Urtica urens (Annual Nettle)

Scientific Name

Urtica urens L.

Common Names

Annual Nettle, Dwarf Nettle, Small Nettle, Dog Nettle, Burning Nettle, English Stinging Nettle


Urtica trianae

Scientific Classification

Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Urtica


Color: Creamy white
Bloom Time: June to September


Urtica urens is a herbaceous annual flowering plant with erect or ascending stems, often branched from the base and up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. The oval, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, sharp-tipped leaves, which are deeply toothed, are bright green, and the lower are shorter than their stalks. The tiny flowers are creamy-white. The male and female flowers are borne on the same plant in short spikes.

Urtica urens - Annual Nettle
Photo via plantasflores.com


It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

Nettles prefers rich soil with good moisture content and especially favors the edges of streams or nutrient-dense pastures.

Nettle seeds are tiny, light dependant germinators that can be started indoors or out. However, select your location carefully as Nettles are very hardy and can spread quickly with the right conditions. Nettle can be assisted with stratification, but it is not necessary.

To start, tamp the small seeds lightly into the soil or cover them with a thin layer of soil (0.25 inch/6 mm). If starting indoors, sow in flats in late winter and transplant in early spring—space plants approximately 8 inches (20 cm) apart.

If direct sowing, seed in spring and thin as desired and plant rows 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. It is recommended to find a permanent spot with rich, moist conditions a little away from (or on the periphery of) your other herbs. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stinging Nettle.


Native to Eurasia and it can be found in North America and New Zealand as an introduced species.


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