Catnip
Catnip
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Catnip

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Nepeta cataria. Catnip is not just for cats! Tall pink and white flower spikes are great in fresh and dried arrangements. Use the leaves in salads, sauces, teas, and soups - and of course fresh or dried for the cats! Catnip seeds are a good choice for a bee attractor that works well in containers on cat-free balconies. Protect seedlings from cats.

Catnip (and a few of its close relatives) contain the compound nepetalactone, which is extremely attractive to domestic and wild cats. It has the same effect on leopards, lynxes, and tigers as it does on house cats. Roughly 33% of all cats do not respond to catnip, and the response is believed to be hereditary. Learn more About Catnip.

Sow seeds indoors in February and March, and transplant or direct sow in April and May. Can also be direct sown where it is to grow in September. Bottom heat will speed germination. Ideal temperature for germination: 21-27°C (70-80°F). Seeds should sprout in 10-20 days.

Sow on the soil surface or barely covered with perlite. Thin plants or transplant to 30cm (12″) apart. Keep seedlings well protected from cats!

Catnip does very well in containers, raised beds, or borders in full sun to partial shade. The main challenge to growing it is protecting it from cats. After the main bloom, plants should be cut back hard to encourage a second bloom and tidy shape.

To save the summer catmint bounty, harvest when fully grown, and keep the plant picked regularly.

Attracts pollinators (and cats!) & parasitic wasps, but repels aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, ants, weevils, asparagus beetles, Colorado potato beetles, and squash bugs.