Answer: Herbs retain the most potency when they are harvested just prior to blooming, and the essential oil production seems to be enhanced when they are grown without excess fertilizer and water. You may also find that some seed strains or plants are more potent than others. As with any dried herb, catnip will inevitably lose some of its potency during the drying process. In general, it is best to dry it in a dark and airy place (either suspended in bunches or laid out on screens) then store it when completely dry in an airtight container. The container should either be light-proof or kept in a dark place away from extremes of hot or cold. Your kitty will thank you!
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