In the dry climate of Southwest the plant is easily controlled by water - i.e. it will only grow where it receives additional care and it will cease otherwise. In wetter climates it will limit itself to "edge" - it is a plant of disturbed ecosystem, that likes to hug edges of forests and groves, where it gets both the shelter from taller woody vegetation and the exposure to sun.
|Nettle patch to the right of the young apple tree in shady setting|
Nettle patch near a young apple tree in a grove is quite a good placement - the plant seems to stay away from the root zone of the fruit tree where picking up fallen apples would be less than pleasant with such groundcover - but it grows happily nearby. Such food forest design works well for both plants - and it also works well with more complex guilds of farm animals - goats stay away from it, so do the chickens, but earth worms thrive in its protection!
|Nettle in the foreground|
|Shade drying of nettle.|
|Harvested in May for a year's supply of herbal tea|