How to Prune Catmint for Optimal Growth

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Discover how to prune catmint for optimal growth. This guide provides tips and tricks for getting the most out of your catmint plants.

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Pruning catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) properly will ensure that the plant maintains a tidy appearance and remains healthy. Catmint is a perennial herb that is related to catnip, and it is often used as a ground cover or border plant in gardens. This plant is known for its gray-green leaves and lavender-colored flowers, which bloom in the summer. Catmint is relatively easy to care for, but it does require some occasional pruning to stay healthy and promote growth.

What is Catmint?

Catmint (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb in the mint family that is known for its intoxicating effect on cats. The plant contains nepetalactone, a chemical that is structurally similar to pheromones found in cats. When cats smell or chew on catmint, they experience a sense of euphoria and may become more playful. Catmint is also attractive to bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any garden.

Pruning catmint is important for both its health and its appearance. Left unpruned, the plant can become leggy and produce fewer flowers. Proper pruning will encourage new growth and promote a more compact, bushy plant. Catmint can be pruned anytime from early spring to late summer. For the best results, wait until the plant has flowered and then trim it back by one-third to one-half.

The Benefits of Pruning Catmint

Pruning catmint is a good way to keep the plant tidy, promote new growth, and encourage more blossoms. Cats love the fragrant leaves of this herb, so it’s a good idea to keep plenty around for them to enjoy.

Here are some tips on how to prune catmint for optimal growth:

– wait until the plant has flowered and begun to fade before pruning. This will ensure that the plant has enough time to set seed.
– cut back the main stems by one-third to one-half.
– thin out any crowded or weak growth.
– trim back any straggly or leggy stems.

Pruning catmint regularly will keep the plant compact and bushy, and encourage lots of fresh new growth and more flowers.

When to Prune Catmint

The best time to prune catmint is in late spring or early summer, after the plant has started to bloom. You can also prune it in fall, after it has stopped blooming for the season.

How to Prune Catmint

Pruning catmint is an important part of keeping this popular herb healthy and productive. Though it is a fairly tough plant, it can become stressed and produce less foliage if it isn’t pruned properly.

Here are some tips for pruning catmint:

-Always use clean, sharp shears when pruning.
-Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves or stems.
-Next, cut back any leggy or straggly growth to encourage bushier growth.
-Finally, trim back the plant by one-third to one-half its height to keep it compact and prevent it from getting too woody.

Pruning catmint regularly will keep it looking its best and prevent it from becoming unmanageable.


To sum it up, the best time to prune your catmint is in late spring or early summer. Doing this will help ensure that your plant has plenty of time to recover before the colder months set in. While you can definitely get by with trimming back your catmint a bit more frequently, giving it a good hard pruning once every two years or so will help to keep it looking full and vigorous.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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