Also known as catmints, nepetas produce delicate, velvety flowers and green to grey aromatic foliage on wiry stems. Commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere, these easy to grow and long-lasting hardy perennials will make fantastic edging plants — especially the smaller varieties. Equally suited to the middle of the border or rockery, they will make great companions for most perennials and will appeal to cats and pollinating insects. Try planting with alchemillas mollis, lavenders, geraniums, agastaches, hemerocallises, tall alliums or white, pink and purple tulips.
Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade — nepetas do not like heavy or shallow soils which remain wet in winter. Dead-head regularly to help promote prolonged flowering but only cut the stems down when the new shoots appear in the spring as these will provide winter protection. Taller varieties may need a little support.
Always unpack and plant on arrival.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Snails and slugs:these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!
Powdery mildews:these fungal diseases usually caused by planting in the shade or by poor air circulation can be seen in the form of white, powdery coating on the leaves. Cut off any infected material before disinfecting your scissors.