Care for catnip plants by giving them full sun exposure and watering them regularly while taking care to avoid overwatering. Promote healthy leaf growth by snipping any flower stalks as soon as they appear. Like other herbs, catnip puts all of its energy into growing flowers and seeds once it starts blooming, causing foliage to shrink and grow slowly.
As the name suggests, catnip plants often attract the attention of cats. While some cats are content to smell the leaves and roll around next to the plants, other cats are significantly rougher on the plants. It is not uncommon for cats to roll on top of catnip plants, bite off leaves and shred stems while under the plant's influence.
Protect catnip plants from cats by inserting numerous tall bamboo, plastic or wooden sticks between the plants. The sticks allow cats to enjoy the plants' fragrance, while protecting the plants themselves from serious damage. Make sure that you choose sticks too tall for the cats to injure themselves upon. An equally effective but more expensive alternative is to surround the plants with chicken wire or tomato cages.
If you have an indoor cat, grow catnip in pots. Container growing allows you to bring the plant inside for your cat to enjoy, and then take the back plant outside to ensure it receives sufficient sunlight.