How to Grow Lamium Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Dead Nettle, Greater Henbit, Cobbler’s Bench, and Yellow Archangel

Members of the Lamium plant genus that are grown in the garden are usually done so for their beautiful foliage.

Lamium plants are hardy perennials.


In addition to some specifically grown garden plants, the genus contains many members that are considered weeds by many. However, these can make great plants for wild-life gardens as Lamium plants are known to readily attract bees to the garden.

The leaves of garden grown Lamium species are often silver.

Dead nettle

Plants carry flowers that look similar to those of Snapdragon.

These typically bloom from the end of spring until the start of summer.

Lamium purpureum
Lamium purpureum by Blumenbiene.

Commonly Grown Lamium Species

Lamium maculatum

Lamium maculatum
Lamium maculatum (Spotted Dead-nettle / Spotted Henbit / Purple Dragon), photograph by Manuel m. v.; CC.

Lamium purpureum

Lamium purpureum
Lamium purpureum (Red dead-nettle / Purple Dead Nettle / Purple Archangel), photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Lamium amplexicaule

Lamium amplexicaule
Lamium amplexicaule (Common Henbit / Greater Henbit), photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Lamium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Dead Nettle, Cobbler’s Bench, Greater Henbit, Yellow Archangel.
Scientific names: Lamium maculatum; Lamium purpureum; Lamium amplexicaule; Lamium galeobdolon.
Family: Lamiaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Hardy Annual.
Height: 2 to 36 inches (5 to 90 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia, North Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 8.

Flowers: Year round.
Flower Details: White, purple, yellow. Spikes. Whorls. Hood-like petals. Snapdragon-like.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Silver, white, green. Variegated. Broad. Nettle-like.

Sow Outside: Cover seed. Spring for most species; autumn for yellow species. Spacing 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to two months. Temperature: 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C). Nine or ten weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following in spring or autumn.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Poor soil. Provide a spring feed. Tidy up by shearing once flowering has completed. Protect from slugs. Propagate: by dividing or by taking root cuttings in the spring.

Miscellaneous: Invasive plant in many areas. The Lamium purpureum species can flower in mild winters and is often a source of nectar for bees at this time of year. Gets the name dead nettle due to the similarity of leaves to those of nettles; it does not possess stinging hairs.

How to Grow Dead Nettle and other Lamium Plant Species

The time that you sow the seeds of Lamium is dependent upon the species that you are growing: Yellow ones should be sown in autumn; purple or white species should be sown in the spring.

Once sown, lightly cover seeds with topsoil.

They can be grown in either a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. It is important that the soil has good drainage. Dead Nettle and other Lamium members prefer to grow in a poor soil.

When starting off Lamium indoors, they should be started off about 10 weeks before due to be out out in the garden.

They take from one to two months to germinate at 17 to 21 degrees centigrade (63 to 70°F).

The young Lamium plants should be put out in either the spring or autumn.

Caring for Lamium in the Garden

Members of the Lamium genus are weedy in nature. So if you are growing them in the garden you should be prepared to keep an eye on them to stop them taking over the garden.

They should be fertilized in the spring. Once the flowering season is over they should be cut back.

If you require more Dead nettle plants, then either take root cuttings or divide them in the spring.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Lamium plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Russian sage, Perilla plant, and lavandula angustifolia plants.