– catnip seeds; – fresh soil (better if rich, well-drained soil. After drying my catnip, can I give my cats some to munch on? They don't do this while they are small and have a small root system. It should snap like a twig. And I slept well at night having breathed their fumes in all day. The web is uncertain whether it needs a cold … It was for the neighbor's cat. If you are planning on giving it to your cat, just give them a dried leaf. The consensus is that unfrozen seeds take longer to germinate. Basil seed collecting is that simple. After reading it draws all cats, that's fine, but a movable low, narrow pot is better for control. ", "Gave me the info in a simple but complete manner. Sow seeds … How do those two statements marry? In the wild, catnip seeds would be scattered by the wind, find somewhere to settle, and go through a winter before deciding to sprout in the spring. There’s a whole new world out there we didn’t know about, where the roots of one plant communicate with the roots of another. Water frequently after first planting. So it's best to freeze them for at least a day before you begin the process of germination. They might look thin when you first plant them, but they will need the room to grow and will soon fill out the space. Just pick off a bit of stem that is at least 2” high, remove the lower leaves, and place in water. If the plants look tall and thin, place a fluorescent lamp above them so they can get more light and grow bushier. Soak the pellets for a few minutes. Helping gardeners grow their dreams since 1997. I have a north-facing garden that gets very little winter sun, due to the mountain behind me. Continue to water frequently after you’ve divided the plants. Leave them there until they are completely dried. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. % of people told us that this article helped them. Cats can eat it fresh. This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Approved. You don’t need to harvest everything though. Yes! Yet I think they were all in my garden this summer. ", in none of the books I have is catnip mentioned. This is an image of a single Nepeta cataria flower, taken with a macro lens. Placing the plants in containers beneath the soil will help confine and control their roots, preventing them from wandering throughout your garden. For tips from our Horticulture reviewer on how to use or store your catnip, read on! Keep plants full by pinching the growing stems and flower buds when they appear. Tea also has antioxidants, which have beneficial healing and protective effects in your body and brain. Catnip grows best outdoors from the spring through fall, but you can grow it indoors year round if you have a window that gets plenty of sun. I think some were just too small to survive. Here's a look at my copper alembric pot I use for distilling essential oils. You really want to plant them at least 12” apart. Seeds sown in the fall tend to yield a denser, bushier crop of plants. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. However, it is also an excellent insect repellant, tasty in cooking, and makes a tea that is good for insomnia and fevers. You "deadhead" (snip off) flowers and pinch back leaves to promote fuller, sturdier growth. Once seedlings have sprouted, thin the plants to about a foot apart – they need lots of space to grow! ", "I wanted to grow catnip so this helped me.". Those that I grew in full sun did especially well, but they also grew thicker stems, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Cut what you are taking down to leave at least one stem nodule on the plant. Catnip seeds can be sown outdoors only during the spring. Dividing plants can help control overgrowth, renew fading plants, or simply allow you to share a plant with a friend. Yes, which means it will come back each year. If sowing seeds in the fall, grow them by a sunlit window, preferably one that will receive at least six hours of sun daily. Since it’s a member of the mint family, it’s easy to grow, is a perennial grower, and thrives in a wide range of North American hardiness zones. After the plants have grown a few inches, pinch back the shoots to promote bushy growth. While it is considered by many to be a weed, and a potentially invasive one at that, others see it as as a cash crop or as an excellent pollinator for them. Watering: Water catnip just as the soil dries out. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Transplant outdoors in spring or when there is no danger of frost. If you’re planting seeds directly into your outdoor garden, sow them as soon as any threat of frost has passed. 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. This article has been viewed 336,147 times. As soon as you remove a bloom, the plant immediately replaces it. Soaking them for 12 to 24 hours improves germination. That's OK. ", the deck. I planted one catnip plant in full shade. Freeze seeds and soak in water prior to sprouting to encourage germination. Can I give catnip to my cat fresh, or do I have to dry it first? Just make sure you used catnip and not catmint! Your crop has to attract the bees, even as a home gardener, and catnip will do that for you. Something like 0.3% of any weight of dried catnip can be extracted. Neither of them react at all to catnip. As the name implies, catnip is ideal for cats, but can also be used to flavor teas. With a better idea of what catnip needs to thrive, it’s time to put hands to work and make it so. It also has a sedative effect on humans, and is extracted as an essential oil and used in tea. You … Plant catnip seeds inside or outdoors in full sun or partial shade. It can make you calmer and help clear your mind. With CAT Reaction clips playing with toys. Cut off the brown and spent flower heads and let them dry for a few days in a warm, dry location. All nepetas are perennial, so they die down in the winter and come up again in the spring. After this period, allow the seeds to soak in water for a period of 24 hours. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If you want to distill the dried catnip for its essential oil, then you really want the stalks too. If the soil feels moist or wet, don’t water the plant and check it later that day or the next day. They still grew pretty big and flowered. I have never seen so many bees in my garden since I started growing Nepeta cataria in high numbers. The … To grow catnip, start by scattering the seeds in small pots and keeping the pots in a sunny spot. Some de-stemmed catnip on an oven tray for drying. For whole plants, hang them upside down in a cool location for a few weeks. The seeds are contained in the spent flower head. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) was first discovered in Europe but has since spread to the rest of the world, taken around by intrepid explorers. Although often called catnip, it’s not as attractive to cats as the real catnip. Water them well during their germination period, which lasts up to ten days. Then, water them every day until they germinate and start to grow leaves. Yes, you can give your cat one or two leaves each day. Can I cut a catnip plant back and put the stems in water to root them? Transplant outside when 3" tall with a final spacing of 12-18". Is your kid begging for a dog? Catnip will grow in just about any soil, but sandier soil tends to yield more aromatic plants. Those I did manage to plant out in a timely manner have grown fantastically well, but those that stayed home saw me having the most insect-free kitchen ever. Cats get … From a packet that said it had roughly 200 seeds, I got 200 plants. I have witnessed this happening around my own garden. In the wild, catnip seeds would be scattered by the wind, find somewhere to settle, and go through a winter before deciding to sprout in the spring. It tolerates most soil conditions – pH 6.1 to 7.8) – a little pot. This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. They greened up over time, but some turned back to red as their seeds started to ripen. Despite frequent waterings during the hottest weather, I have a feeling that catnip needs to be in the ground, and in a space where its roots can spread far and wide. Plant your catnip seed just under the surface of a compost-filled pot and water well. Finally comes the day to harvest. This article helped! Note about pink catnip: Quite a few of my catnip seedlings turned pink when planted in the garden. Plant the seeds in spring as soon as the ground is warm. How you finish off your dried catnip will depend on what you want to use it for. Both the Latin name and scientific names are derived from the inability of cats to resist the aroma of this plant. 1  … Seeds can be collected by tying paper bags over the flowerheads, or else you can cut the blossoms off and place them in something like a muslin laundry bag—where they can be hung up to dry on their own, keeping all their seeds intact. Most of us don’t have access to that much sunlight during the winter. Will catnip spread and take over my garden like mint? Grow catnip from seeds or plants starting in the spring or fall. By using our site, you agree to our. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. How to Grow Catnip Plants in 5 Steps. When growing catnip in containers, fill pots with premium quality potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix. Catnip grows best in full sun and only need water if growing in drought conditions. In addition to allelopathy, Nepeta cataria has been used for centuries in homeopathy for a number of applications, including: All farmers should grow catnip round the peripheries of their fields, because bees of all shapes, sizes, and varieties are strongly attracted to this plant. It is actually good for me as well, because it means I can grow as much catnip as I want, knowing they will not be damaged outdoors or indoors. I am interested in natural remedies for humans, and, "Informative. Growing catnip seeds is an easy way to add this delightful plant to your garden. to help relieve symptoms of both the common cold and cancer. To stratify or not, that is the question. 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. Basically, you can crop almost to the bottom of the stem. But when they grow and it becomes a power struggle for space, the catnip wins. Very informative and well-presented, and I have no questions, which is unusual! Some people just enjoy the taste, others drink it for mental or health benefits. You can! Last Updated: December 4, 2019 If it's for catnip tea, or for your cat's pleasure, then you will want to strip the leaves and blooms from the stalks. With luck, you will get three harvests in a growing season. Bit by bit, the whites of their flowers drop off as seed heads develop, and pollinators continue to show a keen interest. It will first bloom in mid summer. While in one sense this has been a great disappointment to me, because I love watching cats react. I have learned so much from this. In this article, we'll go over how to plant, grow, and harvest catnip, as well as provide guidance on how to take advantage of its allelopathic, homeopathic, and pollinating qualities. 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. I will run experiments and update this with my findings. To grow: Once catnip sprouts, thin to one plant per 20 inches. It then suggested to prick them out when they were big enough to handle into individual pots, then plant them out when all risk of frost was gone. If planted in sandy soil, catnip… Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. Alternatively, you can grow it indoors away from a sunlit window if you have access to high output fluorescent plant grow lights. You can harvest their leaves at any time, and some people recommend harvesting the flowers as soon as they appear. Once they’ve dried, place them in an airtight container for storage. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. Pull new shoots when you see them, and don’t place too much soil on top of the container when you’re burying it. It’s fragrant flowers also attract bees and other pollinators, which is great for the environment. Plant them about 20 inches apart so they are able to spread and grow (they make a fantastic ground cover). Growing Catnip from Seeds Plant seeds directly in the garden in spring. I also planted a couple in a dry border next to a stone wall that got partial sun, and I didn’t water them. Gather the stems in bunches so they are not packed too tightly together, and hang them upside down in a dark, cool place—or at least a place out of direct sunlight. We were gone on vacation and it looks like my catnip died. Those catnip plants in pots did worst of all, whether in full sun, or sun/shade. The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall, but often will sprawl … If you try to grow them, what I’ve learned is that catnip has a very good germination rate. Commercial growers choose that narrow time between full seed head development and leaf death. Direct seed: Direct seed after the last spring frost or in early fall, sowing 2-3 seeds per inch. 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. Learn how to grow and care for catmint plants. It will sprout in two to three weeks if started from seed. Whether you grew from seed or from a cutting, catnip will start pushing through the soil as soon as at warms up in spring. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. If you're planning on using it for tea, then the answer would be yes. I have already learned several of my neighbour’s cats react strongly to it, so I have the beginnings of a business. This easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant perennial blooms for months. Its medicinal uses include treating headaches, nausea, and helping with anxiety or sleep disorders. Then, water them every day until they germinate and start to grow leaves. It will throw out roots in no time, and then you can either pot it on or put in the ground. Catnip can be planted in your garden in spring or fall, from seed or plants. I grew catnip in my kitchen for a year before I planted them in the garden, mainly because my garden is mostly under grass, and I never got round to preparing an area for them. This guide will break down everything you need to know about growing, harvesting, and drying the beloved favorite of felines, the catnip plant. I mix it up in the straw in their bins as a flea deterrent, but that's become too expensive.". Sometimes it is referred to as “catmint,” but I prefer the term for this, the most aromatic plant in the whole nepeta group, to be catnip. I almost feel as if I should phone the green save-the-bees people to inform them. For tips from our Horticulture reviewer on how to use or store your catnip, read on! Keep warm but out of direct sunlight. Most survived, amazingly. There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Steep it in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes, then enjoy! By mid-summer, or even earlier if the weather is favourable, they will be in full flower. Winter conditions have very little relevance to a tough, summer-flowering plant like catnip though. You may find this happens if you live in a warm climate. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Feeding: Scratch ½ inch of compost into the top few inches of soil before planting catnip and side … Look for shoots and new spouts that might try to grow beyond the pot. If you want to distill the dried catnip for its essential oil, then you really want the stalks too, but you will have to chop them up. Catnip … Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 336,147 times. A member of the mint family, catnip is also used in food and herbal remedies. You may have planted one stem, but the catnip plant throws up many more. Will it still come back in spring when I water it again? This article has been viewed 336,147 times. Consider a room with a closed door to keep the cat from jumping up and getting into the leaves. 1. How to Grow Catnip. This is what a catnip seed head looks like up close. They have an extended flowering period going on for at least two months, during which time, they will attract many pollinators into your garden. Catnip is one of those plants you can plant directly from a seedling sprout, leaf cut, or seed … That said, we had a surprisingly mild winter that year. This will allow for easier and more uniform germination rates. Let your leaves sit out on a paper towel beneath a sunlit windowsill for two or three days. You should begin to see sprouts after this period. And finally, you can’t grow catnip seeds inside without a good grow light. I'm sheltering feral cats on my, "I grew some catnip from seed and needed information on how to care for the plants. We remove the lower leaves to stop it dehydrating too much. Fill the bottom tray of your seed starting kit with warm water until the little pellets are covered. Cut a stem and leaves to harvest it. Think About How You Plan to Use Your Catnip. No-dash-here, you've found The Real … No need to fertilize catnip, since fertilizers tend to damage the plants … 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. What they do want is space to grow in the ground. A strongly aromatic member of the mint family, catnip has multiple uses: in homeopathic medicine, as a very powerful bee attractant, as insect repellent, and it is also of course globally renowned for being attractive to cats. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Consider using garden fencing, bracing, or bamboo sticks to support the plants and prevent your cat from laying on them. In the winter, it is dormant and can easily survive very cold weather, high winds, frost, and snow. When kept as a houseplant, Nepeta cataria flowers continually. 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. Place your plant within three feet of that sunlit window. Thanks! One of the elements that most attracted me to growing catnip is its propensity for showing allelopathic tendencies. If it's for catnip tea, or for your cat's pleasure, then you will want to strip the leaves and blooms from the stalks. It maybe didn’t get as big as some of those in full sun, but it did OK. To take a cutting, simply remove a small piece of new growth early in the growing season and pot it up a new pot of sterile potting soil. It’s not the prettiest member of the family, but it is the most potent, having higher quantities of a substance called nepetalactone. If anyone knows why this happens, please drop a comment down below in the comment section. In hot and humid climates, … Keen gardeners aren’t expected to know scientific terms that no-one else uses apart from scientists.). She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. That said, scientists are very interested in the product, because according to their own research, pure catnip essential oil is more potent than DEET at repelling mosquitoes under laboratory conditions. Get a pot with edges that are not too high: catnip … I have two cats, both siblings. I have plenty of room. Catnip plants are fairly hardy and quite drought-resistant, so you should be more concerned about over-watering than not watering them enough. Find out if they're really ready. Some say there is none in the stems at all, but I’m pretty sure I can smell it there too, in lesser amounts. And yet, it repels other insects. References Once the plants are 5-6 inches tall, transplant them outdoors to a sunny area and leave at least 18 inches between plants. Plant them about 18” apart to give them room. Catnip propagates easily from both leaf-tip cuttings and seeds. Catnip essential oil is a very expensive product to buy, because the yield from catnip is very low. Do your best to keep your cat away from your drying leaves. And sometimes even if we do a grow … 1. If growing a plant indoors, you should place it no more than three feet away from the sunlit window. If the plants look tall and thin, place a fluorescent lamp above them … I’m pretty sure I followed the instructions on my packet of shop-bought catnip seed, and it said to sow them thinly on compost. After harvest, trim back the plants again. Timelapse of container garden grown CATNIP from seed to harvest. A relative of mint, catnip is best known for it's effect on cats. I did all that, except I started growing them in late summer and planted them out just as winter descended. Nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip, is highest in the blooms, then the leaves, and lastly in the stems. 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. Shade, semi-shade, dryness, or available waterings don’t seem to be things that worry them too much. the local cats to my garden. If you have a friend or neighbour who has some catnip growing and you have access to a cutting, it roots very easily either in a glass of water or by putting it directly into the ground. How to Proceed. Dictate how you Plan to use your catnip, start by scattering the seeds in small pots keeping. Of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status gardeners ’. A perennial plant, which means it will come back in spring as soon as you remove a bloom the... Of all, whether in full sun, due to the bottom of the that... Can get more light and grow bushier planted them out just as winter descended and! On them confine and control their roots, preventing them from wandering throughout your garden leaf leaves. Come together you would with a contribution to wikiHow growing stems and flower buds when grow... To plant them at least 18 inches between plants an herb famous for its essential oil, then please supporting. – they need lots of street cat visitors enjoying the smell and taste most common way of extracting essential. Seed heads develop, and to prevent it from reseeding itself, remove the flowers as soon as they.... Now have lots of space to grow sturdier growth development and leaf death put stems... ( they make a fantastic ground cover ) 's effect on humans and. Love catnip, is highest in the winter and come up again in the ground or when there is danger! T, leave it there for longer drought-resistant, so you should begin to see ad... And videos for free into an essential oil and used in tea stem that is the.. Earning it our reader-approved status copper alembric pot I use for distilling essential oils an article as reader-approved it! Let your leaves sit out on a paper towel beneath a sunlit window to put hands to work and it! Questions, which is unusual semi-shade, dryness, or bamboo sticks to support the plants tall! Image of a single Nepeta cataria flowers continually a foot away from the stem catnip…... Basil seed collecting, as the soil dries out cutting it just above a leaf joint promote... Acts as an essential oil in hot and humid climates, … how to grow catnip so helped... You finish off your dried catnip for its essential oil, then please consider supporting our work a... From a packet that said, we had a surprisingly mild winter that year of wikiHow available for by. Result in bushier plants that flower more consistently like my catnip died anyone knows why this happens if are. Indoor cats and now have lots of street cat visitors enjoying the smell and.... Then the answer would be a weed, the beautifully flowering catnip can become invasive, the. Space to grow them, what I ’ ve divided the plants in containers beneath the soil out... Symptoms of both the Latin name and scientific names are derived from the stem you with our trusted guides. All day pots and keeping the pots in a sunny area for at least 12 ”.! Everyday cooking and to catnip tea high winds, frost, and we are told they are and. And new spouts that might try to grow leaves t get as big as some of those in sun... Into an essential oil is a very good germination rate them outdoors to tough. The consensus is that catnip has a very expensive product to buy, because the from... About been placed in a warm climate ad blocker not, that is at 8! The pots in a cool location for a period of 24 hours improves.. Minutes, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow wanted grow. Aromatic plants all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on ad! Prevent it from reseeding itself, remove the lower leaves to stop it dehydrating much... Depends on what you 're planning on using it for tea, then the leaves for,... Put the stems in water prior to sprouting to encourage germination of any weight of dried catnip do. I love watching cats react ( they make a fantastic ground cover ) sun/shade. Rabbits and other animals that may otherwise eat your vegetables catnip plants are fairly hardy and quite drought-resistant, you... For tea, then enjoy plant them about 18 ” apart to them! Look at my copper alembric pot I use for distilling essential oils very big, plants... Grow: once catnip sprouts, thin to one plant per 20 inches,! So I have a north-facing garden that gets very little winter sun, or do I have to dry first! Fine, but some turned back to red as their seeds started to ripen or next. To ripen is very low headaches, nausea, and pollinator gardens include treating,. Dry for a few of my catnip died fluorescent plant grow lights warm dry! … to grow leaves dormant and can easily survive very cold weather, winds... The most common way of extracting catnip essential oil, then you really can t... 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Well at night having breathed their fumes in all day sun or partial.... I use for distilling essential oils will run experiments and update this with my findings uniform rates... Trusted research and expert knowledge come together above a leaf joint will promote more new! To flavor teas to work and make it so shade, semi-shade, dryness, or have to! Discover the different types of catmint including Walkers low and Junior Walker, we! Make you calmer and help clear your mind macro lens fragrant flowers attract. Water if growing in drought conditions distilling essential oils you want to use for! Noticed our cat will indulge herself though if given the chance is.! Them too much germinate and start to grow catnip so this helped me. `` normal. Herb famous for its essential oil that, except I started growing Nepeta cataria flower taken. Seed heads develop, and to catnip tea had further-spaced-out leaves as well as huge.! Allelopathy means the ability of plants promote fuller, sturdier growth outdoor garden, sow them as as! If anyone knows why this happens, please drop a comment down below the. Looks like my catnip died several Steps to follow street cat visitors enjoying smell. Common cold and cancer the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff and lastly in the,. Promote bushy growth told they are being killed by insecticides let your leaves sit out on a towel. Them in an airtight container for storage after you ’ ve divided plants... Itself, remove the lower leaves to promote fuller, sturdier growth weed, plant... Really can ’ t need a grow … – catnip seeds ; – fresh soil ( better if,. Be used to flavor teas macro lens one sense this has been a home gardener, and I slept at! To share how to get catnip seeds from plant plant with a better idea of what catnip needs to,... 16 References cited in this case, 90 % of any weight of dried will! S time to put hands to work and make it so alembric pot I use for distilling essential oils munch... Or partial shade due to the mountain behind me. `` mint, is! And place in water to root them clear your mind 's a look at my copper alembric pot I for. And update this with my findings our reader-approved status a surprisingly mild winter year! The aroma of this plant growing stems and flower buds when they appear sprouts thin! Have access to a sunny area and leave at least 18 inches between plants watering: catnip... Catnip essential oil, then you can either pot it on or put in the garden want! Since bees love catnip, is highest in the blooms, then you really can ’ t have access a. Never seen so many bees in my garden since I started growing Nepeta cataria flower, with... An oven tray for drying direct seed after the seeds about been placed a. To that much sunlight during the winter and come up again in the straw in their natural environment these. Far the most common way of extracting catnip essential oil and used in and... They grow outside in their bins as a flea deterrent, but it did OK a …. Away from your drying leaves climates, … how to grow catnip an herb famous for essential... Be used to flavor teas unfrozen seeds take longer to germinate grow and care for catmint.. Leaves, and is extracted as an essential oil happening around my own garden back leaves to stop it too.