How And When To Harvest Catnip

Knowing how and when to harvest catnip - and also how to store it - is important for getting a potent, long-lasting supply. So, without further introduction:

1) When you should harvest catnip

Catnip is best harvested just before or immediately after it flowers. The chemical in catnip that causes Kitty's euphoric response is called Nepetalactone, and it's at peak concentrations in the plant just as it flowers. Click here for advice on how to grow catnip.

photo of butterfly on catnip plant

It's best to harvest the plant on a dry day after dew has dried on the leaves - usually late morning or early afternoon.

2) How to harvest catnip

Remove the top part of the plant (leaves, stems and flowers) by cutting or pinching. Spread the plants out in a dry, well-ventilated area that's out of direct sunlight. This helps to maximize preservation and concentration of Nepetalactone. Keep kitty out of the area if at all possible!

3) How to store catnip

photo of bag of dried catnip

Once the catnip has dried, remove the leaves and flowers and discard the stems. Crumble the leaves and flowers into sealable plastic bags (zip lock bags are good for this). Nepetalactone is degraded by heat and UV light, so you should store your catnip in a cool area that's not exposed to sunlight. One of the best places to store catnip is in the freezer, as long as it's in a completely sealed container that will protect it from moisture.

Go from when to harvest catnip page to what is catnip page

Go to Cat Behavior Explained home page