shear it back by two-thirds. Division is rarely required.