Catnip is a lovely natural herb that grows wild in many gardens around the world. It was the world’s first commercial herb when in the late 1800s it was used by the Victorians as a tea substitute. The bright smell of catnip tea made it a very popular tea for both its flavouring and as a soothing tea for catnip flower tea. In recent years it has grown in popularity as an alternative herbal remedy and for its wonderful relaxing effect on the nervous system. Not only are catnip a popular garden plant but it also grows well in containers or hanging baskets.
It is not uncommon to find nepeta cataria growing wild in most parts of Thailand, particularly along the border regions with Laos and Vietnam. A unique characteristic of these plants is that they flower in large clusters. Catnip flowers can be quite tall and are best seen as large blooms which hang down with a cluster of tubular leaves below them. White or pale catnip flower buds are attached closely to the stem above. The flowers themselves are a pale yellow to pale pink in colour with the petals being leathery and oval in shape.
Planting herbs in garden containers is quite common but not as popular as growing catnip flower plants. It is quite easy to grow a nice sized garden of catnip in a container using the traditional container methods of laying down the layers of soil with gravel below and pinning it in place. Another popular method is to use wooden pebbles or large rocks which are placed in the bottom of the container in order to create the foundation. These wooden pebbles or rocks will need to be replaced periodically to keep the plant growing healthily.
There are several advantages to growing herbs in pots rather than in the ground. For one thing the plants will be kept very small, which makes them easy to maintain. If you have a patio garden, it is also easy to move the pots around to different areas especially when the weather conditions change. Many catnip plants like growing in sunny conditions so this should not be a problem. The other great thing about using pots is that it allows you to choose the containers which best suit the plants you are growing.
If you decide on growing herbs from seeds, the best ones to try out would be the Lemon Grass and Chamomile. These two flowers have big blooms that come in late summer/early fall. These will be highly appreciated by your feline friends. You will need to remove all the leaves on a regular basis so the herb does not dry out. You should move the herb from outdoors to an area where it will receive some shade and fresh air.
If you don’t want bees nesting in your garden, you can still grow these lovely herbs. All you need are Hyoscyamus, Catmint, Gardenia and Mint. These are actually native to Africa but they have now managed to make a home for themselves in many parts of the world. You can place one of these herbs on the windowsill in front of your door. What’s more, bees are attracted to sweet marjoram and lavender. If you combine these two herbs with other flowers such as Daffodils and Tulips, you will have a wonderful spring garden.
Catnip plants are not hardy and can cope well with a range of soil types. However, if you are growing them from seeds, you may find that you need to give them more soil. Try growing them in partial shade or a container made just for growing herbs such as these.
When choosing a pot for your growing zone, bear in mind that the pots should receive an extra amount of water. This is because a clay pot retains more water than other pots. However, if you do choose a clay pot, then you should also provide them with a tight lid so the moisture won’t evaporate. You can also opt to purchase a container made specifically for growing catnip.