Catnip

(Nepeta) Catnip is a perennial member of the mint family. A chemical called nepetalactone is found in the leaves and stems and is the reason for its most famous quality of attracting cats. However, this plant is also known to attract beneficial wasps and can repel some annoying pests. Catnip is also known for its medicinal properties as a tea and is a must in a healer's garden. Surface sow directly outdoors when the threat of frost has passed. The seeds need moisture to germinate. Ideal germination temperature is 65-70F, and seeds take about 7-10 days to germinate. Catnip can be an aggressive spreader, and many gardeners use pots to contain it. It is hardy to zone 3 but otherwise easily reseeds.

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