Catnip Plant Care Indoors
Catnip seeds should be sown during the spring after any threat of frost has passed. Consult a hardiness zone map to figure out when it’s safe to plant in your area. If you have a short growing season, catnip can also be started indoors 4-8 weeks before the last frost and transferred outside after the soil is warm enough.
Catnip seeds are tough and should be stratified, or slightly damaged, before planting to ensure the seeds sprout. An easy way to do this is by freezing the seeds overnight and then soaking them for 24 hours.
Your biggest hurdle to growing catnip indoors might not be low light levels, cold air, or lack of consistent watering. It might be your cat. Catnip , a perennial favorite of all things feline, is a relative of the mint and lemon balm, which means it’s not a hard plant to grow indoors.
outdoors, it’s known to spread easily, growing into jumbled patches that attract cats from miles around. Indoors, it can be successfully grown on a sunny windowsill, providing you give it enough water and remember to pinch out the flowers to encourage leaf growth. You can start pinching off leaves as soon as the plant hits about 6 to 8 inches in height; your cat will appreciate it.
Once you’ve chosen a place to grow your catnip and stratified the seeds, sow the little seeds in rows and cover them lightly with approximately 1/4 inch of soil. Keep the seeds moist and the soil temperature at around 70 degrees. When the plants are five inches tall, thin them out so that they’re all about 12-18 inches apart. If you’re growing the catnip indoors in small cells, transfer them into 3-4 inch pots at this time so that they have enough room to develop a strong root system before transplanting into a large pot or into the garden.
What is Catnip Used for?
Cats are infamously attracted to catnip. It’s not addictive and it doesn’t cause short- or long-term health problems. Some cats might eat too much catnip and throw up, so you may want to limit your cat’s exposure to minimize this potential albeit rather innocuous issue.
Catnip is an herb native to eurasia. It’s a member of the mint family, closely related to spearmint and peppermint, and it has a long medicinal history for humans. It’s also known as catnep, catmint, catrup and catswort. All felines, including mountain lions, are attracted to catnip. They’ll roll around in catnip plants, rub against them and sometimes chew on them. Cats are more likely to eat fresh catnip leaves, although dried catnip consumption is also common.
What’s with the Cats?
Cats are attracted to a component of catnip’s volatile oil called nepetalactone. Although it’s present in only small amounts, nepetalactone from bruised or damaged plants can attract cats from a great distance. Most cats react to catnip. But some cats — up to 30 percent, by some estimates — do not. Catnip sensitivity is a genetic trait. The plant (and its oil) are neither addictive nor harmful, so there’s no need to worry about your cat eating it.
Catnip stimulates your cat’s olfactory system. Many cats jump and roll around in it. Others salivate, meow, nibble on it and even eat it. Still others become aggressive, although the classic response is uninhibited play. Some scientists believe that nepetalactone mimics the effects of pheromones. Conclusive proof as to the exact mechanism remains elusive. Whether stimulating or pacifying, catnip’s effects generally last about 15 minutes. Use just enough to get the desired response from your cat. After the effects wear off, it will probably take an hour of zero catnip exposure before the animal reacts as strongly as she did in the previous catnip session.
3. Lemon Catnip (Nepeta citriodora)
Flavor and aroma: catnip smells of camphor, thyme, and pennyroyal. Leaves taste mildly minty. Leaves: add fresh catnip leaves to salads. Mince leaves to add a mint undertone to sauces and hearty stews. Lemon catnip can be used as a substitute for basil in pesto. Rub meat with catnip leaves before roasting or grilling. Teas: make a tea from fresh or dried catnip leaves. Catnip has a flavor that is more mellow than peppermint and less sweet than spearmint. Its fragrance is spicy-mint. The catnip cultivar ‘citriodora’ is lemon-scented for flavorful teas. Tea made from catnip leaves is said to relieve indigestion, colds, and fevers.
Catnip, also known as catmint (nepeta cataria), is a member of the mint family. Aside from causing euphoria in cats, it is also beloved by bees and is a prolific bloomer, with pretty white or near white flowers with purple spots, and leaves covered with soft hairs that contain the volatile oils that give catnip it’s distinctive scent. Other benefits of catnip in your garden include:
catnip makes a yummy tea – this herb is delicious in tea when dried in a warm spot or after being placed in a dehydrator. It combines well with lemon balm, chamomile or other mints. It is said that these combinations help to reduce stress and promote relaxation and sleep.
Growing Catnip with Other Plants
Growing a meowdow of catnip for your kitty is pretty simple!
when choosing what to plant for your cat, be sure you select seeds or plants of the right nepeta. Garden & happy explains , “catnip (nepeta cataria) usually refers to the herb, whereas catmint (nepeta mussinii) is more ornamental and less attractive to cats. ”@toomanyfuzzylumpkins/instagram
in the springtime, plant seeds or plant starts in a sunny location after all danger of frost has passed. And be warned, catnip plants can spread easily. Standing up to 3 or 4 feet tall, the plant takes up some room, so be sure you place seeds and starts around two feet apart when planting.
I have a good sized patch of catnip growing in my garden that’s threatening to overtake one of my pepper plants. So i decided that it was time to dry some catnip for tea. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family and is apparently quite entrancing to cats. I don’t have cats so i can’t speak to that. Catnip acts as a sedative in human, and is thought to calm the stomach and the nerves ( source ). I drink it in the afternoon or evening, as a caffeine free alternative to green tea. It does have it’s own flavor, and is similar to mint. When i make my tea i like to mix catnip with a little bit of dried stevia for sweetness.
Keep Growing New Catnip Plants
If you ever feel like your pockets are being drained to fund your cat’s ‘nip addiction, think about growing your own catnip. Catnip plants grow quickly and you’ll soon have enough catnip to dry out and refresh all of your cat’s favorite toys. Instead of spending money on organic catnip from the store, you can have a plentiful supply growing in your yard—and it’s essentially free.
You can grow catnip from seed or transplant a baby plant. Both catnip seeds and plants are available at a local home and garden center, online
, or even at a pet store. If you have any catnip-growing friends, ask if you can snag some seeds or seedlings from them! catnip buds contain a lot of extra seeds, so most catnip gardeners have extra. We love the catnip-growing community and have started a great catnip garden from the generosity of another gardener.
Herbs You Can Grow for Cough and Cold
When you are growing catnip indoors, you don’t have to worry much about catnip plant care in cold weather. Keep it in a warm spot in the night. During the day, move it back on a window that receives some direct sunlight. Always make sure that the plant is not touching the windowpane to avoid cold injury. Also, reduce watering and don’t fertilize in winter. Additionally, you can mulch the topsoil with straws or shredded cardboard. If you’re exposing it to outdoor conditions, cover the pot by bubble wrap or plastic sheet for extra protection. Making a mini indoor greenhouse for catnip and other herbs is also a great way to keep these plants growing. We’ve some diys here !.
It grew, it flowered. It thrives on sunny ledges, with ample and regular water, and good drainage. Proper transplanting keeps your catnip from becoming root-bound. Once while many people report that they like the fragrant, herbal smell of catnip, some people find that it has a vaguely skunky odor to it that is off-putting. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time i comment. Lux for plants: everything you need to know! place young plants away from kitty until they are large enough to withstand some serious loving. Catnip is a plant—known scientifically as nepeta cataria—that is a member of the mint family. Catnip seeds are very small and so are difficult to handle.
Herbs You Can Grow In Water Indoors All Year Round
Water your catnip plants regularly, but there’s no cause for alarm if you miss watering them here and there. Catnip is a very resilient ground cover herb, and it won’t be slowing down its growth due to a simple hiccup in maintenance like just one or two missed watering sessions.
Just make sure that, for the most part, your plants get the water they need on a regular schedule. Pruning and shaping your catnip plants and other herbs is very important to keep them growing healthy and strong. Cut out last year’s spent stems in the early spring, and cut the plant down completely after the completion of the first blooming cycle. Don’t feel bad for taking this opportunity to trim your catnip plant down to size.
An ounce of catnip seeds contains approximately 3,400 seeds. Catnip seeds are viable for 5 years. Catnip seeds are considered easy to germinate and easy to grow. When growing catnip from seed, sow seeds in autumn or spring in their intended place or catnip seedlings can be started indoors or in a nursery bed. Once in place, catnip can grow for several years with only minimal weeding required. However, like most herbs in the mint family, catnip can spread and take over a garden if permitted to do so.
Things You Should Know to Grow Spinach Indoors Year Round
If you choose to grow it outside, you may want to cover the base of the plant with something to keep your cat from rolling on the plant and killing it. Bonnie plants suggests , “to keep plants from being loved to death, cover each with an arch of chicken wire. The stems can grow up through the holes, yet the plant’s base and roots are protected. as a perennial, the plant can continue to grow outside in warm temps. Freezing weather will kill the plant. If planting indoors, plants can be grown year-round in tip-proof containers, removing the worry of a wintry death for your plant.
Also called catmint, catnip (nepeta cataria) is a hardy perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. 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.
Sow your catnip seeds in rows in the late fall or early spring, and lightly cover them with soil. When sown in the fall, the rows will produce a dense population. If you plant catnip from seeds, you can expect the seedlings to reach germination in seven to 10 days. When the shoots of the seedlings have grown to reach five inches in height, you should thin out the rows so that each plant stands about 12 to 18 inches apart. You can propagate new catnip plants from stem cuttings, with root division, or by seed. Catnip can be started indoors and seedlings transplanted to more permanent places outside after the last chance of frost has passed for the year.
Growing Catnip: Learn How To Care For Catnip Plants
Catnip is a perennial that generally grows to 2 to 3 feet when planted outdoors. Indoors, providing you give it enough light and water, it’s conceivable you’ll get a 2-foot plant, but in reality, indoor catnip doesn’t have the potency of outdoor catnip and it seems more reasonable to grow plants for a single growing season, then replace them either through sowing new seeds or cuttings. If you do want to re-pot a smaller catnip, go up one pot size and use fresh soil, being careful not to damage the roots.
Catnip herb grows best in well draining soil in the full sun, but it will tolerate part sun and a wide variety of soil types. Once catnip plants are established, they need very little in the way of care. They don’t need to be fertilized, as fertilizer can decrease the potency of their smell and flavor. They only need to be provided with water beyond rainfall if you are growing catnip in pots or if you are having drought conditions.