How To Grow Catnip
Knowing how to grow catnip could come in very useful if you have one or more kitties that love it. Once it's established and you know when to harvest and store it, you can easily have a free all-year-round supply. In addition, there are other uses of catnip besides Kitty entertainment; click here to learn about other catnip plant uses.
Growing catnip is easy. I can say this with conviction because I usually manage to kill most plants that I attempt to grow, but I've managed to grow catnip and keep it alive no problem.
How To Grow Catnip
Catnip is often found growing along railway tracks, fences, old buildings and dump sites. Because these areas may have poisonous substances around them (e.g. creosote on railway lines and fences, poisons around dump sites and old buildings) it's not a good idea to take cuttings from these sites and try to re-plant them at home.
Growing catnip from certified organic catnip seeds is a good, safe solution. Certified organic catnip is grown under controlled conditions without using pesticides. Any supplier that claims their catnip is certified organic should be able to supply a certificate to you that gives details on the nature of the crop and how it was grown.
When you buy catnip seeds, make sure they are the plain variety - i.e. Nepeta cataria. The ornamental varieties have less of an effect on cats.
You can plant the seeds in the garden or in pots. Catnip may spread rapidly if grown in the garden. It prefers a light, sandy soil and partial or full sun, but should still grow pretty easily even if you can't provide the ideal conditions.
Catnip is susceptible to the fungus powdery mildew. Providing good air circulation around the plants helps to prevent it from attacking them. Young catnip plants are also susceptible to abuse from overly-enthusiastic felines! You may need to protect young plants from Kitty until they grow to a reasonable size.
Apart from weeding and watering in dry conditions, catnip needs virtually no other care.
Once you know how to grow catnip you'll have an attractive plant and a happy Kitty. Click here for advice on when to harvest catnip.
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