How to Plant a Catmint


Catmint, sometimes called catnip, is an aromatic, mound-shaped shrub and member of the mint family. While related, true catnip is Nepeta cataria, while catmint is Nepeta mussinii. Catmint leaves are heart shaped, and when in bloom it produces delicate clusters of whitish flowers. While catmint is infamous for its affect on felines, the plant has been cultivated for centuries and utilized medicinally. One such use includes a tonic brewed from the plant to treat colds. If you plant catmint, don’t be surprised if kitties decide to visit the garden.

Step 1

Consider your climate zone before planting catmint. Catmint will grow well in USDA Zones 3 through 10, excluding the Gulf Coast and Florida.

Step 2

Select an area of the garden with full sun and well-draining soil. Ideally, the plant prefers a soil with a pH of 6.6.

Step 3

Schedule planting in the spring, after all danger of frost has past.

Step 4

Plant catmint seedlings 12 to 15 inches apart, by gently removing each seedling from its container and inserting the plant’s root system in a hole about the size of the container.

Step 5

Backfill the hole gently, using the removed soil. Maintain the plant’s soil line, so that it is the same as when it was in the container.

Step 6

Water the newly planted seedlings by gently applying water directly to the soil around the plant. Do not overwater, making the area muddy.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand gardening spade
  • Catmint seedling


  • "Perennials"; James Crockett; 1972
  • University of Vermont Extension: A Garden for Cats
  • Penn State: Catmint
Keywords: planting catmint, planting catnip, growing cat mint

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.