How to Grow – Catnip

Ready to harvest anytime.

Ready to harvest anytime.

An easy to grow from seed member of the mint family, catnip does well in pots and prefers sun. It is perennial in Zones 3-9, making it a wonderful plant for many areas. Plant in the spring when the ground has warmed, covering the seeds lightly. Keep moist until they germinate.

Like other mints, it can be invasive; which is why we contain it here in Zone 5/6. It produces attractive grayish green leaves, and if left to bloom, pretty little white flowers. If untrimmed, catnip can grow to 4 ft. high.

Similar to its relatives, it can be distinguished by its squarish stems.

Everyone know cats are attracted to this plant, but you may be surprised to know how much. The first year we planted it, the cat knocked the planter right off the deck.

We then put it inside the garden fence, but not far enough as the cat tended to lie just outside the fence wanting to get in. Poor kitty.
So we moved it to the middle of the garden where she was not as attracted to the plant anymore.

One thing you may not know, is catnip isn’t just for kitty toys.
It actually is quite safe to consume by humans, and is lovely in a quiet cup of tea, perhaps with a little chamomile. Catnip has a similar calming effect, so consider subbing it for your regular mint. You just may be surprised.

Botanical name: Nepeta cataria
Hardiness: Perennial in zones 3-9.
Yield: Cut the leaves and come back for more.
Height: Up to 48″.
Storage: Use fresh or dried. Hang leafy stems upside down in a brown paper bag until dry. Remove leaves and store in an airtight food grade container.
Away from the cat.


Categories: Herbs, How to Grow



4 Responses to “How to Grow – Catnip”

Ours gets 4 foot and the bees love the flowers. It is planted between the Catmint and the pincushion flowers.

Sounds like a great combination Rich!

I would love to hear how others keep their cats away from it. I’ve tried growing it for my own, but they always find it and consume it to the ground, so I am never able to harvest any for later. Suggestions?

I understand, really I had to fence mine in. It was the only way to get it to grow before they destroyed it.

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