For an uplifting pop of colour in your kitchen, bathroom, or even workspace, nothing compares to Fittonia verschaffeltii houseplants. The delicately veined leaves often result in this plant being nicknamed “nerve plant” or “mosaic plant”. While nerve plants are great for brightening up your space, they do require a little attention in order to keep them thriving rather than just surviving. We’ve outlined the key things you need to know when caring for your Fittonia.

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How much humidity do Fittonia’s need?

The key to keeping nerve plants alive is ensuring that they live in a warm, humid environment. This is why they thrive in terrarium’s or make great bathroom and kitchen plants. To increase humidity, you can adopt a regular misting routine.

The ideal temperature for your Fittonia is around 18 degrees Celsius. They can survive in temperatures a little above this, but we wouldn’t recommend going any lower. Avoid cold drafts or direct breezes from heaters in the Winter.

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How often should you water Fittonia house plants?

Fittonia’s are often described as “drama-queens” because they’re prone to fainting when not watered frequently enough. If your drama queen lives up to its name and has multiple ‘fainting episodes’, it may become more prone to dying, so try to keep on top of a regular watering schedule.

In the growing season you should water your Fittonia every 3-4 days, but let the soil dry out between each watering. In the Winter, once a fortnight should be enough. Nerve Plants don’t like having wet feet so avoid letting them sit in water for prolonged periods of time.

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What are the best lighting conditions for Fittonia’s?

Nerve Plants are best suited to indirect light. They can tolerate slightly shaded conditions, but this may result in the leaves losing their stunning vibrant colours. If you notice the tips of the leaves going dry or crispy, the plant may be getting too much direct sunlight, which is burning the leaves. Although these plants would seem perfect to place on the windowsill due to their compact size, you should avoid this as direct sun rays could burn the leaves. 

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How do you propagate and re-pot Fittonia?

You’ll only need to re-pot once every 1-2 years and it’s essential that you do this in Spring or early Summer. Do not re-pot in the Winter as your nerve plant is dormant and will not have enough energy to grow into its new home. When re-potting, use a new pot that is only one size up from the current one (and good quality potting mix). Simply tap your Fittonia out of its current pot, remove about a third of the soil and place the plant into its new home with fresh potting mix.

To propagate a nerve plant, find a stem with a decent amount of foliage and a healthy node. Take a cutting and place in water, ensuring the node is fully submerged. Pop this in a warm and bright location waiting a few weeks for the magic to happen. After a while you will notice small roots shooting off the node, which indicates that this cutting is ready to be potted!

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How often should you feed Fittonia house plants?

You should only feed Fittonia houseplants during the growing season. Use a liquid fertiliser every week or fortnight, following the feeding instructions.

How do you make Fittonia house plants bushy?

While Fittonia are low-growing and compact houseplants, the stems can sometimes become long and leggy. To maintain a bushy-shape, pinch off the tips of the leaves or prune the plant regularly.

Nerve plant chch

Where to buy Fittonia houseplants?

Moffatt's offers many varieties of Fittonia, all available online or to purchase from our retail store in Halswell. We also offer wholesale quantities of houseplants – please contact us if you are interested.

14 July, 2021 — Saskia Ostermeier