Growing and drying your own catnip at home will not only save you money, but you’ll know it’s 100% organic and pure! Catnip is a wonderful herb to have in your garden as it has so many benefits and uses. We’ll show you how to make dried catnip at home, from your very own garden.
Catnip is an herb, part of the mint family. Like most herbs, catnip can be dried using different methods. Most people will dry catnip as a treat for their cat.
Like any herb, you must be careful to preserve the essential oils of the flowers when drying. Drying too fast or too much can cause the oils to go away, thus losing the very part of the herb you want to use. It’s also critical to ensure that once the catnip is harvested and being dried, that mold does not grow. Drying in too humid of an area can cause mold to grow. A good humidity level to maintain is around 45-55%.
Depending on where you are located will factor into how you dry your catnip. If you live in an area that gets really humid, like the South, you’re going to want to pay close attention to your flowers and ensure mold is not present or growing. If you live in the desert where the humidity is 5%, then you’re going to need to keep a very close eye on your herbs daily to ensure they haven’t become too dry. Sometimes herbs can dry out in a matter of days, or sooner.
Various Methods for Drying Catnip
Depending on the weather and season, you can dry your catnip in the sun. Great way to dry herbs if you live in a warm/dry area, as this method works very well. Simply lay the freshly cut catnip on cookie sheets, baking racks, tin foil, or any sort of metal tray and place them in the direct sunlight. Doing this may take a a couple-few days to work.
You can also take your freshly cut stems, bunch them together with a rubber band, and hang them upside down (flowers facing downward), near a sunny window.
Dehydrator’s work great for removing moisture from food and herbs. Simply set your dehydrator to 100°F, and place the leaves and flowers on the dehydrator trays in a single layer fashion. Depending on how moist your flowers and leaves are will depend upon how long you leave them in the dehydrator. Generally 1 to 4 hours will suffice.
Works well if you have a gas oven where the pilot light is always on. Remove the leaves and flowers from the stems and cover with a paper towel. You can add a second layer if you wish, and again cover with another paper towel. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and leave it in there over night. Do not turn on the oven! The heat from the pilot light will create a dry environment in the oven. Check the next day. You may need to leave them in there for a couple of days.
Storing your dried catnip
Once you’ve successfully dried your catnip, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container so that it remains in good condition. If you leave it out, the essential oils will dry up and it won’t have the same effect. Airtight mason jars that are designed for canning are best.