Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Catnip Catastrophe

What could have been
Okay, maybe it isn't a full blown catastrophe, since there was only 2 plants to begin with, but I'm still pretty bummed.  I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but about a week or so ago, I found a couple little catnip plants growing amongst my Three Sisters beds.  The first plant, I didn't notice what it was until I'd yanked it out of the ground, but once it was on the backpull, headed up toward my nose, I apologized profusely to the little thing, and lovingly replanted it somewhere that I'd like it to grow up and be a big plant.  A few days later, it unsurprisingly died.

The second plant, I noticed what it was before unceremoniously yanking it from the ground, so I carefully transplanted it to its new home.  I was waiting to see how it would fare before writing this post though.  Then today, I was weeding in the garden and noticed the little kittennip (that's what baby catnip plants are properly called, right?) plant was gone!  Completely gone!  Not a trace left of it.  I think something must have ate it in the night or something. 

Definitely am seriously bummed!

I don't have any cats, in case you are wondering.  In fact, I'm horribly allergic to cats and prefer to stay far, far away from the adorable little fuzzballs, since I value my ability to breathe.

Why am I so upset about losing a couple catnip plants then?  Catnip isn't just for kittehs you know!

Catnip has many uses beyond getting Kitty high.  It can be used as a herb in cooking and goes really well with lemon and chicken.  It can also be used as a tea to help aid sleep, to calm someone, or to help bring down a fever.  You can also rub the plant on yourself as a mosquito repellent, or, if you are crafty enough, make essential oil from it to make a super potent homemade mosquito spray, more powerful than commercial products containing DEET...and it's a lot safer than DEET containing sprays as well! 

And all that is just off the top of my head! 

I'm sure it has many other uses too that I haven't thought of at the moment, but since I'm in catnip mourning until I can find more catnip plants, I don't feel like looking up more or citing my sources for the uses I've listed, or even digging up my recipe for lemon catnip chicken (goes great on rice!).  I suppose I could buy some catnip seeds or probably even plants, but considering it is a fairly prolific weed, that doesn't seem very thrifty to me!  Instead, I'll keep my eyes open and find some more freebie plants, somewhere.  Maybe even growing in my garden again.


  1. Funny, I recently had a different sort of catnip adventure. We bought this place where we live now in March as I saw what I thought was mint, cleaned it, chopped it- noticed it didn't smell right but went forward anyhow. I was planning to make mint extract so I began to steep in vodka. Here I am 3 almost 4 months later with some wasted catnip infused vodka :/ Maybe I'll have to try your suggestion and make it into a bug spray. If the catnip doesn't keep the bugs off maybe the vodka will.

  2. That's funny! Betcha it would make a great sedative as well!

  3. That's odd,usually catnip is quite hardy and will happily transplant to just about anywhere....as I've got it growing all over the place here...If you want a big clump to transplant,I'll dig you some from over at my Mom's house,she's always trying to get rid of it there.

  4. That'd be great, Lee! I think I angered the first plant's roots and a stray cat got the second. A big clump would be harder for a silly kitteh to walk off with though! Just don't show your mom this post or she might not want to get rid of it after all. lol

  5. Melody: You didn't make a wasted catnip infused vodka, you've made a very nice catnip tincture that goes for $4/oz when you buy it at the store! Use it for fevers in children (and adults), bug repellant, adding to teas to make a calming, soothing nighttime drink, and a hundred other things. Catnip tincture is valuable stuff!