Catmint Nepeta 'Weinheim Big Blue'
Nepeta 'Weinheim Big Blue', commonly known as catmint, features a distinctive appearance characterized by a profusion of deep blue to violet flowers that form striking spike-like inflorescences. These blooms are particularly appealing to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The flowers contrast beautifully with the foliage, composed of small, aromatic, gray-green leaves that have a soft, somewhat fuzzy texture. The plant is often described as bushy and mounded in its growth habit, creating a lush appearance in the landscape. The leaves of the catmint release a pleasant fragrance when brushed or crushed, which is recognized for its soothing properties and is one of the reasons for the plant's popularity in gardens. Catmint blooms over a long period, beginning in late spring and continuing into the summer months, providing long-lasting visual interest. The flowers are tubular and grow in clusters at the ends of stems, which are square in cross-section—a common trait among members of its family. Overall, this variety of catmint is prized for its vibrant flower display, aromatic foliage, and attractive, informal form that is often used in borders, cottage gardens, and as a ground cover. It is also drought-tolerant once established, making it a low-maintenance choice for various landscaping uses.
About this plant
Giant Catmint, Weinheim Big Blue Catmint
Nepeta 'Weinheim Big Blue'.
Catmint is generally considered non-toxic to humans. It does not typically pose a threat when touched or ingested in small amounts. However, consuming large quantities of any plant material may cause digestive discomfort or an allergic reaction in some individuals. It is always advisable to exercise caution and not consume plant material that is not intended for human consumption.
Catmint is also known to be non-toxic to pets, including both dogs and cats. In fact, it is often attractive to cats, which may enjoy rolling in or nibbling on the foliage due to the presence of the compound nepetalactone, which can cause a euphoric reaction in cats. Nevertheless, ingestion of large amounts may still lead to mild gastrointestinal upset in some pets. It is generally safe for pets in the typical amounts they may encounter in a garden setting.
Color of leaves
2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)
2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)
- General Benefits
- Attracts pollinators: Nepeta 'Weinheim Big Blue', commonly known as Catmint, is highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting local ecosystems.
- Easy to grow: Catmint is known for its hardiness and ease of care, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
- Drought tolerant: Once established, Catmint is drought-resistant, reducing the need for frequent watering and maintenance.
- Deer and rabbit resistant: The plant's aromatic foliage is usually unappealing to deer and rabbits, helping to protect your garden from grazing.
- Aromatic: Catmint releases a pleasant fragrance that can freshen up garden spaces and potentially deter some common garden pests.
- Landscape versatility: This plant works well in borders, herb gardens, and as ground cover, providing flexibility in garden design.
- Long blooming season: Catmint has a long flowering period, offering visual interest in the garden from early summer to fall.
- Medical Properties
- This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Cat entertainment: Nepeta, commonly known as catnip, releases chemicals that can have a euphoric or sedative effect on cats, making it a delightful treat to entertain or relax domestic felines.
- Decorative sachets: Dried catnip can be used in small cloth sachets as a decorative item that also subtly releases its distinctive minty fragrance into the surrounding area.
- Insect repellent: Some compounds in catnip have been found to repel insects, making it a natural option to deter pests like mosquitoes or cockroaches when placed in strategic locations.
- Educational tool: Catnip can be grown in classrooms or educational settings to demonstrate plant care, growth cycles, or as a subject for biological and botanical studies.
- Garden companion planting: It's suggested that catnip may be beneficial when planted near certain vegetables as it might help to ward off unwanted insects from the garden.
- Landscape aesthetics: With its lush, green foliage and violet-blue flowers, catnip can be used as a border plant or ground cover to enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
- Soil enhancement: When catnip plant matter is decomposed, it can enrich the soil with beneficial nutrients, particularly nitrogen, an essential element for plant growth.
- Artistic inspiration: The vibrant colors and textures of catnip can be an inspiration for artists and photographers looking for natural beauty and variety in their work.
- Dye production: Historically, plants in the Nepeta genus could potentially be used to extract natural dyes for coloring fabrics or other materials.
- Crafting natural jewelry: When dried, small sprigs and flowers of catnip can be added to home-made jewelry like pendants or earrings for an organic, earthy touch.
- Feng Shui
The Catmint is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Catmint is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Calming Influence: As a member of the mint family, 'Catmint' is often associated with calming and soothing properties, reminiscent of the relaxing effect that mint is thought to have on the human body and mind.
- Playfulness: Catmint is known for its effect on cats, inducing a state of euphoria and playfulness, thus symbolizing joy and fun.
- Friendship: Due to its inviting fragrance and attractiveness to cats, this plant is sometimes connected to the theme of friendship and companionship, akin to the bond between a cat and its owner.
- Healing: In traditional herbal medicine, mint relatives are often used for their medicinal properties, making Catmint representative of healing and the relief of ailments.
- Protection: Historically, mint plants have been used in various cultures to ward off evil spirits, and by extension, Catmint could symbolize protection and the creation of a safe environment.
Catmint should be watered regularly, especially during its first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, it is relatively drought tolerant and requires less frequent watering. The best method is to provide a deep watering so the soil becomes moist but not soggy. Generally, watering once every week with approximately one inch of water, or one to two gallons per plant, will suffice. During hot, dry periods, additional watering may be necessary.
Catmint thrives in full sun, which means it needs at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The ideal spot for catmint would be an area that receives unfiltered sunlight throughout the day. While it can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers.
Catmint prefers moderate temperatures and grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with night temperatures slightly cooler. It can withstand minimum temperatures down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, but growth may be slower or stall in these cooler conditions. The maximum temperature for optimal growth shouldn't exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pruning catmint is essential for maintaining its shape and encouraging a second bloom in the season. After the first flowering subsides, cut the plants back by approximately a third. This pruning can be done typically in late spring or early summer. Removing spent flowers and occasional deadheading will promote new growth and additional blooms.
Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' thrives in well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.1 to 7.8. A mixture of garden soil, compost, and perlite or sand can create an ideal environment. Ensure the soil provides adequate drainage to prevent root rot.
Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' generally doesn't need frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2 to 3 years. It's best to repot in spring just before new growth begins.
- Humidity & Misting
Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does well in average outdoor conditions; it doesn’t require any special humidity adjustments.
- Suitable locations
Place Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' in bright light; don't overwater.
Plant Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' in full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil.
- Life cycle
Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' begins its life cycle when its seeds are sown in early spring, ideally after the last frost. These seeds germinate, and seedlings emerge, growing into young plants with characteristic fragrant, gray-green foliage. As the plants mature, they enter a vigorous vegetative growth stage, developing a bushy habit. By late spring or early summer, they start to blossom, producing abundant spikes of vivid blue-violet flowers that attract pollinators. After the blooming period, if the spent flowers are not deadheaded, the plants may produce seeds that can be dispersed or collected for the next growing season. In late autumn, the plant's above-ground parts die back with the onset of cold weather, but the root system remains alive, allowing the plant to survive the winter and regenerate the following spring.
The most popular method for propagating Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue', a variety of Nepeta, is through stem cuttings. The best time to take cuttings is in the late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. A gardener would cut a 4 to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) length of stem just below a node, remove the lower leaves, and possibly dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth. The cutting should then be inserted into a well-draining potting mix and kept moist but not waterlogged. In a few weeks, the cutting should have rooted and can eventually be transplanted into the garden. This method is effective because Catmint 'Weinheim Big Blue' roots readily and stem cuttings can produce a mature plant much faster than seed propagation.