Growing Catmint: Sun vs Shade – Which is Best?


Catmint, or nepeta, is a flowering perennial that is easy to grow and care for. It is a member of the mint family and is known for its aromatic leaves and lavender-blue flowers. Catmint is a popular plant in gardens, both for its beauty and its ability to attract pollinators. It is also a great addition to herb gardens, as the leaves can be used to make tea or as a culinary herb.

Catmint plants are low-growing and compact, typically reaching a height of 1 to 4 feet. They have long-lasting blooms that can last throughout the summer, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Catmint is also deer-resistant, making it a great choice for gardens in areas with high deer populations.

Catmint thrives in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and is fairly drought-tolerant once established. It is important to ensure that the soil is not too wet, as excess moisture can lead to root rot and other diseases. To keep catmint plants healthy and growing well, it is recommended to cut back the foliage after the first flush of flowers has faded. This will encourage the plant to produce more blooms and prevent it from becoming too woody.

If you are interested in growing catmint in your garden, there are many varieties to choose from, including the popular ‘Walker’s Low’ and ‘Six Hills Giant’. Catmint plants can be purchased online or at your local garden center. If you have any questions or need more information about growing catmint, there are many resources available, including books, online articles, and gardening newsletters. Catmint is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that will brighten up any garden with its brilliant flowers and aromatic leaves.

5 Reasons We Love Catmint

  • 1. Catmint is a versatile plant that can grow in both sun and shade. Whether you have a sunny garden or a shady corner, catmint can thrive and add beauty to any space.
  • 2. Catmint is a hardy and dependable plant. It is resistant to diseases and pests, making it a low-maintenance choice for gardeners of all ages and skill levels.
  • 3. Catmint offers weeks of beautiful flowering. Its blossoms range in color from shades of blue and purple to yellow and pink, attracting bees and butterflies to your garden.
  • 4. Catmint is a great choice for those who want to attract wildlife to their garden. The plant’s aromatic leaves and flowers are irresistible to pollinators like bees and butterflies.
  • 5. Catmint is easy to propagate. Whether you want to buy new plants or grow them from seeds or cuttings, catmint is a plantable in several forms, ranging from container-grown to ornamental varieties.

So, if you love beautiful and versatile plants that are easy to grow and maintain, catmint is the perfect choice for your garden. Follow these simple rules for watering, pruning, and ensuring the right temperature and soil conditions, and you will have a thriving and blooming catmint plant in your garden. And don’t forget to check out the helpful links provided for more advice and information!

1 Catmint has aromatic foliage and beautiful flowers

Catmint is a plant that has both aromatic foliage and beautiful flowers, making it a popular choice among gardeners. The plant blooms for several weeks, even in shady conditions, providing a splash of color in all areas of the garden.

One of the noteworthy characteristics of catmint is its ability to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The lavender-blue blossoms not only add beauty to the garden but also serve as a valuable food source for these beneficial insects.

Catmint is also known for being deer-resistant, which is a great advantage for gardeners who often have problems with deer damaging their plants. The plant produces a chemical compound called nepetalactone, which acts as a natural repellant for deer, discouraging them from feeding on the catmint.

There are several varieties of catmint available for gardeners to choose from. One popular variety is Nepeta x faassenii, which is a perennial plant that grows well in well-drained soils. Another variety is Nepeta grandiflora, which has larger flowers and can be grown as a low-maintenance ground cover.

When planting catmint, it is important to choose a spot that receives plenty of sunlight. However, the plant can also tolerate some shade, making it a versatile option for different areas of the garden.

Catmint is relatively low-maintenance and does not require a lot of care. It has grey-green foliage that adds an attractive contrast to the garden. Watering should be done regularly, especially during dry periods, but over-watering should be avoided as it can cause the roots to rot.

One convenient way to grow catmint is in a container, which allows for easy mobility and control over the plant’s growth. Catnip, a variety of catmint, is especially popular among cat owners who want to provide their furry friends with a source of entertainment.

If you have any questions about how to grow or care for catmint, you can ask us online or give us a phone call. We are always happy to provide assistance and share our knowledge about this lovely plant.

In conclusion, catmint is a versatile plant with beautiful flowers and aromatic foliage. Whether you want to attract pollinators, deter deer, or simply enjoy its beauty in your garden, catmint is a great choice. Its upright and compact growth habit makes it suitable for both borders and containers, and its wide range of available varieties ensures that there is a catmint for every garden. So go ahead and add some catmint to your garden and enjoy its many benefits!

2 Catmint is dependable

Gardeners love catmint because it is a dependable plant that can grow in sun or shade. The foliage of catmint is known to attract many beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. It is a low-maintenance plant that does not cause many problems for gardeners. Catmint is also a relative of thyme and offers similar characteristics. It has small, white or blue flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, attracting pollinators.

One noteworthy characteristic of catmint is that it is drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions. It does not require frequent watering, but being watered regularly, especially in the hot summer months, can ensure its overall health. Catmint can be grown in containers, raised beds, or directly in the garden.

If you have any questions about catmint, you can find a guide online or ask a local philomath. Some frequently asked questions about catmint include fertilizing, dividing the plant, and taking care of its yellowing leaves or roots. Catmint is available in many varieties, such as Nepeta cataria and Nepeta x faassenii. These varieties can be grown in both sun and shade.

Catmint is equally pretty in sun or shade, but it may bloom more profusely in sunny spots. It is known to produce a pleasant fragrance that many people love. Catmint is often used in herbal teas and can be dried and used for culinary purposes. It can also be used as a natural pest repellent, keeping cats away from certain areas of the garden.

Overall, catmint is a dependable plant that can be grown in various conditions. It offers beautiful flowers, attracts pollinators, and has multiple uses. Whether you choose to grow it in sun or in shade, catmint will surely add beauty to your garden.

3 Catmint is easy to divide with cuttings

If you’re interested in growing catmint, it’s good to know that this plant is easy to divide with cuttings. This means that you can create new plants by taking cuttings from an existing catmint plant and replanting them elsewhere. Dividing catmint can be done online or by purchasing a catmint plant at a store.

Catmint is a perennial plant that forms a compact mound of foliage. It is a member of the mint family and is known for its strong scent and attractive flowers. Catmint can grow up to 18 inches tall and wide, making it a great addition to gardens and landscapes.

One noteworthy variety of catmint is called Nepeta grandiflora. This variety produces brilliant blue blossoms in mid-May and continues to bloom until the first frost. The flowers are loved by cats and can attract bees and other pollinators to your garden.

When growing catmint, it is important to ensure that the plant receives plenty of sunshine. Catmint can tolerate some shade, but it will not grow as vigorously or produce as many flowers in shady areas. Additionally, catmint requires well-drained soil and should be watered regularly.

To divide catmint with cuttings, start by selecting a healthy and established catmint plant. Use a clean and sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut a small section of the plant, including a few inches of stems and roots. Place the cutting in a pot filled with well-drained soil and water it thoroughly. Keep the pot in a sunny location and water it regularly to promote root growth. After a few weeks, the cutting should have developed roots and can be planted in the garden.

Overall, catmint is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that can add beauty and fragrance to your garden. Whether you’re looking for a pest-resistant plant, a companion for your cats, or a low-maintenance addition to your landscape, catmint is a great choice. Consider adding this plant to your garden and enjoy its vibrant blooms and aromatic foliage.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.