Gatuna Mint

Planting catnip seeds – How to plant catnip seeds for the garden

Catnip, or Nepeta cataria , is a common perennial herbaceous plant. Native to Spain and growing in USDA zones 3 to 9, the plants contain a compound called nepetalactone. It is known that the reaction to this oil most often influences the behavior of domestic felines. However, other uses can be found in cooking, as well as its use as a soothing tea. For many hobby gardeners, home-grown catnip is an invaluable asset to the herb garden, and planting catnip seeds in a common form to start with. If you are new to growing this plant, read on for more information on planting catnip seeds.


Growing catnip from seeds

Like many other members of the mint family, catnip is quite easy to grow. Because it behaves so well even in poor soil, catnip is considered invasive in some places, so always make sure to do some thorough research before you decide to plant this grass in your garden. Here are some common methods of propagating catnip seeds.


Planting catnip seeds indoors

Catnip plants are usually found in garden centers and nurseries in early summer. However, one of the easiest methods to get new plants is to start them from catnip seeds. Seed multiplication is a cost-effective option for those on a budget, as well as an excellent option for growers who want to do multiple plantings. Although easy to obtain, catnip seeds can sometimes be difficult to germinate. As with many perennials, higher germination rates can occur after a period of stratification.

Stratification is a process by which seeds are treated under varying conditions to promote germination. In the case of catnip, the seeds should be sown after being placed in a freezer overnight. After this period, allow the seeds to soak in water for a period of 24 hours. This will result in easier and more uniform germination rates.

Once the stratification process is complete, use a starting tray to plant the seeds. Place the tray in a warm place, near a window sill or under increasing light. If kept constantly moist, germination should take place within 5 to 10 days. Move the seedlings to a well-lit location. When the possibility of frost has passed, harden the seedlings and plant them in the desired location.


Sowing catnip seeds in winter

Gardeners in growing areas that experience periods of cool winter temperatures can also use the winter planting method as a way to easily germinate catnip seeds. The winter planting method uses several types of transparent recycled bottles as “small greenhouses”.

The seeds are sown inside the greenhouse during winter and left outside. Periods of rain and cold simulate the stratification process. When the time comes, the catnip seeds will start to germinate.

The seedlings can be transplanted into the garden as soon as the possibility of spring frost has passed.

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