(Nepeta cataria)

Catnip, renowned for the euphoria it causes in cats, also has a few human uses, both culinary and medicinal. It makes an attractive border plant if you don't mind frequent feline visitors.


This perennial herb can grow to a height of up to 3 feet with a spread of 15 inches. It has a straggly habit and is likely to be flattened by cats who love to roll in it. The only way to protect it is with wire netting.


Catnip is easily grown from seed in spring and summer. It prefers good, fertile soil and partial shade. Soil should be well-drained and slightly alkaline. Roots can be divided in spring and fall.

Culinary Uses

Use very sparingly in salads and use the flowers as a garnish.

Medicinal Uses

Catnip tea made from the leaves and flowers may be taken for coughs, colds, catarrh, and a bedtime calmative.

Other uses

The most common use for catnip is as a recreational herb for cats. Dry catnip by hanging it upside down in bags, then crumble and sew into cotton bags.

Growing Herbs in Containers
Whether you want to grow herbs in containers because of limited space or because of the ease and convenience of having fresh herbs on your deck, patio, or windowsill, this book will help you on your way to success with potted herbs.

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