what nettle type?

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  • #53232


    I see a couple of different types of nettle in the seed offer. I have some of the local stuff in a pot outside and its pretty vicious stuff … every now and then I get a bit close :(.

    Is there one of the types that is more friendly to have round?

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  • #53303

    Stefan Olson


    I’m also on the North Shore (Torbay). I recently planted a ferox nettle plant and soon afterwards for the first time ever I saw a red admiral on one of my buddleia. Don’t know if that is a coincidence or not! In order to attract them I think you need a combination of nettles and food plants, assuming they are in/near your environment in the first place. I didn’t think we had reds here, but clearly we do :-). Yellow admirals have been seen in the Awaruku Bush area, so somehow they are holding on against the wasp plague.

    I am working with the Awaruku Wetlands group to set up some nettles and a butterfly garden in the wetlands/Long Bay reserve. I also know there are others here on the shore with nettles.

    If you are further south I know that there are red admirals around Birkenhead area as well.

    I am basically trying to plant ferox, urens and australis. There is a lady near me who has a butterfly house that I will probably end up trying to raise the butterflies in, in order to try and avoid the massive wasp problem that we have where we are.

    If you need any help, happy to try and help.




    I settled on the chatham island nettle which supposedly is edible when young … a bonus maybe lol. I suspect the ‘local’ stuff that is readily available at the farm where I graze my horse is the pest variety. I had a pot of it and it certainly attracts the admirals, I had quite a few caterpillars on it last year. They seem to act a bit like monarch caterpillars and march off into the wilderness at a certain stage. I’m going to try and do better this year and have more nettles for them.



    Maybe the question is also, what type is better if any to attract, like, Red Admirals on the North Shore….as i hope to plant a lot next spring
    Roy Harvey



    I’m not sure what you mean by “local” stuff, Leslie. I have three: Urtica urens or the European nettle which is classified as a pest plant. I also have U. australis (big leaf) and have had U. incisa (very small leaf) but the latter has more or less lost ground to the others.

    They all sting and although I try and avoid being stung, when it happens I quickly rub a dock leaf or plantain leaf on the sting and it stops stinging… so no worries really.

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