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Nettles Urtica dioica

Growing Nettles: Tips at a Glance

  • Type Herbaceous
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones All
  • Light Full sun to shade
  • Water
  • Soil Prefers loose
  • Abundant Where rainfall is high
  • First Appear In spring
  • Spreads Rhizomes
  • Rate of Growth Fast
  • Value Add Medicinal uses, vitamins

Nettles: A Field Guide

Nettle is conflicted. On one hand, she’ll sting you. On the other, she’ll nurture you and your garden’s plants, insects, and birds.

The common, or stinging, nettle is a weed, and five of its six subspecies have aggressive hairs on its stems and leaves. Nettles can be foraged, landing on high-end menus, and brewed as beer. They’re packed with nitrogen; a strong nettle tea can boost your garden. If you have room, consider a nettle patch, the perfect breeding ground for butterflies and home for the early nettle aphid, which bring ladybugs. It will also attract birds that feast on nettle seeds. Avoid harvesting older, fibrous nettles. Simply cut them back and young, tasty shoots will emerge. Soaking in water removes nettles’ stinging properties.

Planting, Care & Design of Nettles

More About Nettles

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