More Information About Nepeta
The genus Nepeta contains roughly 250 species of herbs native to Europe, North Africa, and temperate parts of Asia, but has been spread worldwide by gardeners. Nepeta is in the mint family (Lamiaceae) which is apparent as soon as you look at the 2-lipped flowers or smell the leaves, some of which have a minty scent.
Of course, if your cat smells nepeta (especially N. cataria), its response will be different than yours. Cat noses can pick up a particular compound in the leaves called nepetalactone which creates a short-lived euphoric response. Gardeners prefer to grow nepeta cultivars such as 'Walker's Low' that have been selected for a shorter, bushier, more floriferous habit and for sterility.
Insects, deer, and bunnies do not like to eat nepeta...I guess mint is not their thing. Nepeta prefers a full sun site and is tolerant of humidity, heat, dry soils, and coastal conditions. Hummingbirds are attracted to nepeta flowers as are bees and butterflies. Try combining nepeta with buddleia, chasmanthium and ornamental grasses for a nice textural contrast. Just watch out for the kitty crack-heads. When you are ready to buy nepeta for your garden, check out our online offering of nepeta for sale.