To prevent the plant from blooming, simply pinch off the top of the plant when flowers start to form. If you plant catnip directly in the garden, remember that, like most mints, it's a vigorous, sometimes invasive, grower. If growing a plant indoors, you should place it no more than three feet away from the sunlit window. Valerian. I still get confused looks. Just like lavender, catmint can be used to cover the bare “limbs” of rose bushes. Growing Hyssop and catnip together benefits both plants and the soft blue flowers of each makes a pretty border. Water regularly but do not overwater. How to Grow Catnip. Catnip, like most herbs, will thrive in poor soil. Catnip grows to a height of three or four feet and has featherlike, light green foliage and small clusters of lavender flowers that grow on spikes. Transplant outdoors in spring or when there is no danger of frost. You just get to know one well because of some incredible talent, and then it shows you another trick. Do your best to keep your cat away from your drying leaves. Catnip is a mint family herb. Catnip plants have naturalized in various parts of North America, and even where they are not perennial, they will likely reseed. This process will damage the seed coat and will facilitate sprouting. A member of the mint family, catnip is also used in food and herbal remedies. Related to catnip, but much showier, catmints (Nepeta) are easy to grow perennials that not only have flowers in shades of purple-blue, pink and white, but gray-green foliage that remains attractive throughout the growing season as well. "I followed the steps in the article and it's grown really well in a large container, but I have now attracted all, "After reading how aggressive a grower it is, my plans went from a small patch of ground to a long shallow pot for, "This was very interesting. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. However, it is also an excellent insect repellant, tasty in cooking, and makes a tea that is good for insomnia and fevers. Catnip tends to grow well throughout the year until winter—it will die back and reappear in spring. Catnip will grow in a relatively wide pH range between 6.1 (mildly acidic) and 7.8 (mildly alkaline). wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Fresh catnip has a mint smell, a little like the spearmint smell in toothpaste, but different. Catnip leaves have actually been used to make tea, and the flowers are said to relieve coughs. What does catnip look like? Catnip plants should be spaced between 15 and 18 inches (38 and 45 cm) apart. Catnip will attract bees to your garden. Many people know it from dried packets or cat toys at the pet store, but it’s easy to grow in your garden. Can I give catnip to my cat fresh, or do I have to dry it first? Shearing and deadheading plants will result in bushier plants that flower more consistently. Breaking the leaves up will release the aroma. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Some species of Nepeta are considered invasive plants. In fact, many gardeners find catnip to be too weedy and too aggressive to grow it in their landscapes. Its medicinal uses include treating headaches, nausea, and helping with anxiety or sleep disorders. I am interested in natural remedies for humans, and, "Informative. Let your leaves sit out on a paper towel beneath a sunlit windowsill for two or three days. Biological control. Growing catnip seeds is an easy way to add this delightful plant to your garden. To avoid damage from unwelcome neighborhood cats, consider protecting your catnip with some type of enclosure. Cultivate this plant is decidedly simple, because it takes root quickly and tends to be infesting, or else it reproduces quickly and resists most varied climates. Keep in mind that catnip is invasive, so plant responsibly and enjoy! Last Updated: December 4, 2019 Some people just enjoy the taste, others drink it for mental or health benefits. Superficially, a cat's response to catnip looks similar to a narcotic drug response in people. This article has been viewed 335,676 times. It was for the neighbor's cat. Very informative and well-presented, and I have no questions, which is unusual! Catnip, a perennial favorite of all things feline, is a relative of the mint and lemon balm, which means it's not a hard plant to grow indoors. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. This gray-green foliage plant releases a chemical called nepetalactone, when rubbed, which works as a cat attractant. LOL! About catmints The most familiar catmints are those with purple-blue flowers that bloom heavily in early summer. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/56\/Grow-Catnip-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Grow-Catnip-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/56\/Grow-Catnip-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid118880-v4-728px-Grow-Catnip-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Catnip can be planted in your garden in spring or fall, from seed or plants. You can! citriodora), or "lemon catnip". It is the nepetalcataria variety that most cats enjoy. Heal from a breakup and feel like yourself again. In fact, simply smelling catnip is often enough to cause cats to react to it, which is why you sometimes see them rolling in it. Pruning: Cut catnip back to the ground in spring to improve its growth and appearance. Catnip, or Nepeta Cataria, is a perennial plant (meaning plants that generally live for more than two years, returning even after deep freezes like in our current Illinois climate) and is a member of the mint family. Where It Grows Wild. A relative of mint, catnip is best known for it's effect on cats. Approved. Catnip plants (Nepeta cataria) can help make your garden a cat-friendly garden.The catnip herb is a perennial member of the mint family that is best known for being attractive to cats, but can also be used in soothing teas.Growing catnip is easy, but there are some things you need to know about how to grow catnip. It can grow up to three feet high. Serrated leaves, a medium green color. Plant Height. I also get many questions about the safety of giving catnip to a cat. Propagation. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. I'm sheltering feral cats on my, "I grew some catnip from seed and needed information on how to care for the plants. Water them well during their germination period, which lasts up to ten days. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/catnip.html, http://herbgardening.com/growingcatnip.htm, http://naturalsociety.com/catnip-nepeta-cataria-growing-your-own-medicine/, https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-catnip-plants-2132328, http://www.gardenersnet.com/herbs/catnip.htm, http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingcatnip.html, http://naturalsociety.com/catnip-nepeta-cataria-growing-your-own-medicine, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If you are planning on giving it to your cat, just give them a dried leaf. This means they can take over your garden—even if they don't take over your cat's mind. It gets about 3 feet tall and has white blossoms with a faint purple spotting. Look for jagged, heart-shaped leaves and thick stems that are both covered in fuzzy hairs. % of people told us that this article helped them. Yes, which means it will come back each year. First, you need to stratify the seeds: Place them in the freezer overnight and then in a bowl of water for 24 hours. For tips from our Horticulture reviewer on how to use or store your catnip, read on! Water frequently after first planting. Not only does this plant look a bit like weed, it is a literal weed. I have plenty of room. I grew the catnip for my two indoor cats and now have lots of street cat visitors enjoying the smell and taste. the local cats to my garden. What exactly is Catnip and why do some cats love it and others have no reaction? I didn't know it would spread. The oil extracted from catnip plants is even used in natural mosquito repellents. ", "I wanted to grow catnip so this helped me.". I have found out that most people do not really know what catnip is or how it performs its magical effect on cats. Catnip companion planting works well with beets, pumpkins and squash. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. True catnip is native to Europe, but it … Catnip (Nepeta cararia) is a perennial member of the mint family that is interesting and attractive to cats. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. This article helped! Catnip will grow in just about any soil, but sandier soil tends to yield more aromatic plants. Continue to water frequently after you’ve divided the plants. The best time to search for wild catnip is between July and October when the flowers are in bloom. Don’t let the root system dry out as you would with a normal catnip plant. Cutting it just above a leaf joint will promote more rapid new growth. Late morning is a good time to harvest after the dew has dried but before the day heats up. Cutting the plants completely down after the first bloom set will allow enough time for it to completely regrow and bloom again. Varieties include Nepeta cataria var. When you’re ready to harvest your catnip, trim off stalks and dry them on a paper towel next to a sunny window for 2 days. If you want the look of an herb garden, but don’t want to risk catnip taking over, plant it in containers then bury the containers in your garden. Once you've air dried your leaves, take one to two teaspoons of dried catnip and place it in cheese cloth or any tea dispenser you might have on hand. Catnip are not very fussy about the ground in which they grow, as long as their roots are not constantly sitting in water. It will sprout in two to three weeks if started from seed. Steep it in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes, then enjoy! Catnip is every cat’s favorite plant, and its drug-like, euphoric effect on our furry friends is well known to cat lovers. Trim it either down to the base, or cut just the joints where a leaf or leaves sprout from the stem. The term ‘catnip’ is thought to originate from the response cats show towards the plant. The resulting "drug trip" is a reaction to the chemical nepetalactone. After reading it draws all cats, that's fine, but a movable low, narrow pot is better for control. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Plant taxonomy classifies catnip plants as Nepeta cataria. Catnip grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet and has featherlike, light green foliage and small clusters of lavender flowers that grow on spikes. Most people associate catnip with its psychoactive effect on cats. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. Catnip's potency doesn't last forever; the essential oils quickly dissipate. If you grow catnip in the garden, you’ll need to know when and how to harvest the leaves. When we sell it at the farmer’s market I often remind people how to use catnip for themselves, and to be sure to have a cup of catnip tea while they share it with their pets. These steps help minimize the loss of the oil, which is the stuff that makes your cat go wild. Store dried leaves, stems, and flowers in freezer bags to preserve the potency of the oil inside them. Growing Catnip Indoors is possible, and with the help of these catnip plant care tips, you can grow it year-round in your home. This is what wild growing catnip looks like. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. You can also grow it in containers. How To Grow Catnip From Herb Seeds: Start Nepeta seeds indoors near a sunny window 6 weeks before transplanting to the garden after danger of last frost. Catnip Is For People Too! To grow catnip, start by scattering the seeds in small pots and keeping the pots in a sunny spot. References Seeds should sprout in 10 to 20 days and then you can plant them, indoors or outdoors. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Dividing plants can help control overgrowth, renew fading plants, or simply allow you to share a plant with a friend. But think twice before deliberately propagating this plant, as it is considered invasive in much of the northern U.S. It really depends on what you're looking to do with it. After a couple weeks, or after you see that the plants have adjusted to transplanting and are starting to grow, water only when the soil has dried out a few inches below the surface. Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. Space them so that plants are 18 to 20 inches apart. It’s cool-toned foliage and flowers offer a pleasing counterpoint to the vivid tones of the roses. Seeds sown in the fall tend to yield a denser, bushier crop of plants. A member of the mint family, catnip is also used in food and herbal reme… That's OK. Catnip grows best outdoors, but can be grown indoors if you place it by a window that gets at least six hours of full sun per day. Catnip grows best in full sun combined with average, well-drained soil and regular watering. Tea also has antioxidants, which have beneficial healing and protective effects in your body and brain. Cut a stem and leaves to harvest it. I mix it up in the straw in their bins as a flea deterrent, but that's become too expensive.". Pull new shoots when you see them, and don’t place too much soil on top of the container when you’re burying it. Given its history of rampant growth, propagating catnip is very, very easy—just transplant any of the many volunteer seedlings that sprout up from self-seeding. It is not necessary to have the classic “green thumb” to grow catnip at home. The effect occurs when the leaves are eaten or when the plant's fragrance is inhaled by cats. Once the plants are 5-6 inches tall, transplant them outdoors to a sunny area and leave at least 18 inches between plants. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If the plants look tall and thin, place a fluorescent lamp above them so they can get more light and grow bushier. In a flowerbed, you can plant catnip in front of purple coneflower, which blooms about the same time. If you want to save money, or if you know of someone who already is growing catnip, you could ask them for a plant or some seeds. Cutting back your catnip plant will not only neaten up its scraggly appearance during the dormant season, but remove most of the more cold-vulnerable new growth. There are sprouts of small blue, white, lavender or … It also has a sedative effect on humans, and is extracted as an essential oil and used in tea. It may be tempting to use the two names interchangeably, but in the U.S. we tend to reserve "catmint" for the ornamental relatives of N. cataria. It will sprout in two to three weeks if started from seed. Look for shoots and new spouts that might try to grow beyond the pot. 1  Outdoors, it's known to spread easily, growing into jumbled patches that attract cats from miles around. Just make sure you used catnip and not catmint! Catnip usually grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet (90 -120cm). We know catnip … What happens when my cat has catnip? By using our site, you agree to our. Like so many herbs, this perennial thrives in poor soil that is well-drained. Can I cut a catnip plant back and put the stems in water to root them? You should begin to see sprouts after this period. You can also feed catnip compost tea during the growing season. Little Titch Catmint (Nepeta Mussinii Cultivar). ", the deck. Catnip Companion Planting. The leaves can be used to make cat toys, tea or seasoning. Catnip flowers are white or near white some having purple spots, are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees making this a plant that attracts wildlife. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. Catnip is a perennial plant that will thrive vigorously in most conditions and grows just like a weed; it can sometimes grow as tall as three feet with heart-shaped leaves. This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Herbs are such mysterious plants. Cats can eat it fresh. For example, tea made from the leaves and flowers of Nepeta cataria is said to relieve coughs. Consider a room with a closed door to keep the cat from jumping up and getting into the leaves. In the US, catnip (Nepeta cataria) usually refers to the herb, whereas catmint (Nepeta mussinii) is more ornamental and less attractive to cats. Grow catnip from seeds or plants starting in the spring or fall. It has a square stem which is sort of hollow, and circles of tight flower buds at the top. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. They will spread out of control unless you take measures to keep them from doing so. It is not hard to understand why they like the catnip, and therefore want to look for it. Placing the plants in containers beneath the soil will help confine and control their roots, preventing them from wandering throughout your garden. True catnip (Nepeta cataria) This is the one you want if your main objective is to please your feline friends or if you’re growing catnip for its medicinal uses. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Moderately rich loam or sandy, with good drainage, 6.1 to 7.8 (mildly acidic to mildly alkaline). If you're planning on using it for tea, then the answer would be yes. Once they’ve dried, place them in an airtight container for storage. Valerian root and valerian leaves can cause a reaction in cats very similar to catnip, but it … This article has been viewed 335,676 times. So if you buy dried catnip for your feline friend, store what you don't use in the freezer. Give seedlings or young plants ample room to grow, leaving about 18 to 20 inches (45.7 to 50.8 cm) between each plant to prevent crowding. Catnip is a … Plant Spacing. Catnip grows as a loosely branching, low perennial, which means it will die back in the winter in most areas and then come back in the spring. citriodora (or N. cataria subsp. Fewer cats are attracted to ornamental types. Preferred pH Range. The compound iridodial, extracted from catnip oil, has been found … Insects and rodents are not a problem, and catnip does not tend to suffer diseases. Then, water them every day until they germinate and start to grow leaves. Considered invasive and bad … Consider using garden fencing, bracing, or bamboo sticks to support the plants and prevent your cat from laying on them. Yes, and the cats it may attract would be a deterrent to rabbits and other animals that may otherwise eat your vegetables. Alternatively, you can grow it indoors away from a sunlit window if you have access to high output fluorescent plant grow lights. The plants will also reseed all over your property if you let them and you will have new plants springing up in unexpected places for years to come. It’s fragrant flowers also attract bees and other pollinators, which is great for the environment. Catnip is grayish-green and can grow up to three feet tall. Catnip & Insects. Plant them about 20 inches apart so they are able to spread and grow (they make a … Cut off the whole plant at the base, and hang it upside down, as soon as possible, in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place (for example, an attic).