Catnip can be planted outdoors after the danger of frost as passed.
• Choose a sunny location (6+ hours of sun) and dig a hole about two times as wide as your pot.
• Remove your plant from the pot by loosening the soil and tipping it out into your hand. Place your plant in the soil about as deep as it was in the pot.
• Refill the space around your plant with soil and press lightly to compact the dirt, keeping your plant firmly in the ground.
• Water immediately to settle the soil, and add more soil as needed, bringing it level to the rest of your garden.
Water as needed all season to keep soil evenly moist, keeping your eye out for the first sign of wilt. Wilting is a sure sign that your catnip needs water. Feed with a vegetable fertilizer to ensure your bountiful harvest.
To use catnip for kitty-cat playtime, cut stems before it flowers. Remove leaves from the stems and place them on a tray out of direct sunlight. Turning the leaves once each day will help aerate them and assist the drying process. The catnip should be dry enough to crumble for catnip flakes within three weeks. Store in a sealed jar or airtight bag.
Catnip can be dried and stored in airtight containers for at least a year.
You can use catnip in teas to relieve stress and is known to be a natural antacid. Dried catnip flowers and leaves are used in hot water, steeped for 10-15 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is native to Europe. As its name implies, it is very attractive to cats and can trigger strange behaviors: rolling, licking, salivation, cheek rubbing, etc. Big cat species like lions and leopards are also affected. The active ingredient is nepatalactone, which is also used as an insect and pest repellent.