Everyone knows how much cats “love them some Catnip.” Did you know that you can grow and preserve your own? Read below to find out just how easy it is to make Do-it-yourself Catnip.
What is Catnip?
It is a plant that you can grow from seed or purchase in a pot at your local nursery. It is a beautiful flowering plant that has a great scent and fits well into a flower or vegetable garden. The plant is a cousin to the mint plant which is why it is sometimes called Catmint.
How to grow catnip outdoors
Plant your Catnip plant in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed in a sunny area in your garden. Plant 18-24″ apart in well-drained soil. These plants can get huge! So you may have to cut it back periodically to keep it under control.
Funny story: I had a neighborhood cat that was coming by daily and seemingly taunting my cats that were up in the catio on my deck. I didn’t think much about it until one day I saw him eating the catnip that was growing outside the garden fencing. He was coming daily to get “high” on Catnip LOL I asked my husband if that made me a drug dealer! LOL
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When can I give it to my cats?
You can give it to your cats at any time, but later in the summer when the flowers bloom is when the plant is at its most potent. They can eat it fresh out of the garden or you can dry it and use it in toys or for gifts.
How do I dry Catnip?
Drying it is very simple. Just cut a bunch and tie it together at the stems. Hang it in a cool, dry place until it dries completely. Mine took about a week or so to dry. Then strip the dried leaves and flowers off the stems and store in an airtight container. The stems are also edible but I prefer not to have little woody sticks in mine.
How do I store it?
Because Catnip is essentially an herb it will lose potency over time. Just like all of your kitchen herbs, you will want to keep it in a dry, dark place and it should last for months. You can also freeze it by placing it in a Ziploc bag after it’s dried, and it will stay fresh for up to 2 years.
So, try growing some Catnip for your cats or dry some for gifts for your friends and family.