How Can I Grow Catnip at Home
If you know cats, then you know that they love catnip!
While catnip is not a necessary part of the feline diet, cats have no harm of ingesting it, plus they have a lot of fun doing so.
This plant, from the mint family, has some magical properties that makes cats act goofy, from rolling around and laying in it, to play fighting with anything around them, to being incredibly affectionate and acting like they are drunk!
Virtually every cat loves this stuff, and it is used as a cat attractant or just put out so a cat, and you, can have some fun!
Store Bought or Home Grown?
Catnip is available in virtually any pet store, and it looks much like tea leaves. However, store bought catnip has been processed and packaged, and who knows how old it is. From packaging and over time, it will have lost some potency.
Homegrown catnip, on the other hand, will be fresh and potent, so your cat will enjoy themselves with less of it, and you’ll always have a steady supply. Even if you have growing seasons, you can cut and dry out the leaves for the winter, until the next outdoor growing season begins, or you can just grow it year-round in your home or if you live in a warm climate location.
Here’s how to grow catnip both indoors and outdoors.
Growing catnip Indoors
One thing for sure about catnip growing, it doesn’t take much to grow it so you really don’t have to have much of a green thumb.
- Seeds — You can find seeds at most pet stores or by going online. You can plant seeds in a 4 x 4 inch pot, about an inch deep, by placing two or three seeds in each hole. Use regular potting soil for planting, and keep it wet so that the seeds will germinate. They should begin to sprout in 8 days to 2 weeks.
- Plants — The easiest way to grow catnip is to find sprouted plants. Many pet stores will have them, or you can check at garden stores in and around your area. These seedlings will be ready to grow as soon as you get them home.
- Sunlight — Catnip loves sunlight, so once growing, put them on a windowsill or another sunny place. If you don’t have a sunny spot for your catnip, a grow light shining down from above will work just as good.
- Watering — Keep the soil on the moist to dry side, but every so often, give the plants a good drenching and then let the soil dry back to moist.
- Fertilizer — Virtually any liquid fertilizer will do, and you’ll have to follow the package instructions for how much to feed. Just remember that your cat will be eating catnip, so the best fertilizer will be organic types.
- Clipping — Clip the flowers to sustain healthy growth, and once there are a few shoots, you can begin clipping the tips of leaves for your kitty to enjoy/.
Growing catnip Outdoors
Catnip is even easier to grow outdoors, and you don’t need much space either.
- Seeds — Seed a bed with catnip seeds about 12 to 18 inches apart. Make sure they are in a place with at least 5 hours of the sun per day. Keep the soil well watered until they sprout.
- Plants — Dig a hole deep enough to cover the roots, and plant in a place where they will receive at least 5 hours of the sun per day.
- Water to keep the soil moist, but if planted deep enough, they will tolerate fairly dry soil.
- Fertilizer can be liquid or granules, and follow the package directions for how much to use. Use an organic fertilizer for the benefit of your cat.
- Growth — To maintain robust growth, clip all blooming flowers. Clip leaves for your kitty when the plant gets big enough.
Your cat loves catnip, so if you are growing it inside, you’ll have to keep it away from kitty or they will literally destroy the plant by rolling on it and/or digging it up! Also, and this may not matter to you or your cat, but indoor grown catnip does not have the potency of outdoor grown catnip. You’ll need to use more indoor grown product.
Have fun with catnip growing as part of your healthy and bonding life with kitty, and you’ll both have a lot of fun with it.
Mary Nielsen founded FelineLiving.net and is a passionate cat lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She founded her blog to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable kittens and cats. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.