Although native to Eurasia, catnip is fully naturalized across North America. Part of the Mint family, it is sometimes called Catmint. What is essentially a behavior-modifying drug for felines works as a mild sedative for us. When catnip’s crushed leaves and flower buds are brewed as a tea, it has a calming effects. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) has also been used widely in salads and soups, and as a digestive aid.

by Dani Yokhna
PHOTO: John/Flickr

Size: Maximum height 3 to 4 feet

Sunlight requirements: Best in full sun

Water requirements: Regular watering

Soil requirements: Well-drained soil with a pH of about 6.6

When to plant: Spring

Where to plant: Garden, containers

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When to harvest: When plant reaches about 8 inches.

Produce storage: Pull leaves, dry them and keep in airtight containers in dark, cool spots.

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