How to Grow Catnip for Your Cat (& a Giveaway!)


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!

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  • Rachael Henzman

    We have never grown catnip but we have grown cat grass and our cats loved it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Deanna

    I have never grown it, but my cat goes crazy for it!

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  • SGilbert

    I have never grown catnip. Do dogs like catnip?

  • Marilyn Nawara

    No I have never tried to grow cat nip

  • Lisa F.

    I’ve never tried to grow catnip, but would love to try. Thanks!

  • Shelley P

    I’ve never grown catnip but it would be fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Linda Szymoniak

    We had a couple of catnip plants in our garden that did very well for a few years, but then my husband crowded them out by planting too many tomato plants in the garden and they never came back all the way. I’ve been wanting to plant more.

  • Amy Orvin

    Yes, I actually have and my cats go CrrraZZZyyy!!

  • Danielle Murgia

    I have not grown my own catnip but I would like to try!

  • Dominique

    I recently brought home one little catnip plant. It’s small right now, but seems to be doing well.

  • I have never grown catnip but I sure would like to try.

  • Helga

    Yes, and its better than dried stuff!

  • Mary Beth Elderton

    I have not grown catnip, but I know my kitties love it!

  • Jdace

    Yes, I have grown catnip in my herb garden. My barn kitties loved it. It got removed during house repairs. However, I would like to replant it and try growing it again.

  • Karen DeGraaf


  • Dorothy Teel

    I have never grown catnip and this article helped me to want to try it, I have bought it, before but usually all ground up this will be fun to try.

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  • katsrus

    I have never grown catnip. I bet my kitties would love it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Sue B

  • Sharon Crawford

    I have never grown it before but Id love to give it a go!

  • Holly E

    I haven’t grown catnip before, but it sounds like fun.

  • Susan M. Heim

    No, we’ve never grown catnip before, but it sounds like fun. Our two cats would be very happy!

  • Noreen L Humphrey Plantz

    I’ve never grown catnip, but I’m interested in trying!

  • Susan Pertierra

    I haven’t grown catnip but my sister has and it thrives where she lives.

  • Wen Budro

    No, I haven’t but it would be cool to grow some.

  • Phoenixtl

    I have, & the cats really do love it wild!

  • Cynthia Amber Downer

    I’ve never grown catnip before, but I’d love to.

  • 49tam

    Whenever I lived in a different house yes I tried to grow catnip. And it always died on me. This year however I’d like to try growing it in this house. Or better yet I will attempt to grow it outdoors in my herb and vegetable garden. Come on now please please please wish me luck! I know I need it! Green Tam or

  • Milene Mittelhauser

    I’ve tried, but not been successful. Would love to actually grow some.

  • No, but I usually have a pretty successful garden, so I’d love to give it a try! And deer don’t eat it, but does it keep them away? That would be awesome!

    Cori Westphal
    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  • Anita J White

    I have never grown catnip an my cats love it this will be a nice treat for them

  • fatmeatloaf1

    Yes, I have grown catnip before.

  • sandy weinstein

    no, never have have dogs, but heard catnip outside helps keeps bugs, etc away

  • gkran

    No. (Gianna)

  • Sarah Walker

    No, I haven’t ever grown Catnip.

  • Evelyn Chuter

    Nope I have never grown catnip. I have only once ever given my one of my cats catnip.

  • Jessibeth Vicenty

    I have never grown catnip

  • dh_jax

    I haven’t grown catnip but have grown a cat grass before that my cat enjoyed eating. Since one of my cats goes insane for catnip, I would love to win this to grow for him. Thanks for the chance

  • jennifer p

    Actually yes I have grown catnip once or twice, especially when I lived in California. It;s a pretty plant and does well in pots. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Pamela C

    Catnip is hard to germinate but I’ve done it a few times

  • kathyb53

    No, but I would love to try!

  • Amy Orvin

    There is no space to put my secret code on the rafflecopter. ๐Ÿ™

  • sandy weinstein

    no place to enter the secret code on any of the giveaways

  • sandy weinstein

    no place for secret code lxxxx09..

  • kayla Williams

    My kitty’s love catnip but I’ve never grown it and would love to try! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Evelyn Chuter

    Can’t find a code anywhere. I look everyday. Please Help, I need the extra points

    • Amy Orvin

      Evelyn, You have to be subscribed to the pettipper newsletter to get the code.

  • Colleen Boudreau

    No I haven’t.

  • Ruckus the Eskie

    Never did!

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