You can keep your cat grass alive by repotting it to a deeper and wider pot when the roots start to crowd. Use a pot with good drainage and make sure to not overwater nor underwater the grass. Place it in an area where it gets ample sunlight. Trim the ends of the grass if they are going brown and dry. Do not fertilize the grass.
In this article we will discuss tips on how to keep your cat grass alive, so if you are having problems with your cat grass, keep on reading.
What is cat grass?
Cat grass is a grass mixture grown from the seeds of wheat, barley, oats and rye. These seeds are used because they are gentle on a cats stomach. It is grown indoors specifically for pets.
Cat grass can be used as a deterrent. Your cat can chew on the cat grass instead of your other houseplants. It can also help with a cats digestion. If your cat eats cat grass regularly, it may prevent the build-up of hairballs.
How do I keep my cat grass alive?
1.Use a deep pot
Cat grass does not survive for long if the roots have filled the container. If it does not have space to spread its roots, it becomes stunted and eventually dies. Cat grass in a shallow container becomes rootbound and dies in ten days. While cat grass in a deeper pot has space for the roots to grow and may keep going for six to eight weeks.
It will not last as long as planting the grass outside on a lawn, but a deep pot is the next best thing.
2.Repot to a bigger plant pot
If you think the grass looks dry, try repotting to a bigger pot. Fill it with potting soil while making sure there is enough space on top for the cat grass. Check that the soil has no pesticides or herbicides which may be toxic to your cat. Place the cat grass gently on top of the soil and press it in.
3.Use a pot with good drainage
The cat grass pot needs to have good drainage to avoid drowning the plant. This keeps the roots from rotting. Use a taller pot as opposed to a shallow tray.
4.Water just right when using a pot with no drainage
Simulate drainage by watering the grass more frequently but with a small amount of water. Stop watering if you can see build up at the bottom. You want the bottom of the pot dry.
5.Use soil that can drain
Good soil drains nicely and forms no puddles at the top, it feels lightly damp to the touch, and the water drains quickly. Clay and high nutrient soil do not drain well. Use standard quality potting plant soil instead.
Make sure that the soil is not too compact because this stops the soil from draining and may cause root compression. If the soil is compact before you plant the seeds, break it up first.
6.Water the cat grass appropriately
Too much water deprives the roots of oxygen. Soak seeds eight to ten hours before planting them. This works better than planting the seeds directly into the soil and overwatering.
If you have overwatered the cat grass, take the soil out and air dry.
If you have under watered the cat grass, soak the grass directly in the drainage water up to 12 hours. Drain off the excess water, and water it twice a day for five to seven days.
7. Your cat grass will not live forever
Cat grass does not reproduce and spread. Cat grass seeds are annual, meaning they live for one year.
8.Make sure the seeds are planted a quarter of an inch from the top of the soil
If you plant the seeds too close to the surface, cats will be able to pull them out with the roots. If you plant the seeds too deep, they might not break through the soil to get sunlight.
9.Give it ample light
Letting the cat grass get sunlight for eight hours per day helps it grow thicker. It does not have to be direct sunlight; any decently lit area will do.
If your plant does not get enough light, it will start turning yellow. Remedy this by putting it in strong direct sunlight for a few hours.
If your plant is getting too much light, it will become of a brownish color. Too much direct sunlight may be burning your plant. After a few hours in direct sunlight, move the plant to a shadier area.
10.Trim the grass when it starts to wilt at the top
Cats like the grass fresh, so cut the tops of the grass when they get too long or when they start to wilt.
The ends of the grass are drier compared to the bits at the bottom, so your cat will appreciate you exposing the juicier parts of the grass.
11. Not all of the seeds will make it
Premade cat grass in pet stores look dense because a lot of seed were sowed. Many of those seeds did not make it because overcrowding the seeds makes the shoots crowd each other out. So, if you want dense grass, plant a lot of seeds, but know that not all of them will germinate.
12. Your air conditioning may be making the grass dry
Air conditioning dries out the air in a room. Grass needs humidity to survive.
If you have the air conditioning on most of the time, buy a water spray bottle for the grass. This gives the grass the perfect amount of humidity to not dry out, but not so much that it overwaters the soil. Spray the grass with water once every hour you have the air conditioning on.
If you are worried you might forget to spray the grass, a humidifier is also helpful.
13. Do not fertilize your cat grass
Fertilizers may contain chemicals that are harmful to your cat. Same goes with pesticides and herbicides.
14.Grow the grass tall enough before giving it to your cat
Giving your cat the grass before it is at least a few inches high is not a good idea. The grass is not strong enough to cope with the stress of your cat eating it.
If your cat is too aggressive with the grass, only leave it out for him for short periods of time. Put it in an inaccessible place to give it time to grow.
15.Use a plant mister spray
Use the water mister sprays usually used on bonsai trees. This also makes it hard for you to overwater.
16.Do not use a cat grass kit from the pet store
Even though cat grass kits are convenient and cheap, the materials are usually of a poor quality. The shallow pots do not have drainage holes. Buy a standard deep plant pot with drainage holes because the grass grows a lot better in it.
You save money, in the long run, because you grow longer lasting grass. A cheap cat grass kit requires several batches before you finally grow a decent batch.
17.Get a new pot of cat grass ready before your current one dies
If you notice your cat grass nearing the end of its life, start sowing seeds in another pot so your cat will not have to wait between batches.
Keeping a healthy pot of cat grass in your home will make your pet kitty very happy. They love to chew on it to aid their digestion.
Keep your cat grass alive longer by planting the seeds ¼ inch below the surface in a deep pot with drainage holes. Make sure to give your plant eight hours or decent sunlight. Water the grass twice a day with a mister spray to not overwater the soil. Do not use fertilizer on the grass as it may be harmful to your cat.
Trim the dry tips of the grass so kitty can eat the juicy bottom bits. Start sowing the seeds for a new batch of cat grass when your current one is about to die, so your kitty does not have to wait in between batches.
Image: istockphoto.com / insonnia
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