Growing Tips: Catnip

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 inch deep spaced 1 inch apart. Germination: 7 to 15 days. Tender perennial grown as an annual in cool climates. Space between plants in the garden, 15 to 18 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil but soil MUST be kept moist at all times until plants emerge.

When and where to plant:

This warm weather plant is a tender perennial and grows well in Alaska when it is started indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the last frost and is transplanted to the garden after the danger of frost is past. Fill a container that has drainage holes with sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on the soil surface, spacing the seed 1 inch apart. Cover seed with 1/8 inch fine soil and water well for good seed-soil contact. Keep the container warm and moist until the seedlings emerge. Transplant to individual plastic pots when the seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall and grow in a sunny spot with cool nights until the garden is ready. After the last frost plant outdoors in full sun in almost any well drained garden soil. Catnip thrives in poor, hot, dry sandy soil. Grows well in containers.


Water as needed. Pinch plants back as flower buds appear to increase the length of time for harvest.


Clip top leaves and use fresh or dry. Store dried leaves in an airtight container