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Friday, May 16, 2008

5 Days 4 Catmints (Nepeta faassinii)

Last Saturday I was shopping at a nursery where I found a 'Walker's Low' Catmint (Nepeta faassinii). I've talked about the benefits of Nepeta before so it may not be a surprise that I bought one. I planted it the other day in our front sidewalk garden even though the cats may like it. If they do they have an excellent taste in plants. Simply brushing the leaves between your fingers leaves you with a wonderfully minty aroma. It's a pretty plant overall although my catmint is a bit leggy at the moment but that can be taken care of with some periodic pruning that will encourage a bushier habit. 'Walker's Low' is named for a garden in England and not the plant's actual growth habit. This catmint will grow up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide.

It's probably not a shock to anyone who has read this blog that plant propagation is an obsession of mine. You can probably guess what I'm about to tell you...I took cuttings of my new catmint. In fact I did that the same day I bought it! Last Saturday evening I made three small stem-tip cuttings, dabbed them in rooting hormone and stuck them in my sandbox. You're never to old to play in the sandbox right? The sandbox I have is really just a few aluminum baking pans that I put sterilized playground sand in to use for my cuttings.


Here you can see the three little catmints in black and white.


Yesterday afternoon I checked my cuttings and found that all three Nepeta faassenis had rooted!








I potted them up yesterday for them to grow in the dirt. It's important to move your cuttings into soil to get nutrients since the sand is devoid of the good stuff.



Five days and now I have four catmints.


19 comments :

  1. I will be teaching a plant propagation class in June. I was recently putting together my powerpoint and was happy I had some pictures of cuttings and bulbs being divided and what not. But my pictures no way compare to yours! You do an EXCELLENT job documenting the process. I am going to do catmint cuttings too! Haven't done it before though.

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  2. You are so good at propagation!

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  3. I must remember to pick up some sand.

    The catmint sounds wonderful, but I don't want to attract any more cats to the yard. One was sneaking around the bird feeder this morning.

    I would like to propagate the pink Knockout rose I recently bought though.

    Please keep showing your plants that you propagate, it is very inspiring!

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  4. Tina,

    If you would like to use some of my pictures you can. Thanks for the compliment! Get on those catmint cuttings they are extremely easy to root!

    Thanks Skeeter!

    Robin,

    I don't think the catmint will attract a huge number of cats like Catnip. They two are different with the catmint being less favored by felines. Hmm, I haven't done roses yet I have it on the list of plants to propagate though. From what I've read it's best to propagate roses from a branch that has already bloomed.

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  5. Hey Dave, thank you very much! I have a lovely Siberian catmint that I'd love to be able to share with others. Guess what I'm going to do right now? Ha ha, look out catmint, me and my trusty scissors are on our way.

    My Sedum 'Frosty Morn' is also ready for a good haircut. I feel lots of babies coming on :-)

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  6. Well done! My daughter "inherited" a small vegetable garden plot at her current apartment, and it's overrun with some sort of mint...it looks a lot like that. Just rubbing its leaves releases a wonderful, spearmint fragrance. I must remember to get some from her before they move. :)

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  7. You are very nice to allow that! But I'll stick with mine. Thanks though! Makes me sound more impressive when I say all these pics are from my garden. At least I think it does. lol

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  8. Dave, What I can do is add your blog on the presentation as a link for further information on cuttings. Your pictures would be very helpful for folks interested in seeing how it all works. Thanks!

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  9. I love to start plants from cutting too. The walker low catmint is a great plant. I like ot use it as a low boarder plant and let it spill a little bit into pathways.

    Debbi.

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  10. I love the 'Walker's Low' catmint. For some reason, I've never seen my cat in it! I guess that is a good thing.

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  11. Melanie,

    Go for it! That Siberian catmint sounds interesting. Do you know how it differs from a 'Walker's Low'? Those sedums root easily don't they! I just picked up a couple new one's to add to our collection. There will be many more to come!

    Nancy,

    Catmint doesn't run as rampant as other mints. If it's a spearmint in her garden look for a nice pot to give it a home!

    Debbi,

    It's fun to make new stuff grow isn't it! That sounds like an excellent use for catmint.

    Phillip,

    I don't think cats like it as much as catnip. There was someone giving away catnip today at the swap and I steered clear. One kitty is enough in our house! I've got a few other catmints started from seed. If I remember right they are the 'Blue Carpet' catmint.

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  12. I planted the Walker's Low variety this year for the first time. Today, I looked out my window to see a neighbor's cat nibbling away. The things are monsters (I made the mistake of fertilizing before I planted, they're leggy as all get out), so I don't mind the visit. But I'm guessing at least some cats are attracted to this variety!

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  13. Anonymous,

    Thanks for visiting and the cat update! We've had two cats around our house but they were around before the catmint was planted so I have had no way to gauge whether they liked it or not. Although cats are very welcome in my yard if they keep the rabbits away!

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  14. Can I Put them right into soil instead of sand? Or is there something else I can use?

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  15. Jennifer,

    For catmint you can probably use soil with no problems. Like many other plants in the mint family this one will root very easily. Since I write this post I've actually just stuck pieces of catmint in the ground where I wanted it. One out of three rooted. Not too bad for not really caring for them at all. You could use peat or peat/sand blend if you want. The important thing is to keep them moist while rooting.

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  16. I have been looking for this plant in my area since last spring. None of the nurseries I've visited sell this, and some of them think I've mistaken catmint for catnip. I really need this plant!

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  17. Sherry,

    Keep looking, it's worth it! There are some online nurseries where you can get it. Even though it will arrive as a small plant it will grow bushy very fast. Once you've got one you can make more with a jar of water! Rooting hormone is most likely not necessary but speeds up its root growth a little. Try looking at High Country Gardens you can probably find it there.

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  18. I should propagate mine. It's such a great plant too!

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  19. You're a guy! Well, this is great! I have a catmint and I'm glad to know it's so useful, and I can have more of it. It's flowering now, but I am a gonna make some cuttings when I get home! Thanks!

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