‘Joanna Reed’ Catmint

Nepeta 'Joanna Reed'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

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4 thoughts on “‘Joanna Reed’ Catmint

  1. Thank you for including that this variety is sterile. I once planted Nepeta Six Hills Giant, and it took over the garden. Now I grow Nepeta Walker’s Low, which is also mostly sterile.

    • Hi Julie! The only major drawback I find with ‘Walker’s Low’ is its name! Seems to imply it is a shorter variety when really it can get about 3 feet tall. Other than that, a great plant, and that’s really not much to complain about! I read it was named for the garden in which it was discovered, not for its size. I’m trying out ‘Little Titch’ this year, which gets about 10 inches tall and spreads to 30 inches wide. I somehow killed one called ‘Pink Cat’ last summer.

  2. I’m not sure which variety of catmint I have in my garden, but it started blooming the beginning of May in west-central Michigan. We saw hummingbirds feeding at it nearly every day when they first appeared this spring.

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