Wacky Weed: Growing Your Own Catnip
Does your cat go crazy over catnip? Does he roll on the floor and zip across the living room in utter frenzy? This plant is like kitty crack to most felines! It can make them behave in ways that are both euphoric to them and hysterical to us.
You can buy catnip in a variety of forms, from stuffed toys to baked goods; from catnip-infused treats to bulk containers. No matter what form it takes, your cat likely goes gaga over it. If you are like most cat owners and go through catnip in no time flat, a cheaper approach is growing your own catnip. Your team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to tell you how!
Simple Steps to Growing Your Own Catnip
If you wonder how to keep the catnip in stock without breaking the bank, a cheap, easy solution is to grow your own. Growing your own catnip is the perfect choice for those with or without a green thumb since it flourishes once you have it established.
Catnip, Nepeta cataria, is a member of the mint family. Catnip is an aromatic plant that you can grow indoors and out. If you have cats in your neighborhood, chances are they will come into your yard if you have catnip in the garden bed. You can find catnip at most garden centers as seeds or starter plants.
To get your garden or container ready for growing your own catnip, follow these steps.
- Purchase your seeds or starter plants. Typically, one packet will be enough for an indoor container, or you can use more for a garden bed. Save leftover seeds in a dark, cool place for future plantings.
- Spring is the best time to plant if you are opting for an outdoor area. If you are planting indoors, choose a bright, sunny window for your planter, or use an artificial source of bright light.
- Choose a better quality potting soil or compost and make sure your container has good drainage. Amend garden beds with organic compost or soil appropriate for an edible garden.
- Space each plant or seed approximately 12-18 inches apart to prevent overcrowding.
- Water thoroughly without drenching and keep the soil moist but not wet until sprouts appear, then water when the topsoil becomes dry to the touch.
- If there are multiple seedlings sprouting up together, thin them by pinching out the extras so that each new seedling has enough room to grow.
- Once your plants start to fully develop, re-pot extra plants into different containers using well-draining soil.
- Water frequently, but let the soil to dry between watering.
It’s as easy as that!
Final Steps in Preparing Your Catnip
Once your catnip is thriving, you can clip the plant and dry it out on newspaper or in a paper bag, then store in an airtight container for ongoing use. Fresh catnip can also be appealing to your cat and he will get similar euphoric effects as with the dry.
Let us know how your experiment went. We’d love to see some adorable pictures of your furry feline enjoying his kitty crack. You can post to Facebook, or let us know next time you are in for a visit with your pet. Have fun!