You don’t have to be a feline fan to grow a cat whiskers plant. Care for this herbaceous perennial is truly a snap and the unusual white “whisker” stamens grab attention in any garden. Read on to learn more about this plant.
What is a Cat Whiskers Plant?
Cat whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus) is an evergreen member of the mint family and its showy white blossoms set it apart from the crowd. The flowers stand above the plant’s shiny, dark-green leaves, and the color contrast sets off the snowy blooms beautifully. The long, elegant stamens look just like white cat whiskers, which is how the plant got its name.
A cat whiskers plant is an upright plant that looks stunning beside trailing and mounding plants. It can grow to 2 feet tall as it matures, and it can spread even wider. The shrub blooms all summer long in zones 9 and 10. In tropical regions, cat whiskers can grow to 4 feet tall and flower throughout the year.
Cat Whisker Plant Propagation
Once you grow a cat whiskers plant, you may find yourself wanting more. That is no problem since cat whiskers plant propagation is easy.
You have several choices when it comes to cat whiskers plant propagation. You can collect the flower seeds in the fall and save them until planting time. Alternatively, you can grow new specimens from cuttings.
Growing Cat Whiskers
You’ll get the most flowers if you grow a cat whiskers plant in full sun in mild climates. In very hot regions, however, it is better if you find a garden location that gets some afternoon shade.
Cat whiskers prefers well-drained soil high in organic content. It helps if you work several inches of organic compost into the soil before you grow a cat whiskers plant. Applying several inches of organic mulch over the root area regulates soil temperature.
Cat whiskers plant care includes regular irrigation. You’ll need to water the plant whenever the top few inches of soil feels dry. Fertilize cat whiskers once in spring and once again in summer for best blooms. You can encourage new flower growth by deadheading – clipping off the blossoms as they wilt.
Try growing cat whiskers in containers, indoors or out. Generally, cat whiskers plant care is the same for container plants as for garden plants.