Catnip: perennial of the year 2010


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Catnip are simple, simple beauties, the big show they prefer their bedding partners. From April to July, the perennials show their filigree, fragrant inflorescences. The color palette ranges from delicate violet and blue tones to pinks to whites. The foliage also exercises restraint, depending on the species, the leaves are silver gray or fresh green.

Petite beauties

The Catnip (Nepeta) is a genus of the family of the LipblĂŒtengewĂ€chse about 250 species comprehensive. Presumably, the genus name Nepeta derives from the ancient Etruscan town of Nepete, today's Nepi in Tuscany. Catnip is widely used in this area. Most catnip species are found in the Mediterranean, but are also common in Asia and North Africa. The best known is the real catnip (Nepeta cataria). It has opposite, nettle-like leaves and the dainty, white lip-shaped flowers sit at the instinctual ends. Which of the countless species of catnip and varieties are particularly well suited for use in the garden, has examined the working group Staudensichtung. You can find the results here.

Small and gray-dusty

The best known are the gray-lipped representatives of catnip. They love the full sun and warm, permeable soil. The plants cope well with barren, stony surfaces, they tolerate drought very well and must not be overfertilized. The robust perennials reach a height of 20-30 cm, grow rather broad than high and form dense luxuriant cushions. They are ideal for bedding, for planters, make themselves well in the foreground of perennial beds and are excellent rose companion. Here are particularly the form-rich blue pine (Nepeta racemosa) of importance. 'Superba' is one of the most beautiful and robust varieties. From late April to early July, it forms a purple-blue upholstery of rich flowering ears. In the Catnip sighting, she also received the best possible rating. Another indispensable variety is the pure white flowering 'Snowflake', also it is absolutely stable and vigorous.

Catnip Snowflake

Also, the variety 'Snowflake' (Nepeta racemosa) is absolutely stable and vigorous.

Big and gray-dusty

In addition to the small gray-legged, there are a variety of upright growing catnip. The varieties of the Nepeta x faassenii group are between 30 and 80 cm high. Their growth is easy, the foliage quite filigree, also they flower a little later. They are ideal for path bordering, as a partner to roses and also suitable for cutting. Particularly noteworthy is the variety 'Walkers Low'. It is the most intensely violet-blue variety of this group and also the best rated variety of all. Also a good choice is the large-flowered, slightly brighter 'Six Hills Giant'. The descended from the large-flowered catnip (Neptea grandiflora) varieties are significantly higher with 90 to 120 cm. They grow very lush and are therefore more suitable for grassy plantings or the sunny woody edge. They fit more often flowering shrub roses or tall grasses. Particularly noteworthy here is 'Blue Danube', the very richly blooming novelty impresses with a long flowering time and has cut off excellent in the Nepeta sighting.

Catnip Nepeta 'Walkers Low'

The intense violet-blue flowering 'Walkers Low'

Green and moisturizing

The green-leafy catmints are almost uncommon in our gardens. They love sunny to sunny places and nutrient-rich, fresh to moist soils, they do not tolerate really wet locations. This group also includes the rather large-flowered Japanese catnip (Nepeta subsessilis). It is shade compatible than the other catnipts. Two exceptionally impressive species of this group are the large-flowered Nepeta kubanica and Nepeta prattii. The former impresses from June to August with incredibly violet-blue flowers. The bright blue flowers of Nepeta prattii show their splendor and smell also aromatic.

Easy care and undemanding

Anyone who plants the catnip in the right location, it shows very healthy and easy to care. Cut the shrubs back close to the ground after the first flowering, then the plants will quickly drift off again. The catnip is adorned with fresh leaves and a handsome second flower that lasts well into the fall. With a pruning is also prevented over-strong self-sowing, which can quickly be problematic in many catnip. Disease and pest infestations are barely known in catnip.

Video Board: Why Do Cats Like Catnip?.

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