Nettle

Urtica dioica

Common Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Nettle Leaf, Brandnetel (Afr.)

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Nettles are herbaceous, perennial plants, tall growing in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. They are rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium. Leaves and stems are cooked and eaten like spinach, while the leaves are also dried and may then be used to make a herbal tea, as can also be done with the nettle's flowers.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest leaves and stems before flowering

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed into trays with loose mix, in spring or autumn

Cuttings

Plant 10cm long Stolons, with buds in late winter at a depth of 5–7cm. Root shoot tip cuttings from spring to early summer, treat with rooting hormone

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Attracts beneficial insects including butterflies

Special features

Origin

Europe, Asia, northern Africa, western North America

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

As a tea is used to treat disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor system, skin, cardiovascular system, hemorrhage, influenza, rheumatism, and gout

Edible

Soaking stinging nettles in water or cooking removes the stinging chemicals from the plant, which allows them to be handled and eaten without injury

Personality

Family

Urticaceae

Flower colour

Brown, Insignificant, Green

Scent

None

Problems

Generally problem free