Growing Catnip Hydroponically – A Full Guide

Growing Catnip Hydroponically.
Catnip Plant.

A step by step guide to growing catnip hydroponically

So are you looking for information on growing catnip hydroponically? well, we help you with that. Catnip and Catmint are the commonly known names for Nepeta cataria, which is a hardy perennial herb of the Mint Family, with a strong pungent fragrance which is highly attractive and exciting to cats so you can let your cat happily jumping in catnip garden.

Catnip can grow up to a height of about three or four feet and features downy, light green foliage with small lavender flowers that develop on spikes of up to five inches long.

Catnips can grow well in both outdoor and indoor condition but. This has been observed that its aroma elevates when it is grown in sandy soil or by using the hydroponics technique. Hydroponic catnip can be raised acceptably in either sun or shade making it favourable indoor plant or growing catnip in containers.

It is a member of the mint family, called favoured herb for cats. There is an old saying about catmint plants, “If you set it the cats will eat it: if you sow it the cats won’t know it.” The attraction of cats for this herb stem is due to the fact that its scent is comparable to pheromones of cats produced by the opposite sex. The scent is also comparable to mint herb which is why catnip is often called catmint. In a small irony, rats absolutely despise catnip which can be used as an effective fence against them.

Catnip can easily be propagated using seeds, stem cuttings, or rootball divisions. The seeds must be sown late in fall or early in the spring. When sown in the fall, the comparatively denser crop is usually achieved. When plants reach five inches tall, thin so that they stand apart and don’t affect light interception. Catnip can also be started early indoors and transplanted to the hydroponic system after the last possibility of frost.

Cats aren’t the only creatures that benefit from Catnip as the leaves may be candied to enjoy as a dessert and its oil is used to ease the symptoms of headaches and nervousness.

Seed germination

Similar to many other members of the mint family, catnip is reasonably easy to grow. Catnip plants can normally found at garden centers and plant nurseries during early summer. However, one of the simplest methods of obtaining new plants is to start off them from catnip seeds. Propagation through catnip seeds is a cost-effective choice for those on a gardening budget, as well as an excellent alternative for gardeners wishing to have multiple plantings. Though effortless to obtain, catnip seeds may sometimes be tricky to germinate. Resembling many perennial plants, higher germination rates may be obtained following a period of stratification. Stratification is a practice by which the seeds are treated to varying conditions as a means to encourage germination. For catnip, seed sowing should be done after the seeds are been placed in a freezer overnight. After this period, permit the seeds to be soaked in water for a period of 24 hours. This will facilitate easier and more uniform germination rates. After the stratification process has been completed, use a seed starting tray or grow media starter plugs to plant the seeds. Place the grow tray in a warm location near a windowsill or under grow lights this will facilitate sprouting. When kept consistently moist, germination should take place usually within 5-10 days. After sprouting move the seedlings to a bright location. When the possibility of frost has passed, harden the seedlings off and plant into the desired hydroponic system.

How to propagate catnip, for propagating catnip another more simpler and most preferred mode is to take a cutting, simply by removing a small piece of new growth early in the growing season and place it in a new hydroponic grow net pot. Provide it plenty of moisture, nutrients, and light until the new growth emerges. Indoors, providing you give a catnip enough light and nutrient-enriched water, it’s believable you will get a 2-foot plant though when grown outdoors its spreads fast, but in reality, indoor catnip doesn’t have the same potency as of outdoor catnip and it seems more practical to grow plants for a single growing season, then replace them either through sowing new seeds or the cuttings.

Note:

Catnip may be considered a noxious weed or invasive plant in some areas though for the hydroponic system it’s not an issue. Catnip often attracts bees, butterflies or birds because it has fragrant flowers. Catnip self-propagates freely; so remove flowers (deadhead) if you do not wish volunteer seedlings to grow the following season.

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The nutrient solution for growing catnip hydroponically

Good quality of hydroponic nutrient formulation is significant which is easily available in hydroponic stores online mainly. We suggest products with adequate nitrogen and a good phosphorus ratio for ideal growth. Hydroponic catnip prefers low to mid electrical conductivity levels of about (1-1.6) and total dissolvable salt levels between 800 and 1200 ppm (measuring total salts is an approach to ensure correct nutrient levels). A slightly acidic pH between 5.5 and slightly alkaline 6.7 is ideal for growth.

Daytime temperatures should be maintained in about catnip temperature range of about 65°F to 70°F and are preferred by developing catnip seedlings, although they can withstand temperature into the 70s as well. It’s helpful if night temperatures are dropped at least 10°F to simulate natural growth conditions. Catnip is not particularly selective about its light outdoors, but indoors make an effort to provide it as much direct light as possible, even up to 5 hours a day of strong sunlight on a bright windowsill will work or you can install grow lights. Too little light reception will cause leggy growth.

Harvesting hydroponic catnip plants

Harvesting Catnip.
Harvesting Catnip.

When to harvest catnip is important to know, catnip plants grow quickly and will readily replace soon what you harvest. However, they are more likely to re-grow stems than the single leaves, so for harvesting, cut off the entire stems closer to the base of the plant. Then you can take away individual leaves and permit them out to dry on a simple screen or drying tray. Keep your catnip harvest in a safer place away from cats. They will be attracted to the leaves and will destroy them even before they are ready to store. Once dry, you can store catnip leaves whole or crush them in a sealed jar or bag in a cool, dark cupboard also. You will be able to draw a good harvest of catnip leaves at least twice during the growing season. Cut stems in the summer at flowering time and again in the fall and you will have a good supply to take you and your cats throughout the winter.

That’s all folks about growing catnip hydroponically, keep growing plants in hydroponics.

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