Nepeta - Catnip

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Nepetas, Charmed Mint or catnip are vaporous perennials that emit an irresistible smell to cats. In colder regions, these plants with a bushy habit and blue spikes can easily replace lavender. Very hardy up to -20°C (-4°F), they like well-drained soils, even dry and chalky ones, very sunny, but they fear winter humidity. Used in flowerbeds with roses or yellow-flowered perennials, they can also find their place in borders, slopes or rockeries. The variety Nepeta faassenii 'Six Hills Giant' (60cm (24in)) is vigorous, with greyish leaves and lavender blue flowers. The bushy Nepeta sibirica (90cm (35in)) has green leaves and dark blue flowers. Sometimes called "cat mints," they are also aromatic plants. Their leaves have medicinal properties (relaxing, anti-stress, and for fighting stomach aches, colic, etc.) and are used in herbal tea.

 

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