Clarke's Catmint Nepeta clarkei

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Clark's catmint


The plant known as catmint features a variety of characteristics that shape its distinct appearance. It has a foliage of heart-shaped, green leaves that sport a finely toothed edge, giving them a delicate texture. These leaves are often aromatic, releasing a pleasant fragrance when brushed against or crushed. The plant is adorned with flowers that typically bloom in a shade of lavender or blue, presenting themselves in small, trumpet-shaped arrangements along spike-like structures called inflorescences. These blossoms typically attract a range of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, adding to the lively display of the plant. The overall aesthetic of the catmint plant is one of a soft, mounded shape, with stems that might sprawl or rise depending on the specific conditions of their environment. It's known for both its ornamental appeal and its resilience, making it a favored choice in many gardens.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Clarke's Catmint, Himalayan Catmint

    • Common names

      Glechoma hederacea var. micrantha.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Nepeta clarkei, commonly known as catmint, is not generally considered toxic to humans. No significant toxicity symptoms are reported for this plant when ingested in small, typical quantities. As with any non-food plant, ingesting large amounts or parts of Nepeta clarkei could potentially cause some gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea or vomiting, but it is primarily known for its use in traditional medicine and as an ornamental plant, not for its toxicity. Always exercise caution and consult a medical professional if you suspect poisoning from any plant material.

    • To pets

      Catmint is not known to be toxic to pets. In fact, Nepeta clarkei, like other plants in the Nepeta genus, may actually have a stimulating or attractive effect on cats due to the presence of nepetalactone, a compound that can induce behaviors typical of feline happy or playful states. However, if a pet ingests a large amount of any non-food plant, including catmint, it could potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. It's always best to monitor your pets around plants and seek veterinary advice if they show signs of illness after consuming plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds color and texture to gardens with its lavender-like flowers and minty green foliage.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: Attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, supporting biodiversity.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it requires minimal water, making it suitable for xeriscaping or low-water gardens.
    • Culinary Uses: Leaves are sometimes used in traditional cuisines to add a unique flavor to dishes.
    • Easy Propagation: Can be easily propagated from cuttings or seeds, making it accessible to gardeners of all levels.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal pruning and is adaptable to a range of soil types and conditions.
    • Natural Repellent: Its scent is believed to deter certain insects and pests from the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Analgesic: Nepeta clarkei may be used in traditional medicine for its pain-relieving properties.
    • Antispasmodic: The plant may help relieve spasms or cramps in the muscles.
    • Diuretic: It could possibly be used to increase urine production, aiding in the removal of excess fluids from the body.
    • Antiseptic: Nepeta clarkei might have antiseptic qualities, potentially inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.
    • Carminative: It may help in relieving flatulence or intestinal gas.
    • Sedative: Traditional use could include the treatment of insomnia or anxiety due to its sedative effects.
    Please note that the above uses are based on traditional or anecdotal evidence. The efficacy and safety of Nepeta clarkei for these uses have not been clinically substantiated.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Nepeta clarkei, commonly known as catmint, can be used as a deterrent for certain insects and pests in gardens, due to its strong scent which many pests find unappealing.
    • The plant can be included in landscaping as a ground cover due to its sprawling habit, which can help prevent soil erosion and suppress weed growth.
    • Catmint can be used in companion planting to enhance the growth of certain vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers by repelling harmful pests.
    • The leaves of catmint can be dried and used to create a fragrant potpourri that can freshen up indoor spaces naturally.
    • Dried Nepeta clarkei can be used in sachets to place in wardrobes or drawers as a natural moth repellent, keeping clothes free from damage.
    • The flowers of catmint can provide an ornamental aesthetic to floral arrangements, both fresh and dried, with their subtle hues and pleasant fragrance.
    • As a natural fertilizer, catmint can be composted and added to garden soil to enrich it with nutrients as the plant material breaks down.
    • Its ability to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies makes catmint an ideal choice for ecological gardening practices and supporting local biodiversity.
    • Catmint can be used as a decorative plant in pet-friendly gardens, as it is non-toxic to cats and dogs and provides sensory stimulation for pets.
    • The stems and foliage of Nepeta clarkei can be used to create a natural dye for textiles, producing subtle shades of color unique to the plant's compounds.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Nepeta clarkei, commonly known as catmint, is not traditionally used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Catmint is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Calmness: Nepeta clarkei, also known as catmint, often symbolizes calm and relaxation due to its sedative effects on cats that can also extend to humans in traditional medicine.
    • Playfulness: Given the plant's effects on cats inducing a euphoric state, catmint can represent playfulness and joy.
    • Affinity with Nature: As catmint is attractive to cats and other wildlife like bees, it can symbolize a deep connection with nature and natural processes.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For Clarke's catmint (Nepeta clarkei), water thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry, which typically means watering once a week during the growing season. Reduce watering frequency in the winter months, as the plant's water needs decrease during dormancy. When watering, soak the soil until water runs out of the bottom of the pot, which might amount to around 16-32 ounces depending on pot size. Make sure not to leave the plant in standing water as it prefers well-drained conditions. During hot spells or in particularly dry climates, monitor soil moisture regularly and water as needed to maintain consistent soil moisture.

  • sunLight

    Clarke's catmint thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant is where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, though it can tolerate some afternoon shade in very hot climates. Avoid deeply shaded areas as inadequate light can affect the plant's growth and flower production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Clarke's catmint is hardy and can typically withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive brief periods outside of this range but may not thrive if extreme temperatures are prolonged.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Clarke's catmint to maintain its shape and promote fuller growth. Cutting back by a third after the first flush of flowers can encourage a second bloom. Prune annually in late winter or early spring to remove any dead or damaged growth. The best time for heavy pruning is just before new growth starts.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Clarke's Catmint, the ideal soil mix should be well-draining with a mix of standard potting soil, perlite, and sand in a ratio of 2:1:1. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, between 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Clarke's Catmint should be repotted every two to three years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. It's best to repot in early spring before the onset of the growing season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Clarke's Catmint prefers average to dry humidity levels and does not require high humidity to thrive. Avoid overly humid environments as this can promote fungal diseases.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use well-draining soil, provide ample sunlight, and occasional watering for indoor Clarke's Catmint.

    • Outdoor

      Ensure full sun to part shade and well-draining soil for outdoor Clarke's Catmint.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Nepeta clarkei, commonly known as Clarke's Catmint, initiates its life cycle as a seed that germinates in spring when soil temperatures are warm and moisture is adequate. The seedling emerges and develops into a vegetative plant, with characteristic square stems and opposite leaves, producing a rosette of foliage at the soil level. As it matures, the plant undergoes a vegetative growth phase, during which it accumulates resources and increases in size. Upon reaching maturity, Clarke's Catmint produces inflorescences with numerous small, two-lipped, lavender-blue flowers, typically blooming from late spring to early summer. After pollination by insects, particularly bees which are attracted to its nectar, the plant sets seed within small nutlets that are distributed in the immediate surroundings. Clarke's Catmint completes its life cycle as these seeds fall to the ground to overwinter or immediately germinate, depending on conditions, ready to start the cycle anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Nepeta clarkei, commonly known as Clarke's catnip, can be propagated most effectively through seed sowing. The optimal time to sow seeds is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed, as warmer soil temperatures aid in germination. To propagate by seeds, simply scatter them over a well-draining soil mix and lightly cover with soil or vermiculite, ensuring they are not more than 1/8 inch (approximately 3 mm) deep. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged, and placed in a location that receives plenty of light but is protected from the midday sun until germination which typically occurs within a couple of weeks to a month. Once seedlings have grown strong enough, they can be transplanted to their final growing positions, whether that is in the garden or in individual pots.