Catnip plants (Nepeta cataria) are a type of plant that can help you make your garden cat-friendly. The herb catnip is a perennial member of the mint family, most well-known for its cat-friendly properties and used to make calming drinks. It’s simple to cultivate catnip, but there are a few things you should know before you start.
When to Plant Catnip?
Plant catnip in the spring after the threat of frost has gone in your location. Remember that catnip seeds can be planted indoors about six weeks before the last expected frost date.
Where Does Catnip Grow Best?
Catnip plant thrives in full sun in well-draining soil, but it may also thrive in partial shade and a wide range of soil types. Catnip plants don’t require much attention once they’ve established themselves. Fertilizers can weaken the scent and flavor of these plants; thus, they don’t need to be fertilized.
How to Plant Catnip?
You’ll need to carefully prepare the seeds if you’re producing catnip from seed. Because catnip seeds are resilient, they must be stratified or slightly harmed before germinating.
This can be accomplished by freezing the seeds overnight and then soaking them for 24 hours in a dish of water.
The seed coat will be harmed due to this procedure, making it simpler for the catnip seeds to germinate. You can sow the seeds either indoors or outdoors after you’ve stratified them. After they sprout, thin them to one plant per 20 inches (51 cm).
Catnip can also be grown from seedlings or divisions of existing plants. Planting catnip seeds or divisions is best done in the spring or fall. Planting catnip plants 18 to 20 inches (45.5 to 51 cm) apart is recommended.
How to Grow Catnip From Seed?
Catnip seeds should be planted inside about six weeks before the latest expected frost date in the spring. Please put them in the freezer for an hour before soaking them in water for another 24 hours. This process of stratification can aid germination. Then, in a tray filled with moistened seed-starting mix, sow the seeds about 1/8 inch deep. Ideally, place the tray in a light, warm area. Keep the soil moist for the next two weeks, and the seeds should germinate. After the threat of frost has passed, transplant the seedlings outside.
How to Grow Catnip in Pots?
It’s a good idea to grow catnip in a pot because it’ll keep the plant from spreading to unwelcome places. First, make sure your container has a drainage hole and is at least 12 inches in diameter. An unglazed clay container is perfect because it allows excess soil moisture to escape through its walls. Next, plant your catnip at the same depth as it was in its previous container, using a well-draining potting mix.
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Quick Guide to Growing Catnip
- Catnip should be planted in the spring after all dangers of frost have passed. You’ll want to place it in a place where your cats won’t harm the plants around them if they roll in it.
- Plant catnip plants 18 to 24 inches apart in a sunny spot with a well-drained, nutritious soil.
- Mix in several inches of old compost or other rich organic matter to enrich your native soil’s nutritional levels.
- Check the soil on a regular basis and water when the top inch of soil is dry.
- With a water-soluble plant food, you can encourage the creation of abundant leaves.
- Harvest leaves at any time once catnip has reached a height of 6 to 8 inches.
How to Harvest Catnip?
When catnip is in full flower, harvest it. After the dew has dried but before the day heats up and causes the plant to wilt. You can cut off entire stems or even the entire plant if you choose. As soon as possible after harvesting, hang the branches upside down for drying in a dark, dry, well-ventilated room. The leaves and blooms can be crumbled for use once they’ve dried out, which usually takes two to three weeks.