Do you want to make your cat happy? Well, if that’s the case then growing catnips can be a great option for you. Catnip is one of the most favorite plants of the cats and it gives a drug-like sensation to the cat. Catnip is a type of herb which is famous for its euphoric effect on various cats. Also, these catnips have got sedative effects on humans.
Catnips are extracted as essential oils and can be used in the making of tea also. Catnips, when added to medicines, are used in treating various health issues such as headaches, helping with anxiety, nausea or sleep disorders. The fragrance of its flower also attracts bees and other pollinators, which are proven great for the environment.
Are you looking for ways of harvesting these catnips? Well, that’s super easy to grow, since it belongs to a mint family. Below are given some of the methods on how you can easily plant these catnips.
GROWING CATNIPS BY USING SEEDS
- First of all purchase seeds: You can buy seeds of catnip or small catnip plants which are ready for planting. Also, you can get the catnip seeds from the pet store. In case, you want to save your money, then you can also ask for these seeds from your friend or someone you know who has already grown catnip.
- Directly plant the seeds in the garden in spring: If you are wondering that when you can grow plant these catnips, then spring is the best suitable season to grow it. In case, you are going to plant seeds directly into your outdoor area, then sow them as soon as the threat of frost has passed away.
You should bury the seeds at least 3.5 mm beneath the soil and the required spacing between the seeds must be at least 15 inches apart. You must water these seeds well during their germination period which lasts about 10 days. After that, you will begin to see sprouts coming out.
- Sowing seeds indoors in fall or spring: In case, you want to sow the seeds indoors, then both spring and fall can be the suitable season to grow them. Make use of the small pots or seeds troughs to plant them in. Make sure that wherever you place them, they must get enough sunlight.
If you are not able to provide enough sunlight, then you can use the fluorescent lamp in that case. Water them regularly while they are germinating. In case, you are sowing seeds in spring, then wait for the plant to grow at least 4-5 inches tall and then transplant it outdoors when the threat of frost has passed away.
If you have chosen the falls to grow up your seeds, then it is required that the seeds get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. After that, you can transplant them outdoors in spring or with no danger of any frost when they are grown enough. The catnips that are grown in falls are denser and bushier than the ones grown in spring.
PLANTING YOUR SEEDLINGS
- Plant in full sun if you are not living in very a hot and dry location: As I told you earlier that the catnip plants require 6 hours of sunlight daily, but if you are living in an extremely hot and dry place, then plant them in a place where they can get shade after the afternoon sunshine. Extreme sunshine for a long period of time can damage the plant.
- Space plants at least 18 to 20 inches apart: The soil you are using to grow catnip should allow draining; it shouldn’t be too rich or compacted. Young seedlings require ample room to grow in, leaving at least about 18 to 20 inches of space between them. At first, they will appear thin, but after they get a room or space to grow, they soon fill out space.
Catnip can grow in almost every sort of soil, but sandier soil tends to yield plants that are more aromatic. Water the plant regularly until they are grown. But after they have grown enough, water them only when the soil is dry and also only to few inches below the surface.
- You can also, consider planting in pots: Once the catnips start growing, they are unstoppable and occupy the whole space of your garden. In case, you want to avoid this, you can create a controlled space in your garden by using permanent divider stones. But if you don’t have that option, then you can use some containers or pots as well.
Placing the pots containing the plants beneath the soil will help in controlling their roots and will prevent them from wandering all over in the garden. Pull the extra shots and the spouts as soon as they grow near the pot or inside the pot as well.
HARVESTING AND MAINTAINING THE CATNIP
- Deadhead and shear the plants in order to promote the new growth: Shearing plants will result in bushier plants that will produce flowers more consistently. In order to promote new growth, shear back the plant by about one-third and remove the dead and the dry leaves too.
- Allow the soil to get dry between your watering periods: Catnip plant likes dry soil whereas its roots require a lot of moist soil. When you water the plant, the soil soaks all the water and sends them to roots. It is better to let the soil dry completely before you again start watering the plant.
Catnips are quite drought resistant and fairly hardy, so one must have to be more concerned about over-watering than to not watering them enough.
- Keep your catty away from the growing catnips: We already know that cats are attracted towards catnips. But they can damage your growing plants. So to avoid this, you can use garden fencing, bracing and bamboo sticks in order to keep your cat away from the growing catnips.
- Air drying leaves and harvesting: In order to harvest the plant, you can cut off the plant from its base or you can trim down the stalk to its base. Cutting just above a point where the leaf or leaves comes out from the stalk, will promote new growth. Air drying is considered as the best method in order to preserve the catnips.
How to Dry Catnip
In order to dry them, take the leaves of the plant and put them on a paper towel. Place this under the sunlight for about two to three days. Once they have dried, you can preserve or store them in an airtight container or Polybag.
Harvesting catnips is as easy as growing them. Make sure to keep your little growing catnips away from your cat. Once they have grown fully, you can dry and store them for your little furry friend and let her enjoy these catnips. Also read about what is catnip used for.