how to grow catnip, by jack

Jack the Demon Cat on his catnip throneMY MOTHER KEEPS SPOUTING some crap about how my catnip is really called Nepeta cataria. See the words “pet” and “cat” in there?—I’m telling you, she talks in word puzzles, though she’s no Will Shortz. She blathers on that it’s “a perennial that self-sows” (what?). She says you can “start it from seed yourself pretty easily indoors.” Nonsense! Catnip is best grown this way: Make like a chicken, and sit on it. Catnip requires daily periods of incubation, as I’m demonstrating above, and when treated this way will not require any other pinching, and will not spread around. I am a cat, so I should know. My other Master Catnip Gardener tips:

  • Since he or she will be really pissed off if you sit on plants growing in the garden beds proper, request that your parent provide your own cat-ass-sized potful of the stuff to have your way with.
  • Better yet: ask for several pots, so that they can be rotated in and out of service. Admittedly, if incubated too vigorously or often, particularly by a “big-boned” master grower such as myself, the plants may need a rest. (Those are the vet’s words—he always says I am “big-boned.”)
  • A 12-to-14-inch pots works well for 16-pound me, but your ass may be smaller. Much smaller.
  • This technique is best performed when intoxicated. (Be sure to eat first, too; this is hard work.)
  • If before climbing onto the pot, you rip off the heads of the plants with your teeth, intoxication is easily achieved.
  • Ask that your parent place your pot near a piece of furniture, so you can claw it between incubation sessions, when you are good and high. (I use the bench in the top of the driveway, below; my pot’s just behind the bench.)
  • Plants grown by my method will never flower. This eliminates the bother my mother talks about when she says things like, “prodigious self-sower” and “can be invasive.” (She never stops muttering this plantspeak, poor woman, except to talk in cat to me; I wish she had more human contact because frankly, she is increasingly odd. )

Jack in the driveway at Kousa dogwood time

  1. Kathy H says:

    Your neighbor Percival T. Cat on Twin Bridges Road thinks Jack is quite smart! Maybe they could party together with some good catnip sometime…
    I would like to send you his picture I think they might be related… And I have a flower identification problem I would love some help with Can I send you a picture?
    thanks Kathy

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Kathy H. You can email it to me at awaytogarden [at] gmail [dot] com. As for Jack being allowed out to party…hmmm…I am so protective. :)

  2. bavaria says:

    I plant catnip because the leaves rubbed on one’s skin keeps mosquitoes away.
    I have no cat but the neighbors do and he certainly loves to visit the plants. This morning I laughed as I watched him lay and roll in the nip and chew contentedly. And when his debauchery was finished, walk back home weaving unsteadily after his party..

  3. Lisa-St. Marys ON says:

    My cousin’s cat peed in the house while on a catnip high. When my neighbour sent over a treat for my cat, I had an odd experience of cat pee in the laundry basket, and remembered my cousin telling me about a similar incident. No more catnip for my kitty.

  4. Laura Eisener says:

    My cats have always enjoyed catnip, although I had one who was only interested in the dried stuff and ignored it while it was growing or green cuttings fresh from the plant. Never had a peeing problem as a result of catnip indulgence. I did have a neighbor’s cat pull my plants of Nepeta faasenii up by the roots though in an effort to get every last bit.
    My indoor cat loves catnip toys and will still act like a kitten, pouncing and biting and kicking – good exercise! She is 14 years old and might be politely considered pudgy.

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