More commonly known as a nerve plant, Fittonia is infamous for being a houseplant. This plant is interesting to look at, with an equally interesting background. The original name of the plant, Fittonia albivenis, is derived from the two females who wrote about the science of plants in 1817; Elizabeth and Sarah Fitton.
Fittonia has many names such as nerve plant, mosaic plant and net plant. But unlike other houseplants, they’re extremely fussy about the attention they receive. The leaves of the plant have a color contrast of two different colored veins; white and pink, red and green or green and white.
However, the most common veins are silvery white. Since they tend to have a flowy trail, you can keep them in baskets; on the floor or hanging. It will give a pretty look to your home decoration.
Although people usually prefer plants which are low maintenance to keep in their homes, the Fittonia plant is a little finicky. Nevertheless, it is still in popular demand. If you’re planning to keep this one in your home, you have come to the right place to find out how to take care of it!
There are some things which you need to be vigilant about when taking care of a Fittonia plant.
Similar to other houseplants, Fittonia prefers indirect sunlight. Although they can survive in shade through curtains, they thrive best in bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn.
This element of taking care of the plant is a bit tricky. They have a distinctive way of showing you that the plant is underwatered; the leaves wilt and dry. The solution is to immediately water the plant, however it’s best if you can avoid the wilting of the leaves.
Since the plant needs constant water, it may seem that the soil must be soggy wet at all times, but that’s not the case. The soil should neither be dry nor soggy. You’ve to find the middle ground which is to keep the soil moist.
Temperature and Humidity
Fittonia plants thrive their finest in humid conditions as they originate from tropical regions. You can spray their leaves with a water mist at least once a week or arrange your plants in a crowd so they can absorb moisture from each other.
The plant does well in a moderate temperature. It shouldn’t be kept in extreme cold or hot conditions; the best is between 65-80 Fahrenheit degrees.
Unlike other household plants, where fertilizing isn’t necessary, Fittonia requires a fertilizer once every month. Usually a liquid fertilizer at only half its strength will suffice.
Sometimes, flowers can bloom in the plant, however, they’re lifeless and it’s completely natural to cut them off neatly. Furthermore, the soil in the pot must be of a good mix, as this plant requires a lot of nutrients in order to survive.
The only problem that Fittonias face is the wilting of their leaves when they’re underwatered. All you have to do is pour some water in the soil and watch the magic happen when the leaves regain their life.
If the water isn’t the problem, then you can increase the humidity around the plant by plugging a humidifier nearby, which is not only beneficial for the plants, but also for humans.
If you want to grow more nerve plants, you can cut some stems from the original plant, and plant them in a seeding cup. By dipping the stems in a rooting powder before planting can provide it with additional nutrition. Once the roots grow, you can transfer the plant into a regular pot and enjoy the growth!
The best part about Fittonias is that they’re toxic free hence they’re children and pet friendly. They can be grown in all and every household, as long as you can take out a few minutes a week to take care of the plant.
Native to Peru, this plant is magical in a way that it speaks to its owner by telling you that it requires more water. But apart from being vigilant about the water intake, you can easily keep and maintain this plant in your home.