Water young plants twice a week for the first two weeks, reduce watering to every other week after plants become well established. The plant is drought tolerant and can resist heat as it grows older. During the dry catnip season and high temperatures, increase watering to once a week or even more if needed.
A whiff of catnip can make mosquitoes buzz off, and now researchers know why. The active component of catnip (Nepeta cataria) repels insects by triggering a chemical receptor that spurs sensations such as pain or itch, researchers report March 4 in Current Biology.
Catnip grows well on a bright, sunny windowsill. Growing catnip indoors requires minimal care or effort, making it a great houseplant for even the most black-thumb beginning gardener. If you’re planning an indoor window herb garden, don’t forget the catnip plant.
Often grown as a container plant, catnip is a suitable plant in the garden in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. To transplant catnip to another location, do so in early spring before it sprouts again with new life.
Seeds sprout within five to 10 days under ideal conditions but may take up to 20 days in colder soil. When the plants are 2 to 5 inches tall, thin to 18 inches apart. Start harvesting leaves after 12 to 15 weeks. Protect young plants with wire netting if cats frequent your garden.
The plant features small, lavender flowers and jagged, heart-shaped leaves that smell faintly of mint.
Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, catnip tends to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows out. Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time.
Driven Away by Catnip
Felines might adore catnip (Nepeta cataria) to bits, but ants have the complete opposite reaction to it. The mint family herb is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Dried catnip can be handy for keeping ants far away.
Catnip is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in small amounts. … However, catnip is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when smoked or taken by mouth in high doses (many cups of catnip tea, for example). It can cause headaches, vomiting, and a feeling of being ill.
Rosemary: Aromatic and medicinal, this one has flowers that bees love and a scent that wasps can tolerate. Catnip: It does not just lure bees and wasps but also our feline friends. … Bees are naturally attracted to this plant. Crocus: The subtle blue and purple flowers of this plant is a favorite for bees.
Marigolds, known for being able to drive away all kinds of pests, have a scent that keeps aphids far away. Catnip, known for attracting cats, also has a way of repelling most other pests, aphids included. Some other fragrant herbs, such as fennel, dill, and cilantro are also known to deter aphids.
Medicinally, the plant has been used to treat intestinal cramps, for indigestion, to cause sweating, to induce menstruation, as a sedative, and to increase appetite. Additionally, the plant has been used to treat diarrhea, colic, the common cold, and cancer.
Cats have various reactions to the herb, and one can often see them going crazy when given a sprinkle of catnip. … The catch is that catnip has the complete opposite effect on dogs as it does on cats. While it acts as a very effective stimulant for cats, it is actually a sedative for dogs.
To make catnip tea, mix 2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves or flowers with 1 cup of boiling water. Add lemon juice and honey, stir, and let cool for several minutes. Many people prefer a steeping time of about 10 to 15 minutes. … Some people prefer this to drinking the tea immediately after cooling.
The seeds or divisions of the catmint plant are planted in spring. They require plenty of space too and should be spaced (or thinned) to at least a foot (31 cm.) or so apart. … Likewise, catmint can be planted and grown in containers.
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