Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Dead Nettle, Purple Dead Nettle
Lamium purpureum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lamium (LAY-mee-um) (Info)
Species: purpureum (pur-PUR-ee-um) (Info)

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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By Scorpioangel
Thumbnail #1 of Lamium purpureum by Scorpioangel

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Lamium purpureum by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Lamium purpureum by kennedyh

By melody
Thumbnail #4 of Lamium purpureum by melody

By CaptMicha
Thumbnail #5 of Lamium purpureum by CaptMicha

By gessieviolet
Thumbnail #6 of Lamium purpureum by gessieviolet

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #7 of Lamium purpureum by creekwalker

There are a total of 24 photos.
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3 positives
5 neutrals
7 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative plant_it On May 25, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

This dead nettle is native to Europe and Asia. It can get quite invasive here in the U.S. My neighbors otherwise healthy woodlands are infested with it. It colonizes and forms big patches. Similarly, I've noticed that the cornfields around here that have not been planted yet are loaded with dead nettle. I'm thinking if it takes over not just disturbed areas but also healthy woodlands, look out.

Instead of Purple Dead Nettle, you can plant wild ginger, asarum canadense. It's native to the U.S. Hardy in zones 3-8. The sturdy rootstocks and soft green leaves creep to cover woodland slopes, rocky soils and any shady area. Once established, it fends off garlic mustard, buckthorn, and other invasives like the deadnettle. Plant one foot apart to form a solid cover in two to three years.

Neutral DMersh On Jun 25, 2011, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Probably not native to USA (it seems to run out of control there, judging from other comments, like many introduced species)
In UK it is native but much less prolific than the larger Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioeca.

Neutral marti001 On Apr 20, 2011, marti001 from Somerset, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I find this plant interesting. It grows wild in my yard, but I can pull it up easily. I do like it as it is the first color in the spring along with the wild violets. After it's done blooming I start pulling it.

Positive giftgas On May 5, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Easy to germinate. It spreads by seed, but then dies to the ground. I don't see how it is a problem, being that it is an annual, and it is a very small plant. I grow this plant on purpose, and then enjoy the blooms for a short time, and when it dies, different species are already emerging to take its place. If you time your garden correctly, you can have a wide selection of plants living in the same spot all year, each taking turns before bowing out to the next one in line.

Positive creekwalker On Nov 28, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have to say I like this plant. It might grow profusely in the spring, but it never seems to choke anything out and as summer progresses, it dies away.

I like seeing the cheery purple fields of it in the spring as a reminder that spring is finally here.

Negative CaptMicha On Apr 21, 2007, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bad plant. We seem to have it very bad this year. It's all over in every bed and everywhere in the lawn too.

Negative centralva On Mar 21, 2007, centralva from Richmond, VA wrote:

This plant is invasive.You will pull the plants up and herbicide.
Thinking that the problem is solved you will be dismayed to discover them somewhere else in your yard and or garden.
It flourishes all over the south east and is considered a weed.
Please Do Not Plant this if youve just moved here.You would only be adding to the problem as well as wasting your money.If you absolutely must have this plant just ask your neighbor if you can get some plants from there yard.I assure you most of us would only be too happy to oblige.The less there are of them ,the less we have to weed.

Neutral Scorpioangel On Mar 19, 2007, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the weediest plants I know of in garden areas. But on the other hand it has some of the best early spring color of any plant I have seen. I got rid of it growing in the garden beds by letting oak leaves set all winter and into spring and then just dug them into the soil at planting time. Oak leaves tend to inhibit seed germination.

Negative altavista On Mar 16, 2007, altavista from Floyd, VA wrote:

This plant drives me nuts! It is taking over my garden. The root system is so large that you have to dig it out rather than pull. Clearing it in the late fall or early spring seems to be the easiest.

Negative gessieviolet On Mar 14, 2007, gessieviolet from Saluda, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This weed takes over areas of my garden in early spring!! It is impossible to pull and grows best for me in areas where I have spent a previous season attempting to bring the area under control for other uses. I can't imagine why anyone would want to grow it!!! It definitely falls into the catagory "one man's weed, is another man's wildflower".

Positive Fancee1945 On Apr 18, 2005, Fancee1945 from Scotts, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I am in SW Michigan and this plant grows all by itself in my garden areas. Not sure where it came from but I really like it. I have tried to find detailed information on it. Finally this weekend I have dug out every plant in my garden areas, I sure didn't want to because it is a beautiful plant. So I guess I can say it POSITIVELY grows wild here on its own.

Neutral nevadagdn On Apr 5, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've been spectacularly successful at killing this supposedly invasive plant. As in I've tried to grow it, and it's died each and every time.

Negative melody On Apr 4, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Invasive isn't a good word for this flows in purple waves all along the roadsides and in everyone's yards...strangling everything in it's path.

The purple flowers are a welcome sight in early Spring, but even I get fed up with them after a bit. I have a yard instead of a lawn, and they get the better of me.

Negative GardenGuyKin On Feb 19, 2005, GardenGuyKin from Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

Simply put, it's invasive here.

Neutral ohmysweetpjs On Oct 16, 2002, ohmysweetpjs from Brookeville, MD wrote:

Cute little plant. Not invasive like some and though you have to look very closely to see in detail, the flowers are very pretty though quite small. I'm almost certain it's also a butterfly host plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Ellendale, Delaware
Cleveland, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Oakwood, Georgia
Anna, Illinois
Valparaiso, Indiana
Warren, Indiana
Benton, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Somerset, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Erie, Michigan
Scotts, Michigan
Marietta, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Staten Island, New York
Dallas, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
Kinsman, Ohio
South Point, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Saluda, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Johnson City, Tennessee
Clarksville, Texas
Floyd, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Poquoson, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
Richlands, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Kirkland, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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