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Nettles delight only a few lovers. Most people probably know them as an annoying weed that causes wheals. Why should one come up with the idea of breeding it especially since it is a wild herb that grows in many locations?

Breeding via seed is possible but may not be successful

Reasons for breeding nettles

There are several reasons for cultivating nettles, for example in your home kitchen garden or generally on a larger plot of land:

  • medicated
  • edible
  • valuable feed for animals such as ducks and chicken chicks
  • can be used as liquid manure (rich in nitrogen)
  • Can be used as mulch (€239.00).
  • effective against weeds and parasites
  • provides a home and food source for animals such as caterpillars

There are also counter-arguments

But there are also counter-arguments. This includes, for example, that the stinging nettle also grows wild in nature and cultivation is not necessary. Breeding requires a certain amount of work and time. Furthermore, the stinging nettle causes burning and itching when it comes into contact with the skin. On top of that, species like the well-known stinging nettle tend to proliferate through their root suckers.

Decide what kind you want!

Before you start growing nettles, you should decide which species you want to grow. The small stinging nettle and the large stinging nettle are widespread in Germany. You have proven yourself. Or would you prefer something more exotic, such as pill nettle or reed nettle?

Grow nettles from seed

Growing stinging nettles from seeds is not recommended, as the seeds have poor germination capacity - at least when no-till outdoors. They are frost germs, which should preferably be grown in pots. When the first leaves appear, they can be planted out.

Spread with root suckers

It is better to multiply or breed stinging nettles via their root suckers. In April, 10 cm long root suckers are cut off and planted. The common stinging nettle has many of these runners. This makes sense on a small scale, but is too complex on a large scale.


Although the stinging nettle is robust, it is not immune to disease and pest infestation.

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