Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

How to Grow Catnip from Seed

Bed Preparation

Catnip is a hardy perennial that prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Does best in well-drained soil.


Germination is naturally low for catnip seeds (50%). For best germination, expose seeds to cool, moist conditions (stratification) for 2-4 weeks before sowing. The refrigerator works well for this. Direct sow stratified seeds outdoors once the danger of frost has passed. Optimal soil temperatures for germination are 65-85°F. Sow seeds 1/8" deep and 18" apart. Seeds will germinate in 7-10 days. Thin seedlings so mature plants are 24" apart. Seed can also be started indoors and transplanted outside once the danger of frost has passed.


Above ground parts can be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season. Snip or cut catnip, leaving 3-4" of growth above the soil. Catnip can be used fresh or dried.