How To Grow Catnip or Catmint
Growing Catnip Hydroponically And More. Catnip and catmint are the common names for nepeta cataria, a hardy perennial herb of the mint family, with pungent fragrance which is highly attractive and exciting to cats. Catnip grows to a height of three or four feet, and features downy, light green foliage with small lavender flowers that grow on spikes up to five inches long. Catnips grow well in almost any soil, but does best in a moderately rich loam that is well-draining. It’s aroma increases when grown in sandy soil or via the hydroponic method.
It will grow acceptably in either sun or shade.
While cat grasses are fast-growing and tasty (if you’re a cat), they are annuals, which means you need to re-sow seeds to keep them continuously growing. Catmint (nepeta mussinii) and catnip (nepeta cataria) are herbaceous perennials, meaning that they will die back to the roots in the winter, but re-sprout from the same root system in the spring. They also both contain an organic compound called nepetalactone, which is known to attract felines.
Catnip (nepeta cataria) is commonly referred
to as catmint by speakers of british english in the u. K. , but for American English speakers in the united states, the name catmint is reserved for catnip’s more ornamental relatives that are friendlier to gardeners, such as nepeta faassenii or nepeta mussinii. If you are looking to grow catnip in your garden for your feline’s enjoyment, be sure to get nepeta cataria and not another
variety of nepeta or a closely related mint plant that’s not quite the real.
Growing the Herb Catnip
Catnip propagates easily from both leaf-tip cuttings and seeds. To take a cutting, simply remove a small piece of new growth early in the growing season and pot it up a new pot of sterile potting soil. give it plenty of moisture and filtered light until new growth emerges. Catnip is also a common herb sold in garden centers, so you can always buy new seedlings and put them in larger pots until it’s time to discard the plant.
Though many cat owners are aware of catnip (sometimes called catmint), they don’t actually know what it is. So i thought i’d take a second to “pull back the curtain” and also share a couple of great uses for catnip with you. Catnip is actually a herb! it’s in the mint family and, if you’re interested, its scientific name is nepeta cataria. Though it is native to parts of asia and europe, you can actually grow catnip yourself in indoor pots or in your garden. And though you could technically do so, i don’t actually recommend growing catnip in your window boxes. Its attractiveness to your cats could increase your cat’s risk of suffering a high-rise fall!.
Water your catnip plants regularly, but there’s no cause for alarm if you miss watering them here and there. Catnip is a very resilient ground cover herb, and it won’t be slowing down its growth due to a simple hiccup in maintenance like just one or two missed watering sessions. Just make sure that, for the most part, your plants get the water they need on a regular schedule. Pruning and shaping your catnip plants and other herbs is very important to keep them growing healthy and strong. Cut out last year’s spent stems in the early spring, and cut the plant down completely after the completion of the first blooming cycle. Don’t feel bad for taking this opportunity to trim your catnip plant down to size.
Time From Seed to Saleable Plant
Sow in plugs or seedflats 12 to 15 weeks before sale. Seeds to finished plugs, 8 to 10 weeks; plugs to saleable plants, 3 to 5 weeks.
Each flower produces a pod containing 4 seeds. Seeds are oval, smooth, red-brown, and have 2 white spots at one end. Latin’s named the plant ‘nepeta’ after an old italian town called nepete where the plant either was encountered for the first time or grew in great profusion. ‘cataria’ is thought to be derived from the latin word for cat. Historically, catnip has served a number of uses. It was a common home remedy used to treat complaints of pregnant women, childhood colic, fevers, and pneumonia. Today, catnip is entered in the u. S. Pharmacopoeia as a mild aromatic.
Cilantro can be used in a variety of ways but is particularly suited to asian and mexican dishes. Pruning back cilantro often will help delay bolting and prolong its harvest time. Isuggest planting new seeds about every 6-8 weeks to ensure good, year around production. Health benefits of cilantro.
Potential Plant Pests and Diseases
Catnip has a tendency to be susceptible to whiteflies and spider mites, but cases of infestation are rare, and there are no other common pest issues or diseases involving catnip. The main bugs that catnip is known to attract to your garden area are insects that benefit your garden , such as bees and butterflies, which will help to pollinate your plants, as well as predatory insects that will make a meal of any other pests in the vicinity.
Pests: lemon balm has no serious pest problems. Diseases: lemon balm is susceptible to verticillium wilt, mint rust, and powdery mildew. To prevent these fungal diseases, keep plants sufficiently spaced to allow for good air circulation. Spray plants with compost tea during the season; compost tea is a natural fungicide.
Growing Your Own Catnip Indoors
No garden is complete without a few plants included specifically for your cat’s pleasure!
catnip is easily grown from seed. Your cat can enjoy it growing in the garden, and you can harvest your own supply to add to toys with which to amuse him indoors too. Cat thyme is even more attractive to some cats than catnip. Grow in full sun in well-drained soil. Valerian may be preferred by those cats who lack the catnip ‘gene’.
Catnip grown outdoors prefers full sun, but will tolerate some shade. Catnip will grow indoors satisfactorily under standard fluorescent lamps, and exceptionally well under high output t5 fluorescent plant grow lights, compact fluorescent, or high intensity discharge (metal halide or high pressure sodium) plant growing lights. Keep standard fluorescent lamps between 2 and 4 inches from the tops of the plants, high output and compact fluorescents approximately one foot above the plants, and hid lights between 2 and 4 feet above the plants, depending on wattage.
Your biggest hurdle to growing catnip indoors might not be low light levels, cold air, or lack of consistent watering. It might be your cat. Catnip , a perennial favorite of all things feline, is a relative of the mint and lemon balm, which means it’s not a hard plant to grow indoors.
Outdoors, it’s known to spread easily, growing into jumbled patches that attract cats from miles around. Indoors, it can be successfully grown on a sunny windowsill, providing you give it enough water and remember to pinch out the flowers to encourage leaf growth. You can start pinching off leaves as soon as the plant hits about 6 to 8 inches in height; your cat will appreciate it.
Watch Now: How to Grow and Take Care of Catnip
Catnip is a perennial that generally grows to 2 to 3 feet when planted outdoors. Indoors, providing you give it enough light and water, it’s conceivable you’ll get a 2-foot plant, but in reality, indoor catnip doesn’t have the potency of outdoor catnip and it seems more reasonable to grow plants for a single growing season, then replace them either through sowing new seeds or cuttings. If you do want to repot a smaller catnip, go up one pot size and use fresh soil, being careful not to damage the roots.
Like what is catnip? where does the green powder even come from and why do some cats absolutely love it yet others couldn’t care less? should you even be giving it to your cat? you may have wondered any of these questions at some point in your cat’s life and if so i hope to be able to answer them for you today. To start; that green powder is simply ground up leaves of the nepeta cataria or simply the catnip plant. In full plant form, it looks a lot like mint and grows in a lot of the same places. Mostly southern europe and asia, although now it can and is being grown across the entire planet.
Catnip is not an especially difficult plant to grow indoors. It thrives on sunny ledges, with ample and regular water, and good drainage. If your plant goes into flower, snip off the flower buds to encourage stronger and better leaf growth. Indoor catnip will not have the same potency as outdoor catnip, but your cats will still like it plenty. Be careful not to mist your plant too much to discourage mold growth. Catnip is vulnerable to pests including aphids , mealybugs , scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the least toxic option.
A Guide to Growing Hydroponic Herbs
Growing herbs hydroponically has countless benefits, including-
plant health hydroponics allows you to tweak and tailor the growing environment, meaning your plants get the exact light, nutrition and temperature that they need to reach their full potential. The result? bigger, healthier plants that reach maturity faster. Job done!
Hydroponically propagated herbs receive the precise balance of nutrients needed for them to thrive, so naturally there will be an improvement in flavour. Studies conducted by the university of michigan found that herbs grown hydroponically contained 20%-40% more aromatic oils than herbs grown traditionally in soil.
How to grow catnip from seeds. Follow along with this handy how to grow catnip from seeds guide and give your cats some fun! plant spacing: grow 45 cm (18 inches) apart. Full sun. Repotting. How to grow catnip from cuttings. Difficulty easy. Catnip will grow in just about any soil, but sandier soil tends to yield more aromatic plants. Growing catnip plants: catnip can be grown in garden beds or pots. 2-4′ x 2-4′. Outside, catnip will resow itself readily. Water frequently after first planting. Catmint has a long history, with one of the first one being documented in the roman town of nepeti. Deters pests. Mint, agastache, echinacea and potatoes. Plant in a spot your cat has access to, such as in a cat enclosure.
Hydroponics is an ideal growing method for many herbs, including-
Benefits of Growing Herbs Hydroponically
Watercress is a water loving herb that can be easily grown from seed or propagated by bits of stem placed in a rooting plug or growing medium. It’s an easy cut-and-grow type of herb that’s wonderfully suited in fresh salads, soups and watercress sandwiches. Normally the thicker stems are removed and just the succulent leaves are eaten. A few other herbs that do well hydroponically include: anise, catnip, chamomile, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley, rosemary, and tarragon.
However, be sure that you do not buy an ornamental catnip by mistake – it’s no use to cats! how to grow nepeta genus species such as catnip and catmint in your garden. Catnip can be planted in your garden either from seed or from plants. Catnip seeds can be purchased online, at some local nurseries or garden centers, or may even be available from pet stores. Growing catnip. It’s a great plant for pollinators as well. 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. When to pick cat nip leaves. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is a staple in our house and is a great form of cat enrichment for any cat.
What Is the Best Hydroponic System for Growing Herbs?
No chemical pesticides
The strictly regulated conditions of hydroponic systems make them almost immune from the pests and diseases that are rife in regular gardens. Because of this, delicious herbs are produced without using harsh chemicals or pesticides. Good for you, better for the environment!
they can be grown anywhere, anytime
hydroponics doesn’t stop in the wintertime. Your herbs will grow year-round, regardless of the climate you live in or the size of your living space. Ready-to-use home kits come in all shapes and sizes, including stylish countertop models that will complement the décor of your home.
N. F. T is the most popular system for growing herbs commercially on a large scale, with ebb and flow being the most common method used by amateur hydroponic enthusiasts. In n. F. T systems, plants sit in net pots with their roots suspended in the root zone. The grow tray is set at an incline, and nutrient solution is pumped continuously in a circuit from the reservoir into the grow tray and back again.
How to Grow Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)
Dried, cut and sifted organic catnip (nepeta cataria) leaves and flowers were obtained from frontier (norway, ia, usa) and smarty kat (san rafael, ca, usa). Dried, cut and sifted organic valerian (valeriana officinalis) root was purchased from organic bio herbs (woodland park, nj, usa) and frontier (norway, ia, usa). Tatarian honeysuckle (lonicera tatarica) wood and sawdust were purchased from the cat house inc. (calgary, ab, canada). Powder from dried silver vine (actinidia polygama) fruit galls was purchased from smack (nagoya, japan) and gendai pharmaceutical (tokyo, japan). Dried normal silver vine fruit and silver vine fruit galls were kindly provided by hangzhou botanical technology (hangzhou, china). We were unable to obtain any indian nettle material for this study. To prevent possible degradation of active compounds, all plant materials were ordered just prior to the start of the experiments.
Catnip belongs to the same family as mint (lamiaceae) and is part of the nepeta genus. The true catnip plant is n. Cataria. There are other nepata species, but none seem to have the same near-magical appeal to cats.
If one of your cats loves catnip, you’re probably hooked on this easy-to-grow perennial. Catnip (nepeta cataria as well as other nepeta species) is actually part of the mint family. It grows like a weed in some areas, and has an untidy habit, spreading quickly to take up any available space. Most catnip varieties grow to a height of about three to four feet, and plants can get top-heavy with large serrated leaves, toppling over in an untidy heap when it rains or when the wind blows.
Growing Conditions for Catnip
Water a new catnip plant every 4 to 7 days in its first two or three weeks while it’s establishing in the pot. After that, do prudent watering, only and only when the topsoil seems slightly, usually in every 7 to 12 days interval, depending on growing conditions. This practice will save you from overwatering this herb. Watering tips reduce watering during cold or wet weather. Make sure your pot has sufficient drainage holes.
When you are growing catnip indoors, you don’t have to worry much about catnip plant care in cold weather. Keep it in a warm spot in the night. During the day, move it back on a window that receives some direct sunlight. Always make sure that the plant is not touching the windowpane to avoid cold injury. Also, reduce watering and don’t fertilize in winter. Additionally, you can mulch the topsoil with straws or shredded cardboard. If you’re exposing it to outdoor conditions, cover the pot by bubble wrap or plastic sheet for extra protection. Making a mini indoor greenhouse for catnip and other herbs is also a great way to keep these plants growing. We’ve some diys here !.
Olfactory stimulation is an often overlooked method of environmental enrichment for cats in captivity. The best known example of olfactory enrichment is the use of catnip, a plant that can cause an apparently euphoric reaction in domestic cats and most of the pantherinae. It has long been known that some domestic cats and most tigers do not respond to catnip. Although many anecdotes exist of other plants with similar effects, data are lacking about the number of cats that respond to these plants, and if cats that do not respond to catnip respond to any of them. Furthermore, much is still unknown about which chemicals in these plants cause this response.
Catnip is easily propagated by seed, stem cuttings, or rootball division. Seed should be sown in rows late in fall or early in the spring and lightly covered. When sown in the fall, a denser crop is ususally achieved. When plants reach five inches tall, thin so that they stand 12 to 18 inches apart. Catnip can also be started early indoors and transplanted outside after the last chance of frost.
We tested catnip, silver vine, tatarian honeysuckle and valerian root on 100 domestic cats and observed their response. Each cat was offered all four plant materials and a control, multiple times. Catnip and silver vine also were offered to nine tigers. The plant materials were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to quantify concentrations of compounds believed to exert stimulating effects on cats.