Content Detail

Spotted dead-nettle is a fast growing ground cover that provides colorful flowers in spring and attractive, variegated foliage throughout the season.  

  • Family (English) Mint
  • Family (botanic) Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae)
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Purple, White
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Size and form:

Spotted dead-nettle grows to about 6 inches tall. It is a trailing-rooting ground cover that can spread extensively over time. Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out horizontally from a central root system. They root where they come in contact with the soil and new shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Europe.

Leaf description:

The opposite leaves are oval to heart-shaped and are slightly hairy (pubescent). The species has leaves with a single, narrow cream-colored stripe along the midvein. Cultivars often have showier leaves with more variegation.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are small and hooded, borne in clusters. The species is mauve-colored, but several cultivars offer pink, purple, and white flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruits are small nutlets and are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Spotted dead-nettle needs moist, but well-drained soil in partial to full shade. It will not tolerate dry conditions.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

No common serious problems. It is resistant to deer.

Aureum spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Aureum’):

Leaves are yellow-green with a silvery stripe and flowers are mauve-pink.

Beacon Silver spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’):

Leaves are silver with a fine green edge and flowers are pink.

Chequers spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Chequers’):

This cultivar has green leaves with a broad silver stripe and pinkish-purple flowers.

Golden Anniversary spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum  ‘Golden Anniversary’):

Leaves are green with a silver stripe and a golden edge and flowers are rosy-pink.

Orchid Frost spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Orchid Frost’):

This cultivar has silver with fine, green-edged leaves and soft pink flowers. Flowers are produced in spring and sporadically through summer.

Pink Pewter spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’):

Leaves have silvery centers and flowers are soft pink.

Purple Dragon spotted dead-nettle (Lamium  maculatum ‘Purple Dragon’):

Silver leaves have a green edge and the flowers produced are purple.

Red Nancy spotted dead-nettle  (Lamium maculatum ‘Red Nancy’):

Silver leaves and rose-pink flowers distinguish this cultivar.

Shell Pink spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Shell Pink’):

Green leaves have a silver center stripe and the flowers are soft pink.

White Nancy spotted dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’):

This cultivar has silver leaves with a green edge and white flowers.


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