All mints prefer cool, moist areas with lots of sunlight, although it will stand partial shade. Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Space plants 12″ apart in average soil that is well-drained. Drought tolerant.
Does well in containers or mixed pots. Plant height 24-48″. Deer and rat resistant.
Catnip is a vigorous growing plant, just like other mints, so some care should be taken where you plant it, or it will crowd out it’s neighboring flowers or vegetables and become a pest. Young plants require water once a week while they are becoming established and three times a week while they are fully developed.
Catnip nepeta cataria
Give your cat a treat and grow Catnip. Whether in the garden or a pot, Catnip is very tough and can handle poor soil, heat, and drought. Though it does not induce the euphoria in humans that it does in felines, Catnip is said to relieve sleeplessness, anxiety, and restlessness when brewed into a tea. You can harvest it in early summer and dry the leaves to make cat toys, small pillows, or soothing tea or tonic.
Many believe that a cat’s attraction to Catnip is its power to intoxicate them; this is false. The odor to them is the same as the scent of a potential mate looking for love (a different kind of intoxication altogether!)
Catnip has also served humans for centuries as a minor herbal medicine and major herbal delight especially in Chinese teas. As a medicine it is used as toxic or mild stimulant for antispasmodic for humans. Nearly all species of the cat family – from the rangiest alley cat to wild Bobcats, mountain lions or fierce Indian tigers – all have a passionate affinity for Catnip. Apparently they crave the oil from the crushed leaves or stems of the plant, and seldom bother a healthy plant that remains uncut or uninjured. Fortified with honey, Catnip oil makes a good old fashioned tea to cure cough, break fevers, and dispel nervous headaches. Rats are said to be repelled by Catnip (for obvious reasons) so it might be a useful herb to plant around silos or corn cribs.