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How To Harvest Catnip? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 11:29 am

Without proper knowledge of harvesting, you would agree that a good harvest can not be assured even when a plant grows bountifully. Every plant has its unique harvest technique suitable for it.

While some do not require expertise during harvest, others require extreme carefulness and professionalism to harvest. Catnip is one such plant that requires expertise from the sowing of its seeds to the harvest and storage.

Catnip is a delicate plant with great health benefits to men and cats. Knowing the tips required for a successful harvest is essential to avoid destroying the plant in the harvest.

How To Harvest Catnip?

Below are a few harvesting tips for Catnip.

  • Cut off entirely stems of Catnip from the base of the plant.
  • Cut out leaves individually from the stems.
  • Harvest catnip, preferably on a dry day.
  • Remove only flowering Catnip during harvest to aid it to grow back.
  • Always leave the roots intact.

When Is Catnip Ready For Harvest?

Catnip can be harvested any time in the season, making it available any time of the year.

However, even though it can be harvested any time, like every other plant that has its due season, Catnip is usually ready for harvest in the late spring to early fall seasons. C

Atnip grows up to twelve inches, but they can be harvested when they have grown six inches or more.

Typically, the leaves of flowering catnips are more potent and more aromatic. Therefore, it is best to harvest catnips after blooming has occurred; this is why it is vital to wait till after the blooming period before harvesting.

Although catnips can be harvested at any point during the growing season, harvesting after the blooming period helps you get more potent and aromatic leaves, as earlier mentioned.

How To Harvest Catnip Seeds?

Seeds of catnips are very tiny and are contained in the flowers that look like crowns. Hence they are quickly scattered about during harvest, mainly when dry.

When flowers of Catnip starts getting brown spots, then they are ready for harvest,

Harvesting catnip seeds requires expertise and care to avoid scattering them about in the process of harvest. A few ways to harvest seeds of Catnip are given below;

1. Use of Paper Bags

The easiest way to harvest catnip seeds is by tying paper bags round over the flower heads and cutting out the parts needed from the plant while the seeds pour into the paper bag.

When seeds don’t pour out freely, the snipped flowerheads can be shaken to allow the seeds to come out quickly.

2. Cutting Out Blossoms

Another way to harvest catnip seeds is by cutting out blossoms and replacing them in muslin laundry bags for storage.

3. Crushing Flowerheads

Crushing should be done when the flower heads have turned all brown, indicating that they are dried. This method is easy but requires that you winnow out the flower so that only the seeds are left.

How To Harvest Catnip For Cats?

Catnips are loved by cats but have very drastic effects on their mental health. Catnips have no nutritional value to cats, but it excites their brains and gets them high when sniffed, but when cats eat Catnip, it works as sedatives in their bodies.

When catnips are not harvested and stored correctly, cats may eat them up.

Sometimes they may eat much more than required which may affect them. Although it wouldn’t kill them, sometimes it can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

The processes are not different from harvesting for storage and replanting during catnip harvest for cats, as mentioned earlier.

But it is good to consider the following when harvesting catnips for cats:

1. Keep cats away during harvest. Catnip is very aromatic, and the aroma attracts cats, especially when the leaves break and release scent at harvest. Still, I recommend keeping them away so you can focus and harvest properly.

2. Cats love catnips not only when fresh, but they also love even dried ones. Therefore, after harvest, the leaves of catnips can be dried and stored up for later use.

3. After harvesting Catnip for cats, how to properly dry them is by air drying. When air drying, tie up the harvested stems to the roof or a wood hanged up and turn them upside down while leaving it to face down.

4. To protect the crowns of Catnip, use inverted wire baskets to cover the top part of the catnip crowns.

5. Another thing to note when drying Catnip for cats is that you must remove the leaves from the stalks before drying; this will make for cats to eat.

How Do You Harvest Catnip, So It Keeps Growing?

Catnips are fast-growing plants; they can grow back fast and replace harvested stems and foliage even after harvest.

In addition, the stems of Catnip grow back faster than the leaves, which makes the plant have more stems than leaves, especially when the harvest is started.

You recognize Catnip as a fast-growing plant, and that is correct! Catnip is very fast when it regrows, not just when it is first propagated.

Just as there are specific actions that ensure the germination and survival of a new plant, so are their actions that ensure regrowth.

So yes, a harvest does not necessarily end the life of  Catnip, but how you harvest the herb can determine if it will keep growing.

Only a proper harvest ensures continuity and at the proper pace. These proper harvest procedures are what I will outline here.

The followings are ways of harvesting catnip, so it keeps growing

1, Always cut stems of Catnip from the base close to the soil because without cutting from the base, the remaining stem will dry out and die.

2, Avoid cutting out leaves and flowers only without cutting the stems. Cutting out only leaves and flowers and leaving the stems will cause the stems to dry out as the leaves grow back slowly.

3, Avoid disrupting the roots of Catnip during harvest. When the roots are shaken and exposed, especially when there is not much soil and a lack of moisture in the soil, the entire plant may dry out and die.

4, Permanently remove only flowering catnips. Removing them will create room for the plant to continue to grow faster because more flowers are formed afterward.

5, Harvest during winter and early fall because, during these seasons, there is more water in the soil. The water provides moisture to the soil allowing continuous growth of Catnip.

6, After harvesting, fill up soil and water appropriately so that the plant can grow back fast. Filling up the soil, especially where the roots are exposed, will help the plant get nutrients and grow back.

Also, water is needed to help the absorption of nutrients by plants. Catnip is not an exception to such plants; watering Catnip during harvest will help it grow because the plant will adequately absorb nutrients from the soil.

7, Another way to harvest Catnip to keep it growing is by pruning or deadheading. The process helps other plants to grow bushier, and it works for Catnip too.

Pruning catnips should be in two phases. The first pruning should occur immediately after the first round of blooming, which will help start the second phase of blooming before winter.

The second phase of pruning should be after the first frost. Although the plant can be pruned to 3 to 4 inches in height by this time, this phase of pruning usually encourages new growth during the spring season.


Catnips are good to have around, especially when you have cats. Catnips have benefits not only to man but also to cats, one of which is the plant’s ability to cause hallucinations in cats asides from providing man with many benefits in almost all the body systems.

This article has pointed out many tips needed to help you manage Catnip properly during and after harvest and tips for proper harvesting. In addition, it will help you know what to do when harvesting catnip.


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