How to Care for Fittonia

Written by jenny harrington Google
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How to Care for Fittonia
Fittonia is grown for its foliage and not for its small, inconsequential flowers. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The mosaic-patterned leaves of fittonia provide interest and colour to the plant. Each leaf has a base colour in shades of green or red. The leaf surface is divided by a web of white veins and variegation, giving the plant its mosaic look. Fittonia isn't the easiest houseplant to care for, but its attractive foliage and quick growth habit makes the added effort worthwhile. The plant naturally grows in warm, tropical climates, so it isn't a suitable choice for most outdoor gardens.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Terrarium
  • Tray
  • Gravel
  • Fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Place the plant in an area that receives four to six hours of indirect sunlight each day. Fittonia grows well in artificial light and can thrive with little to no sunlight in rooms that have overhead lighting on for most of the day.

  2. 2

    Keep the temperature around the plant above 12.8 degrees Celsius. The plant grows best at temperatures near 21.1 degrees C.

  3. 3

    Provide a humid location for the fittonia. Set the plant in a terrarium or set the pot on top a tray filled with gravel and water. Lack of humidity causes fittonia plants to wilt and decline. Avoid locations near drying air vents or drafts.

  4. 4

    Mist the foliage of the plant with water each day. Misting supplies moisture to the leaves and helps raise the humidity around the plant.

  5. 5

    Water fittonia when the soil surface in the pot feels dry. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, at all times as fittonia cannot tolerate drought stress.

  6. 6

    Fertilise fittonia every two months with a soluble houseplant fertiliser, applied at the package listed rate for your pot size. Apply the fertiliser from spring through fall. Stop fertiliser applications in winter when the plant is resting.

Tips and warnings

  • Fittonia grows well in a bathroom window or on a kitchen windowsill. These areas provide warmth and higher humidity compared to most locations in the home.

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