Grow Your Own Catnip

Most cats go crazy for catnip. Why? Catnip contains nepetalactone, which stimulates sensory neurons and causes them to act strangely by rolling around, vocalizing, and rubbing themselves on the plant. The effects are harmless and only last for a short time. Some cats do not respond to catnip−the response is genetic−an estimated 20% of cats are not affected. Young kittens do not respond to catnip until they reach sexual maturity.

“Catnip is a known favorite, natural treat for cats, which many cat lovers grow in their garden, says Joan Casanova, spokeswoman for Bonnie Plants, “It’s also a member of the mint family and can be used to prepare an herbal tea that is said to possibly relieve minor headaches.”

Follow these simple steps, courtesy of Bonnie Plants, to grow your own catnip:

  1. Set out plants after the last frost of the season.
  2. Space them at least 18 inches apart.
  3. For best results, use premium garden soil and potting mix.
  4. Keep plants full by pinching the growing stems and buds as they grow.
  5. The flowers will form seeds that sprout, you can plant those when they mature and create new plants.