catmint with white flowers

Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Updated: April 30, 2021

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Description

Catnip is a hardy perennial plant that grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet. The heart-shaped leaves are green about and gray below. The plant has white flowers that draw pollinators.

Culture

Catnip is a hardy plant that will grow in sun or shade. It can be grown from seed or propagated by division. When young, the plants are decorative but as they grow older, they become scraggly. It’s best to plant catnip as a background plant. Leave 24" between rows and 18" between plants. 

Harvesting

Cut and dry the mature leafy tops and leaves.

Use

Catnip leaves are used for tea and seasoning and also are attractive to cats.