Your only mission in life as a cat owner (at least as per your cats!) is to indulge them non-stop, every day. Growing Catnip Indoors is one of the greatest ways of expressing to your cat how much you care by allowing her to enjoy it anytime she wants. Fresh indoor catnip cultivation is a simple method to offer your kitty companion the attention she deserves. The main premise in the cat owner’s handbook is to garden for your cat.
Catnip belongs to the mint family of plants. It has a reputation for magically attracting cats. When touched, this gray-green foliage plant emits a chemical called nepetalactone, which attracts cats. Salads, drinks, and meat dishes all benefit from the addition of catnip. In general, it’s a beneficial herb that may also be grown as a pot plant.
Cats and Catnip
Cats don’t seem to mind the catnip plant as long as the leaves aren’t crushed. The scent of essential oil released by crushing the leaves draws cats to the plant, prompting them to rub against it and perhaps eat it. If you’re cultivating catnip for cooking purposes, keep it out of your cat’s access.
Types of Catnip
Nepeta Cataria, commonly known as True or Common Catnip, is perhaps the most common and frequently cultivated catnip species. Other species of the Nepeta genus exist, but the three most common kinds of catnip are:
1. Greek Catnip (Nepeta parnassian)
Greek catnip grows to be around a foot tall. It may reach a height of 4 feet. In pots, though, you can simply control the size.
2. Catnip (Camphor) (Nepeta camphorata)
It mostly grows 12-18 inches tall and broad, with a spread of 12-18 inches. This plant has aromatic leaves that have a camphor and mint scent to them. It may be grown in a tiny container.
3. Catnip (lemon) (Nepeta citriodora)
It grows 12-18 inches tall and 12-24 inches wide. This type of catnip will entice you more than your kitties with its lemon-scented leaves. It’s ideal for producing fragrant teas.
Catnip propagation is a simple technique to increase the number of plants in your garden. There are four options for doing so. Each one is described in detail below:
When catnip seeds are layered, they thrive best. Germination is improved by soaking them for 12 to 24 hours. You may also consider freezing the seeds overnight before soaking them in water, as several gardeners do. Plant seeds 1/4 inch depth in a seed mix after stratification. In 5 to 20 days, they will sprout.
Tip: It’s preferable to get a few transplants from a local nursery rather than cultivate catnip from seeds.
Catnip cuttings are a simple technique to increase the plant during the growing season. Plant stems that are 4 to 6 inches long underneath the leaf node in rich, wet potting soil. Soak the cut tips in a rooting hormone if wanted to ensure successful implementation.
You may quickly establish new plants by stacking flexible and immature catnip stems. The roots can readily develop from the nodes of the buried stem. Make sure you’re using permeable potting soil and that the plant is kept in a sunny, warm environment. The optimum times to use this method are in the spring and fall.
If you have a healthy, mature catnip plant, divide it to increase its size. Take the plant out of the soil and brush off any extra dirt. Using a sharp instrument, cut the rootball into one or two clear parts. Place the plants in separate containers after they have multiplied.
Great Container for Growing Catnip Indoors
Choose a container like this Click & Grow that is perfect for growing herbs all year long. Make sure you choose a container with a minimum depth and width of 8 inches. This will give the plant ample room to develop and thrive. When the plant outgrows its present pot, replant it to a pot that is one or two sizes larger (10 to 12 inches). To get extra catnips, split the rootball into two parts and put them in different containers during repotting.
Suggestions: Choose a larger container and group many plants together and if you’re cultivating this herb for your pet.
Planters constructed of breakable materials, such as clay pots, should be avoided.
Other Plants to Grow with Catnip
Other plants with comparable growth requirements, such as hyssop, mint, sorrel, and nasturtium, can be grown with catnip. Keep in mind, though, that catnip roots expand quickly, pushing out other plants.
Keep growing fresh catnip plants.
Because you’re growing catnip inside, it won’t be able to thrive as a perennial except if you give it adequate care and enough sunlight. You can anticipate it to lose its vitality at some point. You may also anticipate it being under one foot in height. As a result, be prepared to replace the plant. As soon as you notice it slowing down, start multiplying it using cuttings.
Growing Catnip Indoors Requirements
Catnip, with exception of your other plants, thrives in direct sunlight. It will flourish if you have a balcony that receives at minimum 4-5 hours of direct sunshine. Make sure the plant does not get too much direct sunshine, particularly on sunny summer days.
How to Use Grow Lights
Artificial grow lights can be used to supplement natural light. Use a T5 fluorescent plant grow lamp or a 40W T12 fluorescent plant grows tube with both a reflector. Hang the grow light fitting well above the plant, at least 12 inches above the ground. Ensure the plants are exposed for at least 10-12 hours every day.
During the first two or three weeks of a fresh catnip plant’s life in the container, water it every 4 to 7 days. After that, just water when the topsoil appears somewhat dry, which is generally every 7 to 12 days, depending on growth circumstances. You won’t have to worry about overwatering this herb if you use this method.
Any well-draining, loamy potting media that you’re used to using for other herbs will suffice. Add 20 percent old manure or compost to the soil to enhance it.
Growing Catnip Indoors Care
To avoid overfertilization, fertilize less frequently rather than more frequently. A well-balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, should suffice. Once every 3 to 4 weeks, feed the plant.
Tips for Fertilizing:
In the late fall and winter, don’t feed the plant.
Fertilize the plant throughout the winter months if you live in a warmer environment.
Deadheading and Pruning
You don’t need to trim catnip much while growing it indoors. Remove the top tips of the plant with your fingernails when it’s young to encourage bushier growth. Cut out-of-shape, broken, and unhealthy stems regularly.
To keep your plant from becoming overworked, clip blossom buds as soon as they emerge. If you wish to keep the white to lavender blooms on the plant, deadhead them once they’ve finished blooming to keep them from spawning.
Once your catnip plant has grown to a height of 6 inches, you may begin collecting it. Harvest the tops of the plant while it is young, selecting only a few top sets of leaves above the leaf node to stimulate bushier growth.
Individual leaves can be snipped off as needed. Snipping the upper leaves is very delicate since they are constantly fresh and sensitive. For a clean and simple cut, use a scissor. When the plant begins to fade, harvest the entire plant, including the bloom stem. If you want something to grow back, leave around 3 inches of growth.
AND OF COURSE, YOUR PRECIOUS KITTY WOULD LOVE A DRINK AFTER ALL THE CATNIP’N , mine does he loves this water-fountain I found on here…