Fittonia Argyroneura (Nerve Plant)

Where Do Fittonias Live in the Wild?

The Fittonia originally hails from the Peruvian Amazonian rainforest in South America.

They’re used to a very tropical climate where the humidity is high, the rainfall is frequent, and the jungle’s soil is well-draining. They’re used to a hot climate that never dips below 60 degrees.

The fittonia is a ground cover plant that is consistently shaded by an overhead canopy. Direct sunshine is foreign to these plants and will burn the leaves with prolonged contact.

Exactly Where in My Home Should I Keep My Nerve Plant?

A fittonia’s greatest priority is high-humidity. You have four options when it comes to meeting those needs:

  1. If you live in a humid home, you don’t need to do anything special.
  2. Keep the fittonia near your shower (or carry it to your bathroom when you go to the shower). Or you can set it in your kitchen if you frequently boil water or run the dishwasher.
  3. Place your nerve plant in a terrarium, or simply set a glass jar upside down over it for a makeshift terrarium.
  4. Mist the plant 2-3 times daily.

As far as temperatures go, it prefers higher temperatures but will do fine so long as your home isn’t below 60 degrees. Keep away from cold drafts and warm heaters.

How Much Light Does a Fittonia Need?

Fittonias tolerate low to bright light conditions. However, direct bright light can burn the leaves, while too much darkness will cause the plant to lose color and revert back to solid green.

How Often Should I Water a Fittonia?

Fittonias should be watered about once a week, but you’ll soon find out exactly how often your new plant baby prefers a drink. The Nerve Plant is famous for its ability to throw a hissy fittonia when it’s feeling too dry. The plant will wilt within hours, and you’ll worry that it’s dead. Give it a healthy drink and watch it perk back up just as quickly.

While it’s amusing to watch this plant’s dramatic antics, you should avoid letting it wilt too often as that can cause long term stress.

Fittonias should stay anywhere between a 3 and a 7 on your moisture meter, though it’s not a bad idea to let it dip down to a 3 or 4 for a few days. Fittonias are susceptible to root rot because they’re used to Peru’s well-draining jungle soil.

Are Nerve Plants Pet Safe?

Nerve Plants are Pet-safe for cats and dogs alike.

How Much Will My Fittonia Argyroneura Grow?

Fittonia Argyroneuras will grow to be 6 inches wide by about 12 to 18 inches tall.

When to Repot?

Because they’re small plants, fittonias generally don’t need repotting for space reasons. They do appreciate being repotted if your soil has a tendency to compact or stay soggy.

Nerve Plant Fast Facts

  • Fittonias will bloom indoors, though their blooms tend to blend in pretty well with the rest of the plant. The blooms are the same color as the leaves.
  • Fittonias are called Nerve Plants because of the thin red veins running throughout the leaves.
  • This plant is named for its discoverers, Sarah and Elizabeth Fittonia, who were 19th Century Botanist sisters.

Trouble Shooting

Limp and/or Yellow Leaves

This is a sure sign of overwatering.

The Entire Plant is Wilted

Your plant needs a good drink of water. Pay close attention to how the soil feels (or how it’s measuring on your moisture meter) when the plant is happy, and try to hover around that level of wetness.

The Leaves are Crispy

Usually, this comes from a lack of humidity. Make sure your plant isn’t near any heaters, fans, or drafty areas. Water your plant and place a clear mason jar over it to help lock in the moisture.

If you’re sure your plant has enough humidity, check to make sure it’s not exposed to bright, direct sunlight.

Bonus Care Tips

  • Never use cold water or ice cubes to water any of your plants. It can shock your plant slowly over the course of a few weeks or months, which leads to a long, slow, almost untraceable death.
  • Though their fainting spells are amusing to watch, don’t let your plant collapse too many times, as that can cause permanent damage.