Scientific Name: Fittonia verschaffeltii/albivenis
Synonyms: Mosaic Plant, Silver Thread Plant, Snake Skin Plant, Silver-net Plant
The Nerve Plant is so-called because of its variety of veins or 'nerves' running through each leaf. As an easy-care plant with wonderful colour variants, the Nerve plant makes a great gift or starter plant.
In its native South America, this tropical plant grows as a ground cover and can spread out about 30cm. Its low-spreading habit makes it ideal for dish gardens and terrariums, where it thrives with the help of high humidity.
The Nerve Plant can also be considered a resurrection plant if underwatered, as they have the remarkable ability to spring back to life once watered. Ideal for those of us who tend to not be sure when to water, the Nerve Plant will happily tell you.
They appreciate bright indirect sunlight best to grow vigorously, though can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions, though avoid low light. Low light can lead to a stretched and sparse-looking houseplant with very small leaves.
These adorable plants are wonderful windowsill adornments, or bathtub candidates, as they are generally small and compact. They’ll also make for a wonderful tabletop addition to a coffee table or anywhere else where a low-growing plant is ideal. They’ll also make an ideal option as a houseplant for underplanting with larger indoor tree specimens, creating an aesthetically pleasing display, as well as serving the purpose of hiding the topsoil of larger plants.
For more Bathroom Plant options read: 5 Easy Bathroom Plants.
Toxicity: Fittonia is not considered toxic.
Nerve Plant Common Symptoms
- Leaf drop is often the result of cold temperatures. The nerve Plant likes it consistently warm, so be sure it is out the reach of any cool drafts or open windows, which can lead to temperature fluctuations.
- Yellowing foliage: The most common cause of yellowing leaves on your Fittonia is often due to overwatering. The Nerve Plant loves its soil moist to the touch, however, consistently saturated and soggy soil can lead to yellowing foliage. Yellowing foliage can also be a sign that root rot may have already set in.
- Limp Foliage: This is a sign that your houseplant is likely underwatered. Check the potting soil, if it is dry to the touch, water your plant. Give it about an hour or so, and the plant should bounce back to life. If you note that the soil is wet even though your plant is wet, it may be a sign that your plant has been overwatered, and root rot has set in, preventing your plant from being able to draw up moisture. In this case, re-pot your houseplant to check if the root system is still healthy, whilst removing any damaged or dead roots. For more on identifying watering issues in house plants read: Identifying Over vs Underwatering.
- Dry, Shrivelled or pale leaves: These symptoms are most likely caused by exposure to too much light or lack of humidity. First access the light, if your plant is receiving direct sunlight, we recommend adjusting its position to somewhere a little more filtered. If lighting is not the issue, check humidity levels. If the air is relatively dry, we recommend spritzing regularly or placing your plant on a pebble tray to raise the moisture levels in the air.
- Pests: Nerve Plants are not often susceptible to pests but if care is not taken to keep your plant in its optimal condition to avoid stress occurring. Stress will lead to pest infestations causing excessive leaf discolouration and leaf drop. Mealybug is the most common indoor plant pest to be attracted to your Nerve Plant and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Adjust environmental stressors for your house plant and treat infestations with an organic pesticide.
Nerve Plant Care Instructions
- Origin: Peru
- Height: The plant can reach 30cm in spread.
- Light: Medium to bright filtered light is best. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Water: Keep soil very evenly moist, and avoid overly dry or overly soggy potting soil.
- Humidity: Preferably 50% or higher. To raise the humidity for your plant. Spritz it daily and place a plant on a pebble tray.
- Temperature: Nerve Plants like warm environments of between 17 °C and 27°C.
- Soil: A very well-draining organic soil that will hold onto some water.
- Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks from Spring to Autumn with a half dilution of a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Repotting: In spring, re-pot into a planter a maximum of 5cm larger than the previous, however, only re-pot once the plant is showing no new growth. Avoid disturbing the roots as this will cause transplant shock.
- Propagation: Nerve Plants can be easily propagated via stem cuttings. Take Cuttings of around 5cm. Either place these cuttings into pre-moistened potting soil, or into a vase of water. Place into a clear plastic bag and position in a bright warm space. If using water, be sure to change the water at least once a week. With potting soil, check regularly and keep the soil moist to the touch. It should take 2 - 3 weeks for roots to develop. Plants in the soil can be tugged gently to see if they are rooted. Water propagated plants can be potted up once the roots are around 6cm in length. Once potted, remove from the bag and treat as you would the mother plant.
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