Catmint is a very aromatic herb that is usually grown for its medicinal properties as well as for your furry feline friend! Today we'll guide you through how to grow catmint in your garden!
This fragrant herb produces clusters of lavender-blue flowers with big mounds of gray-green foliage. Catmint has a long history, with one of the first one being documented in the Roman town of Nepeti. There, it was used as a medicinal herbal tea and also as an insect repellent.
What is the Difference Between Catmint and Catnip?
This is a very common question, as often people wonder if there really ARE any differences between the two, but they're actually two completely different plants. Catmint is much more decorative since it has clusters of flowers, while catnip does not. While cats do love munching on catmint, they go crazy over catnip. This is because catnip is highly euphoric for cats and they will often nibble and roll around in it.
- Plant catnip seeds near vegetables to repel insects such as aphids,or plant them as a hedge.
- Catmint can also be planted in pots for the enjoyment of your furry felines!
- Plant in full sun or partial shade and use average, well draining soil.
- These plants are also drought and heat resistant, making them great for dry, arid areas.
- Plant the seeds in spring as soon as the ground is warm.
- Once seedlings have sprouted, thin the plants to about a foot apart – they need lots of space to grow!
- In hot and humid climates, overcrowding the catmint can result in mildew or leaf spot.
- These herbs can be aggressive growers, so be sure to contain them either with an edging or growing them in containers.
- Caring for catmint is fairly easy!
- Until the plants become well established, water regularly.
- Mulch around the plants to retain moisture.
- Once they're a few inches tall, pinch them back to promote growth.
- Catmint will usually bloom all through summer and fall. Be sure to deadhead spent blooms to encourage more flowering.
Harvesting and Using Catmint:
- You can use catmint fresh, frozen, or dried!
- This wonderful herb can be added to many dishes as well as teas and medicinal uses.
- Harvest the catmint leaves as soon as flowers begin to bloom.
- Spread them out in a well ventilated area to dry. Store in an airtight container or paper bag to preserve freshness.
- The leaves and shoots of catmint can be used in soups and sauces, while the flowers can be used in tea to promote relaxation, relieve coughs and aches, congestion, and menstrual cramps.
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