Burning nettle is found primarily in disturbed areas such as ditches, roadsides, fences rows and in gardens. On farms, nettles are often found in stock camps beside shelter belts as the plants need bare soil to get established from seed and once germinated, generally won’t be grazed by the animal.
Burning nettle can be found in soils that lack Calcium and Phosphorus but are high in Potassium and Magnesium. Burning nettle may indicate that the soil is lacking humus and bacterial life.
In the UK, an annual World Nettle Eating Championship draws thousands of people to Dorset, where competitors attempt to eat as much of the raw plant as possible. Competitors are given 60 cm (24 in) stalks of the plant, from which they strip the leaves and eat them.