Stinging Nettle (Organic)
Urtica dioica. Perennial in zones 3-10.
Stinging Nettle is an indispensable and delicious perennial plant native to many northern regions throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. Grows wild or cultivated in cool, shady, and damp areas in all but the coldest or hottest environments. Loved for its nutrient-rich leaves that are used fresh as cooked spring greens, or dried for use in tea. Leaves are high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acid, and many vitamins and minerals including iron. Stinging nettle tea has so many health benefits it is impossible to list them all here. Plants grow to 5′ tall and spread slowly via rhizomes. An important ingredient for green manure liquid extracts and for biodynamic compost preparations along with Chamomile, Valerian and Yarrow .
Beware, the plant earns its name from the small hairs found on the leaves and stems that cause quite the sting. The stinging sensation only lasts for a few minutes for most people but we recommend wearing gloves for harvest and to avoid touching the leaves until they are fully dried or cooked.
Surface sow in pots indoors 4 – 6 weeks before last frost. Germinates in 14 days. When plants are 3” tall, wear gloves to transplant in fertile soil to 12” centers. May also be direct sown in early spring or early fall. Keep well fertilized, watered, and cultivated. Prefers part shade.
Male and female plants are needed for seed production. Collect seeds in second year from plants for replanting or culinary use. Cut seed stalks when seeds are dry, thresh by hand, dancing, or hitting seed stalk against sides of bucket. Winnow to clean.