How to grow and care for Nerve Plants (Fittonia spp) Indoors

Some links in this post may be affiliate links

Nerve Plant Care, Fittonia Care

Botanical name: Fittonia spp
Family: Acanthaceae
Common names: Nerve Plant, Net Plant, Lace leaf, Snakeskin

Nerve Plant Description

Fittonia commonly called Nerve Plant, Net Plant, Lace leaf or Snakeskin are popular houseplants for the small spaces and are easily recognisable due to its leaves which bear a network of white, pink or red veins.

The leaves in Nerve Plant are about 2 in. long, green colored and are attached to hairy stems. Nerve Plants are small, low-growing reaching a height of about 6 in. only making them perfect for limited spaces.

Nerve Plants are easy to grow under room conditions when provided with warmth and abundant moisture around the leaves like in a bathroom, a terrarium or a bottle garden.

Nerve Plant Varieties

Several varieties of Fittonia are available. Fittonia argyronuera has white veins and is more distinctive.

The dwarf variety Fittonia argyronuera nana, Snakeskin plant is less demanding and is easy to grow under room conditions.

The Snakeskin Plant is just as attractive as its large-leaved parent but it will flourish in dry air away from direct sunlight with ocassional misting of leaves.

The large-leaved Fittonia vershaffeltii has pink veins, hence the common name Painted Net Leaf among other varieties.

Nerve Plant Origin

Fittonia have their origin in the tropical rainforests of South America, specifically Peru where the growing conditions are warm and humid.

Nerve Plant Buy

Buy beautiful and healthy Nerve Plants (Fittonia) from Etsy.

Nerve Plant Care, Fittonia Care

Photo Credit: Little Prince Plants

Nerve Plants (Fittonia spp) Care Indoors

Nerve Plant Light Requirements

Nerve Plant grows best in a semi-shade (partial shade). It is a low light plant that is ideal for the poorly-lit spaces.

Keep your Nerve Plant away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Nerve Plant

Water Nerve Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to slightly dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Nerve Plant during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your Nerve Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.


Temperature for Nerve Plant

The best temperature for growing Nerve Plant indoors is an average to more than average warmth with a minimum 150C.

Protect your Nerve Plant from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Nerve Plant

Nerve Plant thrives in a high humidity environment. To raise humidity for your Nerve Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your Nerve Plant in a terrarium where a high humidity can be easily maintained. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Nerve Plant

Feed Nerve Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Nerve Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may cause fertilizer burn in your plant. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Nerve Plant

Repot Nerve Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use for your Nerve Plant a rich, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and a pot one size larger than the current one.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your Nerve Plant.

How to Prune Nerve Plant

Pruning Nerve Plant involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain plant neat and tidy.

To encourage a bushy, compact growth, regularly pinch off the growing tips of your Nerve Plant.

As Nerve Plant ages, it will become straggly. Cut back the stems during the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp) Propagation

Nerve Plants can be propagated during the growing season from stem cuttings or by plant division.

How to propagate Nerve Plant from stem cuttings

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Nerve Plant.

Strip off the lower leaves of the Nerve Plant cutting and insert the cuttings in moist rooting soil.

Place the set up in warm, shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Once substantial growth has been observed, transfer the rooted Nerve Plant cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care.

For a fuller Nerve Plant, plant several cuttings in one pot.

How to propagate Nerve Plant by spreading the stems on the soil

Spread the Nerve Plant stems on the soil surface while still attached to the mother plant.

The Nerve Plant stems will root at every point that they come into contact with the soil.

Once rooted, sever the Nerve Plant stems, dig them up and pot in moist soil in individual pots.

Place the set up in a warm, shaded place and maintain the soil moist until well established after which routine care can begin.

Nerve Plant Care, Fittonia Care

Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp) Problems Indoors

Nerve Plant brown and shrivelled leaves

The cause of brown and shrivelled leaves in Nerve Plant is too dry air.

Nerve Plant prefers a high humidity environment. To raise humidity for your Nerve Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your Nerve Plant in a terrarium where a high humidity can be easily maintained. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.

Nerve Plant have straggly growth

Straggly growth is normal in Nerve Plant. As the plant ages, it becomes straggly.

Cut back the Nerve Plant stems during the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Nerve Plant yellowing and wilting leaves

Nerve Plant yellowing and wilting leaves are caused by soggy soil. Ensure that the pot has adequate drainage and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Nerve Plant dropping (losing) its leaves

The cause of Nerve Plant dropping (losing) its leaves is too cold temperatures due to cold draughts.

Maintain a more than average temperature for your Nerve Plant and protect it from cold draughts. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Nerve Plant dying suddenly

Sudden death of Nerve Plant is an indication of root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil or too cold temperatures.

Maintain an average warmth for your Nerve Plant and protect it from cold draughts.

Also, avoid soggy soil by ensuring proper drainage of both the soil and the pot for your Nerve Plant.

Nerve Plant Diseases

The common plant diseases in Nerve Plants are Leaf Spot disease and Leaf Viral Diseases.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Nerve Plant Pests

The common plant pests in Nerve Plants are Aphids, Mealy Bugs and Fungus Gnats.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp) toxic?

Nerve Plants (Fittonia spp) are non-toxic to humans and pets. Nerve Plants are safe to grow indoors.

You liked it? Share on social media.

On the Blog

You liked it? Share on social media.