Fittonia or nerve plant is a beautiful-looking flowering plant that belongs to the genus of an acanthus family(Acanthaceae). Despite being native to the tropical rainforest of South Africa, Fittonia is very easy to take care of, if you know the proper procedure. Here is a simple tutorial for how to take care of Fittonia at home like an expert gardener-
- 1 Fittonia Care: Quick Overview
- 2 How to Care for Fittonia/ Nerve Plant:
- 3 How to Propagate & Repot Fittonia
- 4 Troubleshooting Fittonia: Frequently Asked
- Fittonia is an ornamental foliage plant and is also known as nerve plant or mosaic plant, etc.
- Albivenis and its cultivars are the common types of Fittonia that are mostly grown
- They grow like evergreen perennials and these dense ground cover plants can grow up to 10-15cm
- This plant grows white to off-white colored flower after a certain while
- Leaves have white to deep pink accented veins
- And they have fuzz covering over their stems
Fittonia Care: Quick Overview
- Fittonia loves a high humid climate, so if your region or climate is highly humid it results in better and faster growth
- Since tropical needs indirect and bright sunlight, having said never place it under direct sunlight
- Can also grow in low light and moderate watering
- Watering once in a while or check for the top layer of the soil to turn dry
- Misting has to be done at least twice a week, to keep the leaves fresh and aid in healthy foliage growth
- If the climate is extremely hot windy or dry and cold, keep it away from windows
- Moist soil and rich soil with good drainage are the keys to keep nerve plants healthy free from wilting, curling, and turning crispy.
- Pinching off the buds and tips will encourage bushy growth for your Fittonias
- Regular pruning is not just for its pleasing bushy look, but from cuttings, you can start a new plant.
- Nerve plants are not toxic to your dog and cat
- Easy to propagate in water or soil with a warm climate, good humidity, and indirect bright light. Retaining moisture with good drainage gives better results in the case of soil propagation.
Benefits of Fittonia: Why grow nerve plants?
- These plants are air-purifiers and thus bring the carbon dioxide levels down from your room
- They make your house climate healthier by controlling nitrogen dioxide level
- Also, Fittonia helps to reduce benzene or benzol, toluene from the air as well and acts as a purifier.
- As it works as an air-cleanser, Fittonia also increases the humidity around the plant
- The eye-catchy look of this plant adds a decorative touch and gives your room a whole new glance.
- The leaves and stems of Fittonia have medical importance. So, you can use them as the main ingredient in some ayurvedic treatments for headaches, muscle pain, toothache, etc.
- Fittonia can make a great gift of itself, as it looks catchy, easy to place, and simple to take care of as well.
Top 5 Types of Fittonia/ Nerve plant
- Fortissimo: One of the most popular Fittonia varieties with large bushy foliage. Moreover, the deep green leaves of this plant are embellished with both pink and red veins, which make them more attractive to look at.
- Pink Star: This type has small and wavy leaves with broad veins. The pink-colored veins give this Fittonia type a unique look from its other equivalents.
- White Anne: One of the most prevalent types of Fittonia that grows medium-size leaves with curly edges. The gorgeous white hue on deep green leaves makes this plant livelier to resemble.
- Juanita: This is another exclusive genus of Fittonia that grows a very exceptional type of leaves. Leaves of this Fittonia plant display vibrant red veins over the deep green background with a delightful pinkish hue.
- Red Vein: Red vein Fittonia looks supremely eye-catchy when place in a room due to the bold red veins of leaves over a dark-green surface. This plant needs a larger pot to spread its roots and thrive properly.
Some other popular Fittonia types are
- Red Anne
- Black Star
- White Brocade
- White Snow
- Mini Superba
- Mini Red Vein
- Leather Leaf
- Stripes forever
How to Care for Fittonia/ Nerve Plant:
Fittonia is native to South Africa, especially from Peru, and thus this type of plant needs special care to thrive naturally. You have to take care of every single section of planting very attentively. Here is an easy guideline for you in this regard-
Soil and Potting Mix:
Like other tropical plants, Fittonia grows perfectly with wet yet well-drained soil types. Make sure that the moist quality stays in the soil but doesn’t get damp. Sow Fittonia in a pot, which has a perfect drainage system and never lets the water stay in the soil for long, otherwise, it may rot or damage the root badly. Prepare usual potting with the base of peat moss to give your Fittonia plant a perfect grow.
No matter your plant your Fittonia indoor or outdoor of your house, make sure it gets bright light through a shady climate. In tropical areas, the Fittonia genus gets its light indirectly through heavy forests. So, try to put your plant in a place in the house, where it can steal the light indirectly rather than direct heavy sunlight.
Tropical plants need constant water to bring with them a good drainage system. They can’t grow in dry soil, so water your Fittonia plant after a few whiles, especially when 25% of the top of the soil seems dry. And make sure you don’t make the soil soggy by watering them too often. Fortunately, the leaves of Fittonia plants seem limp with a lack of water, hence, they can help you in this case by giving a clear hint of when to water them.
Fittonia wants a normal room temperature. So, try to keep the in-between 65 degrees to 80 degrees, especially during the thriving time. Try to keep the temperature natural as much as you can. Fittonia can’t stand the direct cold or hot airflow from artificial devices. The normal home humidity level is tolerable for nerve plants, but it grows more healthily in heavy humidity levels.
Use Mild Fertilizers:
As Fittonia is an evergreen herbaceous perennial type plant, it doesn’t require higher fertilizer for healthy growth. A standard type of potting soil with a peat moss base is enough to provide the root with proper nutrition. Try to use 5-5-5 fertilizer that is diluted to half strength for the perfect Fittonia fertilization. Make a mix of compost, peat moss, and perlite with the proportions of 60/30/10 for the best result.
How to Propagate & Repot Fittonia
You can easily prune and propagate this houseplant to control their over-bushy glance and give them enough space to thrive again. Let’s check out this process in an easy step by step method-
- Bring a sharp pruner and find out the knaggy Fittonia plant from your collection first
- Take an empty planting pot and prepare the potting mix inside it by mixing compost and peat moss with the right proportion
- Now, snip the larger stems of your plant with a pruner and prune them carefully by removing the lover leaves from the cuttings
- Then, just sow the stem straight back the soil and repeat the process and propagate as many as you want
- Finally, water the newly planted Fittonia and add some more potting mix over the top to secure the plantation perfectly.
You may also be interested in quick tips on peace lily plant care.
How to Propagate Fittonia or Nerve Plant in Water
- Just like propagating in soil, select a healthy shoot with leggy stem
- Remove few leaves from the bottom part of the mosaic plant’s cutting
- Take a glass jar or bowl for propagation as watching through the process of rooting is cool
- Fill with normal tap water (unless it’s hard)
- Now place the cutting with the bottom few inches remains immersed in water
- If the water turns cloudy or algae formation is a seed, remove and refill fresh water
- Place the jar/bowl in a warm place with indirect bright sunlight
- Once you see new shoots and healthy roots, you can transplant it to a new pot with potting mix with good drainage.
How to Make Fittonia Bushy
- To make your nerve plants bushy, you must give them enough room to thrive
- So, snip off the unhealthy stems by pruning them clearly
- Try to repot your over-grown Fittonia in a larger pot every time it overflows
- After trimming properly, water your Fittonia regularly and make sure the water drains well
- Consistent trimming is the key to make your nerve plant bushy.
Troubleshooting Fittonia: Frequently Asked
Why My Nerve Plant is Drooping?
If you keep your Fittonia dry for long, it will start drooping. Try to water your nerve plant once the top few inches of the topsoil surface seems dry. Also, an improper climate could drive your Fittonia to droop. So, check out for low humidity, direct sunlight, or heavy temperature as well.
Why My Nerve Plant is Crispy?
As mentioned above, lack of water is a reason that makes your nerve plant go crispy. The roots of Fittonia plants need to be moist constantly to maintain their striking foliage. So, if your plant seems crisp, water them consistently and look for the proper drainage system too.
How to Revive My Dying Fittonia?
Watering is the best way to revive a dying Fittonia plant. So, if you find your nerve plant is dying, water it immediately and thoroughly. Once the potting mix is wet entirely, wait for some time to let it recover. Sometimes, over bushy nerve plants also die due to the lack of thriving space. Hence check for that possibility too.
Pot size and growth of Fittonia
Fittonia plants are slow-growing in nature and doest need too much fertilizer. Also, they don’t have a large root system, so you don’t need bigger pots. fertilizer at half dilution or nature fertilizers once every two months is happy enough for these never plants.