Catmint is an ultra-hardy perennial with serious benefits: This plant will not only brave drought and extreme heat, resist deer, adapt to a variety of soils and do just fine in part sun in the Northeast , but it's particularly long-blooming, too [source: Ross].
This low-maintenance perennial enjoys, ideally, full sun and well-drained soil. Some varieties bloom in clusters of white, tubular flowers, but more commonly they're blue, purple or lavender. It's part of the mint family, so it's an excellent choice if you're looking to add fragrance to your outdoor space, and while it's not the same plant as catnip, felines do enjoy certain catmint varieties -- as do butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.
Catmint comes in a variety of sizes, from a few inches to a few feet tall and 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 meter) wide. They do well in borders, beds, containers and vases, their silver-gray leaves are pretty enough to add interest even without the multitude of flowers that appears in early spring and again in the fall if you trim it back in early summer [source: Ross].
While Northeast conditions can sometimes seem harsh, there really are so many options for hardy, beautiful perennials in the region. This list includes just 10 of the best ones -- there are plenty more out there. You can cut back your gardening expenses considerably by choosing plants that are hardy in your area, surviving the winter to come right back in the spring, better than ever.
Check out the next page for links to more information about popular perennials for your area.