Antennaria (Cat's Foot): Planting And Care In The Open Ground, Species

Antennariais a beautiful and unpretentious garden plant. It has won the hearts of many florists because of its unpretentiousness and hardiness.  Antennaria perfectly withstands frosts and does not freeze in winter. In addition, this plant is almost impossible to trample, and it looks great as a floral cushion in the garden. Popularly, antennaria is known as cat's paw.

It got this name because of its buds. When they bloom, they look like the soft and fluffy paws of a cat. A carpet of cat's feet will compete with finicky lawns. The unsightly flowers do not lose their attractiveness over a long period.

Antennaria looks modest and graceful.

Its size does not exceed 30 cm. This discreet plant adapts perfectly to the arctic and high-altitude conditions of North America and Eurasia. It grows in pine forests, dry meadows, and heathlands. It can be found on sunny edges, sandy shores of bodies of water. The small flowers of antennaria, mostly white and pink shades, form shield-shaped inflorescences.

Cat's paw has stalky, rooted shoots. The flowers form dense thickets that look like a carpet. The flowering period is May-July. After that, smooth fruits with seeds form in August.

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

Antennaria is planted in places where nothing can grow.

This groundcover plant is a good weed killer. It can grow among sand, stones, and is tolerant of heat. Flowers will decorate the gaps between stones and slabs. Fluffy mat looks great on the playground. Moreover, it will not suffer from small feet.

Cat's paws will look great in rockeries and alpine slides, will complement heather plantings, will be a good border. Antennaria fix compositions in mysborders. Cat's feet look beautiful in dry bouquets. They also have medicinal properties.

Maintenance of antennaria - cat's paw

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

Antennaria requires no special care.

All care comes down to weeding at the beginning of planting.


For the cat's paw, it is best to choose a sunny and dry site. It will not grow well in the shade. If you plant it in semi-shade, it will adapt, but the bushes will be too elongated and fall apart.


Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

Flowers are best grown in poor, slightly acidic, sandy soil.

If you plant the antennaria in fertile soil, it will stretch out a lot.


Cat's feet tolerate drought well, but the flowers need regular watering and moderate humidity. A flower does not tolerate over watering. The plant feels comfortable in a dry place.


There are several options for the reproduction of antennaria. One of them is the division of the mother bush. This procedure can be carried out both in early spring and in late autumn. Thanks to division, you can get not only "babies", but also rejuvenate the plant. In order for the cat's paws to grow well and enjoy their beauty, they should be rejuvenated regularly (every 2-4 years).

Old bushes lose their attractiveness and the flower carpet becomes thinner.

Cat's feet are also propagated by cuttings of creeping shoots rooted during the season. The rhizome can be divided in the deep fall.

The hardest way to propagate antennaria is by seed. The seedlings are grown under glass.

Seeds give too small sprouts, do not develop well. In the open ground seedlings planted in the summer, adhering to an interval of 20-30 cm. It will grow quickly, but will blossom only two years after planting.

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

Pests, diseases

The cat's paws' worst enemies are aphids, spider mites, caterpillars. The most common diseases are spot blight, rot, powdery mildew, rust, and nematosis.

Antennaria species with photos and names

Antennaria refers to perennial herbaceous plants (semi-shrubs are sometimes found). There are about 50 species in the genus. In Russia there are 10 species. Some of them can be found in the Red Book.

Antennaria alpina

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

A perennial groundcover plant that creeps along the ground and forms lush bushes.

It is about 15 cm tall. It has blue leaves and small pink-purple flowers.  The peduncles are gathered in tassel-shaped inflorescences. Each brush has about 2-5 inflorescences. The plant of this species begins to flower in June and finishes in August.

Ideal conditions for it - poor, mulched gravel soil. If planted in a well-lit area, dense clumps will form.

Antennaria dicolor

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

The most common and popular species in garden plots. Its natural habitat is river terraces, open slopes, and edges. The flower stalks reach a height of 10-30 cm.

It has a thin rhizome with numerous shortened, recumbent vegetative shoots, a straight stem. This species has small pink or blue flowers. The successive leaves are glabrous above and have a grayish-green hue, and are white-blossom underneath. The low-growing plant forms spreading shrubs. Blossoms in May.

The period of abundant flowering lasts two months. Then elongated, cylindrical fruits appear. These cat's feet do not need shelter for the winter, they are not afraid of frost. They grow in light, non-alkaline soils.

Antennaria plantainicola

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

A representative of perennial plants.

Unlike the cattails of the other species, it is the tallest plant. It reaches a height of about 40 cm. The species gets its name from its broad, oval plantain-like leaves. This antennaria grows quite quickly, drowning out its stunted neighbors. Its distinctive feature is its unpretentiousness and frost resistance.

It does not need to be covered for the winter.

Antennaria carpathica

Antennaria (cat's foot): planting and care in the open ground, species

Rare species listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. The height of the plant is 10-20 cm. Very similar to the dicotyledonous cat's feet. But the flower stalks have no leaves.

Grows in mountainous areas of the Carpathian Mountains. Occurs in Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania.

Despite its modest appearance, cat's feet look quite attractive. They can be planted in a flower bed with poor soils. The silver-green leaves of the antennaria will make good neighbors of bulbous crops.

You will get a good mixed-border composition when using yarrow, ivygreen, portulaca, lavender, cereals. From the fluffy carpet of cat's feet with bluebells, mugwort, wormwood can not take your eyes away. In addition, the plant is widely used in folk medicine. It perfectly heals wounds, stops blood, and is a good choleretic.


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