How to grow catnip from seed?

Growing catnip from seed is quite simple but it takes a lot of care. Before sowing, soak the seed in the water for about 12 hours to kickstart the germination process. Then sow the seeds flat into the soil and lightly cover. Maintain the temperature at about 60°F. Water is enough to keep the soil moist. The germination period started after 14 to 40 days. Moreover, you can direct sow catnip seed into the prepared seed bed when a light frost is still possible. Keep reading the article to know about how to grow catnip from seed. 

How to grow catnip from seed?

Catnip can be planted in your home or garden either from the seeds or plants. Growing catnip from the seed is quite easy but there is something you need to know about the catnip. 

What Is Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a common perennial herb plant.  It is a member of the mint family and thrives in a wide range of North American hardiness zones. Catnip is also known for being attractive to cats but can also be used in soothing is a calming herb that adds flavour to salads and savoury dishes. 

It can help to make your garden a cat-friendly garden. Catnip grows as loosely branching and low perennial which means it will die back in winter and then come back in the spring. The plant bears tiny white flowers that are not very showy.

Will cats disturb my catnip plant?How to grow catnip from seed

Cats will rarely bother the growing plants unless the leaves are crushed or rubbed. the plant releases the chemical that attracts them and causes that all too familiar catnip fever

 Its medicinal uses include treating headaches, and nausea, and helping with anxiety or sleep disorders. Its fragrant flowers also attract bees and other pollinators, which is great for the environment.

Types of catnip

Several plants go by the name of catnip like Neoeta citriodora, Nepeta camphorata and Nepeta parnassica.

Nepeta citriodora 

Known as lemon catnip, this plant grows slightly smaller than Nepeta cataria. It has a lemony fragrance.

Nepeta camphorata

Commonly referred to as camphor catnip, this plant remains under 2 feet tall and wide.

Nepeta parnassica

Known as Greek catnip, this plant also remains smaller than 2 feet tall and wide. It bears light pink flowers.

Catnip is fairly easy to grow like many other members of the mint family. If you want to catnip from the seed, you will need to properly prepare the seeds. Catnip seeds are tough and need to be slightly damaged before they will sprout. First, place the seeds in the freezer overnight then place them in a bowl for 24 hours. This method damages the seed coats and makes it easier for seed sprouts. After stratifying the seeds, you can plant them outdoors or indoors.

Soil and climate for Catnip plant

Catnip plants grow best in well-draining soil in the full sunlight. Moreover, they will also grow on a wide variety of soil and partial sun.

Sowing time

Catnip seeds can be sown outdoors only during the spring. Bury seeds 3.22 mm beneath the soil and space at least 20 inches. Moreover, water them during their germination period which lasts up to 15 days.  If you are sowing indoors, you can plant the seeds in either fall or spring. Plant them in small containers or beds.

Make sure, they will get direct sunlight or they will get leggy. Water them until germination begins. Grow the plants until they are 4 to 5 inches tall and then transplant the seedling outdoors in the spring.

Seedling managementcatnip seedlings

Catnip does very well in containers, raised beds and borders in full sun to partial shade. The main challenge to growing it is protecting it from cats. After the main flower, plants should be cut back hard to encourage a second bloom and tidy shape.

Water management

Catnip is a water drought tolerant plant. Keep the soil of the seedling moist. Moreover, mature plants do not need watering unless you have a prolonged period of drought. If the foliage is wilting, give your plant a deep watering.

Care and management of Catnip Plant

The catnip plant tends to struggle in humid and hot climates. Especially in high humidity, make sure there is good air circulation around the plant to help prevent fungal growth.

After the establishment of the catnip plant, they need very little in the way of care. They don’t need additional fertilization because fertiliser decreases the potency of their flavour and smell. They only need to be provided with water beyond rainfall if you are having drought conditions.

Catnip is a self-pollinating plant. It will attract bees and other pollinators to the garden.

Catnip plants spread readily by seeds so you need to take steps to control them. They become invasive in some areas so you will need to remove the flowers or blooms before they go to the seeds.


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