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Catnip

Posted by kellybaby z6 CT (My Page) on
Wed, May 17, 06 at 9:24

Hi Everyone:

I have a quick question - last weekend, my daughter and I went to the local Home Depot to pick up a few plants. One of the plants she wanted was catnip (we have a cat). The place was so busy and I picked up the container that said catnip on the tag, not really paying attention. When we got it home, I rubbed the leaves and they had a scent of kinda minty/lemony. Now, I went online to see what the leaves of catnip look like and it does look like it, but the scent is throwing me off. Does catnip have that kind of smell? Also, the cat hardly looked at the plant. I did read that the plant will give off a scent if rubbed, but I didn't think it was that kind of smell.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Catnip

could be lemon balm, which is a relative and looks similar. More than this, I'd need a picture.


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RE: Catnip

There is also a Lemon Catmint that looks like regular Catnip. If your plant has a "skunky" smell(don't know how else to describe it, though not as bad as real skunk) in addition to the lemon, it is probably Lemon Catmint. If it just has a nice lemony scent, it is probably Lemon Balm. Just the skunky smell(which goes away when dried) would be the Catnip and your cat would be all over it. I've grown all three and done numerous cat tests :D All three have similar leaves, but I believe the Catnip leaves are larger than the other two although this may depend on growing conditions. Hope this helps.


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RE: Catnip

Just to add to the confusion. Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is often also commonly called Catnip, and while some cats go for it, a lot don't. Its smell is much more pleasant than that of Catnip, which is Nepeta cataria. If you really want your cat to go ape over a plant, get Catgrass (Dactylis glomerata).

Catnip and Catmint are two plants which are commonly incorrectly labelled.


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RE: Catnip

Here is a picture of catmint(Nepeta mussinii), it is in the right hand side of the picture.

Mine blooms regularly from spring to fall and stays in a neat small cushion shape. I also have six hills giant catmint (Nepeta faassenii) which does resemble catnip more but has no strong scent.
Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) has a nice mint scent and is good in dried arrangements and potpourri, but do NOT put it in a arrangement in water or it will make the water smell like sewer. I don't know why it has that bad habit when it smells so great dry!

Catnip has a "fug" smell to it, and is a tall gangly plant.


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