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Does anyone know how to dry catnip?

MrD_Sam_RazaMrD_Sam_Raza New ZealandMember Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭
edited 12 November, 2010 in Home Prepared Food & Recipes
We have a couple of catnip plants that the human almost killed. She has finally been watering them and they are starting to show leaves again. We have only two little plants and as long as I don\'t get my paws on them, we should get some nice catnip leaves from them. :^: I love to eat them fresh but the human wants to put them in my boogie mat. She wanted to know what is the best way to dry them, so they smell just right for our little feline noses. It may be a stupid question. but the human doesn\'t have a clue.:^: She tried putting them in the microwave like you do rose petals they seemed ok, but she was worried she might burn them this way and ruin the smell.:^:


  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 16 September, 2010
    Just let it air dry in a well ventilated cool place :) It will take a few days, maybe longer, to dry completely. Then just store in a jar or other container.
  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 16 September, 2010
    My mom did this for us! She picked the plant - stems, leaves, flowers - and tied 3 or 4 plants together near the base of the stems, then she hung them in the garage (upside down) and let them dry. :) They last a long time when they're dried. ;P
  • MrD_Sam_RazaMrD_Sam_Raza New ZealandMember Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭
    edited 17 September, 2010
    Thanks, Yes I was hoping they would last longer.:)) If the fur gang get a fresh one it's eaten in seconds, no time for play.:^: Thanks for the drying tips guys I'll have to get the human to try it. Now we just have to let the plant grow. :)) It's spring here and now that she has watered it, it's starting to take off again.~a~
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 17 September, 2010
    Mom grew a catnip plant from seed and she's been having it for three years! She keeps it in the kitchen window and it is so strange that we don't mess with it! :-k
  • Leon SinclairLeon Sinclair OrlandoMember Posts: 1,993
    edited 19 September, 2010
    I have heard it said that cats will not bother a plant grown from seed,but cuttings will be destroyed before they can root. We keep our plants in a hanging basket just to keep an honest cat honest. Another 'Nip Tip: Pinch back the tops of the plants,at least 4 leaves,down to where 2 leaves are coming out of the stem. For every top you pinch back you will get 2 more,making for a bushier plant(more 'Nip!). Plus,you get to eat the tops!:c9~a~
  • MrD_Sam_RazaMrD_Sam_Raza New ZealandMember Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 September, 2010
    %:D%~a~ Yippee!!! my plants are getting bigger, That\'s if the human stops picking the leaves. But they are yummy:)) I don\'t know if the plants were from seed or cuttings. the human brought them on trade me (our e-bay) some years ago. I thought she killed them:( but they seem to be bouncing back~a~ Thanks everyfur for your helpful hints. I hope the plants get big enough so we can try it. The human did pinch all the tops so I hope the plant gets fatter:D
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 30 September, 2010
    I have a huge patch of catnip in the yard. I dry it by hanging it upside-down from a wire and letting it air dry.
  • Jennifer NovakJennifer Novak DC (But my heart is still in BMember Posts: 595
    edited 1 October, 2010
    I'm so glad this thread is going right now...becuase I have some questions! Coop got the most wonderful early birthday gift today -- fresh, dried catnip on the stems. There are seeds in there. (It's driving him crazy like no other nip before! he LOVES it!) I'm super-afraid to grow it inside the house. He's still young, and he's into everything. (Especially this fresh catnip!) What's the best way to grow it? Can I plant it in a pot and keep it outside? Should I wait til spring? Any and all tips/suggestions are most welcome! Purrs, Coop and Mom :D
  • MrD_Sam_RazaMrD_Sam_Raza New ZealandMember Posts: 2,511 ✭✭✭
    edited 3 October, 2010
    Cooper good luck with your one, I hope some fur has some great advice. I\'m just suprised my human hasn\'t killed ours already:))
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 6 October, 2010
    Maybe Mouse will stop by! Her mom knows all about growing catnip! When I see her at the Moo Boo club tomorrow I will tell her to stop by here! =; Mom tried to grow it outside from seed. It grew, but Charlie got into it, so she didn't grow anymore.
  • MouseMouse Near Camborne,Member Posts: 43,591 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 October, 2010
    Hi Coopurr. :-h You can grow cat nip from, and very successfully too, but it might be best to wait for spring and warmer weather, they will grow better, any seeds planted now probably wouldn't survive the winter outside. Mum grows most of our cat nip in hanging baskets, up where we can't reach it, then she picks some to give to us everyday. I hope this helps a little.
  • Jennifer NovakJennifer Novak DC (But my heart is still in BMember Posts: 595
    edited 8 October, 2010
    Oh, Mouse, thank you so much for the tips! And the hanging basket is such a good idea, as we have some strays in the neighborhood. We'll wait til spring. Thanks again! Purrs, Coop and Coop's Mom
  • Jim MontanyaJim Montanya Oneonta, NYMember Posts: 2,278
    edited 17 October, 2010
    what my human does is strip off the leaves over a box.After they dry he puts them in a mason jar, so I can't get to them.BTW my human says the best way to store catnip is put it in a mason jar and stash it in the cuboard away from sunlight.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 18 October, 2010
    Meowma has the plant on a stand in the house, and cuts it back when it gets real bushy, to about 2" tall, so the plant lasts...we don't know how long yet. Maybe forever!:))
  • Sprite KigerSprite Kiger Member Posts: 4
    edited 19 October, 2010
    Our mom did the same thing of hanging them upside down, we almost got to them anyway.... something else she did was take a nice piece of cheese cloth and wrapped them gently before hanging so the dried leaves didn't just fall off. Then she took the cloth and stuffed it in a toy so we got 2 for one. Fresh nip and a toy :)
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    edited 10 November, 2010
    I grow catnip outside in the summer, but only in pots. It's a member of the mint family (catnip is also called catMINT) and when it takes over your herb garden, which it will if left unchecked, it will not only grow among everything, but I've noticed all my other herbs began tasting "minty" as well. To dry, I, too, would trim it low in the pot, tie it up and hang it upside down in my garage window in the direct sun (I SWEAR officer, it's CATNIP!!) I also grow wheatgrass for my 2 cats which they love almost more than catnip. It also regenerates after they chew it down so you don't have to keep replanting it. If anyone knows how to grow catnip indoors in the winter, please let me know.
  • Karen BKaren B Member Posts: 6
    edited 12 November, 2010
    Nothing is better than wild-grown catnip!! When our mommy brings fresh-picked catnip home, she rinses it real good in cold water (we live in a farming community so we have to worry about fertilizer-pesticide overspray, then cuts the roots off, and ties two plants together, then hangs them upside down until it is completely dry.
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