When to Plant Catnip Seeds
Start seeds indoors near a sunny window 6 weeks before transplanting to the garden, after the danger of the last frost. Or sow directly into the garden if your area has a longer growing season, when the danger of frost has passed.
Where to Plant Catnip Seeds
Catnip performs best in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. This plant is drought tolerant and thrives in dry soils with a pH of about 6.6.
How to Plant Catnip Seeds
Catnip seeds require light to germinate, so be careful not to cover them when planting. Learn more about germination light requirements here.
Add aged compost to the planting bed and turn it under. Make shallow furrows and cover seeds 1/8th of an inch with loose soil. Thin or transplant seedlings to 12 inches apart when they reach 2 inches tall. Keep plants full by pinching the growing stems and flowers buds when they appear. Be very careful when transplanting outdoors, as bruising the leaves will release the oils that attract felines. Water your plants only when the soil dries out. Cut catnip back to the ground in spring to improve growth and appearance.
How to Harvest Catnip
Harvest leaves by cutting the stems or shearing the flower spikes after the plant reaches 6 inches or taller. If harvesting for cats, wait until the plant blooms. The foliage will keep its scent best when air dried. You can easily propagate catnip by dividing an established plant.