It may be costly to keep up with a cat who just wants to eat catnip. Growing your own catnip from only a few of seeds is a viable option as it is easy and cheap.
Yes, you can grow catnip in your house even if you have a cat. Growing, harvesting, drying, and storing catnip is simple. You will, however, need to know a few techniques, and we are here to assist you.
Catnip is a plant that isn’t just for cats. For ages, it has been planted in medical gardens for its calming effects on people. Catnip, when brewed into a tea, offers soothing effects comparable to chamomile.
It’s simple to cultivate and you can easily grow it both indoors and outside in your garden. They prefer sandy soil and full light and should be planted in the early spring. You can keep catnip fresh easily by freezing it in an airtight container.
If you want to learn more about growing catnip for your feline friend as well as yourself, keep reading!
How To Grow Catnip From Seed?
We’re here to help if you’ve bought catnip seeds from the shop and aren’t sure how to plant them. Catnip seeds have strong coatings, therefore stratifying them first will increase your chances of success.
Follow these steps to grow catnip plant from its seed:
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and freeze for at least a month.
- Remove them from the freezer and allow them to defrost before returning them to the freezer for another month.
- Thaw the seeds in warm water overnight before planting.
- One to two months before the final spring frost, sow stratified seeds in pots.
- Set them in front of a sunny window and plant them approximately 1/4 inch deep in seed-starting mix.
- In two to three weeks, they should sprout.
- Before putting the seedlings in the garden, harden them off and space them 18 to 20 inches apart.
You may also cultivate them indoors in pots and containers.
How Do I Grow Catnip For My Cat?
Catnip has feathery, light green leaves and tiny clusters of lavender flowers on spikes that grow to a height of 3 to 4 feet. Catnip is a mint family member that is utilized in cuisine and herbal treatments.
Catnip plants have spread over North America, and even if they are not perennial, they will most certainly reseed. You may plant this herbaceous perennial in the spring or fall. It grows quickly, reaching 2 to 3 feet in height in in one season.
If you want to cultivate catnip for your cat or yourself, bear in mind that there are several kinds of catnip, all of which are invasive. This implies they have the ability to take over your garden and house space.
Catnip may be grown from seed or plants and put in the garden in the spring or fall. If you start it from seed, it will sprout in two to three weeks. Cutting the plants back after the initial bloom set will give them ample time to recover and bloom again.
Unless you take efforts to prevent it, some Nepeta species will expand out of control. Pinch catnip plants frequently as they are developing to keep them contained and mold them into thick, well-shaped plants.
If you allow the plants to reseed around your yard, you will have new plants sprouting up in unexpected locations for years to come. Simply snip off the top of the plant when flowers begin to develop to prevent it from flowering.
Consider enclosing your catnip to prevent it from being damaged by uninvited neighboring cats. You can be relieved that insects and rodents aren’t an issue, and catnip isn’t prone to illness.
How Do I Keep Cats Away From My Catnip Plant?
If the neighborhood cats are paying too much attention to your catnip plant, you may need to protect it from too much kitty attention. Your cat may be curious about the newly growing plant too.
The only way to keep cats away from your catnip is to surround it with some sort of enclosure. Wire fence may be used as long as paws cannot readily pass through the gaps.
Some individuals prefer to put catnip in their birdcages in pots. Catnip grows wonderfully in hanging baskets, as long as they are kept out of reach of children.
How Do I Take Good Care Of My Catnip Plant?
Catnip is a popular plant that grows well over most of North America and is quite simple to grow. In order to take good care of your catnip plant, follow these tips:
Catnip thrives in full sun to partial shade. It is a drought-tolerant plant and therefore, an excellent choice for bright, dry locations where many other plants would struggle.
Set them on a sunny ledge of a south or west-facing window to cultivate catnip indoors. Rotate pots every few of days to avoid phototropism. It is a phenomenon which causes plants to bend towards the sun.
If catnip plants do not receive enough sunshine, they will grow leggy. To complement indoor lighting conditions, simple growth lights may be purchased online or at a local nursery.
This plant, like many herbs, thrives in poor, well-drained soil. Catnip plants don’t mind what kind of soil they grow in as long as their roots aren’t continually submerged in water.
Water catnip plants on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it. Give it time and allow the soil to become nearly dry before you water your plant again.
Before watering your plant, let the top inch of potting soil dry off. Then soak the container with water until the bottom drains freely.
Catnip should be grown in soil that is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It thrives at temperatures ranging from 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis. It may require some midday shade in hot, humid conditions.
Catnip does not require fertilization. It is not advised to fertilize your catnip, as it contains essential oils. Fertilization promotes rapid vegetative growth while lowering the quality of oils in the leaves and flowers.
On a dry, bright day, harvest catnip after it has finished blooming. Harvesting in the late morning, when the dew has dried but before the day warms up, is an excellent idea.
Before harvesting, wait until your plant is at least 6-inches tall, then cut off a whole stem at the surface of the growth material using a clean pair of sharp scissors. Cut the entire plant off at the base and hang it upside down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area, as soon as possible.
To keep the strength of the oil within dried leaves, stems, and blossoms, store them in freezer bags. These methods will assist to reduce the loss of the oil, which is what affects your feline.
How Do I Make Dried Catnip For My Cat?
The simplest technique is to tie a bunch of clipped stems together and hang them upside down to dry in a cool, dark location. If you’re in a hurry, you may simply bake them on a low setting in the oven. Just keep an eye on them while they’re drying.
Remove the leaves and blossoms once it has dried, and separate it from the stems. Continue crumbling or crushing the leaves and blossoms until they are broken down into little pieces. Your cat will love them.
How Do I Store Catnip For Cats?
To keep moisture out of catnip, put it in an airtight container. Plastic bags, preferably with zippers, are a good option.
Heat and sunshine will degrade the herb’s effectiveness, so keep it away from them. A cool, dry location away from your feline is ideal. To extend the shelf life of the sealed container, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Before the scent in the oils fades, dried catnip will persist for several months at the very least.
Keep in mind that you could attract other cats to your yard, so decide beforehand where you want to grow your catnip. It’s a lot of pleasure watching it grow and then preparing it for your cat.
How Do I Safely Use Catnip On Cats?
Catnip comes in a variety of forms. Some of them are:
- Dried catnip
- Catnip flakes
- Catnip spray
- Catnip toys
- Catnip treats
Although some catnip items are designed particularly for your cat to eat, sniff, or both, all of these types of catnip are safe for your cat to be exposed to. Your cat’s response may vary depending on the sort of product you purchase.
Ingesting catnip is the simplest approach to make your cat drowsy, whereas smelling it will make your cat happy first and then sleepy. Your cat’s reaction may be influenced by the sort of catnip you use.
Catnip is a fully non-addictive and non-toxic herb. This means you may give your cat catnip once or a hundred times and it will have no lasting effects, and they will not develop appetites for it if you stop giving it to them.
Your cat will likely go crazy for catnip if they see it or smell the residue, just like they might get thrilled when it’s dinnertime. While catnip is readily available and safe to use, it’s critical to ensure that you’re doing it appropriately.
Use catnip in moderation, whether you scatter flakes all over the place or spray it on your cat’s furnishings and toys. There is no proof that your cat may overdose on catnip, but if they consume too much at once, they may have digestive difficulties such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Limiting your cat’s catnip use will ensure that you and your feline companion may continue to enjoy the benefits of catnip without experiencing any stomach problems.
When To Offer Catnip To Your Cat?
Catnip has no effect on kittens under the age of two months, thus feeding the herb to a young cat will provide no effects till they’ve developed.
Based on their genetic composition, your kitten has the potential to respond to catnip between the ages of three and six months. We recommend offering catnip to your furry friend during that time period. According to studies, 70-80 percent of cats will respond to the plant in some way.
Even if your cat doesn’t respond to catnip’s scent, eating the herb can cause moderate drowsiness and help your cat relax and sleep.
Do All Cats React To Catnip?
No, all cats do not react to catnip. The reason why catnip affects just some cats is due to their genes. Some cats may be happy and playful under the effects of catnip, while others may be aggressive.
Cats with genetics that predispose them to the effects of catnip may be born with it, but other cats may not have it and so will not react.
If you have many cats, you may have observed that catnip affects them differently. It turns out that both heredity and age are significant factors.
The catnip reaction is inherited. According to research, about a third of cats are thought to be missing this gene.
Because your cat’s reaction is influenced by their DNA, it is possible for your cat’s response to be handed down through the generations. If one cat in a litter reacts to catnip, its siblings and progeny are likely to do so as well.
Your cat may not react to catnip if they are extremely young or very elderly, in addition to the hereditary factor. Even if your cat has always reacted to catnip, as they get older, they may lose the capacity to react to it in the same manner they did previously.
It might be due to changes in their bodies or a problem with their sense of smell in these situations, which should be handled by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How To Use Catnip For Training Cats?
You may use catnip to train your feline and reinforce positive behavior. Take fresh or dried catnip and rub it on an object you want your cat to pay attention to as a training technique.
You may rub catnip on a scratching post to encourage him to scratch it instead of ripping up the furniture if he is scratching and tearing it up. Alternatively, you may apply it on an area where you wish the cat to sleep.
Your cat may become excessively loving towards you after just a few sniffs of dried or fresh catnip. She may also become loud, rolling, pawing, or rubbing her face in the catnip source. Some cats may become agitated and leap about, or they may rush from room to room pursuing what appears to be intangible prey.
Because catnip’s effects usually last about ten minutes, it’s a treat that may be given at any time of day for optimal effectiveness. You may use a clicker to register your cat’s behavior and then reward it with a catnip treat if you observe it doing something you want it to do again.
Your cat will quickly link this behavior with his reward, and will begin to provide it more frequently as a result.
There are a few scenarios you should stay away from if you are giving catnip to your feline:
- It’s not a good idea to feed it to aggressive cats since it might make things worse.
- Give catnip in modest doses as too much might make your cat irritable or sick.
- It’s best not to give catnip to kittens or older cats. Cats younger than six months are thought to be sexually immature and will have no impact.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Grow Catnip For My Cat?
Yes, you can grow catnip in your house for your cat. Catnip may be grown in the ground or in pots, both indoors and outside.
Does Catnip Come Back Every Year?
Catnip is a low-growing, loosely branched perennial, which means it will die in the winter and reappear in the spring in most locations.
How Often Should I Water Catnip?
Water catnip plants on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it. Allow the soil to become nearly dry before totally soaking it with water again.
Growing your own catnip in your house ensures a steady supply of fresh leaves and blossoms for your cat’s or your personal pleasure. Catnip plants are simple to cultivate and require little attention aside from lots of sunlight and watering when the soil becomes dry.
Catnip is a versatile herb that may be used in the kitchen and as a human medicine, making it an excellent addition to your indoor herb garden. As a result, you and your cat are free to use the catnip in your home as much as you like.
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