Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are able to survive in a wide range of conditions but are most common on ground that’s been left uncultivated for a long period. Plants can spread to form clumps, and seed is also distributed to infest new areas. Stinging nettles die down to tough yellow roots in autumn, over-wintering to grow up again the following spring.
Tall-growing perennial plant which spreads below ground by rhizomes or across the surface by creeping stems or stolons to form dense clumps of stinging foliage.
Find it on
established borders, uncultivated ground
Remove seedlings and young plants on freshly cultivated ground before they get chance to establish and spread. Dig out established clumps, ensuring that all of the thick, yellow roots are removed. Where growing nettles to encourage beneficial wildlife, pinch out the flowers as soon as they appear to prevent seeding. The unflowered top growth of nettles can be added to the compost heap but roots should be burned or binned.
Apply systemic weedkiller to the newly emerging shoots in spring and make further applications as necessary. If treating in summer, cut down foliage and apply weedkiller to the regrowth that appears.