Find out how to develop catnip in pots from seeds

A step-by-step information: Find out how to develop catnip in a pot in your patio or deck (from seed!)

You probably have a cat who loves catnip, studying methods to develop catnip in a pot is an excellent thought — and simpler than you would possibly suppose!

I presently have a 4-month-old kitten, and he’s CRAZY. He was a candy fuzzy furball for the primary 3 months, after which his savage aspect got here out.

Cosmo (aka Cosmo Kramer, aka Kitter Catter) likes to race round the home attacking all the pieces in sight. Typically he lurks round corners, stalking us or a toy.

His favourite is a catnip-filled fish sufficiently big for him to pounce on, wrestle and ferociously assault.

Till just lately, I didn’t even take into consideration rising our personal catnip. However you completely can! Catnip is straightforward to develop in pots and containers and makes an incredible addition to your patio backyard.

In reality, catnip is an invasive perennial and can shortly take over an in-ground backyard. So containers are a fairly ultimate approach to develop your individual.

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However earlier than we get to rising it … What does catnip do to cats?

how to grow catnip in a pot - on your deck or patio

The Humane Society explains that catnip (nepetalactone) is a member of the mint household that has a vital oil that triggers a cheerful receptor in as much as 80 p.c of cats. The response often begins between 3 and 6 months outdated (I can vouch for this!) and tends to fade with older cats.

Normally, catnip is a stimulant for cats when sniffed, however it has a relaxing impact when eaten.

What’s catnip used for?

Catnip isn’t only a enjoyable excessive in your cat. It really has some sensible makes use of as properly. You should utilize it to:

  • Encourage your cat to make use of a scratching put up, cat mattress, or toy, reasonably than tearing up furnishings or curtains. (Cosmo loves fish-shaped catnip toys he can assault and carry round.)
  • Introduce cats who’re new to one another.
  • Introduce a cat to a brand new atmosphere.
  • Scale back anxiousness and resistance when utilizing a provider.

So … can people eat catnip? Sure we are able to! Dried catnip leaves and flowers might be brewed as a tea, which has calming results just like chamomile. Historically it’s been used for medicinal functions, reminiscent of treating complications and easing anxiousness.

For extra enjoyable info about catnip, take a look at the FAQ on the backside of the article!

orange cat lounging in a garden - overlay text beginner's guide to growing catnip in pots

Find out how to plant catnip in a pot from seeds

Begin catnip from seed or cuttings

Both methodology works properly. When you’re already beginning different seeds in your spring deck or patio backyard, why not strive a couple of catnip seeds too? That stated, in case you’re pressed for time or begin later within the season, cuttings or seedlings work effective too.

To begin with seeds:

  • You should buy catnip seeds from seed corporations, nurseries or backyard shops, or harvest them from dried catnip flower buds.
  • I extremely advocate shopping for catnip seeds from Botanical Pursuits – they’ve the highest quality seeds and the seed packets are filled with useful information others don’t embody.
  • Plant seeds indoors a month or two earlier than the final anticipated frost in your space (right here’s a helpful frost date calculator!).
  • First, select a seed beginning equipment or fill small containers with seed beginning materials. Or good potting soil is okay.
  • Subsequent, and that is essential, do that easy and useful step: Earlier than you plant the seeds, it is advisable tough them up a bit to loosen the seed coat and assist them germinate. That is known as stratifying the seeds:
    • Set seeds in a freezer bag and tuck within the freezer in a single day.
    • The subsequent day, soak them in a bowl of heat to sizzling water.
    • Go away them to soak for 12-24 hours.
  • Sow in your seed-starting containers and canopy with a skinny ¼ inch layer of soil. 
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Park them in a sunny window and hold evenly moist however by no means soggy.

  • Your catnip seeds ought to sprout in 2-3 weeks. Proceed evenly watering.

Lastly, after they attain 4-5 inches and also you’re previous the final frost, switch to pots or different containers.

TIP: Catnip begins to emit its intoxicating scent when only a few inches tall, so hold your cats away from the seedlings till the crops are established and durable … otherwise you received’t have any in your container backyard!

orange cat on a rock behind green catnip plant growing in a pot with purple flowers

Or you should purchase seedlings from an area farmers’ market, nursery or backyard retailer.

That is sooner and simpler than ranging from seed, after all, however catnip seedlings aren’t at all times as extensively accessible as a number of the widespread culinary herbs like basil and oregano. Attempt asking native nurseries about availability or different really useful sources.

An alternative choice is to start out catnip crops from cuttings. If you have already got crops or know somebody who does, this works and it’s free.

Find out how to begin catnip crops from cuttings

  • First, lower off a 6-inch stem from a wholesome plant.
  • Take away the leaves from the underside 2-3 inches.
  • Subsequent, dip the tip of the stem in rooting hormone, if doable. 
  • Set in potting soil and proceed to evenly water till you progress it to its long-term spot in your patio or deck.

Select a container and a sunny or largely sunny spot

Very a lot in contrast to precise cats, catnip shouldn’t be specific about most of its rising situations. That’s what makes it really easy to develop in pots and containers.

Catnip likes: full solar to partial shade (particularly in sizzling climates), constant watering, room to develop

Catnip doesn’t like: full shade, soggy soil, crowded areas

Catnip isn’t choosy, however hold these preferences in thoughts for finest outcomes.

  • Select a sunny spot with some elbow room. Catnip can develop 2 ft large and three ft tall, which implies you’ll want a big container and a few further house round it.
  • Fill a 10-12” deep pot or container with good high quality potting soil for every plant. The broader the opening of the pot, the higher! This can give the catnip room to unfold and your cat room to lounge …
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TIP: Go along with a wide-mouth container in case you’re good along with your cat (and doubtlessly the neighbor’s cat) bodily climbing into the catnip and rolling round. If not, I’d nonetheless use a large container however add bamboo stakes or a cage to guard the plant from kitty assault.

  • When you haven’t already hardened off the catnip seedling, accomplish that earlier than setting out in full solar. 

green catnip growing in a pot with purple flowers

Find out how to handle a potted catnip plant

Bear in mind, catnip likes regular however mild water — no soggy roots. Be sure the container has good drainage, and let the soil almost dry out in between waterings.

Catnip usually doesn’t want fertilizer. It’s really fairly blissful in sub-par soil, so long as it has solar and a few water. However if you wish to give it an additional enhance, add a bit of water-soluble fertilizer each month or two throughout the rising season.

Common pruning helps guarantee a full, productive, bushy plant. Pinch off stems commonly from the highest, simply above a set of leaves. When flowers begin to bloom, snip or pinch them off if you need the plant to proceed to develop considerable leaves.

Find out how to prune catnip:

Will rising catnip entice cats?

Um, sure.

At the least those who love catnip, and that’s 50 p.c of them, so anticipate your neighbor’s cats would possibly not-so-casually drop by your deck for a sniff or rub.

How a lot catnip ought to I develop?

As I stated earlier, catnip spreads shortly. When planted within the floor, it’s thought-about invasive as a result of it will possibly self-seed from the dried flower buds and unfold far and large.

catnip growing in containers - purple flowers with bumblebee

It additionally wants an honest quantity of house to develop — it in all probability received’t do as properly in small 8 inch pots crammed collectively on the deck.

And catnip is potent! You don’t want quite a bit to maintain your cat blissful on recent catnip all summer time and dried catnip leaves and flower buds by means of the winter.

With all of that in thoughts, I like to recommend sticking with one catnip plant. When you resolve you need extra mid-season, you’ll be able to at all times begin one other plant from a chopping of the unique.

How and when ought to I harvest catnip?

Harvesting catnip is straightforward, a bit of at a time or while you’re executed with the plant.

You can begin to select leaves when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Use the leaves and stems collected throughout common pruning for recent use or for drying. 

When the flower buds seem and small purple flowers emerge, the important oil cats love will probably be at its peak — in order that’s a very good time to seize some sharp scissors and snip stems and flower buds.

On the finish of the rising season, you’ll be able to harvest the entire plant by chopping it down on the base.

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Then, grasp the entire thing the wrong way up or tie branches into bunches for drying in a dry, protected place like a storage or shed.

Some enjoyable catnip toys you’ll be able to fill with your individual catnip!

As I’ve stated — and as your cat can attest — catnip is straightforward to develop and properly well worth the minimal effort required. It does very properly in containers and serves as a novel, pet-honoring addition to your patio backyard.

Extra concepts about rising herbs in containers: 

Observe the steps and deal with your cat to some homegrown catnip this season! Learn on for a couple of enjoyable info about catnip and its makes use of.

Catnip enjoyable info:

What does catnip do to cats?

Smelling or sniffing it will possibly set off pleasure and euphoria, typically even aggression. Consuming it has the other impact and tends to calm them down.

What’s catnip used for?

Catnip can be utilized in toys, beds, scratching posts, and different objects of curiosity to your cat. It can be used to ease them into annoying conditions or introduce cats who’re new to one another.

How a lot catnip ought to I give my cat?

A tablespoon of dried catnip rubbed on a scratching put up or stuffed in a toy is often sufficient to elicit a response. The impact usually wears off after 5-10 minutes, after which your cat is likely to be much less delicate to catnip for half-hour or extra.

What a part of catnip do you utilize with cats?

You should utilize any a part of the plant along with your cat. With a recent plant, they could sniff, lick, chew on, or rub in opposition to the leaves. The flower buds have the best focus of the important oil they’re drawn to, so 

Can cats overdose on catnip?

Catnip is unhazardous, however extreme use can typically trigger agitation and aggression and even digestive upset. When you discover any of these reactions, take away the catnip toy or object for awhile.

Can I give my cat catnip each day?

Sure, it’s secure to provide your cat each day.

How lengthy does catnip final?

The catnip “excessive” often lasts for 5-10 minutes.

Can people eat catnip?

Sure, catnip is usually used to make a relaxing tea. Individuals describe the flavour as someplace between grassy, woodsy and skunky, so it’s finest combined with lemon and/or different herbs in tea.

How do you dry catnip for tea?

Most herbs might be dried by tying in a bundle and hanging the wrong way up in a dry, darkish spot like a storage. Or you’ll be able to unfold out some leaves and flower buds on a baking sheet and dry in an oven, on the bottom warmth setting, for 2-4 hours.

Is catnip good for sleep?

For people, catnip has a delicate calming impact like chamomile and has historically been used to assist ease anxiousness and sleep issues. Catnip and valerian root are a typical mixture for sleepy-time tea.