How to Dry and Store Catnip

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Catnip is an easy-to-grow perennial plant as far north as U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 3. Not all cats are attracted to catnip, but those who are will be seen sniffing and rolling on the foliage. Catnip can be dried for use in pouches as a cat toy and has other household uses, such as a component in tea and insect repellent. You can dry catnip and store it for use over many months.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers or scissors
  • Screen, baking sheet or twine
  • Airtight container
  • Harvest when the plant is 8 to 10 inches tall. By that stage, the leaves will be large and mature.

  • Gather catnip for drying in late summer. The harvest process will depend on how you will be drying the catnip. If drying flat, then snip or pinch off the top leaves. If hanging the catnip to dry, snip off long stems.

  • Dry the leaves before storing them. Drying can be achieved by placing the snipped leaves on a screen to allow the air to dry the leaves, which can take several weeks. Another option to dry flat is to place the leaves on a baking sheet in the oven on the lowest setting; it can take up to six hours for the leaves to dry. The leaves are dry when you can easily crumble them with your fingers. To dry the leaves by hanging them, secure bunches with twine on the stems and hang them in a dry location.

  • Crumble the dried leaves and place them in an airtight plastic container or glass jar. The leaves can also be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.

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