How to Care for Stinging Nettle Plants
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Eike Gunnarson
Posted on: June 29, 2003

Today I received my stinging nettle plants. They are in great shape! What can I do to keep them that way? shall I plant them into bigger pots right away? What kind of soil would be best and how much water do they need? Do they prefer sun or shade?

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) likes full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil. It is best if you plant them outdoors because they like to have room to grow. It is not impossible to grow them in pots, but if you do, you’ll need to transplant into larger pots right away. Going from the 2-1/2 inch square pots that we ship in they should go in at least 4 inch pots, preferably 6 inch or even 8 inch pots.

If you must grow them in pots, put expose the pots to outdoor light rather than keeping them indoors during the summer months because the more light the more they will grow. Outdoors they will thrive in partial shade, but indoors they may not get enough light even in the brightest windows.

When grown in pots they will need occasional liquid feeding once they start to fill the pot and the roots expand throughout the soil. Liquid fish emulsion or soluable 20-20-20 fertilizer at half strength is fine.

The best choice is to plant in the garden. They can spread and be invasive, and with their stinging hairs, they can be a bit of a nuisance, but you will get the best results that way. If, for example, you are growing nettles for spring greens or for medicinal purposes you may find that growing them in pots doesn’t give you enough foliage.

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