Plant taxonomy classifies Six Hills Giant catmint as Nepeta x faassenii '6 Hills Giant.' The cultivar name is '6 Hills Giant.' Another popular cultivar is 'Walker's Low.' You will also see Nepeta mussinii given as a botanical name for this hybrid plant, whose parents (Nepeta racemosa and Nepeta nepetella) are indigenous to the Old World.
Plant Type and Characteristics of Nepeta x Faassenii
Nepeta x faassenii is a herbaceous perennial. It is also considered an herb plant, the genus having been used medicinally for centuries in several ways, including as a sedative.
A fragrant plant, the grey-green leaves of Nepeta x faassenii may be harvested and dried for use in potpourri. The violet-lavender flowers are small but numerous, and they are shaped like little trumpets. The plant will reach 2 to 3 feet in height, with a somewhat greater spread. Growth habit is mounding. As a hybrid plant, you don't have to worry about it spreading via seed (it's sterile); nor will it spread via rhizomes, despite its roots in the mint family.
Grow the Six Hills Giant catmint in planting zones 3 to 8. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Like most herbs, these plants grow best in the well-drained ground.
Uses for Nepeta x Faassenii
As a plant that craves a well-drained soil, it's natural for rock gardens. If you were to mass several plants together in a small area, Nepeta x faassenii could serve as a flowering ground cover that would suppress weeds, since they do produce dense growth. You can also use it as an edging plant to line a pathway or border.
Wildlife Attracted by Nepeta x Faassenii
Nepeta x faassenii is a plant that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Fortunately, it is counted among the deer-resistant plants (deer tend not to eat plants with aromatic foliage). Nor is it one of the plants that rabbits eat. The distilled oil is used in natural mosquito control.
Care for Six Hills Giant Catmint
Six Hills Giant catmint begins flowering in late spring or early summer (depending on where you live) and will continue to bloom right into fall if sheared. Divide this perennial in spring every few years to propagate it and/or to revitalize it. Since the plant stems can end up leaning away from the middle after a certain height is achieved (leaving a hole in the center of the clump), you may wish to support with a metal ring (as for peonies) or with stakes and twine.
Outstanding Features of Six Hills Giant Catmint
Six Hills Giant catmint is a drought-tolerant perennial, making it low-maintenance and a prime candidate for xeriscaping. It can be considered a showy herb because of its size and the number of blossoms it bears. Some like the look of this herb juxtaposed with plants with silver leaves. Another noteworthy quality: this is a long-blooming perennial, making it a great filler plant if you're striving for a continual sequence of bloom in the garden.
Six Reasons to Grow This Plant
- It's an attractive ground cover.
- It saves you on your water bill since it is drought-tolerant.
- It's low-maintenance.
- It attracts "good" wildlife.
- It's generally not eaten by pests.
- It furnishes your yard with sustained floral color during the summer.
Note: Cats Love Six Hills Giant Catmint
What famously drives cats wild is the catnip plant (classified, aptly enough, as Nepeta cataria). Other members of the genus, such as Nepeta x faassenii, produce an effect on some cats, but you're best off sticking with catnip plants if your main purpose is to harvest material for your feline friends.