Catnip is a hardy herb, and catnip problems are usually fairly easy to figure out. If you’re dealing with catnip issues, read on and we’ll troubleshoot a few of the most common problems with catnip plants.
Problems with Catnip
Here are some of more common catnip problems and how to solve them:
Cats – Most cats love catnip and they are frequently to blame for catnip plants not thriving. If this is the case, you can cat-proof the plant by surrounding it with wire fencing. Be sure the holes are small enough that kitty can’t reach through and grab the leaves. An old birdcage makes a decorative enclosure for a catnip plant.
Insects – Catnip may be affected by pests such as aphids, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, or flea beetles. The best way to prevent pests is to water and fertilize properly (don’t overdo either one). Insecticidal soap spray is effective against most pests, although you may have to spray several times to get the upper hand.
Blight – Cercospora leaf blight is a common fungal disease. Symptoms include small flecks surrounded by yellow halos. The flecks eventually enlarge and turn brown as the plant eventually withers and dies. Remove badly infected plants. Keep the area clean and be sure to dispose of plant debris.
Bacterial leaf spot – Bacterial leaf spot is most common in cooler temperatures. Look for small, water-soaked spots with wide, yellow halos. Eventually, the spots enlarge and turn black. There is no cure for bacterial leaf spot, but you may be able to prevent the disease from occurring. Don’t work the soil when it’s muddy. Remove badly infected plants. Avoid overhead watering. Keep weeds in check.
Root rot – Root rot causes roots to become brown and slimy, often with a rotten odor. The plant weakens and the stem softens. To prevent root rot, be sure to plant catnip in well-drained soil. Water properly and avoid soggy conditions. Root rot is nearly always fatal.
Septoria leaf spot – Septoria leaf spot often occurs during rainy weather, often when air circulation is limited by plant overcrowding. Septoria leaf spot symptoms include round spots with gray centers and dark edges, often with fungi spores in the center of the spots. The disease affects older, lower leaves first. Destroy infected plants and remove weeds in the area.