This relative of catnip in the mint family does not trigger the kitten-like behaviour in cats as catnip does. Although cats might graze on Nepeta leaves and flowers, it tends to not make them go crazy afterward. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Nepeta from seed.
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Hardy to Zone 4
Sow seeds indoors in winter, about 4-8 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant or direct sow in 4-6 weeks after the last frost date, once daytime temperatures are steadily above 10°C (50°F). It can also be direct sown where it is to grow in September where winters are mild. Bottom heat will speed germination. Ideal temperature for germination: 21-27°C (70-80°F). Seeds should sprout in 10-20 days.
Sow on the soil surface or barely covered with perlite. Thin plants or transplant to 30cm (12″) apart.
This plant does very well in containers, raised beds, or borders in full sun to partial shade. After the main bloom, plants should be cut back hard to encourage a second bloom and tidy shape.
To save the summer catmint bounty, harvest when fully grown, and keep the plant picked regularly.
Usual seed life: 5 years.
Attracts pollinators, but repels aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, ants, weevils, and squash bugs.
More on Companion Planting.