Catnip plants are high yielding plants that can withstand the elements. They are tolerant of drought in less then ideal soil. They can produce a purplish-whitish flowers. They prefer full and direct sunlight. Both the leaves and the flowers of Nepeta cataria can be used as a gentle antispasmodic and a very mild sedative.
The reason cats are so entranced by this particluar plant is the active ingredient Nepetalactone. This fragrance 10% to 30% of cats sensory receptors and gives the cat a psycho-sexual high. Cats are known to exhibit behavior of increased licking, rolling, drooling, and chasing. Although reactions to the Nepeta Cataria (cat nip) may very between different cats.
This plant can also be used as a potent mosquito replant as well as repelling other pests. Cat Nip can also be used as a companion pet and even as a meat tenderizer. The American Chemical Society to be ten times more effective than the commercial chemical, DEET, in repelling mosquitoes.
Although do be warned cat nip is a very invasive plant. Make sure to keep it tidy or the cat nip will want to take over your garden. Also cat nip will attract all the kitty’s in your neighborhood so make sure you have to pet all your new found friends.