Over 15 years ago, I became a perennial flower enthusiast and with the help of my husband, created two large perennial flower beds. We have since moved and I don’t have the best location for perennial flower beds like I used to, but I manage to squeeze them in here and there. I want to share one of my favorite perrenials with you- Catmint (Nepeta). Catmint was used in my perennial gardens at my last home and I have several planted at my current home. Catmint is a cottage-type flower that you may often see planted with peonies, roses and other cottage-type flowers. It would not a good choice for very formal gardens.
Catmint is actually an herb and there are so many reasons why I love this perennial. Their lavender purple flowers bloom in late spring and continually bloom well into the fall is the primary reason I love catmint. It is a heat resistant, pest resistant perennial and extremely easy to grow. Rabbits and deer leave this perennial alone. Catmint has a pleasant aromatic scent. Of all the perennials I have planted over the years, Catmint has been the most reliable in coming back each year. I have never lost a single catmint plant even during our coldest northern winters.
Catmint is a fast grower and the plant can sprawl out quite a bit, but can easily be trimmed back if it grows larger than you would like. It prefers sun, but also does well in part shade. About mid summer, the blooms that have become dry and faded can be trimmed off and this perennial will grow more flowers. It can actually be cut back pretty hard and it will still re-flower. I have a catmint by my patio and I do trim it back every now and then so that it doesn’t sprawl out too much. Three catmint are planted on our hill and I don’t do a darn thing with them all summer. Come fall, I cut them back and that is all that I do with them. Once it is planted and established, catmint needs little watering. I only water mine during the summer if we have not had rain for weeks. It is extremely low maintenance. The purple flowers attract butterflies and honey bees which is also a nice attribute of this perennial. Catmint can also be used as a cut flower.
If I had to recommend one and only one perennial flower, catmint would be it. It does not disappoint. If you would like a long blooming, attractive, low maintenance perennial, this would be the one to get. It is truly the perennial for even the worst gardener.