- Type Deciduous flower
- Lifespan Perennial
- USDA Zones 3 to 10
- Light Sun or part shade
- Water Drought tolerant
- Soil Well-drained
- Design Tip Edge a path
- Companions Roses, yarrow
- Peak Season Spring and summer
Catmint: A Field Guide
Purple, perennial, and plucky: catmint is a hardworking flower in the early summer border and, as British gardening writer Sarah Raven has observed, “has its first flush of flowers at exactly the right time.”
In her own garden, Raven mixes Nepeta with shades of purple—she plants catmint with alliums and Salvia ‘East Friesland’—against a backdrop of Stipa grasses.
In a flower garden, “Catmint is a great beginner’s plant because it is durable, has a long lifespan, succumbs to few pests or problems, and has a long season of blooming, from mid-spring onward,” writes our contributor Kier Holmes.
Depending on the variety, catmints can grow as low, mounding ground covers, or as 3-foot-tall flowering perennials in the middle of a border. With a long bloom season (after that “first flush” in mid-spring, catmint can continue flowering through summer) and pleasing purple or blue flowers, Nepetas can be counted on to have long lifespans in USDA growing zones 3 to 10.