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Growing Catnip

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

Grow catnip as a playtime treat for your feline friends!

If you have cats and some room for an herb garden, you may want to add catnip to your list of perennial herbs to grow this year. Not only is catnip a healthy dose of fun for your feline friends, it's easy to grow just about anywhere.


If you have cats and some room for an herb garden, you may want to add catnip to your list of perennial herbs to grow this year. Not only is catnip a healthy dose of fun for your feline friends, it's easy to grow just about anywhere.

Catnip is a member of the mint family. Although the herb is best known as a drug of sorts for cats, humans can use it too (generally in herbal tea) without the psychedelic effects.If you've smelled dried catnip before, you'll notice that it's aroma is somewhere between a mint and a weed. It can smell strong when fresh, so keep it away from doors and patios if you don't like the smell.

Catnip grows best in well-drained soil with full sunlight. Start seedlings indoors in spring, then transplant them 12 to 15 inches apart after last frost. Catnip can grow indoors year-round near a sunny window. Wherever you grow it, remember to pinch off flowers as they appear to promote new leaf growth.

The plants can grow several feet tall, but you can begin harvesting leaves as soon as they reach about 8 inches in height. Dry catnip leaves in an oven or dehydrator before filling cat toys with the herb.
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