How to Plant Catmint Plants


While it’s true that cats enjoy eating catmint, also called catnip, people can also use and consume catmint in herbal teas to treat sleeplessness or put it dried in sachets for adding fragrance to drawers. A plant most often sold in home and garden centers as a seedling, once you purchase the catmint you’ll need to know how to plant it. Because catmint is a relatively drought-tolerant perennial and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 9, once your plant is established, you should be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Step 1

Select a site in full sun. Catmint tolerates some shade in the early morning or afternoon, as long as the catmint receives six hours of direct sun each day. Plant your catmint seedling at least 1 foot away from other plants with 2 feet of the space being preferable.

Step 2

Dig a hole in your herb bed or along a garden border twice as large as the pot your seedling is in. Fill the hole halfway with a rich organic compost and mix the compost with the existing soil.

Step 3

Take the pot away from the root ball of your catmint and gently work the roots with your fingers to untangle any roots that are wrapped around the bottom of the root ball. Plant the catmint into the hole only as deep as it was in the pot.

Step 4

Work the loose soil around the root ball to firm up the space and hold the plant in place. Don’t pack to soil in too tightly, but do make sure it is firm enough that a strong wind wouldn’t knock the seedling over.

Step 5

Water the soil only enough to moisten it without pouring so much water that the soil becomes soggy. For the first month, water the soil every couple of days to keep it moist. Water at ground level, keeping the leaves dry, every time you water.

Step 6

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings after the first month or once you see new growth. Switch to less frequent weekly watering only as needed if there is low rainfall in your area. Catmint enjoys well-drained soil and won’t thrive if the roots are kept saturated for days at a time.

Tips and Warnings

  • While some plants like a regular dose of fertilizer, catmint tends to produce limp foliage when fertilized, therefore, resist the urge to fertilize if you want a strong, lush plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel or shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Catmint seedling


  • "The Edible Herb Garden"; Rosalind Creasy; 1999
  • Yardener: Catmint

Who Can Help

  • Catnip Catmint
Keywords: planting catmint, growing catmint, herb garden catmint, growing catnip

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.