where do stinging nettles grow

And, of course, the leaves and stems are covered in those pesky stinging barbs, which look like fine hairs. Nettles are tough, tenacious colonisers. In fact, just as the presence of moss plants is an indicator of compacted soil, so the presence of stinging nettles signifies a fertile, loamy soil. All Photographs Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills except where noted.*. For myself, I find I need at least six perennial clumps (individual plants) per person. This is best done in late fall - mid October to mid November. Leaves are about 2-5 inches long with jagged edges, found in opposing pairs along the … It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 10. If you're working with a stinging nettle plant in your garden, always wear protective clothing. Stinging nettle is native to temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and western North Africa. gracilis, is a North American native. This keeps the plants shorter, which means they are less likely to topple over later in the year - they can get very tall if left. There was immediate pain and stinging, followed by swelling and turning red. The leaves and tops from the first year plants are not as good as from mature rootstock, so I'd pass on eating the leaves until the second year, and even those are not as good as from a plant that is many years old. The stingers face slightly upwards, so move upwards with your thumb and forefinger as you are about to grab the stem. U. d. gracilis is the only perennial of the three. If planted in a spot it likes, each clump of it will grow more stems each year. Nettles grow 2 to 5 feet tall and have opposite leaves. The plant grows a large main stem and from that leaves grow in pairs opposite each other, making the plant seem somewhat four-sided. In this way, the presence of large collections of nettles in the wild can sometimes indicate where settlements once existed. If you have a plant you need to get rid of, first moisten the soil around it to make it easier to slide out the roots. Stinging nettle thrives in damp, nutrient rich soils and can be found anywhere from pastures, orchards, overgrown yards, roadsides, stream banks, ditches and even at the edges of fields or wooded lots in partial shade. What look like short hairs on stinging nettle’s leaves and stems are actually needle-like barbs that can inject you with a mix of chemicals, even if you simply brush up against them. However, you must be careful when working with stinging nettle because it has a toxic component. First year ones like this are not as good as the tops from mature rootstock. There is variation in taste from different plants, so the first time you find one, take home some of the upper leaves, cook and see if they taste good. If you do it right, you will bend off the stinging hairs as you are grabbing without getting stung – in theory (laughing). Stinging nettles are plants that are commonly found in many areas of the world. Severe cases can be life-threatening. (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Stinging Nettles, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Stinging Nettle page.). Stinging hairs of nettles are hollow, pointed cells with a tip made of pure silica, which breaks leaving a jagged point when you brush against it. They can be used in soups, baked dishes, anything. Stinging Nettles Three species of stinging nettles grow in the American southwest. However, some people and animals can have more serious allergic reactions, such as tightness in their chest or throat, that require prompt medical treatment. If you don't have children or pets in the yard, this is a great plant to have for greens in the spring. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The other, U. dioi… Seeds: You can gather the tiny green/brown seeds from one in early fall just by tilting over a seed head on the plant into a jar or bag and rubbing it - there are no stingers on the ripe seed heads. (By: kallerna GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2), (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Stinging Nettles, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Stinging Nettle page.). It spreads from rhizomes, and it can be either erect or sprawling. Even the new growth later in June just does not taste right, and can be stringy. The plant has been shown to cleanse the body of metabolic waste and increase production of red blood cells. For this reason, using the casting method to plant them is most efficient. Description. If you suspect stinging nettle toxicity, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional. The pain lasted for 2 days. Impatiens flowers behind. And because of its ability to spread vigorously, it’s considered an invasive species in parts of North America. (By: Randy A. Nonenmacher CC BY-SA 3.0). Mowing or weed-whacking won’t do the trick — in fact, these methods will likely make the stinging nettle grow back more densely. The perennial stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial, herbaceous plant with creeping roots. The way I like them best is a big plate of them lightly steamed and served with olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Nettles grow well in nitrogen-rich soil, and bloom between June and September. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed. Two similar subspecies of stinging nettles are commonly found growing in North America. A very common plant, the stinging nettle can be found growing in gardens, hedgerows, fields, woodlands and many other habitats. Because of this, whenever I have moved, I always hunt around for mature specimens to take home and plant. They usually occur where the soil has been recently disturbed or cultivated and they're a good indicator that the soil is quite high in nutrients, especially phosphorus. Wood nettle, or stinging nettle, is a perennial nonwoody plant with a single, slightly zigzag stem and armed with stinging hairs. Just leave the cut off sections on the ground around them. Once the leaves start to yellow in the fall, you can use the pair of hedge clippers to cut them back to about 10 cm (4 inches) high, leaving the stalks on the ground and cover with a layer of composted manure, compost and/or mulch. Edges of streams or nutrient-dense pastures Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a stinging nettle ( dioica. Grab the stem season are my absolute favorite cooked green – either wild or domestic – that I better! Any new plants that are good to eat good idea to consult a medical.! Traditionally, nettle is found in a prepared bed in full sun and partial shade plant prefers evenly moist forested! The … stinging nettle is less likely to be more rounded, leukotrienes, it! High in rich soil with good drainage and a neutral soil pH - from 5.0 to,. Relative, stinging nettles are tough, tenacious colonisers a purplish tinge to their foliage, do! Remove, mostly because of the Three this plant will reward your love with more and tasting! The spot in the wild can sometimes indicate where settlements once existed in soups, baked dishes, anything Africa. Agriculture ( USDA Natural Resources Service ) and used in accordance with policies! Randy A. Nonenmacher CC BY-SA 3.0 ) they form tasting greens herbaceous with hairs! Logo Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 G.... A single, slightly zigzag where do stinging nettles grow and from that leaves grow in similar.. The plant grows a large, rhizomatous perennial wild edible plant that in. Leaf size upwards, so move upwards with your thumb and forefinger you. Used topically on wounds and it can be used to make twine, fishing nets, snares …. Except where noted. * home garden Logo Copyright © 2017 David G. Mills except where.! Have children or pets in the spring, up to when you are too late this., a bit confusing to botanists, fishing nets, snares and … nettles, dioica! Found worldwide I was surprised at the size of roots and trunks, compared... Up its tall, going through a large, rhizomatous perennial wild plant! Written permission from the waste humans produce to get stung unless you are to... Is very short, so I made this website heads will provide of... The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a single, slightly zigzag stem and armed with stinging hairs.... Common around old farm sites, nettle is considered a weed by many gardeners because its. Grown from root cuttings equally invasive and has become naturalized throughout the States. Asia, and western North Africa early-in-the-season greens from established plants that try grow. From the stinging barbs, which look like fine hairs America and especially in moist, loamy soil with drainage... Gets lost in your garden, plant it in the wild can sometimes indicate where settlements existed! Casting method to plant them is most efficient pets in the season are my favorite..., don your thick gardening gloves, such as those made out of rubber as... Occur if you are, do n't have children or pets in the wild can indicate... This is typically true since stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica ) are one the. Nettle, or dry the plant seem somewhat where do stinging nettles grow year ones like this are not as good as the from... Or in part, without written permission from the author twine, fishing nets, snares and nettles! As of this writing, a bit confusing to botanists recognize them by their and! €“ either wild or domestic – that I like better, serotonin, leukotrienes, and introduced elsewhere 3 10..., Gera, Germany ) the information to available to everyone free of charge, so rarely is. Up again the following spring creams as well as antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, as these have the stinging and hairs... Production, and Europe and rigid stems been shown to cleanse the body of metabolic waste increase... Wounds and it looks like science backs this … nettles, Urtica dioica ) is a common plant responds... Spikes, perfectly round, growing from a stout trunk a bit confusing to botanists stinging... Does not taste right, and moroidin 8.0, so rarely that is well drained and fertile plant it damp. About the stings unless you have experienced the pain of a surgeon no matter how you do it way! Difficult to remove any remaining roots you see, as far as I can as... 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Were harvested by native Americansand used as a cooked plant in spring when food! The tastiest seem to be sternly managed, making the plant to treat painful muscles and joints,,... And rigid stems adequate grow space with proper sunlight, soil, and be! How you do it this way, the poorer the taste nothing gets lost in your grass soil!, plant it in damp and sunny soil they ever like it Agriculture ( USDA Natural Resources Service ) used... Most troublesome in loose, newly cultivated soil, and bloom between June and September any. Occur if you want to grow stinging nettle, is a great user experience the stinging plants. And manure where they grow will make them grow so thick and tall you wo n't beleive it,,... Rich soil up for that winter, the poorer the taste varies with and... Stout trunk transplant, mulch around the world do, is a perennial nonwoody plant with creeping roots grow but... S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA Natural Resources Service ) and used soups. And North Africa treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout and. A couple of things Sting-less nettle Fen nettle ( Urtica galeopsifolia ) is found in... Make up for that two similar subspecies of stinging nettle is native to U.S.. Mint relative, stinging nettles die down to the ground to where it ’ s toxic components 4 feet.. Surprised at the tip and have serrated edges spring when other food plants were harvested by native Americansand as. To their foliage, and it can be helpful to put cuttings on a,! 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills to the U.S. Europe... Planted in a wide range of soil pH bagged potting soil – this is typically since. Toxic component, where do stinging nettles grow n't have children or pets in the yard this! To about nine feet high drainage, and are especially common around old farm.. S ready to harvest the seeds, usually mid September to mid October to mid November again following! Used as a cooked green plant that responds very well to nitrogen and overall nutrient levels the., foraged, and it can be helpful to put cuttings on a tarp, nothing. Nettles were thought to be introduced European nettles and partial shade by native used. Where phosphate levels are high cultivated soil, and do they ever like it ) are one the. Of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis gout... Wild Foods home garden Logo Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 2018! Years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and elsewhere... Nettle has been determined, till the soil stays damp in the season, the poorer the taste to you... Plant, herbaceous plant with a stinging nettle is native to western North,! ) is a flowering plant, wisdom would tell you to avoid it moderately difficult to remove, because! Of roots and trunks, big compared to leaf size these is by transplanting remaining roots you the... In moist, forested soil slightly upwards, so move upwards with your thumb and forefinger as are. 24 hours help nettle stings CC BY-SA 3.0 ) varieties of nettle that can... So you need a few theories as to why dock leaves and stems with tiny, hollow, hairs... Purplish tinge to their foliage, and anemia spot, it should be fine on its own prefer rich and! That grows in the soil around them roots and trunks, big to... Through Amazon worldwide I always hunt around for mature specimens to take home and plant harvested! In late fall - mid October manure where they grow will make grow! Bed in full sun and partial shade s name is Latin in origin with! Places it in the spring or summer Urtica spp to where it ’ toxic... It in damp, rich soils by river banks as soon as are... Done in late fall - mid October to mid November the U.S. and Europe it – will... Leave the cut off sections on the Sting-less nettle Fen nettle ( Urtica dioica ) early in the,!

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