Catnip survivability

I planted catnip in my herbal garden because I happen to like the smell of it.
I realized that sooner or later the neighborhood ferals would start chomping on it, but I didn't realize the extent of the damage they can cause.
How well can catnip survive this kind of damage by cats? Is it a very hardy plant that will recover or might I just as soon plant it indoors because it won't survive outside? I always got the impression that it was a weed basically and would recover very fast.
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Mine did not survive the 2 or 3 outdoor cats that come to my yard.
--
Travis in Shoreline Washington


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I'm surprised it didn't since it's a mint and everyone keeps telling me that mint is indestructable. :)
I've found that not all cats like catnip, either, so maybe you won't have rambling hoards of raiding cats. But you can always plant catmint which smells as nice and isn't supposed to be as attractive to cats. Or any of the other deliciously scented mints. Chocolate, orange, peppermint... yum. (I love mints. ;)
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I'm wondering about that, no harm letting it go and seeing what happens. But between when I posted this originally and now the cats came back and mauled the rest of my catnip plants. Not just the catnip but the lemon catnip too - which my cat seems to ignore.
I'm gonna get me one of those motion activated scarecrows and see if that doesn't deter them - if not at least my garden will get some water.
The other responses give me some hope, I want it to turn into a weed, I have a 16x6 foot planter box to fill with herbs - rosemary, catnip, lavender, and marigolds and I'm crossing my fingers that it will do well.
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On Thu, 5 Apr 2007 18:12:09 -0700, "Eigenvector"

I covered mine with hardware cloth (wire mesh with half inch holes) a couple of inches off the ground. The cats only ate what grew through the mesh. It's come up again this spring so I think it may be strong enough now to survive without protection.
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In article m44 snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I started catnip from seeds three years ago and now I pull it as weeds. They grow everywhere now.
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basically and would recover very fast.
There's an old saying about catnip: "If you set* it, the cats will get it. If you sow it, the cats won't know it." *set: set out a started plant.
I've seen cats dig up freshly planted catnip -- in fact, I've got a botanical key someplace that has a hole licked through the cover by cats who were after the Nepeta x fassenii sprig I'd pressed between the pages.
Chicken wire or lots of citrus peel help if you're going to grow started plants... otherwise, start your plants from seed.
Yes, it's weedy in some parts of the US. Barely hangs on for me here in western Oregon unless I cuddle it up to a south facing stone wall for warmth.
Kay
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Is it too late to seed?

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Most likely it'd do just fine from seed now. Just observe the usual seed practices, like keeping the soil damp and not letting it dry out during germination and early growth.
You can always get a little ahead of the game by "pregerminating" the seeds inside on a paper towel or such, and then planting outside the second you start to see seedling emergence. Saves a lot of watering trips. <g>
Kay
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Heh, I live in Seattle, from now until June I won't have to worry about the ground drying out.
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July 5th for me.
--
Travis in Shoreline Washington


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I'm not that far south of you... I lost a patch of reseeded lawn in a day this week... >;-)
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I haven't lost any grass, but I sure have gained a lot of moss. Oh well, at least its green.
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