How To Take Care Of Your Fittonia

How To Take Care Of Your Fittonia

From South America (mainly Peru) these compact, evergreen perennials make an eye-catching display with their deep, green, oval leaves delicately lined with beautiful veins in red, pink, white and green (Fittonia Ruby Red is a great example!).

Frequently referred to as the Nerve or Mosaic Plant, they are relatively slow growing, with reddish or white flower spikes contrasting nicely with the intricate netting pattern on their leaves. Only growing to 5-12cms in height with a trailing spread of 8-15cms, several of them grouped together can really liven up your collection.

How much light does your Fittonia need?

Since Fittonia grow in the humid bright shade of tropical forests, they prefer similar conditions when grown as a houseplant. They don’t like full sunlight, preferring bright indirect sun (netted, north facing windows are best. They can also be kept in a light ‘steamy’ bathroom, moved occasionally to benefit from that important filtered light.

What type of soil does your Fittonia need?

They grow best in a moist but well-drained, acidic potting mix with a peat moss base. Perlite mixed through the potting mix will assist this. As with all houseplants, the top inch or so of soil will be your guide as to how suitable the moisture level is.

What temperature is best for your Fittonia?

Fittonias such as  Fittonia Titanic prefer temperatures of between 15-26C and humid conditions. Regular ‘misting’ will help prevent them from drying out. Some people grow them in terrariums, ‘bottle gardens,’ or in covered areas such as conservatories, where they can enjoy reasonable humidity and diffused light.

How much water does your Fittonia need?

Moist, humid conditions are essential and getting that perfect balance is not always easy; too little and they tend to collapse and too much causes them to develop yellowed, limp leaves. Regular watering, drainage holes in the pot and ‘misting’ are all important.

What's the best fertilizer for your Fittonia?

During the main growing period (Spring to early Summer) feed weekly with a weak dose of liquid fertiliser formulated for tropical plants. If this is incorporated with adequate watering, humidity and indirect light your Fittonia, whether as an individual plant or several grouped together, will retain a rich and colourful look.

General care tips for your Fittonia

Fittonia grow steadily in the right conditions and if their stems grow ‘leggy,’ simply pinch off the tips to keep a nice full, bushy appearance. They can be re-potted annually in Spring with a standard potting soil mix and a pot with bottom drainage holes.

The soil should be fresh to avoid compacting and water-logging. Insect problems (aphids, fungus or mealy bugs) should be dealt with immediately using Neem oil or a similar insecticidal oil.

The Green Grower's rating of Fittonia.

Ideal to brighten up the home or workplace with their stunning variety of veined leaves and with their smaller height, they will undoubtedly add interest to your tropical plant collection.

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