A member of the mint family, Bonnie Plants Catnip is purr-fect creating a cat comical response with lots of purring, rubbing, and rolling on the plant.
Add it to your garden bed or plant it in a container for inside kitties, and watch them go wild! This easy-to-grow, hardy herb produces pretty clusters of white flowers with purple dots in the summer, adding beauty to your garden. And, if your feline friend will share, catnip leaves make a lovely tea for humans. Dry the leaves to create homemade cat toys stuffed with catnip for more cat antics! Plant in full sun to part shade. Perennial (zones 4 to 10).
- Type Perennial in zones 4 to 10
- Planting time Spring
- Features Aromatic leaves are a favorite among cats
- Light Part shade
- Soil Well drained
- Spacing 18 to 24 inches
- Plant size 18 to 36 inches tall, 1 foot wide
- Garden use Containers, herb and flower beds
- Culinary use Fresh for cats and dried for cat sachets; also good in herbal tea
Plant catnip in a place where your cats can rub and roll in it without hurting adjacent plants. Some cats like catnip so much that they lie on it, roll on it, and chew it to the point of destruction. If you find that to be the case, place some 1- to 2-foot-long bamboo sticks or thin dowels every 2 to 3 inches wherever you’re growing catnip to make it impossible for a cat to lie on top of the plant. Catnip grows as a loosely branching, low perennial, which means it will die back in the winter in most areas and then come back in the spring. In a flowerbed, you can plant catnip in front of purple coneflower, which blooms about the same time. The plant bears tiny, white blooms that are not very showy. You can also grow it in containers. For indoor cats, grow several pots that you can rotate between outdoors and indoors. Growing catnip requires a lot of light, so you’ll need to move indoor pots back out every couple of weeks and bring in new ones. Also consider growing catnip near the vegetable garden as a way to attract your cat and thereby keep down the rodent population.
Quick Guide to Growing Catnip
- Plant catnip in spring, once all chances of frost have passed. You’ll want to plant it in an area where your cats can roll in it without damaging neighboring plants.
- Space catnip plants 18 to 24 inches apart in a very sunny area with fertile, well-drained soil.
- Give your native soil some nutrient love by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Check soil often and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- Encourage prolific leaf production with a water-soluble plant food.
- Once catnip grows to 6 to 8 inches tall, harvest leaves at any time.