How to Grow Catnip Indoors

Growing catnip (Nepeta cataria) indoors can be a great way to keep your pet cats entertained and happy. Whether you have an outdoor or indoor-only cat, adding a little bit of greenery to the home environment can make a huge difference in their overall wellbeing. Luckily, catnip is easy to grow indoors and requires minimal care and maintenance. 


White cat staring at the fresh catnip plant

Pot and soil

To get started, choose a pot that is at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill the pot with well-draining soil, preferably one made specifically for growing plants indoors.

If you don’t have this type of soil available, consider mixing equal parts peat moss and perlite or vermiculite to create an effective mixture. Catnip loves moisture but will not grow in soggy soils, so be sure to avoid overwatering.

When to plant

Once the soil is in place, sprinkle some catnip seeds onto the surface of the soil and lightly press them down into the dirt without burying them too deeply. The best time to plant your catnip seeds is usually during early spring as this gives them plenty of time to germinate before it gets too hot outside.

Keep in mind that seeds may take up to two weeks or more before they start sprouting, so be patient!


When your catnip plants reach 6 inches high, pinch off the tops of the stems to encourage branching which will lead to fuller plant growth. Consider trimming back any brown leaves as these are signs of nutrient deficiencies or pests infestation such as aphids or mites which like to feed on catnip plants.

Take note that cats may become overly stimulated when exposed to large amounts of fresh catnip so use moderation when harvesting your own homegrown crop! 


In terms of light requirements, opt for bright indirect sunlight near a window that receives 6-8 hours of sunlight per day if possible. Rotate your potted plant regularly so all sides receive equal amounts of light exposure throughout the day – this ensures that all parts of the plant are receiving proper levels of nutrients for better overall health and development. 


Water your plant regularly but make sure not to overwater – water only when you notice that the top few inches of soil start drying out first. As magnesium helps catalyze several key enzymes in photosynthesis processes within plants, consider adding small amounts (1/2 teaspoon) of Epsom salts once every couple weeks during active growth periods for added benefits such as stronger stems and flower buds on mature plants. 


Finally, while cats generally love nibbling on fresh homegrown catnips, it’s worth noting that growing these herbs indoors could potentially attract unwanted attention from other household pets such as rodents or birds who also enjoy feasting on these treats! 

To prevent this from happening, consider placing mesh screens over open windows where large birds might fly through or using scent repellents around areas where cats frequent most often such as by food bowls or litter boxes – this helps keep furry friends away from snacking on your green goodies! 

Does catnip grow better inside or outside?

Catnip can grow well both indoors and outdoors. However, there are certain factors that you need to consider before deciding where to plant it. If you live in an area with harsh winters or extreme temperatures, it might be best to keep your catnip inside, where it will be protected from the elements. On the other hand, growing catnip outside could be a great option if you have plenty of outdoor space and access to sunlight throughout most of the year.

Catnip planted in a red pot with text "How to grow catnip indoors" below

How often do you water indoor catnip?

It’s important to note that catnip plants require a lot of water, but not too much at once. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot, ultimately leading to the plant’s death. Watering should be done when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This means that depending on humidity levels and temperature, watering frequency could vary from every few days to once a week.

It’s also essential to ensure proper drainage in your plant pot or container, as stagnant water can also lead to root rot.

What is the best way to grow catnip indoors?

The best way to grow catnip indoors is to start with a high quality seed variety. You will want to look for seeds that are labeled ‘catnip’ or ‘nepeta cataria’. Once you have obtained these seeds, it is important to provide the proper environment for your plant. Catnip prefers well-drained soil and full sun. 

You can also start your catnip indoors in a pot or other container with good drainage. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy, as this will lead to root rot. A general-purpose fertilizer should be applied at least once a month during the growing season for the best results. 

Finally, it is important to keep your catnip free from pests, as they can quickly take over the plant. If you notice any pests, be sure to treat them promptly with an appropriate insecticide or other remedies. 

Once you have established a healthy indoor catnip plant, it should provide many years of enjoyment and relief for your furry friend! 

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