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which kind of catmint?

I want to grow a nepeta that will keep a bit of height at the back, but also have a tendency to tumble over a low wall.  Should I go for N. faassenii or N. racemosa?  Any recommendations?  thanks all 
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  • CrankyYankeeCrankyYankee New England, USAPosts: 132
    I love catmint - my mother raises Walker's Low (racemosa) and I have Cat's Pajamas (faassenii).  I don't know much about other varieties, but I can tell you both of these are more upright than tumbling.  As they mature the outside stems tend to fall outward, so they form more of a mound.  I'm not sure about the habit of any of the others.  They certainly are beautiful and the pollinators love them!  We usually cut them back after they've spent themselves from the first bloom, and they'll grow back for a second bloom later in the summer. This is my Cat's Pajamas the first year in one of my holding beds.  I planted another by my front steps and I love how short they are.
  • adamadamantadamadamant Posts: 221
    Thanks, perhaps in that case they wont behave as I imagined.  I will do a bit more research. Appreciate the comment 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,394
    I have Walkers Low in a border and it does tend to tumble and spread sideways. It has made a bare patch on the lawn! It certainly isn't upright like the one in the abve photo.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,737
    edited 10 January
    If you can't find a suitable Nepeta, other options to consider to achieve that spilling effect whilst maintaining some height are Erigeron karvinskianus, a perennial which can flower from March to December, or a trailing Lobelia if you want blue but it will need replacing each year.  Both prefer sun and well draining but retentive soil.  Some hardy geraniums may also suit that situation, Rozanne is a reliable flowerer and will spread/spill once established.
  • CrankyYankeeCrankyYankee New England, USAPosts: 132
    I have Walkers Low in a border and it does tend to tumble and spread sideways. It has made a bare patch on the lawn! It certainly isn't upright like the one in the abve photo.

    That's interesting - I wonder if where it's planted and how much sun it gets makes the difference?  My mother's Walker's Low is in full sun and is generally more upright, but the outer stems will lay down as it gets larger.  Or maybe because we cut it back regularly it doesn't get the chance to behave in that way.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,671
    edited 10 January
    I have the basic catmint, N. faassenii, and it's a low moundy spreader for me, not really upright at all - height maybe 12" maximum. Full sun in summer, sandy well-drained soil - those factors might make a difference.
    Edit: the picture on this site https://www.thompson-morgan.com/p/nepeta-x-faassenii/ka5885TM is pretty much how mine looks in summer, just a bit less sprawly than mine (possibly younger plants, or pic taken early in the season), but their description says height 24", which mine doesn't ever reach, and it's probably 10 or 12 years old now.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,394
    I probably don't cut mine back enough @CrankyYankee, just leave it to flower all summer. It's in full sun.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,671
    I never cut mine back until Autumn when the flowers have faded and the foliage is dying off. Some years it doesn't get done until winter or early spring.
  • CrankyYankeeCrankyYankee New England, USAPosts: 132
    edited 10 January
    @JennyJ that's what my mother's looks like, too. 
    You can see it at the bottom left.  Looking at this photo, I think because it's hemmed in by other perennials it doesn't get the chance to really spill out.  edited -the other clump is mixed in with the Rudbeckia to the mid-right of the photo. 


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,671
    I think you're right @CrankyYankee , the other plants are supporting it. Mine is front-of-border so it spills over the edge .
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