Often referred to as a “kitty drug,” catnip is a completely natural herb that many cats can’t get enough of! Catnip belongs to the same family as basil and oregano, and when some felines get their paws on it, they couldn’t be happier. Some become incredibly mellow, purring like crazy, while others like to engage in high-energy playtime. Vets agree catnip is a healthy, low calorie treat for kitties who enjoy it, so by learning how to grow catnip you’ll save yourself money and have a coveted reward on hand for your cat at all times.
Start by picking up some catnip seeds or seedlings at your local garden supplier. Some pet stores carry it, too. Or, if a friend or neighbor has an existing catnip plant, you can transplant one of their seedlings to your garden.
You’ll want to plant your catnip in a place with lots of sunlight, and water it lightly twice a day until it takes root. It’s important to keep your kitty away from the plant until it’s had a chance to grow, as many cats will roll around on the plant, stifling its growth. If your garden is prone to stray cats, consider using a hanging planter or propping up a sheet of chicken wire over your catnip.
You might be surprised to learn that catnip grows like a weed, and will often pop up in other areas of your yard. If this is undesired, keep a close eye on your plant to see that it doesn’t climb and spread.
Once the stems have begun to produce full leaves, your catnip plant is ready to be harvested and enjoyed by your kitty! You can even dry out some sprigs to use through the winter if you live in an area that’s prone to snow.
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