How to care
for your Fittonia
Fittonias, also known as the Nerve Plant, Mosaic Plant or Net Plant, are a genus of flowering plants in the Acanthaceae family native to the tropical rainforests of South America. A low-growing evergeen creeper, Fittonias can reach a height of 3 to 6 inches and spread across 12 to 18 inches, making these non-creepy, creepers an excellent house plant for small homes and terrariums. Did we mention they’re super vascular, bro? Their show-y foliage veins come in a number of different colours depending on the varietal, which is why these plants often receive top-billing in a terrarium. If he conditions are right, Fittonias will flower and bare its flower-y teeth with reddish or yellowish-white spikes – but it’s rare for that to happen. They’re a bit temperamental, but certainly worth the effort.
Fittonia verschaffeltii ‘Black Star’
Fittonia ‘Angel Snow’
Fittonia ‘White Brocade’
Fittonia ‘Red Anne’
Fittonia ‘Pink Star’
Fittonia ‘Pink Vein’
Fittonia ‘Mini White’
Fittonia ‘Mini Red Vein’
Fittonia ‘White Anne’
Fittonia ‘Mini Superba’
Fittonia ‘Ruby Red’
Fittonia ‘Red Star’
Fittonia ‘Red Vein’
Fittonia ‘Pink Angel’
Fittonia ‘Mini Superba’
Fittonia Albivenis ‘Skeleton’
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Fittonias can be tricky to grow – they’re somewhere in the middle because they need high, constant humidity, and they’re very sensitive to direct sunlight. They may wilt quickly if growing in stagnant conditions – but there’s hope yet – they have a reputation of bouncing back quickly.
Fittonias are tropical plants, so they do best in bright, indirect light. They’re very sensitive to direct sunlight, so if you’re placing it near a window, make sure you have a curtain to filter out the light. Fittonias can tolerate low-light conditions as well, but it won’t be as vibrant, so you’re really relegating it to playing a secondary role: the best friend.
Fittonias will wilt very quickly if you let them dry out in between waterings. You can’t neglect Fittonias too much – they should always be in appropriately moist soil. Not too moist, but not too dry, so “barely moist” – is your head hurting yet? If their leaves start crisping, that could be a sign your Fittonia needs more water or a more humid environment.
Fittonias hail from Peru, so they crave humidity. Keeping them in the bathroom with enough light or a kitchen windowsill are good options. They’re popular in terrariums since the enclosed space and neighbouring plant buddies can dial the humiditiy up. Consider pairing Fittonias with a humidifier, placing them on top of pebble trays submerged in water, taking them with you to the shower (again, do not physically shower with it), and you should mist regularly.
Fittonias thrive in 18 to 30°C conditions. Keep them away from cold drafts.
Pretty and non-toxic?! *Chefs kiss*
Other fun facts:
- Fittonias were named after their 19th century botanist discoverers, Elizabeth and Sarah May Fitton – family dream team!
- When Fittonias bloom – often in the wild – their flowery-spikes are very shy and blend in with their surrounding foliage.
- Their contrasting veins come in a variety of colours, including white, silver, pink, red and purple.
- When Fittonias are dry, they can get very dramatic and “faint”, but they’ll perk up soon after they’re watered. We’re not suggesting you do this a lot, but it can be a fun party trick to show-off to your non-plant-owning friends.
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