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How To Propagate Catnip? (11 Tips to Follow)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 10:28 am

Do you want to plant Catnip in your garden but don’t know how to go about it? If yes, you’re among the several gardeners who have asked me to explain how to proceed with the planting process.

Well, propagating Catnip is not an easy task, I must warn you.

Just like every other plant, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty from day one. From getting the seeds or seedlings to planting them to pruning and then harvesting, you’ll need a great deal of patience.

Nonetheless, as you’re probably pondering how to propagate Catnip successfully, so, here are some simple steps to follow;

Decide which propagating technique you want to use, get the Catnip seeds, plant the seeds, transfer the seedlings, provide proper spacing, adequately water the plants, divide the roots, and finally, protect the plant from cats.

11 Tips on Growing Catnip

So, if you are still onboard the Catnip fanship, here are 11 tips for propagating Catnip:

1. Decide Which Propagating Technique You Want to Use

The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with one step. In this case, the first step is identifying which method of propagation suits you.

This is because Catnip can be grown either by seeds or from an already grown plant. It would be best if you decided because each method has its uniqueness.

2. Get the Catnip seeds

After you have decided to propagate using seeds, the next thing to acquire is the seeds. If you already have a fully grown Catnip plant, you can harvest the seeds from the plant during the seeding period from the dried flowers.

However, if the contrary is the case, you’ll need to purchase the Catnip seeds from your local store or online Amazon. Additionally, if you know anyone that has a Catnip plant, you could ask for some seeds.

3. Plant Seeds Indoors

Grow Bags

After acquiring the seeds, you can either grow the seeds indoors in pots or grow bags first before transplanting the seedlings outdoors in your garden, or you could go straight and bridge this by directly sowing the seeds outside.

If you want to grow it indoors first, it should be done about six weeks before the frost. Also Read our Article about, Can catnip survive indoors?

After it germinates, you can then transfer it to the garden. Germination takes place in about ten to twenty days.

However, whether you are planting indoors or outdoors, you should refrigerate them overnight and, after that, soak them in water for 24 hours before planting.

This pre-soak makes the outer coat softer and consequently makes germination faster. Catnip requires sandy or loamy soil that is well-drained. Soil pH should range from slightly acidic to neutral to slightly alkaline.

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In addition, it requires full sunlight, so if you are planting indoors, it is pertinent to grow it where it will have enough sunlight for at least six hours daily.

Seeds should be planted about one-eighth to a one-quarter inch deep in the soil. They should be well watered during this period to fasten growth.

4. Planting Seeds Outdoors

Meanwhile, if you don’t fancy propagating Catnip indoors, you can do it outside in your garden as well. It would be best if you did this in spring after any danger of frost has been eased. Frost can cause your seeds to be frozen in the ground, which will destroy them.

It would help if you planted them to a depth of about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch in an area where they’ll have access to direct sunlight.

You should well protect the seedlings from cats because cats have an affinity for Catnip. If they are given access, they can crumble the young and tender seedlings.

5. Transferring The Seedlings

After the seedlings are grown well enough, they should be transplanted to the garden during spring, after the frost period. It would be best to do this when they have grown to about four to five inches tall with five or six leaves.

6. Spacing

The seedlings should be spaced about eighteen to twenty inches apart so they are not crowded together. It should be in an area with good sunlight.

7. Watering

Matured and fully established Catnip plants are very much drought-resistant. However, during the early seedling phase, they require water. Therefore, you should water them as often as possible.

Even so, care should be taken so as not to overwater the plant as this will cause rotting of the root and the plant’s ultimate demise. So not only is underwatering a problem but overwatering is as well.

Therefore, when in doubt, you should insert your finger into the soil around the roots and water only when it’s dry. For this reason, you should ensure that the ground is well-drained before planting. I cannot overemphasize this point.

8. Pruning

Pruning Shear

Following the flowering of your Catnip plant, you should prune them, and it should be during spring with pruning shears. For the most part, only a third of the plant is sheared off, leaving the growth of about three to four inches from the ground.

Pruning prevents your Catnip from being bushy, which encourages new growth. Furthermore, You should get rid of dead leaves and dried flowers. This pruning encourages the regrowth of fresh leaves and flowers.

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9. Dividing The Roots

Interestingly, this is another method of growing new Catnip plants from already fully developed and established plants. All you need to do is identify the Catnip you want to divide, usually the thickest and bushiest.

Subsequently, you take it out carefully from the roots and shake the soil off it. Next, you use a sharp knife or pruning shear to divide the plant into two.

Afterward, you replant the two separate divisions and water them regularly to ensure propagation. This helps to curtail overgrowth and provide you with new Catnip plants.

10. Protect From Cats

Cats are Catnip lovers. So if you leave your tender Catnip plants exposed to cats, they may trample and destroy them. Therefore, it is important to protect them using fences or bamboo sticks.

11. Harvesting

Besides its ornamental value, Catnip has some medicinal value. It is also edible as some people use it for making tea. Cats also love the leaves. Whatever your reasons are for planting your Catnip, you will have to harvest it at some point eventually.

Harvesting is done when the plant has fully grown to at least six inches tall and blooming. Then, you can either uproot the entire plant or cut it from the stem.

Afterward, it would help if you hung it in a well-ventilated area and upside-down so that it dries.

This should take around two to three weeks. Afterward, the flowers and leaves are collected and either used immediately or stored in a dry container. Additionally, you should keep them away from your cats or risk losing them.

Can You Grow Catnip From a Cutting?

Catnip can also be grown from a cutting. A cutting is a part of a cultivated plant that can be taken off and developed as an independent plant. Parts that you can use include the roots, stems, and even leaves.

For Catnip, stem cuttings are used.

This system is a rather cheap way of growing Catnip if you already have grown plants or know someone who does. It is the commonest and most effective way to grow Catnip, and it is fast as well.

How Do You Take Catnip Cutting?

Catnip Cuttings are very easy to take. Here are some steps that will help you out.

1. Firstly, you need to identify the plant you want to use. It should be a fully grown plant that’s in bloom.

2. Then, select a stem with new leaf growth.

3. After that, cut off the stem using a sharp, sterilized knife. The stem cutting should measure about four to six inches in length and have a leaf node at the lower end.

4. Afterward, you then take out any leaf from the lower half

5. Then dip the lower end in growth home

6. Finally, insert the lower end of the stem cutting in the growth media, which can be soil or water, and you watch after it.


Growing Catnip is not a herculean task once you know what to do. All you have to do is to decide which growing method suits you best and stick with it. If you want to grow it quickly, using the stem cutting technique is best.

However, if you cherish the feeling of watching something grow as many gardeners do, perhaps the seed or seedling approach may suit you better.

Whatever the case, there’s only one conclusion; planting Catnip will be worth your while! Remember, however, to keep your cats at bay.


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