Can you grow your own catnip?


The answer to "can you grow your own catnip?" is a resounding yes. A member of the mint family, catnip will easily grow in a container. Some gardeners swear that for the best 'nip plants you need to grow new plants from cuttings of established plants, while most assure you that growing from seed produces catnip plants that are just fine. I'm in the latter group.
Catnip grown from seed has always made my kids happy.
Here are some tips, though: don't over-fertilize. Most herbs don't benefit from a lot of fertilizers. Stay away from fertilizers high in Phosphorus -- the P in NPK, which is the middle # of fertilizers -- like a basic 10-10-10 fertilizer would be the highest P I'd go... stick to an organic fertilizer like compost, compost tea, or fish emulsion and you'll be fine... stay away from the Miracle Gro or Scott's Bloom Plus for these plants, which can be as high as 30 in the P range ---- as in 10-30-10. The P (phosphorus) helps encourage blooms in plants, which is not what you're going for in 'nip - you want leaves.
Most herbs, like catnip, are highest in essential oils right before they bloom. Pinching off emerging flower buds will help your plants be not only bushy but high in essential oils - the part that drives kitties wild!
Along with using natural fertilizers, NEVER use systemic herbicides or insecticides around herbs! Systemic chemicals are absorbed by the plants and remain in the leaves. My advice is to avoid insecticides altogether with herbs - catnip in a sunny, moist location grows like a weed anyway, what's a few bug-chewed leaves?
Some cats like fresh 'nip, most prefer dried - the essential oils are concentrated in dried 'nip.
I prefer to grow catnip in pots, so I can control its growth. Remember - it is a member of the mint family, and you don't want them taking over your garden. Plus, if you have indoors-only felines like I do, you can start a fresh pot of nip on a windowsill in late winter!

The can of organic 'nip pictured above is from the Sojos website.

Today's Manic Monday word is "can" - can you tell? For more Manic Monday sites using "can" in a post, please visit the MM linkies at It's A Blog Eat Blog World.
cheers,
Not The Mama

Mo and The Purries

24 comments :

  1. i wonder if sarge would like that? ha ha ha

    smiles, auntie bee
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  2. Wow, that's a lot of information. Maybe I always kill basil because I over fertilize? I love fesh basil and when we moved here I thought I'd get to grow all kinds.

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  3. my neighbor grows all her own stuff, catnip too! No wonder her cats are off the walls!

    You sure "CAN" whip up a good Manic Monday! Great post.. come on by and visit the blog party, and grab a "CAN" of whatever grabs ya!

    DEB

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  4. Thanks for the tips on nip! (That rhymed . . . hee hee.)

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  5. Not only can you grow you own nip, it will grow for you in most cases. It is considered a weed by most North American Gardeners, which means of course that it grows like one.

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  6. Meowm has this square tin, it has a meezer on it, and I am certain it has nip seeds in it. Maybe after she reads this she will plant those seeds for me!

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  7. I am gonna have to put the bitey on Meowm....we missed Daphne and Chloes purrthday!

    Happy belated Purrthday girls!!

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  8. Oh! So that's why I only like the dried up kind of catnip.

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  9. No, I do not need catnip, daisy likes it though.

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  10. I didn't know this Mo. What a great history lesson on catnip. Have a great MM. :)

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  11. Cool info.

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  12. Well,thanks for the nip tips!!! Mom has been nursing a plant all winter! ow I can make sure she gets some seeds and grow more!!!
    Purrs Mickey

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  13. You must have some truly happy kitties.

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  14. Our catnip always dies when someone eats it to the ground...

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  15. I have some nip sprouting in a window right now. :) Hope your headache is gone NTM.
    Hugs and Purrs to the kitties,
    Lorianna

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  16. Mr Tucker is not a catnip fan. I know...he's weird like that.

    Happy MM!

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  17. Great tips (particularly the pesticide one), and you're right: seeds work just fine. My "bush" is very robust and was started from seeds several years ago. The only problem I have is keeping a sturdy enough fence around it to keep Bud the commando cat from eating it to the ground before it gets a chance to mature!

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  18. We DON'T do catnip in our house. Casey and Tokyo are wild enough without it.

    Happy MM~

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  19. I'm getting mine Mummy to go get some seeds now!!!!

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  20. I have tried to grow catnip... If you live with a cat I think it's optimistic to say you can grow it.. because every time I have planted some it has been EATEN before it has had any change to grow.

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  21. Thanks NTM for all this great information! I will have to try this for Boo. Your site is Purrrrfect! I love it!

    Smiles..
    Kimmie =^..^=

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  22. I have had no problem controlling my catnip~ every cat in the neighborhood assures that it will soon be a pitiful passel of nubs sticking out of the ground!

    (then I have all these cats lolling around the yard, looking like their living through a private screening of "Across the Universe"...)

    My problem is keeping it alive long enough to seed...!

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  23. Anonymous8:14 PM

    I have 2 house cats that would probably destroy everything in a 3 foot radius of the plants if they found them. But i have them beat cause i grow it hydroponically in one of my closets. Just built a little floater system out of a 1 gallon bucket,1 bubbler, 2 pots,1 25 watt light and i was GTG.Luckily they dont seem to be crazy for undried leaves or id probably have no paint left on my closet door. If any of you can find the space itll grow anywhere where its around 70 degrees Good luck

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