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Nepeta cataria

Grown by: Truelove Seeds Farm in Newtown Square, PA

  • $5.00

Short, leafy perennial with light green foliage and spiky white and green flower flower clusters reaching up to five feet high. Recorded for use as tea at least as early as 1735 in the General Irish Herbal, this plant is often used as a narcotic for cats (they go wild for it), as well as an aromatic stress reliever that can ease dietary discomfort in humans.

Prefers fast-draining, dry soils and plenty of sun. Catnip seeds contain germination-inhibiting compounds, which is why much of this seed is considered dormant. That said, it will come up, when it is ready! And one plant will fill quite a bit of space, if given the chance: space 1-2 feet apart.

Days to maturity: Perennial

Seeds per pack: 200

Germination rate: 16% (total viability: 84%) on 6/30/2023 (read more about viability)

Planting / harvesting notes

Sow seeds 6-8 weeks before last frost on the surface of your well-draining planting medium. Alternatively, sow directly on the surface of the garden soil, tamping down for good soil contact. Grow in full sun and do not overwater. Harvest individual leaves in the first year, or the top ¾ of the plant in the second year when mature.

Seed keeping notes

Allow seedheads to dry on the plant. Cut the stalks below the lowest seed clusters. If necessary, dry the seedheads further in the sun on a sheet or table away from moisture and precipitation. When fully dry, whack the seedheads in a bucket, allowing the ripest seed to fall. Sift through strainers to remove the largest chaff, and then winnow off the lighter chaff with your breath, a fan, or the wind.

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