Cats are adorable! Isn’t it? Every Cat owner cannot help but spoil their cats a little bit. Folks love these small animals with whiskers, especially when they leave alone. Pets are good associates, and pet owners do not keep any dereliction when it comes to their safety.
There are several ways to make your cats merry, of which learning how to grow catnip indoors is one of the best choices.
Catnips, also called catmint, belongs to the Lamiaceae family and contains nepetalactone. Essential oil can be extracted from the catnip plant when crushed and rubbed. If the cats inhale the oil’s aroma, they can get excited and run all around due to the elevated hormones.
They can get all charged up after eating the leaves and roll around your carpet in joy. It sets aside the feeling of depression or anxiety in the cats due to the sedatives present in it.
Several medical issues, such as bloating or skin inflammation can be cured amongst cats with the help of these herbs if given in the right quantities.
Additionally, these herbs are beneficial for the cats and the cat owners. The catmints are sun-dried and then boiled to make a special medicinal tea. It will help you relax your nerves and treat the problems of insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, or increased heart rate problems.
Recently, I have been interested in gardening, which has made me come across this highly valuable plant. It is easy to grow and maintain and is a nice treat for your pets. Keep this plant near your kitchen so you can pluck some leaves anytime and put it in your morning tea to enjoy its calming effect.
What is Catnip?
As discussed earlier, Catnip belongs to the family of mints and has high medicinal value. It is a herbaceous perennial with very low maintenance and can be used in countless ways.
Do not go by the name, as the name may suggest they are supposed to be dealt for cats, but it is not true!
Catnips are herbs that have a calming effect for felines and the homo-sapiens in different ways. It contains sedatives that can be mild for humans and a little out of the line for your pets if consumed in high quantities.
Nepeta cataria is a small plant that, like any other mint, will grow in a small pot with loose branches and foliage. This plant has feather-like leaves and can naturally relieve your seasonal cough and cold.
Easy to grow, these plants will help you to treat your cats and provide them with all of the pampering. The tea made out of it will help you release your stress and does not have any side effects like caffeine. It will also elevate the taste of your salads and savory dishes to give your preparation an extra edge.
Why Do Cats Love Catnips?
Morning coffee is a thing for us, and without caffeine, some people could not even think of starting their day. We get high on caffeine, and so do the cats on the catnips. The sedative in them attracts the cats, and the smell affects them. It is a luxury for your cats and should only be given to them in limited amounts.
- Cats, when tamed, tend to become couch slack. It is against their nature, as they are active animals. Catmints will encourage your pets to play around, improving their lifespan and eating habits.
- Cats are attention seekers. They love to be pampered by their owners and will twirl around you whenever you are on their radar. But it is not always possible to be present around your pets, where catnips will come in handy. The felines are all charged up when these plants are kept in the surroundings, encouraging them to play alone.
- Animals are specially meant for roaming in the wilderness, and taming them will mean restricting them. The calming effect of the plant can help the cats to de-stress themselves from any anxiety or hypertension. The effect is much like having a great body massage!
- You can add some crushed catnips in the water to encourage the cats to take baths. With the tranquility infused in the water, the cats will love their bathing time!
How to Propagate Catnips Correctly?
Catnips are low maintenance and can be easily grown as indoor plants. With adequate amounts of sunlight reaching the plant, which is regularly watered, these plants can grow quickly.
It will ideally grow in a small pot and has loose stems and leaves. Though you can propagate a catnip plant by just planting its seed in fertilized soil, there are other ways of propagating the catmints too.
The traditional method of growing any plant is through sowing its seed in well-drained soil. From a shop, you can purchase high-quality catnip seeds, ideal for growing indoors. You can also collect them from the dried flowers of your previous harvest. It is ideal for sowing seeds in the autumn season. Regular watering and keeping the plant warm can help it grow into a beautiful plant.
Another way of propagating a catnip plant is to cut out the top of the newly growing plants in the early growing season. After cutting the top with a sterile scissor, plant it in a pot and keep the rate of moisture and sunlight in check. Dip it in the mineral water before transporting it in a pot to speed up the plant’s growth.
If you have grown the catnip plants earlier, you can use the process of division of the existing ones to grow a new offshoot. Divide the roots and the voila of the existing plant, and replant the two different parts in different pots. Within some days of careful supervision, you will see each part growing into an individual plant.
Catnip plants have loose and crawling stems. Like strawberry plants are grown, you can plant a low growing, flexible stem in the soil without detaching it from the main plant. Soon the planted stem will grow new roots, after which you can detach the stem from the plant to grow into an individual catnip plant.
Types of Catnip Plants
Like any other species, catnips have varieties too. The scientific name of the catnip plant is Nepeta cataria (true catnip), the main plant type. Catnip plants are native to Europe and Asia and are found in several types with distinguished colors of bloom and scents. Some of them are discussed below.
- Greek Catnip: Commonly found variety, it can be easily grown indoors. Its scientific name is Nepeta Parnassica. It has flowers that are pale pink and has a sweet smell. The plant grows approximately 5 meters in length.
- Camphor Catnip: Its scientific name is Nepeta Camphorata, and it bores white flowers with purple dots. This type of catnip grows about 5 meters in length and is also suitable for growing indoors.
- Lemon Catnip: As the name suggests, the blooms of this type are white and purple and smell just like lemons. Its scientific name is Nepeta Citriodora, and it grows about 1 meter in height.
How To Grow Catnip Indoors Correctly?
Catnips are easy to grow plants and require minimal maintenance. Keeping it on a sunny and warm window sill and regular watering is enough to grow a healthy catnip plant. It is an excellent house plant that that enhances its decoration and is of high medicinal value.
You can master the art of how to grow catnip indoors in your own house effortlessly if you follow some major steps as discussed below.
If you plan to grow the plant indoors, you will obviously go for the mud pots. Fill the pot with mineral-rich soil and some fertilizers, and you are good to go. When the plant is in its early growing period, you can transfer it to a larger pot to provide a larger space.
Proper plant growth is ensured when it has a proper supply of sunlight. Keep the plant near the window where it can get enough sunlight for at least 5 hours. Bright and warm surroundings with proper moisture supply help in the steady growth of the plant.
Water infused with minerals helps plants’ healthy growth. However, the content of the mineral must be kept in check to prevent the rotting of the roots. Too much moisture is bad for the plant; therefore, watering once daily is ideal.
Catnip plants do not require very high quality soil. Any soil with good mineral content and well fertilized will fulfill the requirement. The soil must be well drained because too much moisture can lead to ro root rot.
Catnips are low maintenance plants, and feeding them with fertilizers will do. Organic fertilizers are the best choice for indoor catnips; ideally, they should be fed once every two weeks.
Pruning and deadheading
Catnip plants should be kept from blooming, as it can prevent the plant from growing. Pruning is trimming the plant in the early growing period so it can grow to its full length.
Deadheading of the plants leads to the prevention of the spread of infection to the other parts of the plant. Regular pruning if the catnip lets the plant be bushy and dense rather than tall and slim.
Extra Tips for Growing Catnip Indoors
- The best way to speed up the growth of catnips is to dip the plant in mineral water before transporting it to the soil. The process will enhance the quicker growth of the roots and better adaptation of the plants to the soil.
- Select a pot that is 8 inches long and wide for better growth of the plants.
- You can develop a hydroponic system for the growing catnips to prevent root rot in the plant.
- Use organic fertilizers for the plants to make them pet friendly and devoid of chemicals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Does Catnip Grow For?
Catnips and steady growers. With proper care and regular pruning, it can grow to full length within a single season.
Is growing Catnip Cost effective?
Yes, growing catnips is always cost effective. It requires very little maintenance and caters to a variety of needs. From making a healthy tea to engaging your cats, it is best for both worlds.
What pests are most common to catnips?
Pests such as aphids, thrips, spider mites, flat beetles, and whiteflies are some of the most commonly found pests you will spot around your catnip plants.
Is Catnip safe for human consumption?
Yes, Catnips are safe for human consumption. Boiling the leaves for some minutes and then consuming them after a hectic day will calm you down and relax your body.
Can you grow catnip indoors year round?
The magician plant that attracts the cat can be grown indoors all year round if properly taken care of.
Engaging the Mr. Whiskers of your home is essential. And if you are searching for a harmless way to treat your cats, you should keep a catnip plant in your home. It will benefit the feline resident of your house and serve you various medicinal help.