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Plant, prune and care for catnip: Garden tips for the rose companion and different planting combinations

Perennial “Nepeta Cataria” is one of the most beautiful fragrant plants in the home garden. The plant belongs to the genus Nepeta and is widespread in dry areas, especially in Central and Southern Europe. It is perfect for planting on slopes and also feels at home in rock gardens. Its strong fragrance attracts not only pollinating insects to the garden. Cats are also magically attracted to the perennial. The pussycats roll in it, which of course leaves damage. We explain how to plant, care for and cut catnip, and with what plants to combine.

When is the right time?

Catnip care and plant popular combinations.

Spring, roughly between early April and mid-May, is the right time to plant catnip. If you miss the timing, you can also put the flowering perennial in the ground in the fall (around September – October). This gives the deciduous perennial enough time to develop its root system before the permafrost sets in. By the way, in garden centers will not only sowing, but also pre-pulled seedlings. These you can put in the ground as early as mid-March.

Brief instructions

Catnip planting different varieties at a glance

The distance between the plants should be around 35 cm. Do not dig holes too deep – the roots should be just below the surface of the soil. Good drainage is an absolute must – catnip cannot tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, you should first loosen the soil and, if necessary, mix it with sand.

The right location is crucial

Catnip plant and care useful tips

Catmint thrives best in full sun locations and prefers a nutrient-rich soil with a high sand content. Depending on the soil conditions, you can work compost into the garden soil.

In the first few weeks, the plant needs regular watering. Provide it with slow-release fertilizer in the spring to accelerate growth and extend the blooming period.

Care for the perennial: Water and fertilize

The first month after sowing or planting, you should regularly check the soil. It should be moderately moist. During prolonged dry periods, water the plant extensively once a week.

Prune the perennial properly: How to make it bloom again

Catnip in the garden cut in autumn


After the end of the flowering period, cut back the catmint. Such pruning can promote flowering, and if the soil contains the important nutrients, the plant can bloom for the second time at the end of the summer. To do this, simply tie all the shoots together and cut them close to the ground with sharp secateurs.

Care in a container as a balcony plant

Catnip in tubs maintain tips and guidance.

Catnip is a hardy plant that thrives in the flower bed without problems snow and frost. However, in the tub it can not cope with sub-zero winter temperatures without frost protection. Therefore, always pack the tub with fleece and put it on a wooden board. Otherwise, the perennial is undemanding.

Plant catnip and use against pests in the kitchen garden.

Catnip care hardy different varieties


“Nepeta Cataria” can be combined with both ornamental and useful plants. In the vegetable garden, its strong aroma keeps pests such as ants, aphids and weevils at bay. Crop plants in the vegetable garden with which you can combine them include broccoli, squash, potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini and cauliflower.

Most bean varieties also benefit from group planting with catnip. It successfully repels the Japanese beetle, which can cause considerable damage.

Planting catnip: Combine with what flowers?

Catnip and roses combine useful tips

The perennial can also be combined with certain ornamental plants. An important condition for group planting is that the other plants have similar requirements for soil and location.

As a companion to roses

The combination of catmint and roses looks especially beautiful. The following varieties are particularly well suited for this:

Parisian Blue -As an underplanting.

Grog -as a bed border

It also harmonizes perfectly with delphinium, ornamental sage, bedding roses and Indian nettle. Together with peonies, Turkish poppies and lavender it forms the perfect combination for spring. The perennial also gets along with lady’s mirror and alpine aster. Super charming also looks the combination of “Nepeta Cataria” and sheep’s fork. The perennial also feels comfortable in containers with already mentioned plants, as long as it has enough space to develop its roots.

Catnip as a houseplant care useful tips

3 beautiful varieties

What varieties are suitable for the home garden? “Superba” is best suited for bed borders. It is the perfect rose companion and attracts pollinating insects like bees and bumblebees to the garden.

“Odeur Citron” scores with a long blooming period and a light lemon fragrance. The variety easily tolerates direct sun and extended dry periods, making it perfect for the rock garden.

“Snowflake” attracts attention with its interesting leaf structure. The variety has an upright, compact habit and lends itself to container plantings.

Catmint is not only an eye-catcher in the garden. Its aroma keeps pests away and attracts bees and bumblebees.