About Stinging Nettle

Although maligned in modern times due to its hairy leaves that cause skin irrititations, Stinging Nettle actually has many favourable attributes. It is a nutrient-rich food (cooking neutralizes the stinging) and both the leaves and roots boasts a number of potent medicinal properties. Learn how to grow nettle below.

Urtica dioica
Family: Urticaceae


Season & Zone
Season: All seasons (perennial)
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Start seeds indoors late winter and transplant in early spring or direct sow in container or its permanent spot in early spring. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21°C (70°F). Seeds should sprout in approximately 14 days.

Press seeds lightly into soil and cover with a thin layer of soil, about 0.5cm (0.25”). Seeds require light to germinate. Keep moist until seedlings are established. If growing directly in the soil, thin to 20-30cm (8-12″) apart.

Nettle is a perennial and generally low maintenance. It prefers rich soil and require consistent moisture to thrive. Providing mulch around the plant will help retain moisture.  Be aware that nettle can become invasive if not managed. To prevent spreading, consider growing in containers.

Pick tops of plants before they flower when leaves are young and tender. Harvest no more than a third of the plant at a time.

Seed Info
Usual seed life: 3 years.