How To Grow A Cat Whiskers Plant: Growing Cat Whiskers In Gardens

White Cat Whisker Plant
cat whiskers
(Image credit: prettyzhizhi)

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 (61 cm.) 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 (1 m.) 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 (8 cm.) of organic compost into the soil before you grow a cat whiskers plant. Applying several inches (8 cm.) 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 (8 cm.) 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. Cat whiskers plants have no serious pest or disease issues. They are easy to care for and delightful in a garden, especially since the sweet nectar attracts butterfliesbees, and hummingbirds.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.