Have you ever heard about the perennial herb called catnip? It was observed that these leaves have a pleasurable effect on cats and it has also been used by humans for medicinal purposes.
Growing catnip is easy. Selling catnip leaf can also be a great income source. Here we expose the uses of catnip and how you can grow this herb in your own backyard.
Catnip is a member of the mint family, which grows about three feet tall. Its leaves are heart shaped and both the stems and leaves are covered with a lot of fine white fuzz, therefore giving it a grayish appearance. The mature plants are blooming with small bell-shaped flowers in the summer, and the color is usually pale lavender or white with dark purple specs.
Uses of Catnip
Aside from the pleasure it can give to cats, a catnip has also been a remedy for insomnia, bronchitis, and the common colds. It even has antispasmodic effect; therefore, it’s useful against colic, cramps, and diarrhea mild enough to be given to children.
Catnip may be added to salads and certain properties of this plant can also be effective as insect repellants. Most recent research shows that a piece of wood treated with catnip oil will not be eaten by termites. These are some of the reasons why it’s useful to grow catnip in your garden. Who knows, you can even sell it for extra profit.
How to Grow Catnip
Growing catnip is cheap and easy. Here are some steps to start:
- Choose small containers to begin. You can recycle and reuse clean yogurt containers or buy special pots from a store.
- Choose a potting soil with good quality. Catnip is not fussy about the ground it grows on so this would be easy.
- Seeds are not hard to find either. You can buy from any home and garden center.
- Fill each pot (more than halfway but not to the brim) with moistened potting soil, make a small indentation or hole in the middle with your finger not deeper than 1/8 inch or so. Then take a pinch of the seeds, place it in the hollow and cover it with soil.
- Find a sunny spot indoors or outdoors that is out of reach from cats. As your catnip plant grows, pinch off new leaves every now and then to encourage new buds to grow.
It’s very easy to harvest your catnip, but it’s crucial to have the right timing – usually when the buds begin to come out. Don’t worry, you can cut the plant from all sides without killing it. Finally, lay the fresh herbs out to dry. The catnip leaves are now ready to use – you can sell it or just enjoy a delicious and soothing tea from your harvest.