Garden Tip 128:


“Follow the flower” is our general rule of thumb when it comes to the summer editing of flowering perennials. Now is the time to be turning our attention to one of my favorites, Nepeta (catmint). I noticed this week the absence of bees on these plants and that is a sure sign that the flowers have passed.

Cutting off the old flowers will ensure a reblooming before the end of summer. Stems can be pruned individually with hand pruners or hedge shears can actually be used for a quick cut just above the beautiful grey green foliage. Nepeta flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

These plants are versatile, drought resistant and tough as nails. They are even ignored by deer and rabbits. Dried catnip leaves are often used to make catnip tea, usually with the addition of a bit of lemon juice and honey. Teatime!