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'Cat's Meow' Catmint

Nepeta faassenii

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'Cat's Meow' Catmint

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The 'Cat's Meow' Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) stands out in the garden with its remarkable resilience and ornamental appeal. Voted as the plant "Most Likely to Thrive," it's no wonder this variety has become a top seller among garden enthusiasts. The 'Cat's Meow' Catmint exhibits a dense and colorful bloom of blue to purple flowers, offering a more refined and uniform growth habit compared to other Nepeta varieties. Notably, it maintains a strong, upright stance without flopping, expanding into a broad mound as the season progresses. This perennial is celebrated not only for its fragrant flowers and foliage but also for its continuous blooming capability from early summer through to early fall.

Hardy across zones 3 through 8, 'Cat's Meow' Catmint thrives in full sun, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to flourish. It is an easy-care plant that prefers average, well-drained soil, and is tolerant of both heat and drought conditions, making it an ideal choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance yet visually striking plants. Its ability to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds while resisting deer and rabbits adds to its garden value, enhancing biodiversity and garden health.

'Cat's Meow' Catmint reaches a garden height of 17 to 20 inches with a spread of 24 to 36 inches, fitting perfectly as a border plant, in containers, or as part of a mass planting. Its versatility extends to its use as a cut flower, adding a touch of nature's beauty to indoor spaces. For optimal performance, it prefers full sun and can adapt to a range of soil types, from average to poor, and from alkaline to neutral pH levels. With its fragrant and long-blooming nature, the 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is a splendid addition to any garden, offering both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits.

Plant Attributes

The 'Cat's Meow' Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is a perennial plant that boasts a medium height, typically growing to about 17 to 20 inches tall, with a similar spread of 24 to 36 inches. This makes it an ideal size for a variety of garden roles, from filling in borders to serving as an attractive container plant. Its mounded habit contributes to a neat and tidy appearance in the garden, requiring minimal maintenance while providing maximum impact. The foliage of 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is a vibrant green, creating a lush backdrop for the striking blue-purple flowers that bloom prolifically throughout the early summer to early fall.

This plant is renowned for its hardiness, thriving in USDA zones 3a to 8b, which underscores its adaptability to a wide range of climates and conditions. It demands full sun exposure, flourishing with at least six hours of sunlight each day, which encourages abundant flowering and healthy growth. When it comes to soil, 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is not particularly fussy; it performs well in average to poor soil conditions, provided the soil is well-drained. It even tolerates alkaline and neutral pH levels, making it a versatile choice for gardeners with various soil types.

Landscape Use

The 'Cat's Meow' Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is a versatile perennial that offers a multitude of landscaping uses, making it a valuable addition to various garden designs and settings. Its unique characteristics and attributes lend it to a wide range of applications in the landscape:

  • Border Plantings: With its mounded habit and vibrant blue-purple flowers, 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is perfect for creating eye-catching borders along walkways, garden edges, or as a front-of-the-border feature in perennial gardens. Its neat appearance keeps the landscape looking tidy.
  • Container Gardening: Due to its moderate size and attractive foliage, it is an excellent choice for container gardening. Whether in standalone pots or as part of mixed plantings, it adds color, texture, and fragrance to patios, balconies, and entryways.
  • Cut Flower Gardens: The fragrant, long-blooming flowers of 'Cat's Meow' Catmint make it a great addition to cut flower gardens. Its blooms can be used in fresh floral arrangements, bringing the garden's beauty indoors.
  • Landscape Accent: Its dense, colorful blooms and fragrant foliage can serve as a focal point in the landscape, especially when planted in mass or as a specimen plant in garden beds and island plantings.
  • Mass Planting: For a dramatic visual impact, mass plantings of 'Cat's Meow' Catmint create a sea of blue-purple that can transform large areas of the garden, providing long-lasting color and texture.
  • Attracting Wildlife: The plant is a magnet for pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it an essential plant for creating a pollinator-friendly garden or wildlife habitat.
  • Drought-Tolerant Landscaping: Its drought tolerance makes it an ideal choice for water-wise gardens and xeriscaping, where maintaining beauty with minimal water usage is a priority.
  • Deer and Rabbit Resistant: Gardens plagued by deer and rabbits will benefit from incorporating 'Cat's Meow' Catmint, as its fragrance and texture deter these common garden pests.
  • Fragrance Garden: The aromatic leaves and flowers can be included in fragrance gardens, where they contribute a pleasant scent to the garden atmosphere, especially when brushed against or on warm days.

Incorporating 'Cat's Meow' Catmint into the landscape not only enhances the visual appeal and fragrance of the garden but also supports local wildlife, making it a multifunctional plant choice for gardeners looking to add both beauty and biodiversity to their outdoor spaces.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for 'Cat's Meow' Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is straightforward, making it a delightful addition to any garden with its minimal maintenance requirements and high reward in beauty and function. Here are key guidelines for planting and caring for this plant:

Planting Instructions:

  1. Timing: Plant 'Cat's Meow' Catmint in spring or early fall to allow the plant time to establish before the onset of extreme weather conditions, such as the hot summer or cold winter.
  2. Location: Choose a site that receives full sun, as 'Cat's Meow' thrives in at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Although it can tolerate part sun, full sun encourages optimal blooming.
  3. Soil Preparation: This catmint variety is not fussy about soil type but prefers well-drained soil. Amend heavy clay soils with compost or other organic matter to improve drainage. It can tolerate poor soils as well.
  4. Planting: Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Remove the plant from its container, gently loosen the roots, and place it in the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole, firming the soil as you go to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting.

Care Instructions:

  1. Watering: Water the plants regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged during their first growing season to help establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is drought-tolerant and requires only occasional watering, especially in extreme heat or if planted in containers.
  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth.
  3. Fertilizing: 'Cat's Meow' Catmint generally does not require regular fertilization if planted in average to fertile soil. If growth seems sluggish or the foliage lacks vigor, apply a general-purpose garden fertilizer in the spring, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Pruning: Shearing the plant back after the first flush of blooms can encourage a second bloom period and help maintain a compact, bushy growth habit. Remove any spent flowers and trim the plant as needed to keep it tidy.
  5. Winter Care: In zones at the colder end of its hardiness range, a layer of mulch can help protect the roots during winter. However, 'Cat's Meow' Catmint is generally hardy and rebounds in the spring even after severe winters.
  6. Pest and Disease Management: This plant is notably resistant to deer and rabbits. It also does not commonly suffer from significant pest or disease problems, making it a hassle-free choice for gardeners.

Following these planting and care instructions will help ensure that 'Cat's Meow' Catmint thrives in your garden, providing a long season of vibrant blooms, aromatic foliage, and a welcoming environment for beneficial wildlife.

Additional Information

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'Cat's Meow' Catmint


Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Watering Needs: Average water; drought tolerant once established.
  • Botanical Pronunciation: NEP-eh-ta fa-SEN-ee-eye
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Herbaceous
  • Growth rate: Medium
  • Average landscape size: Grows to a height of 17-20 inches and spreads 24-36 inches.
  • Special features: Border Plant, Container, Cut Flower, Landscape, Mass Planting, Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Fragrant Flower, Fragrant Foliage, Continuous Bloom or Rebloomer, Long Blooming, Heat Tolerant
  • Dramatic Foliage: Dense and colorful blooms with refined habit
  • Foliage color: Green
  • Blooms: Early Summer to Early Fall
  • Flower color: Blue-Purple
  • Flower attributes: Fragrant, Long Blooming
  • Garden style: Cottage, Mediterranean, Rustic
  • Design Ideas: Ideal for creating a sense of tranquility in cottage gardens or Mediterranean landscapes. Its dense, colorful blooms and fragrant foliage make it perfect for border plantings, containers, or as a standout feature in mass plantings. It's also great for attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it a valuable addition to wildlife gardens. Use it in sunny spots where its drought tolerance and continuous flowering can be appreciated.
  • Companion Plants: Lavender, Russian Sage, Salvia, Echinacea, Sedum

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