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10+ Tips on How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

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10 Reasons Why You Should Have Fittonia Nerve Plants in Your Home

1.- About Nerve Plants

Nerve plant (Fittonia spp.) or Mosaic Plant is a spreading evergreen perennial tropical plant with beautifully veined, dark-green leaves. It is typically planted as an indoor potted plant. Although silvery-white is the most common vein color, you can also easily find variants with red, pink, white, and green veins.

Fittonia generally develops to a height and width of 3 to 6 inches and 12 to 18 inches. Although the slow-growing plant infrequently blooms when cultivated as an indoor houseplant, it does occasionally produce reddish or yellowish-white spikes. The plant is occasionally grown as a ground cover in filtered sunlight in the proper zone. 

These plants are native to tropical regions of South America, where they typically grow under canopies of rainforest trees in a humid environment. The thick foliage of Fittonia provides shelter for a variety of small animals and insects. The roots of the nerve plant are also used in some traditional medical practices for their purported calming effects. 

Due to their low-maintenance nature and stunning foliage, a Nerve plant will make wonderful houseplants for beginner gardeners or those with limited space. Additionally, research has shown that having plants in your house will have amazing benefits for you! Visit our article Amazing Psychological Effects of Nature in Pet-Friendly Interiors to find out more!

2.- Selecting the Best soil for Nerve Plants

All growers know that soil is essential for plant life. It provides many benefits, such as support, moisture, and nutrients. However, not all soil is created equal. Depending on the type of plant, it may be necessary to use a specific type of soil. For example, a nerve plant needs to be potted in peat-based soil that has good drainage.

African violet soil is also reported to be successful for these plants. Add potting mix, peat, humus, and coarse sand in equal parts to make your own mixture. This will ensure that the mixture drains properly. Your nerve plant will thrive in its new home with a little bit of care.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

Thorsen’s Greenhouse Live Pink Fittonia, Nerve Plant, 4inch Growers Pot, green, silver

3.- Selecting the right pot for Nerve Plants

These vibrant little plants are perfect for adding a splash of color to any indoor space. They can be grown in virtually any type of pot with bottom drainage holes, but the best pot for a nerve plant is one that is deep and narrow. This allows the plant’s roots to stay moist without being waterlogged. Using a pot with a drainage hole also prevents soggy soil, leading to other problems.

4.- The Best light for Nerve Plants

Nerve plant is a beautiful, unique houseplant that is native to tropical areas. When growing a nerve plant as a houseplant, it is important to recreate the conditions of its natural habitat as much as possible. A Nerve plant prefers low to medium light or bright, indirect sunlight and humid conditions.

The best place to keep a nerve plant is in a room with fluorescent lighting or close to a sheer curtain, which will filter the light. Even though there is not a lot of light in the bathroom, you may still keep a nerve plant in there. By recreating the conditions of the nerve plant’s natural habitat, you will provide the best opportunity for your plant to thrive.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

Thorsen’s Greenhouse Live Pink Fittonia, Nerve Plant, 4inch Growers Pot, green, silver

5.-How to Water Nerve Plants

Watering a plant can sometimes feel like a delicate balancing act – too much. There’s overwatering, leading to wilting and eventual yellowing of the leaves. Too little water and the plant will quickly dry out, eventually causing it to faint and die. Fittonia plants are particularly sensitive in this regard, as they’re susceptive to both overwatering and drought.

As such, it’s important to be mindful of how often and how much water your Fittonia plant is receiving. The best way to ensure that your plant is getting the optimum amount of moisture is to check the soil regularly. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plant.

Conversely, if the soil is still moist from the last watering, it’s best to wait a bit longer before watering again. By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your Fittonia plant stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

6.- How to Fertilize Nerve Plants

One important aspect of care is feeding. During the growing seasons of spring and summer, you should give your nerve plant a monthly feeding of houseplant fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength; liquid fertilizers designed expressly for tropical plants will prove the most useful. Before beginning to provide your plant with food, you should wait at least three to four months after bringing it into your house for it to become acclimated to the conditions there.

Plants should be fertilized once per week with a low dose of liquid fertilizer designed specifically for tropical plants when they are in their growing season. A good recipe would consist of diluting a balanced 5-5-5 fertilizer to half its potency. Feeding your nerve plant this way will encourage lush, green growth and preventative against common problems such as yellowing leaves.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

White Nerve Fittonia – 4″ from California Tropicals

7.- Best Temperature and Humidity for Nerve Plants

A Nerve plant is finicky by nature, but it can thrive in a wide range of conditions with the proper care. These delicate plants prefer humid environments with temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. While regular misting will help prevent dryness, it may be necessary to use a room humidifier in dry locations.

For growers who find it difficult to provide the ideal environment, terrariums, bottle gardens, or covered gardens with high humidity and diffuse light can be an ideal solution. Nerve plants also do well in steamy bathrooms. These beautiful plants can prosper in almost any setting with a little care and attention.

8.- How to Propagate Nerve Plants

Nerve plants are easily propagated from leaf-tip cuttings taken in late spring or early summer, concurrently with repotting. (Taking leaf cuttings is the most effective method for propagating nerve plants; sowing its seeds is not as successful.)

Using clean, sharp garden shears, make angled leaf cuts. Ensure that the cutting contains at least two growth nodes for optimal outcomes. Fill a planting pot with a well-draining potting mix and insert the cutting so that only the topmost node is buried.

Water generously and place the pot in a shady spot outdoors. After a few weeks, you should see new growth emerging from the soil. Under optimal conditions, this plant develops rapidly; pinching off the tips will maintain full, bushy growth if the stems become lanky.

Because the blooms are tiny and uninteresting, nipping off the buds as they form will also encourage denser foliage growth. With proper care, your nerve plant will soon fill out its pot and provide you with a lush green addition to your indoor jungle.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

White Nerve Fittonia – 4″ from California Tropicals

9.- Nerve Plants Common Pests and Diseases

Fungus gnats, mealy bugs, and aphids are all detrimental to nerve plants. If not treated right away, an infestation could occur. Nerve plant owners should be on the lookout for early signs of an infestation, such as small holes in leaves or a sudden decrease in plant growth.

If an infestation is found, it’s important to treat the plant with insecticidal oil right away. One example of an effective insecticidal oil is neem oil. Neem oil works by suffocating the pests and disrupting their life cycles. In addition to treating infested plants with insecticidal oils, it’s also important to isolate them from other indoor plants.

This will prevent the pests from spreading and destroying other plants. By taking these precautions, indoor gardeners can keep their nerve plants healthy and free from pests.

10.- When should I repot my Nerve Plants?

When repotting Nerve Plant, spring and fall are the best times of year to repot a fittonia plant. Always use new potting soil to prevent compaction and waterlogging. Choose a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain away. In spring, repot the plant into a slightly larger pot; this will give the roots room to grow and help the plant to settle in before summer.

In fall, repot nerve plants into a new pot that is2 inches wider in diameter than the old one; this will give the roots room to grow and help the plant to settle in before winter. Give nerve plants 2 months to settle into their new pot before winter. By repotting in spring and fall, you will help your plant to stay healthy and prevent soil erosion.

11.- How to prune Nerve Plants

Like all plants, fittonia needs to be pruned from time to time. Simply cut the plant to the appropriate height using sharp shears. The fittonia cuttings can be used to propagate new fittonia plants, so each cutting should preferably have at least four leaves. Transplanting the cuttings back into the original pot will result in a bushier fittonia plant, which is typically the most attractive.

Under optimal conditions, this plant develops rapidly; pinching off the tips will maintain full, bushy growth if the stems become lanky. Because the blooms are tiny and uninteresting, nipping off the bud will not affect the plant’s appearance. Fittonia is a low-maintenance plant that can add a splash of color to any home. With a little bit of care, they will thrive for years.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

Sprig & Stone Fittonia albivenis ‘Mini White’ – Nerve Plant

Final Thoughts and Facts

Fittonia Nerve Plants add a beautiful, vibrant touch to any room they are placed in. Fittonia Plants create an interesting and unique composition with their distinct leaf patterns ranging from variegated greens to pink or white.

As with all houseplants, Fittonias require time, care, and attention to keep them looking as lush and vibrant as possible – but luckily for us, Fittonias do not demand an overly demanding routine. To help create the perfect home for your Fittonias, make sure you accurately determine the sunlight levels of your room and find the perfect spot where they will receive indirect sunlight throughout the day.

Fittonias are great at flourishing in low-light spaces, so place them away from direct windows or south-facing slopes. Ensure you give your Fittonia weekly watering (and reduce waterings when temperatures rise!) and ensure humidity levels are optimal to keep plant leaves looking perky.

Fertilize Fittonias every two weeks during active growing periods with liquid houseplant fertilizer found near potting soils in most gardening stores for optimum growth. They may not be as popular as some of the other plants, but Fittonias offer their unique presence that will surely draw attention wherever you put them. And if in doubt about having a Nerve Plant, remember these facts:

  1. The beautiful and intricate foliage of Fittonia Nerve Plants can liven up any space, with leaves ranging from deep green to silvery-white, red, pink, white, and green veins.
  2. Indoor Fittona is a low-maintenance houseplant that requires bright indirect sunlight, peaty potting soil, and misting/watering routines that keep the soil moist without becoming waterlogged.
  3. There is a wide range of colors to choose from – including ‘Argyroneura’ deep green with silver-white veins; ‘Pearcei’ deep green with reddish veins; ‘Frankie’ light pink and green leaves; ‘Fortissimo’ green leaves with red and pink veins; or ‘Red Star’ happy pink-red veined leaves.
  4. For best results in keeping the plant bushy and foliage rich, you can pinch off buds while nipping nerve plant tips!
  5. Accommodating high humidity levels makes them ideal for terrariums (though don’t let them sit in stagnant water!), while steamy showers are also suitable environments for this tropical houseplant species.
  6. Weekly liquid fertilizer cycles during growth help ensure the well-being of your Fittonia plants – so make sure to use a mild, balanced 5-5-5 fertilizer at half strength!
  7. It’s easy to propagate these plants: repotting during late spring or early summer leads to stem-tip cuttings that can easily be grown – not seeds!
  8. Not only do these houseplants look good, but they also filter out indoor toxins like formaldehyde from indoor air quality – resulting in better air quality overall!
  9. Installing these plants in bathrooms adds some fun visuals and increases humidity levels despite existing dim lighting conditions!
  10. Since Fittonia thrive best when temperatures remain steady around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, they will also survive if temperatures dip between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit; just make sure moisture levels remain adequate!

Care for Nerve Plants – FAQ

Does a Fittonia Nerve Plant have other names?

Yes, they are also called Mosaic Plant.

What are the best light conditions for my Fittonia?

Nerve plants grow well in a range of light conditions, from low to bright, indirect light. Bright, indirect light is ideal.

How fast do nerve plants grow? 

Grown indoors (unless you’re in zone 11), nerve plants are slow-growing.

Is Nerve Plant Care easy?

Growing nerve plants is easy, and so is nerve plant care.

What are the basics for Nerve Plant care?

The basics for Nerve Plant care are water when the top inch of soil is dry, fertilizing monthly during the growing season, and providing bright, indirect light.

What causes root rot?

Overwatering and soggy soil can cause root rot and other problems. 

Which is the best technique to propagate a Nerve Plant?

They grow easily from seeds or stem cuttings. Since it rarely flowers and makes seeds at home, plan on propagating from cuttings.

Do Fittonias like humid environments?

Yes, they prefer a humid environment. 

Can I keep my Fittonia in direct sunlight?

If you keep the plant in direct sunlight, it will dry out very quickly, and you’ll have to constantly water it.

How to Care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia albivenis)

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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