In this article, you will be able to figure out the best plant companion for your feline in the battle of catmint vs catnip . Let’s see which one it is and some of its other benefits.
Are you a cat owner who also wants to spruce up their home with a cute little flower? A flowering plant could be the exact thing you and your pet might need. However, you should look closely at what you’re ordering online because these two plants look similar but have very different effects on your kitty.
You can find catnip and catmint around the world. The plants’ fragrance, however, is so similar that it confuses people and pets alike. But is there more than meets the nose?
What are the actual differences? Is one more potent than the other? Can you use them for the same purpose? Read on as we reveal more about this pungent pair.
Catmint vs Catnip: What Are the Differences?
Both catnip and catmint are members of the same Nepeta genus of flowering plants. Although they are of the same genus, catnip and catmint are different species. But flowery enough that gardeners will often plant them together to give us two varieties of the same beauty.
You can plant catmint in your garden and let the lavender flowers charm you. In contrast, catnip has white flowers, but its appearance is weedier. Catnip’s flowers are also small as compared to catmint’s massive flowers.
Catmint & Catnip: What Are Their Culinary Uses?
Catnip isn’t just for kitties. The leaves of catnip are used by humans, too. Catnip belongs to the mint family, meaning you can use this aromatic herb in cooking. If you’re holding onto various herbs.
Moreover, you can also add its shoot tips and leaves to soups, salads, or sauces, among other recipes. It is very important to note that too much catnip can be toxic.
If you’re a fan of minty, citrusy flavored tea, you might also enjoy catnip tea. You can make catnip tea from the leaves and flowers of catnip.
You can do this by steeping catnip leaves in hot water and adding lemon to this mixture. This way, you can get a purer flavor blend from this method.
Catmint tea has a refreshing taste, too. While catnip tea can be citrusy, you can drink catmint tea if you want a sweet fragrance and mild minty flavor. Both plants make great teas.
Are Catmint and Catnip Used in Medicines?
Apart from their culinary uses, these plants have medicinal benefits as well. Catnip has played a significant role in traditional Asian medicine. In folk medicine, catnip helps relieve colds, migraines, fever, and cramps.
Plus, farmers use catnip to protect their crops. Catnip gives off a scent that attracts cats and deters many insects when crushed or rubbed. The bugs could eat the crop leaves or make the plants unhappy. These include fleas or cabbage moths which could destroy crops before harvest, and webworms or tomato hornworms.
Because of its ability to repel insects, catnip acts as an insecticide. You can spray it against ants, fleas, lice, cockroaches, mosquitoes, silverfish, flies, ticks, and beetles. However, it is difficult to get the oil from the leaf as it is costly.
Both catnip and catmint are good for repelling mosquitoes, so if you harvest the leaves from either plant for this purpose, hang them in bunches around your home or place them in sachets inside clothing drawers.
Catmint vs Catnip: Which Will Your Feline Love?
The difference between catnip and catmint is extremely subtle. You can take both these herbs to relieve your cats of fleas, but how it works for them is entirely different.
Studies show that catnip contains a chemical nepetalactone that mimics a natural attraction in cats known as a sex pheromone. This chemical triggers the cat’s pheromone, which stimulates a pleasure response in the cat’s brain.
This pheromone could cause the cat to become aggressive toward other animals. Contrary to that, catmint would not attract cats to your garden if you plant it, even though cats love to eat catmint.
If you talk about the chemicals in their leaves that can make cats feel dizzy, lethargic, and happy. Only catnip plants will result in a reaction from your feline friend when eaten in large quantities. Catmint, on the other hand, won’t do that.
Catmint vs Catnip: How to Grow Them at Home?
Catnip is a herb that forms part of the mint family. It is a perennial, meaning that once the herbal plants are grown, they can withstand moderate drought conditions.
To grow catnip plants, you can buy seeds. The catnip plant has tiny seeds, so make sure to sow them in conditioned soil. Moreover, the soil should be moist to wet for it to grow. Plus, you should ensure that your plants are in full sun. This herbal plant prefers rich soil; make sure you use compost or manure. As a perennial herb, catnip can grow for more than two years.
Catmint is an attractive border or edging plant for flower beds and sunny patios. It is also a good choice for rock gardens, troughs, and birdbaths. They work well for grouping in masses with other plants to create an island effect. In addition, it’s a versatile and drought-tolerant plant that isn’t too picky about soil conditions. Ultimately, it can grow almost anywhere!
Final thoughts on Catnip vs Catmint
Anyone who has grown Catmint or Catnip will know that these herbaceous plants can be indistinguishable to the untrained eye. However, it can be frustrating if you’ve made an incorrect choice, especially if you’re looking for a flowering plant to spruce up your garden.
Now you know which herbs to grow in your garden. So, you and your feline can both benefit!