Fittonia (Nerve plant) - Care tips

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Fittonia (Nerve Plant)

Fittonia is a species of flowering plant in the family Acanthaceae, native to South America, especially Peru. They grow in tropical rainforests as ground cover under tree canopies.

Common names for Fittonia are nerve plant or mosaic plant, they are descriptive of the intricate but beautiful leaf veins of this lush tropical plant. The full botanical name is Fittonia Albivenis and named after Elizabeth and Sarah Mary Fitton, two Irish sisters who introduced the science of plants to young people with the book Conversations on Botany. The specific name Albivensis literally means "White Veins".

Fittonia are compact plants with strikingly shaped leaves. Fittonias are fairly easy to look after, but only if you know how. If you are a plant lover who likes to take care of your plants often, this is the plant for you!

Fittonia Care Tips

Light and placement for Fittonia

Fittonia prefers bright, indirect light. Think of windows facing north or east, light through a filtered curtain or perhaps a few metres away from a very sunny window. In any case, never put this plant in full sun. Keep Fittonias at a constant temperature and do not put them in draughty places. Chilly breezes can cause lasting damage. This plant needs a moist environment to thrive. You can also put them in a terrarium, for example.


If you like Fittonias, you know that you have a plant that is very picky about receiving water. Although they will wilt if they are even slightly thirsty, you should not let this happen too often. Fittonias do not like it when their soil dries out, but they also not like it when the soil is too wet either. A humid atmosphere is a good solution.


As long as your Fittonia is growing (in the spring and summer months) it will appreciate regular feeding with a fertiliser for houseplants. Once a week or every other week is a good start. Dilute the fertiliser well to avoid burning your Fittonias roots.


Propagating Fittonias

You can propagate Fittonias by taking stem or leaf cuttings. Cut off the stem at a node and place it in water in a light, warm place or cut off a leaf and place that too in water. Root growth can take two to eight weeks. Rooting powder can speed up the process.

Most common pests on Fittonia

When kept indoors, the Fittonia rarely suffers from pests. Thrips, mealybugs and spider mites are the most common pests affecting Fittonia. Pests can weaken your Fittonia and cause various diseases, including those transmitted by thrips. So keep an eye on your Fittonia and if you think something is wrong, check our PLNTS doctor page to see what is wrong and how best to fight it.

Are Fittonias toxic for pets or children?

Multiple sources list that Fittonias are safe for pets. Yay! Not only are they safe for pets, but also for people and therefore children there is nothing to fear. How great is that?

Buy your new Fittonia at

At you can buy your new Fittonia online, for example the Fittonia Verschaffeltii and the Fittonia Pink Forest Flame.

Whether you like your plants big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!