For the past several years, we’ve grown catnip! It’s easy and fun; the plant takes very little work.
I grew our catnip from seeds but you can also buy small catnip plants. I like buying the seeds since I know the plant then hasn’t been treated with any kind of chemicals.
To grow from seeds, you’ll want to first slightly scarify the seeds. John does this by spreading the seeds across a board and using another board to rub the seeds between the two boards (not grating, just rubbing). When that’s done, we always soak the seeds overnight then spread them out to dry:
Catnip likes full sun although, since the sun here is hotter than hot, we always plant the catnip beside our well’s pumphouse. This gives them morning and noon sun but lets the plants get a little break during the heat of the day. Much of the commercial catnip that you purchase comes from the Pacific Northwest so, as you might imagine, it’s a plant that takes a lot of water and doesn’t really appreciate 100+ degree days.
After planting, the seeds take between one and two weeks to germinate. After they grow to about two inches tall, you’ll need to spread the plants apart by about 20 inches (these plants GROW!) When it comes time to dry the catnip, just cut it off and hang it upside down to dry. Placing it upside down in a paper bag with holes punched in it will allow it to dry properly so you can then crush the catnip to a powder for use in toys and treats.
Did You Know?
- Catnip is a member of the mint family.
- Catnip is a perennial.
- Deer won’t eat catnip (and we can attest to this with our deer population!)
- Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent.
- Catnip tea is a natural sedative for humans.
- It’s NOT safe to ingest catnip during pregnancy.
- Not all cats react to catnip.
- Cats inherit their sensitivity to catnip from one of their parents.
Win Catnip Seeds
Want to grow your own catnip? We’re giving away four packets of catnip seeds so one reader can grow their own catnip garden this spring. Since this prize involves an agricultural product that would be stopped in customs, this giveaway is limited to US mailing addresses. (Be sure to check the current giveaways page for more giveaways, too.) Good luck!