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- Certified organic seeds
- Good bee attractor
- Tall pink and white flower spikes
- Use leaves in salad & teas
- Protect seedlings from cats
Nepeta cataria. CERTIFIED ORGANIC! Catnip is not just for cats! Tall pink and white flower spikes are great in fresh and dried arrangements. Use the leaves in salads, sauces, teas, and soups - and of course fresh or dried for the cats! Catnip seeds are a good choice for a bee attractor that works well in containers on cat-free balconies. Protect seedlings from cats.
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Last updated Catnip is a hardy perennial herb of the mint family bearing aromatic leaves attractive to cats. Follow these step-by-step instructions on growing your own and keep your cats happy and enriched! We have a few things in common, my cats and I. We like laptops, long catnaps on a Caturday morning, and our recreational herb of choice, catnip! Of course, I don’t like catnip for the same reasons the cats do; you won’t find me head shaking and wriggling in ecstasy on the kitchen floor (well, maybe if I’m trying to fish out an old cat toy stuck under the fridge, but that’s no fun). Read more.
Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) is a staple in our house and is a great form of cat enrichment for any cat. Since we host many nighttime catnip parties for the kitties while sipping on my nighttime tea blend, it made sense to start growing our own. What’s really satisfying is knowing that this catnip came from our garden with zero pesticides or fertilizers.
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When the promise of Spring is around the corner it’s always exciting to get a head start with the catnip seeds indoors while waiting for the last frost. In our climate, this could be as late as April or May. You can grow catnip either by buying a few plants in the herb section of your local nursery or growing it from seed.
But firstly let’s explore why catnip is the bee’s knees of all herbs… Our previous post on catnip focused on the use of catnip for environment enrichment and below is a recap: Catnip can be used to encourage your cat to use his scratching post Catnip is a mood booster for depressed or grieving cats It can enhance your interactive play sessions Can encourage your couch potato to get moving! Catnip is a fun way to ‘spice’ up treat time without the bad calories of edible treats! Can be used effectively when introducing cats, the perfect ice-breaker! Spruce up old tired cat toys by marinating in a tin with catnip Catnip is non-addictive, so sniff up kitties! May temporarily improve appetite in sick and older cats Catnip has zero calories versus edible treats laden with all things bad for kitty - growfoodguide.
With all these benefits for cats, what’s in it for the humans? Plenty actually. I once found Scout, our tortie cat very attracted to the aroma of my nighttime tea blend. It’s no wonder, catnip is listed as one of the ingredients right next to other well-known calming herbs such as passionflower and chamomile.
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But Scout’s curious kitty nostrils detected the vapors of nepetalactone, the key compound present in catnip. I’ve since learned how to grow this magical herb so that both the cats and the humans can benefit from its wonderful properties. Sorry, Scout, catnip tea is not for kitties The plant has been used in herbal medicine and cooking since medieval times and was a favorite as a remedy for colic in babies, relieving menstrual cramps, relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, stomach cramps (due to its antispasmodic properties) and many other ailments.
A few freshly crushed leaves rubbed on arms and legs works like a charm on those warm humid summer evenings hanging out with the Chirpies in their catio. There is not enough scientific evidence to prove catnip’s effectiveness in preventing fleas, but it’s worth having catnip in your garden. I have to report that we are lucky not to have had any fleas in the past (Click here).
If you have to grow it indoors, make sure it receives at least 6 hours of full sun every day Catnip can be grown in containers for inside or balconies but would require more watering Catnip is a hardy herbaceous perennial and comes back more robust every year. Catnip also grows in part shade.
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Some people find the odor of catnip to be slightly skunk-like so if you find this to be the case then indoor growing may not be suitable for you. I find coffee to smell skunk-like but I still enjoy drinking it anyway! Don’t be surprised if your neighbor’s cat suddenly decides that your backyard is the coolest place to be.
This way any enthusiastic rubbing and licking by cats would not damage the plant base. Catnip plants are prolific, spreading easily and in some places it can be seen as a weed. If you don’t want your garden taken over by catnip just be sure to cut the flowers before they go to seed.
You don’t need soil as it contains ready-made sphagnum peat moss pellets in which you will be burying your catnip seeds. available online or at your local garden center.Water-filled spray bottlePatience and love Before planting the catnip seeds, they need to be stratified. This is almost like giving the seeds a ‘shock treatment’ or cold treatment to break the dormancy cycle so that they germinate quicker.
Fill a bowl with hot tap water (not boiling water) and sprinkle the seeds in the water. Leave to soak for 12 to 24 hours.Do not soak longer than 48 hours SIDE NOTE: There is a difference between catnip (Nepeta Cataria) and catmint (Nepeta Faassenii). Both have very similar properties and the terms are often used interchangeably but it’s Nepeta Cataria that gives your cat his kicks! Voilà! Now that you have mimicked the ‘abuse’ that the seed would have been through in nature, it’s ready for planting.
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Soak the pellets for a few minutes. You should see each pellet rise up and puff out as they become soaked, resembling a sponge. Drain off all the excess water from the tray. Gently tear open the middle part of the netting of each pellet to make way for the seeds.
Cover the seeds with a thin layer of the pellet mixture and then cover with the plastic cover. The mini greenhouse dome retains warmth and moisture which is the ideal setting for germination to occur. Initially store your catnip greenhouse away from sunlight in a warm dark spot in your home.
The Basic Principles Of Starting Catnip From Seed - Running Bug Farm
While waiting for the seeds to germinate spray with water and ensure the pellets do not dry out. After 10 -14 days little green seedlings will appear just above the soil. Your catnip seedlings are now ready to bask in full sunshine, ideally on a south facing windowsill. Keep the seedlings moist and prevent them from drying out by misting with water every day.
At this stage your catnip sprouts will already bear the familiar catnip scent. Keep out of reach of nearby kitty noses! Be sure to elevate your catnip sprouts out of the way of curiously sniffing feline noses! Once the sprouts start developing their true leaves it already starts giving off a distinctive catnip scent and you don’t want the cats destroying the plant before it has even begun.
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Plant them about 18-20 inches apart. It may seem like too much space, but these plants grow up to 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall so it’s important to prevent crowding. growfoodguide.com. Water the catnip plants regularly during the first four weeks of growth. Frequently prune the catnip for bushier growth by pinching off some shoots and leaves.
Oh and this is where the fun begins; your cat will enjoy these pruning sessions too as they get the off-cuts! Everybody wins! For a bushier catnip yield, frequently pinch off leaves during growth - Read more. Your kitties will love this task! Hanging baskets is an attractive and practical solution for containing catnip plants.
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I love the eco-friendly and we have a few of them hanging in the catio for kitties’ snacking pleasure. We even keep some baskets out in winter as we discovered that freeze dried catnip or ‘catnipsicles’ is darn tasty too according to Jimmy fancy Feet. Charlie shows his pruning skills as he helps himself to a fresh catnip salad bar Catnip highway kitty jungle pit stop Sly Pie doing his best hen impression and demonstrates the wrong way of germinating the seeds.
In the Spring, Sly Pie enjoys sitting inside some of the catnip baskets that were left out from last winter. New catnip shoots have emerged and he has taken a liking to ‘incubating’ them. I wonder if he thinks they’ll grow quicker. I think the look below says it all! Judging from his smug look, he thinks he played a major roll in the result of his catnip tunnel.
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Your cat will be getting his kicks from his homegrown greens while you relax with your nighttime tea, all from your own garden! Do you grow catnip and have you tried growing it from seed? Please chirp us a line in the comments! Pounce on board with the Chirpies and gain access to unique DIY cat hacks, cat lifestyle tips, cat enrichment, reviews, and giveaways! Like Loading...
Catnip is a common herb that thrives in much of North America and is very easy to grow. While you've probably heard that catnip makes cats something like tipsy, you might not know that this effect is an inherited trait and does not affect all cats. Catnip can be planted in your garden in spring or fall, from seed or plants.
If you're planning to grow catnip, for your cat or yourself, keep in mind that there are different types of catnip and that all common types are invasive. This means they can take over your garden—even if they don't take over your cat's mind. Nepeta cataria Catnip, catmint Herbaceous perennial herb 3 to 4 feet tall Full sun Moderately rich loam or sandy, with good drainage 6.1 to 7.8 Summer and fall White, lavender 3 to 9 Eurasia AlpamayoPhoto / Getty Images Neil Holmes / Getty Images Education Images/UIG / Getty Images Catnip plants have naturalized in various parts of North America, and even where they are not perennial, they will likely reseed.
Catnip grows best in full sun combined with average, well-drained soil and regular watering. Cutting the plants completely down after the first bloom set will allow enough time for it to completely regrow and bloom again. Some species of Nepeta are considered invasive plants (Read more). They will spread out of control unless you take measures to keep them from doing so.
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. To prevent the plant from blooming, simply pinch off the top of the plant when flowers start to form. To avoid damage from unwelcome neighborhood cats, consider protecting your catnip with some type of enclosure.
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Catnip plants do best in full sun to partial shade and are drought-tolerant ground covers, making them a good choice for sunny, dry areas where many other plants would struggle. Like so many herbs, this perennial thrives in poor soil that is well-drained. Catnip plants prefer a slightly alkaline soil but are not very fussy about the ground in which they grow, as long as their roots are not constantly sitting in water.
Allow the soil to go almost dry between watering, then soak thoroughly. Plant catnip in soil that registers a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It will grow well outdoors in the 55 to 85-degree range. You do not need to feed catnip. Plant taxonomy classifies catnip plants as Nepeta cataria.
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. Fewer cats are attracted to ornamental types. In any case, look for the scientific or botanical name when shopping for plants to be sure you get the right type of catnip.
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The effect occurs when the leaves are eaten or when the plant's fragrance is inhaled by cats. 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. The resulting drug "trip" is a reaction to the chemical nepetalactone.
Fortunately, it's not addictive or harmful to cats, according to many veterinary sources. Harvest catnip upon flowering, on a dry, sunny day. Late morning is a good time to harvest after the dew has dried but before the day heats up. 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).
These steps help minimize the loss of the oil, which is the stuff that makes your cat go wild. First, you need to stratify the seeds: Place them in the freezer overnight and then in a bowl of water for 24 hours. This process will damage the seed coat and will facilitate sprouting.
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Short Description Favorite of cats. Green leaves are good for tea. Full Description Cats go crazy for this easy-to-grow plant. Start early indoors or outdoors after danger of frost. Buy this product Item # Product Order Quantity Price Item#:61424A Order: 1 Pkt. (1500 seeds) Product properties Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden.
Full Sun Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest. 80-90 days Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial - grow organic vegetables. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.
Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours. Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.
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Direct sow in average soil in full sun or light shade after danger of frost. In frost-free areas, sow from fall to early spring. Choose a location where vigorous plants can be easily controlled, such as in containers or a raised bed. Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings will emerge in 14-21 days. Thin to stand about 18 inches apart. Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
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For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot. Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells.
Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems.
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Pinch the tops off young plants to encourage bushy growth. To encourage a flush of new growth, cut plants back by about one half after the first flush of bloom. Divide plants every 2 to 3 years to keep them vigorous and prevent them from spreading too much. Monitor for pests and diseases (Seeds).
Grow catnip for you feline friends, or use it yourself for a soothing tea. Leaves may be added to salads or to flavor foods. Catmints are marvelous as edgings for perennial beds and borders, as groundcovers under roses, or cascading over the edge of containers. They also attract numerous pollinators, and are great alongside the vegetable garden.
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Harvest in the morning before the heat of the day but after the dew had dried. Cut entire stems at the base of the plant. Strip leaves from stems. Store fresh catnip in the refrigerator for a few days. To dry, cut a bunch of stems on a sunny morning, tie them loosely and hang them in a dry, airy location out of the sun.
Or, use a dehydrator following the manufacturer’s instructions. When plants are dry enough to store, a leaf will easily crumble between your fingers. When thoroughly dry, store herbs in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location, such as a cupboard. Dried catnip can last for several months.
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Horticulturist December 4, 2019 Catnip is an herb famous for its euphoric effect on cats. It also has a sedative effect on humans, and is extracted as an essential oil and used in tea. Its medicinal uses include treating headaches, nausea, and helping with anxiety or sleep disorders. It’s fragrant flowers also attract bees and other pollinators, which is great for the environment.
Known in antiquity as “catswort.” Bees seem to prefer its flowers over most others, but a common plant pest in gardens, the flea beetle, is deterred by it. The universal appeal of this species to cats is underscored by the fact that the herb’s common name in every Western language contains some variation of the word “cat.” Follow along with this handy How to Grow Catnip from seeds guide and give your cats some fun! Nepeta catariaFamily: Lamiaceae Easy Warm season Full sun 4 Sow seeds indoors in February and March, and transplant or direct sow in April and May.
After the main bloom, plants should be cut back hard to encourage a second bloom and tidy shape. To save the summer catmint bounty, harvest when fully grown, and keep the plant picked regularly. Usual seed life: 5 years. Attracts pollinators (and cats!), but repels aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, ants, weevils, and squash bugs.
Known for its ability to trigger a “high” in cats, catnip has been attracting cats for more than two documented centuries. What many don’t know though, is catnip can also be used in the kitchen and medicinally for humans making it a great herb to add to your indoor herb garden.
It is native to the area known as Eurasia: southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. Fairly easy to grow, It is now widely naturalized in northern Europe, New Zealand, and North America. Catnip grows outdoors in USDA growing hardiness zones 3 to 9 and makes great container plants for growing indoors, allowing you to extend its growing season to year-round.
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The active compound in catnip is the essential oil nepetalactone. In cats nepetalactone is thought to mimic a feline pheromone, triggering brain receptors and the associated euphoric side effects. In humans, catnip has many medicinal uses although it doesn’t induce the same euphoric response. Catnip can be used in a couple of different ways for cats.
In either case, it is completely safe and non-addictive. Both the fresh foliage and the dried leaves and flowers are useful as a training tool or they can help to enrich, or exercise, indoor cats. When cats sniff catnip plants, it triggers a euphoric effect that lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
To use as a training tool take fresh or dried catnip and rub it on an item you want your cat to direct his attention toward. For instance, if he is scratching and tearing up furniture, rub catnip on a scratching post to encourage him to scratch it instead. Or rub it on a spot you want your cat to sleep in or on.
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She may also increase vocalization and roll, paw, or rub her face in the catnip source. Some cats may jump about excitedly, becoming frisky or run from room to room chasing what appears to be invisible prey. There are a couple of situations you should avoid: Don’t give it to aggressive cats as it can exacerbate behavior.
Catnip is sometimes even used as an insect repellent because of its strong aroma and is even used by some as an addition to food and teas. gardening. Don’t consume if you are pregnant as it causes uterine contractions. Avoid if you are scheduled for surgery within a couple of weeks as it may alter how you react to anesthesia.
Growing it in containers is a great way to keep this aggressive growth under control. Plants can either be started from seed or from stem cuttings taken off another plant. When growing catnip indoors it’s best to sow seeds in the spring or the fall. Catnip seeds can be purchased online, at some local nurseries or garden centers, or may even be available from pet stores.
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Fill containers with pre-moistened growing media. Bury seeds ¼” deep. Keep growing media moist but not soggy. Seeds need water for germination but you don’t want damping off to occur. Germination typically takes 7 to 10 days. After seeds germinate, allow them to grow until they develop 5 or 6 leaves; at that time thin plants to one per 8 to 12” container.
Fill your container with pre-moistened growing media. Take a 6-inch stem cutting and remove all of the leaves from the bottom 2 inches. Dip the stem’s cut end in rooting hormone. Carefully plant stem cuttings in containers. Growing plants indoors is a fairly inexpensive endeavor, only requiring containers and growing media.
This provides plenty of space for the new shoots to pop up without constricting the roots. A wider container is also less likely to tip over if your kitty decides to lay amidst the plant. Since catnip likes to have its soil dry out between waterings terra cotta pots are a good choice.
Rotate containers every couple of days to prevent plants from bending towards the light, a phenomenon known as phototropism (Whippo, & Hangarter, 2006). Plants will become leggy if they do not get enough sunlight. Simple growing lights can be purchased online or at a local nursery to supplement indoor lighting conditions if necessary.
Allow the top inch of potting soil to dry out before giving your plant water. Then saturate the container until water freely drains out the bottom (vegetable). Like mint, and other herbs bearing essential oils, it is recommended to not fertilize your catnip. Fertilization encourages prolific vegetative growth and reduces the quality of the oils in the foliage and flowers.
Regular pruning encourages bushier plants. After your catnip flowers, cut the plants back to 3 to 4 inches above the ground - Read more. Within a couple of weeks, it will grow back; this new growth will trigger a new flowering cycle. To prevent insect or disease problems remove dead or dried leaves regularly.
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Try to wait until your plant is at least 6-inches tall before harvesting, then use a clean pair of sharp scissors and snip off an entire stem at the surface of the growing media. Growing your own catnip indoors provides you with a constant, fresh supply of leaves and flowers for your cat’s, or your own enjoyment.