As a gardener, are you particularly fond of catnip? You may not even have grown the plant before being so intrigued by the plant. So, if you’ve suddenly picked interest in growing the herb, you may want to know how easy it is to grow it.
One very important factor you should consider is how long it takes catnip to grow?
Growing from seed and with proper conditions, Catnip will sprout between the fifth to the tenth day of propagation. In colder soil, it may take up to 20 days to sprout. Still, in just 12 to 15 weeks, the herb becomes mature, ready to harvest. Even when propagated by root divisions, the plant also reaches its mature size in a single season ready for harvest in the same time frame. So, catnip is a fast-growing perennial herb.
Like all members of the mint family, Catnip is also fairly easy to grow. It requires no extra care after it germinates and sprouts, provided the basic plant requirement as provided by nature is present in its environment. Even when cultivated indoors, very little is required from a cultivator.
When it comes to soil, Catnip is permissive of any soil provided it drains properly. Feeding Catnip with fertilizer is only excessive since organically rich soil is sufficient.
However, if nutrients ever seem to be lacking, which is a rare occurrence for Catnip, a simple compost mix is sufficient to boost the plant’s health.
In the presence of a full sun, which delights even the seeds of Catnip, this herb will grow easily, producing aromatic oils in its foliage which attract cats to it. In the absence of sufficient sunlight, catnip will grow leggy. Still, scorching sun and a humid atmosphere are no friends of Catnip.
You can balance this requirement by simply propagating under a soft shade in your garden or from a hanging basket on your veranda. Wherever it is placed, if as much as 6 hours of sunlight gets to it, then you are good to go.
You do not need to worry about keeping up with watering Catnip rather, you should be wary against overwatering it. True, Catnip needs moisture to survive especially just propagated seeds and root divisions.
Yet, this herb, once established, needs only a minimal amount of moisture. Water from rainfall is sufficient to keep Catnip thriving properly.
Catnip is a drought-tolerant herb, so your potted herb will stay alive until you remember to water it again.
When you grow, Catnip is a little effort though, is required to control invasion. If permitted, Catnip can be very invasive; even stems that lie horizontally can develop root nodes and sprout as new plants.
This process is known as layering. An attempt to control invasion is by placing metallic boundaries in the soil below the seedbed or propagating in pots or containers.
In the absence of a scorching sun, excess moisture, a humid atmosphere, and rabbits, Catnip can grow independently once germinated. All you have to do is visit periodically to harvest foliage.
As we have seen, catnip loves full sun and loves to spread as well. With this in mind, you could be reluctant to grow Catnip indoors. However, Catnip grows very well indoors, and moving indoors is a good refuge from winter for this herb.
A dominant reason why many cultivate Catnip is for the benefit of their pet cat, for cats known to love nipping the leaves of this herb since it produces a euphoric effect on them. As a result of this, many prefer to grow catnip indoors and with good results.
For Catnip to thrive indoors, however, it demands a little extra attention than it would outdoors. The container where it is planted ought to be spacious, at least 12cm in diameter.
An unglazed clay pot is preferable since it can absorb excess moisture from the soil, preventing root rot. Soil should be a proper draining garden soil or a potting mix.
When catnip is propagated indoors, continue watering to keep the soil moist until the plant has fully sprouted, then water only once in two weeks or when soil becomes hard and dry to touch.
Positioning Catnip indoors is also important. Catnip requires at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, so place on a window sill for best results.
Control humidity indoors to help Catnip grow better and keep cats off the herb until it is fully established. In these conditions, Catnip not only survives indoors but grows properly, producing its aromatic and flavored foliage to keep a home fresh and scented.
Catnip is a natural fast grower. However, if your catnip seems to retard or lag in growth, then something essential is amiss. Let’s briefly look at some things you can do to improve the speed of Catnip’s growth.
Catnip can grow well in shade, but if it is growing slowly, it may not be receiving sufficient sunlight. Reposition your Catnip to absorb full sunlight for at least 6 hours every day.
With this, your Catnip should pick up speed in growth. If, however, it is already in a sunny position, make sure the sun is not excessive, especially if you live in the southern region.
A slow or retarded growth can also result from excess moisture in catnip’s soil. When the soil is soggy, the roots of Catnip easily develop rot, and this inevitably slows down the growth of the plant. Draining out the soil and pruning out infected roots can aid the plant to grow faster.
In poor soil, Catnip can still grow well; however, when nutrients become unbearably low, the plant experiences a decline in growth. Catnip also slows down in growth when the plant flowers.
You can help by deadheading flowering plants and feeding Catnip with a good compost mix. These simple but vital actions will speed up the growth of Catnip.
Invaders like rabbits and even your cat feeding on Catnip can reduce its growth. Fight back by covering your Catnip with wire gauze or raise the seedbed where they will grow speedily and free from disturbance.
Mature Catnip can become exhausted and begin to grow slowly.
You can restore the speed of this fast grower by uprooting the plant and dividing it at the roots. Afterward, plant both divisions separately and watch them grow as new plants devoid of stress and as fast as oregano.
Catnip, a perennial herb, is an easy and fast-growing plant maintaining steady growth even when cultivated indoors.
Outstanding among perennials as a herb that can grow to maturity and harvest in a single season, Catnip has many vital purposes: culinary, medicinal, and ornamental.
Its ease of propagation is an endearing quality that should encourage you to grow it yourself. It requires so little of you while offering so much. Therefore, do not delay to get started in propagating your Catnip, especially if you own a cat!