Virtues: ‘Joanna Reed’ catmint offers a very long bloom time. Its dark purple flowers appear from late spring into fall. This perennial has a low, wide habit and it doesn’t need shearing to stay tidy or healthy, whereas many other catmints do. Received a five-star “excellent” rating in a Chicago Botanic Garden evaluation of catmints, in which it was observed blooming into late October.Its flowers attract butterflies and bees and it is typically not bothered by deer.
Common name: ‘Joanna Reed’ catmint
Botanical name: Nepeta ‘Joanna Reed’
Flowers: Tall spikes of small flowers, darker purple/blue than most catmints.
Foliage: Grayish green, small, held opposite on stems, scented. New growth quickly overtakes and hides spent flowers.
Habit: Upright herbaceous perennial to 3 feet tall and wide.
Season: Summer and autumn, for flowers.
Origin: A natural cross between Nepeta siberica and N. faassenii. The late Joanna Reed, a Pennsylavania gardener, discovered it in her garden and it was named for her by David Culp, who introduced it through Sunny Border Nurseries.
Cultivation: Grow in full sun and average, well-drained soil. Tolerates some drought once established. Do not fertilize catmints; it will create a surge of growth that results in floppy stems. ‘Joanna Reed’ is a sterile catmint, meaning it does not produce seeds so it will not “volunteer” throughout the garden. Propagate through stem cuttings or division in spring. Deer resistant. USDA Zones 3–8.
Image courtesy Blooming Nursery