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My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:51 pm
by ItalianBee
Nettles don't seem to grow wild around here, so I broke down this year and bought a small plant in a pot. I have repotted it but I have to keep it in a container because I don't have any land to plant it in. It looks fine, green and healthy, and I've had a few stings from it (which I don't mind, they're not anything like poison ivy stings). But in the last couple of days I have brushed past it and it hasn't stung me. I don't think I've developed an immunity - I suppose that could happen - but outside of that, is there any reason why nettles in a pot would lose their sting? Not having proper nutrition, something like that? As I said, it does look healthy.

Re: My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:17 pm
by Singingcrowsings
When a leaf is stroked one way there is little chance in getting stung. It's possible you just rubbed it the right way.

When I collect nettle, I don't use any gloves and on occasion I might get a sting or two on my wrist from reaching into the plant, but that's it.

Re: My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:22 pm
by ItalianBee
I actually tried rubbing against them all different ways, because I know you have to catch the stinging hairs to get stung.

But something else occurred to me - nettles grow well in "waste land," scrubby stuff, they don't need rich soil. Maybe the soil I put them in is too rich rather than lacking in nutrients!

Re: My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:45 am
by Singingcrowsings
It could just be the variety you're dealing with.

Another idea is, are the leaves you touch, or brush by on, older leaves or are they new ones? Does nettle have a limited amount of stinging power?

Re: My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:29 pm
by ItalianBee
I don't think it's the variety, because when I first got the plant it stung me.

After reading your post I went out and rubbed my hand over all the leaves I could find, to test whether it made a difference rubbing against old or new leaves. Nothing, but I think all the leaves that are showing now are fairly new.

It's a puzzle....

Re: My nettles lost their sting

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:54 am
by Singingcrowsings
It is a puzzle.

But then, it might not have to do with the variety nor the soil, but the fact that this one plant is getting so much attention? That in itself is a unique situation for a stinging nettle plant.

Perhaps someone will come along here and know the answer. I'm curious, myself.