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November 2012
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Nepeta cataria belongs to species of the genus Nepeta.

Images of Nepeta Cataria at

Nepeta cataria, which is also known as catnip or catswort or catmint, belongs to species of the genus Nepeta.

Overview of Nepeta Cataria

• These species belong to the Lamiaceae family.
• They are native to Asia and Europe.
• This is a tall herbaceous perennial.
• It can grow up to a height of 50–100 cm.
• This is similar to mint in appearance.
• It has grayish-green leaves.
• The plant has its flowers as white and finely spotted with purple.
• Their flowers grow in clusters.
• The stems of these are fragrant.
• Catnip is herbs that are preferred to grow for cat-lovers.
• These plants are used primarily in landscaping for cats.
• Nepeta cataria is deer-resistant.
• Catnip has medicinal use for a variety of ailments.
• The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice.
• It is also smoked.
• It has a slightly numbing effect.
• Tea is made from the leaves and flowers of this herbaceous perennial.
• It is known to relieve coughs.
• The leaves of this plant and shoots too can be used in sauces and soups.
• The oil that is extracted from these species is used in natural mosquito repellents.

Growing/Caring conditions of Nepeta cataria

• Catnip plants grow best in planting zones 3-9.
• Catnip plants are grown best in full sun to partial shade.
• This perennial thrives in well drained and poor soil.
• Catnip plants like a slightly alkaline soil.
• Protect Nepeta cataria from cats by fencing them off.
• Pinch these plants frequently.
• This is to be done in order to get dense and well-shaped plants.
• Harvest these plants on flowering, on a dry and a sunny day.
• Late morning is a good time to harvest this plant.
• Catnip plants are known to be invasive plants.
• Fill a 2-inch pot.
• Fill it with a good-quality potting soil.
• Leave ¼-inch space at the top.
• Sow or scatter the catnip seeds onto the soil.
• Apply a light covering of soil over the seeds.
• They should be buried just below the surface.
• Water thoroughly.
• Place the pot in a warm place.
• This will allow the seeds to germinate.
• Move the pot to a sunny windowsill.
• Supply direct sunlight as the young sprouts appear.
• Continue to keep the soil moist.
• Do not over water.
• Transplant the catnip to a hanging basket.

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