Growing Catnip (Catmint)

Botanical Name:

Nepta cataria

Common names:

Catnip/Catmint

Description:

This is the type of catnip that is most often used to fill those aromatic toys that cats go crazy for. It has soft, gray-green leaves that release a mint aroma when crushed, and mauve or white flowers on shoots 24 to 36 inches in height.

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Life Cycle:

hardy perennial

Exposure:

full sun

Cultivation:

Catnip will grow readily from seeds in any type of soil. If you don't want it trampled, you'll need to protect it with wire or mesh to keep cats away. Avoid planting along paths and walkways because this herb attracts bees. Propagation is easy by division in early spring unless a large number of seedlings are needed, or sow seeds directly into the ground in the spring or fall.

Propagation:

basil cuttings (spring), division (spring), and seeds

Parts Used:

leaves

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvest fresh leaves as needed. Dry leaves by cutting off stems and hanging them upside down to dry. Store in airtight containers.

Medicinal Uses:

Catnip contains medicinal properties that when made into a tea may be used for treating coughs and colds and insomnia.

Culinary Uses:

use sparingly in salads.

Other Uses:

perennial border, edging, skin and hair care and used for causing moments of euphoria in cats.

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