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How to Grow Catnip Herb
Perennial, Biennial, Nepeta cataria
Yes it true! Cats love Catnip! Gardener's be on the alert. If you are going to grow Catnip, you'll have to keep the cats out of it. They love to roll in it. Or, they may just take a nap in it. They just plain love it. And, you will too.
Catnip is a strong smelling member of the Mint family. It's classified as an aromatic herb. It is native to North America. It has clusters of white or purplish-blue flowers atop toothy, heart shaped leaves. Grow some Catnip for your cats. And, grow some for yourself to use as an herbal tea.
How to Grow Catnip:
Grow Catnip full in sun to partial shade. They prefer average, well drained soil. They are easy to grow. Established plants require little, or no, attention.
Grow Catnip plants from seed. Catnip is a perennial, and grows two to three feet. Sow seeds into your garden in the spring. Space seedlings or thin plants to 20" apart. Or, grow in clumps or masses. They will withstand crowding.
Fertilizer is not usually required, except in poor soils. However, we always recommend applying fertilizer at planting time, to give new seedlings a quick boost during early growth.
When growing Catnip, allow for it to take up plenty of space. It will try to overcrowd nearby plants.
After the plants have grown a few inches, pinch back the shoots to promote bushy growth. It will first bloom in mid summer. After harvest, trim back the plants again. With luck, you will get three harvests in a season.
Harvest leaves as the flowers begin to bloom. Cut off the top leaves, stems and flowers. They can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. Spread Catnip out to dry in a cool and ventilated area. More information on harvesting and drying herbs.
Uses for Catnip:
Cats really love Catnip. Rub Catnip oil on your cats' toys, and watch them go crazy!
Catnip has a minty-lemon taste, and is also used in cooking and in herbal teas.
Catnip is also used in treating colds and cold symptoms.
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