Coming from the hardy mint family, catmint (Nepeta) offers a beautiful burst of color multiple times per year with relatively low input. Catmint includes the species catnip, known to be a popular essential oil for domestic cats. Its resilience and willingness to take to poor soil make it a great choice for a beginner garden or filler plant.

  1. Botanical background:
    • Catmint belongs to the Nepeta genus within the Lamiaceae family, along with aromatic herbs such as lavender and rosemary
    • Nepeta includes over 250 species native to Europe, Asia, and Africa
  2. Historic significance:
    • The genus name Nepeta may come from Nepete, an ancient city in current-day Italy
    • Cultivation of catmint for cats reportedly dates back to ancient Egypt
  3. Medicinal uses:
    • In folk medicine, catmint has been used as an antiseptic and stimulant
    • Catmint can be brewed into a tea or extracted into an essential oil
  4. Horticultural delight:
    • Catmint makes a great plant to fill any spaces where soil, sun, and drought hit harder
    • Its blooming season starts in late spring into summer, then again in early fall
  5. Landscape design:
    • Its low-maintenance nature and resilience to drought make it a favored choice for embellishing