How to Grow and Dry Your Own Catnip
Maggie Osterberg, Flickr
Growing your own kitty psychedelic is not only less expensive then the pre-packaged variety; it's a connoisseurs delight (at least as far as kitty is concerned). Many local pet stores now stock the live plants for your growing convenience. Harvesting and drying catnip is something any pet owner can easily do.
Nepeta Cataria, or Catnip, is a herbaceous, perennial herb that can be found growing in the wilds of North America. This hearty relative of the mint family is incredibly easy to grow. About the only problem you'll have is finding a place to plant it that is inaccessible to your cats! The chemical nepetalactone is what triggers the familiar and predictable response in our four-footed friends, but lesser known is the calming effect that some believe it has on humans as well. For this reason, many alternative practitioners regularly recommend catnip as a beneficial tea to soothe the nerves. Though, according to the website Drug.com, there hasn't been scientific research to support this claim.
Catnip typically grows to a height of about three feet and is ready to harvest when it's reached about a foot tall. Don't feel you must wait until any official harvest, however; pinching small quantities from it throughout the growing season will not only help the plant fill out, but is a great way to give kitty a sample of what's to come. Extra pinches can be thrown into a wide-mouthed jar and left to dry on their own.