The Q&A Archives: Catnip

Question: I planted seeds called Catamint, which is some kind of perennial herb. The plant is flourishing outdoors. I wanted to know if this is some kind of catnip, as my cat goes crazy when I rub it on his toys. I cannot find how to care for this mint smelling plant in any of my gardening books. Is there another name for it?

Answer: It is quite possibly catnip (Nepeta cataria) which is a member of the mint family. This plant will grow in full sun or light shade and prefers a well drained soil. It spreads rapidly both from the base and by seed, so you may not wish to allow it to set seed. Harvest during summer, then cut it back in the fall after frost has nipped it. It is very winter hardy and has no particular pests or problems. Ultimately the plant will grow somewhere between 18 and 36 inches tall and its width will depend on how far you allow it to spread.

All in all, it is quite easy to care for as long as cats don't destroy it in the garden! Enjoy!

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