Catnip: 10 popular varieties presented

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Anyone who thinks that catnip is only popular with velvet paws, is wrong. There are many species that hobby gardeners like very much.

Catnip varieties

The catnip is more diverse than perhaps thought. There are numerous varieties, which differ in their stature height, in leaf coloration or in flower color. Low-growing species grow to a maximum of 20 centimeters and spread to dense cushions. There are also species that grow more than a meter in height. Below, once presented 10 particularly popular types of catnip.

Similarities and differences of each species

Vegetative features:

Catnip usually grows as a perennial herbaceous plant. Some species reach an almost shrubby growth. There are also known species that are only one year old and thus do not survive the winter in the bed. Usually, the catnip grows in width, almost resembling a ball. Occasionally, species occur that reach up to 1.5 meters in growth height and then no longer grow bushy, but fall apart because of the height. The stems are always square and can be smooth or hairy. The essential oils that cast a spell on cats are common to almost all species.


The catnip has leaves in different sizes. Starting from a rather rounded base, the leaves appear oval to lanceolate. Depending on the type and size of the plant, the leaves appear delicate and filigree or rather coarse. There is also a difference in leaf coloration. Most catnip species have gray-green leaves. The coloring is rather dull. Some varieties distinguish the light green leaves. Very few types of mint have reddish colored leaves.


The catnip is a perennial bloomer, which allows us to enjoy its flowering all summer long. The calyx is shaped bell-like. There are differences in flower color. The predominant flower colors are blue and purple. But there are also deviating flower colors known as white, yellow or orange.

โ Real catnip:

The real catnip is most commonly found in our gardens. Even the cats prefer this variety, which flowers from July to September and smells seductively. The perennial plants can grow up to a meter in height. But there are also low-growing forms that form dense cushions. The stems are hairy. The heart-shaped leaves have a serrated edge and are gray-green in color. On the top are fluffy glandular hairs. From the inflorescences reminiscent of spikes develop in June, the white to light blue flowers. The pleasant smell is reminiscent of lemons and mint.

By the way: Only sexually mature cats respond to catnip.

โ Catnip Superba:

This is a small cultivar, which has been known since the beginning of the 19th century. The plants are extremely robust and begin to bloom in April. With timely pruning the plant comes again to the bloom and pleases then with their violet upholstery into the autumn. Often this variety is found in the rosary and also in the bucket, this species is decorative. Superba grows quickly, tolerates prolonged dryness and feels well in a well drained soil.

โ Catnip Grog:

This variety is very similar to the just described mint Superba. The flowers, however, appear more colorful and intense with hints of blue, purple and red. This species is also thriving and attracts not only cats, but also bees. Striking is the intense lemon fragrance. The plant appears bushy in growth and quickly forms dense cushions. A pruning after the main flower in July prolongs the flowering into autumn. The catnip grog is undemanding and also copes with dryness or stony soils.

Catnip Walkers Low:

The Catnip Walkers Low is an attractive perennial that attracts attention with its purple flowers. Due to the long inflorescences, this variety can also be used as a cut flower. From May, the plant spreads its intense, minty fragrance, which attracts many insects. In the natural garden as a balcony plant, this variety is an eye-catcher. With yellow or orange flowering bed neighbors, colorful contrasts result. The plant is undemanding and easy to care for. It thrives very well in a sunny spot, but tolerates partial shade.

โ Catnip glacier ice:

This variety is rather discreet and restrained. The flowers appear in a delicate shade of blue and there are pretty arrangements with pastel-colored flowers. The foliage appears rather filigree. The plant grows bushy and up to 60 centimeters in height. Due to the bushy growth some planting distance is desired. Otherwise, the catnip glacier ice is easy to care for and absolutely frost hardy. In the rock garden and as a companion plant of roses, catnip appears particularly attractive. The plant tolerates dryness and does not need to be watered regularly.

โ Catnip Dropmore:

This variety is still relatively new and less known. Between May and August the blue flowers show up. The heart-shaped leaves spread a pleasant fragrance that attracts not only cats, but also insects. Dropmore is suitable as an uncomplicated beginner's plant and can not only serve as a decoration in the rosary, but also protect the noble roses from pest infestation. The plant is about half a meter high and loves a sunny and dry location.

โ Catnip Blue Danube:

Due to its good stability, Katzenminze Blue Danube is also convincing in its individual position in the bed. The blue-violet flowers appear from May and after a pruning in midsummer Blue Danube blooms again and into the autumn. A sunny to partially shaded location is ideal. The plant prefers to stay dry and does not need to be watered regularly. Waterlogging is not tolerated.

โ Catnip Dawn to Dusk:

This variety can grow more than a meter high and is therefore not overlooked in the bed. A special feature is the flower color, which ranges from a light pink to a purple pink. By pruning in July, the plant can be stimulated to bloom. The intense scent is a lure for cats and insects. The plants form dense shrubs and prefer sandy loam soil with rather moderate nutrient content.

โ Catnip Odeur Citron:

Would you like to enjoy catnip, the cats but do not welcome yourself daily in your bed, this variety is made for you, because the intense lemon-like scent is rather spurned by cats. This species is so far relatively rare to find in the flower beds. The blue-violet flowers appear between June and July and after a pruning again into September. Due to its low growth height, Odeur Citron is also suitable for container planting. The soil should be fresh and well drained. A sunny location promotes a rich flowering.

โ Catnip Six Hills Giant:

This variety has been on the market for several decades and is widely appreciated. The growth appears broad and bushy. Due to the intense aroma the plant is a popular bee pasture. The stature height is about 80 centimeters. The blue-violet flowers are striking and attractive. The plant is more floriferous than many species of the plant family. The location should be sunny. For cultivation, conventional garden soil is sufficient. The plants should be protected against moisture.

Tip: Snails are scared of the scent of the catnip Six Hills Giant.

Catnip varietycharacteristics
Real catnipโ widely used
โ Flowering between July and September
โ white to light blue flower color
โ very attractive for cats
Superbaโ old variety
โ particularly robust
โ small
โ forms dense cushions
grogโ colorful blossom
โ intense lemon scent
โ undemanding
โ perennial
Walker's Lowโ striking purple flowers
โ long flowering time
โ also suitable as a cut flower
โ good stability
glacial iceโ white-blue flower
โ robust
โ flowering
Frost especially frost hardy
Dropmoreโ rare variety
โ long flowering time
โ popular beginner plant
โ bushy growth
Blue Danubeโ upright
โ long flowering time
โ aromatic scent
โ bee pasture
Dawn to Duskโ compact growth
โ pink to purple flowers
โ After-flowering after pruning
โ good stability
Odeur Citronโ intense citrus scent
Eher rather spurned by cats
โ small
โ After-flowering after pruning
Six Hills Giantโ violet flower
โ old variety
โ bushy growth
โ intense scent

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