Fittonia, commonly known as Nerve Plant or Mosaic Plant, is a popular houseplant with beautifully patterned leaves. It’s known for its vibrant colours and unique vein patterns. Here’s how to care for a Fittonia plant:
Light: Fittonia prefers bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. Place your plant near a north or east-facing window where it receives filtered light or in a spot with bright, indirect light.
Temperature: Maintain a warm environment for your Fittonia. It thrives in temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). Avoid exposing the plant to cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.
Humidity: Fittonia requires high humidity levels. If the air in your home is dry, consider using a humidity tray or room humidifier, or mist the plant regularly to increase humidity.
Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Fittonia is sensitive to both underwatering and overwatering. Water when the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil feels slightly dry. Water thoroughly and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot.
Soil: Plant your Fittonia in a well-draining, peat-based potting mix. A mix formulated for tropical plants or African violets is suitable.
Container: Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent water accumulation. Ensure the pot is not significantly larger than the root ball to avoid overwatering.
Fertilizing: Feed your Fittonia every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer. Reduce or stop fertilizing in the dormant season.
Pruning: Trim your Fittonia to shape it and encourage bushier growth. Pinch off the tips of stems to promote branching.
Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common pests like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Inspect your plant regularly and treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Propagation: Fittonias can be propagated by stem cuttings. Take a cutting with at least two nodes and place it in water or a well-draining soil mix until it roots.
Repotting: Fittonias are small plants and don’t require frequent repotting. Repot every 1-2 years or when the plant becomes root-bound. Choose a slightly larger pot and fresh potting mix.
Fittonias are lovely additions to your indoor plant collection, but they do require a bit more attention to humidity and watering compared to some other houseplants. With proper care, you can enjoy their colourful and intricate foliage.