What is catnip and why do cats like it?

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For the new herb grower Catnip is an easy one.

Nepeta cataria or Catnip is a perennial in much of the USA. It is a member of the mint family but  is not generally as invasive as some of the other mint family members.

You can spot it by its opposite, slightly fuzzy leaves leaves and green-gray coloring. The leaves edges are rounded and toothed.

In my garden Catnip will happily stay put where planted and doesn’t seem to ‘run’ like some other mint family members. It will reseed if you allow it to -which is handy if want more Catnip next year. It will grow almost anywhere, and like the other mints it does well in moist (but not soggy) soil and partial shade. Be warned, if you do let it reseed you may find it popping up all over the place!

Catnip is a very mild sedative and makes a soothing tea which is often taken at bedtime. Catnip is also grown by cat lovers for it’s effect on cats…which can be hilarious.

There is an old tale that Catnip planted in the garden will be overrun by cats, but if started from seed it will be left alone.

I have transplanted Catnip plants into the garden and within days they were rolled on and chewed to death. We have used wire cages around transplanted catnip to keep the cats from killing it. The only way I am able to keep it alive is to start it from seed in the garden. Weird but true. Try it yourself and see what happens!

I thought I would share these photos of one of my cats on a Catnip bender.

This is Rosebud with a small sample of Catnip…She gets very mellow unlike her crazy brothers. They tend to zip around the house and then collapse into a pile for a very long nap.

Rosebud Passed Out On Catnip
Rosebud Passed Out On Catnip

Got cats? You might want to consider growing some Catnip for them-and maybe a little for yourself!

Source: growing herbs for beginners com

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