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Home & garden

Multiply catnip - 4 ways and how to do it


Do you love catnip in your garden and can't get enough of it? With these methods, you multiply the plant at lightning speed.

Not only the cats are enthusiastic about this versatile lip blossom family, which is particularly good as a border or can also green rock gardens and dry stone walls. Catnip (nepeta) flowers continuously and the leaves exude an aromatic fragrance. Clever hobby gardeners plant the catnip together with roses in the bed. The essential oils of the cat balm keep pests away from the roses. No matter what you have in mind with the pretty plants, you can read here how the catnip can be propagated and what needs to be considered when cultivating the young plants.

The propagation is possible in this way

  • even sowing
  • cuttings
  • division
  • sowing

❶ Everything happens by itself - self-sowing

If you do not want to worry about a targeted propagation, you simply let nature run its course, but you also have to be careful that catnip does not literally grow over your head. If you are given the opportunity to do this, the plants will be happy to spread out and form stately cushions. If the flowers are not cut back in time, seeds will form. If you let them ripen, self-sowing begins.

Self-sowing can be a problem, especially for varieties with gray foliage, which are less demanding than green-leaved catnip. Without our intervention, the plants grow practically in every crack in the wall. However, the all-clear can be given a bit, the small plants can be easily removed.

➔ Tip: Pruning the flowers in good time not only prevents self-seeding. The plant is also encouraged to flower again.

Key words for self-sowing:

  • no action required
  • ripe seeds fall to the ground
  • new plantlets emerge
  • Easy removal

❷ Good growth guarantee - propagation through cuttings

The propagation of cuttings is a particularly reliable method, which can also be recommended to beginners. The cuttings are preferably cut in spring. Those who have failed to do so can still grow new plants in autumn, but should then spend the winter in the house and only put them outdoors in the coming spring.

Approximately ten centimeters long shoots can serve as cuttings. These are separated from the plant with a sharp knife or scissors. To prevent the plant from starting to rot when the leaves come into contact with water, remove the lower leaves. The cutting is now placed in a container and placed on the warm flower window.

➔ Tip: The water should be replaced regularly.

After a few weeks, delicate roots should have formed. If the root is sufficiently developed, the cutting can be planted outdoors. This applies to cuttings cut in spring. Cuttings that were cut in the winter, as already mentioned, hibernate in the house. To do this, they must be placed in a suitable planter.

The propagation of cuttings in brief:

  • Cut cuttings in spring or autumn
  • Length of the cutting between eight and ten centimeters
  • Use sharp cutting tools
  • Root the cuttings in a glass of water at room temperature
  • Plant cuttings

❸ Very easy to do - multiplication by division

If you have healthy and strong plants, you can start multiplication by division. The best time to divide the rhizome is spring. A division is possible until early summer. If the plant blooms, it should not be divided if possible. This could affect flowering.

To be able to divide the plant, it is first taken out of the ground. So that the root system is easily recognizable, the earth should be shaken off or brushed off. Now the plant can be divided into individual segments with a sharp spade. Depending on the size of the catnip, division into several pieces is also possible. It is important that each segment has sufficient roots, otherwise the plant will not grow well and cannot adequately supply itself with water and nutrients through the soil. After division, the individual plants must be thoroughly watered. You can then put them back in the ground and cultivate them as usual.

Multiplication by keyword:

  • Take the plant out of the ground
  • Clean root from soil
  • Split the rhizome with a sharp spade
  • water newly obtained plants thoroughly
  • Plant catnip and cultivate as usual

❹ Needs a little patience - propagation by sowing

This method is probably only interesting if there is no independent catnip plant available yet. The seed does not necessarily have to be purchased. Other hobby gardeners are certainly willing to give up seeds, otherwise their plants will quickly grow over their heads.

Sowing can be done directly outdoors. The catnip does nothing else when sowing itself. No further maintenance measures are required. The first germs become visible after two to four weeks. Prick off the young plants after a few weeks. The strongest young plants need space to develop accordingly.

The propagation by sowing in key words:

  • possible directly into the open at any time
  • Germination time two to four weeks
  • Prick out young plants and cultivate as usual

The individual methods of propagation with their advantages and disadvantages

methodadvantagesdisadvantage
even sowing▶ No action is required.
▶ The flowers are full of seeds.
▶ The flowers must not be cut off until the seed has fully developed.
▶ This is at the expense of a second bloom.
▶ Uncontrolled self-sowing can become a problem, since the undemanding plants grow almost everywhere.
cuttings▶ The method is simple and reliable.▶ The plants must be sufficiently developed.
▶ It takes some time before the cuttings can be rooted and planted out.
▶ Care should be taken to change the water daily during rooting.
division▶ You get a whole plant right away, which can be cultivated as usual.▶ It must be a well-developed plant.
▶ The root system could be injured during the division.
seed▶ Seeds can be easily obtained.
▶ Numerous plants can be grown.
▶ It takes a little patience until finished young plants have emerged.

What should be considered when cultivating young plants?

The young plants should only move outdoors when they are sufficiently developed. The delicate roots could be injured when transplanting, which would result in the plants dying. If the young plants are not yet sufficiently developed, they should not be placed outdoors in autumn. The catnip is hardy, but young plants are less robust and therefore better kept in a bright location in the room.

Caution cats!

Catnip is not only pretty to look at for the hobby gardener, but also a feast for cats. Almost half of all free-roaming cats are magically attracted to the lemon balm - not always to the delight of the hobby gardener. This frowns when Kie lolls in the bed, tears plants off or even digs them out completely. Young plants are particularly at risk. If you want to protect your plants, put a wire basket over them or stretch a wire mesh around the plants.

➔ Tip: In group planting, catnip is less at risk than single plants.