Nerve Plant

Botanical Name: Fittonia verschaffeltii

Nerve Plant has beautiful, deep-green leaves with vein patterns of white, pink, or red.

In its native South America, this tropical plant grows as a ground cover and can spread out about 12 inches (30 cm). Its low-spreading habit makes it ideal for dish gardens and terrariums, where it thrives with the help of high humidity.

This plant grows best with even temperatures around 70°F/21°C. It doesn't like dry air, drafts, or direct sun, any of which may cause its leaves to shrivel or fall off.

Group Your Plants

Nerve Plant grows beautifully in a dish garden or a terrarium. Combine it with 2 or 3 of these humidity-loving plants:

Pinch your plant. Pinch off stem tips regularly to keep plant bushy and full. Also pinch off any small flower spikes that may appear, because they are insignificant and will weaken the show of leaves.

Mist it. This tropical beauty loves to be misted. Give it a fine spray of tepid water every morning to provide the moist air it craves. Or place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles to raise the humidity around it.

Repot in spring every couple years to refresh the soil. Nerve Plant has shallow roots, so you can keep it in a small pot.

Nerve Plant Care Tips

nerve plant, fittonia verschaffeltii

Origin: Peru

Height: Up to 6 in (15 cm)

Light: Low to medium light. Avoid direct sunlight. Grows well under fluorescent light.

Water: Keep soil constantly moist, but not soggy. Plant will collapse if it dries out.

Humidity: High humidity (around 70% relative humidity). Grows best in terrariums.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C

Soil: Peat-based mix that holds moisture well, such as African violet potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2-3 months spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Propagation: Take 2 in (5 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring and insert them in moist potting mix. They propagate easily in a warm, humid environment, rooting in about 2-3 weeks.

Green Thumb Tip

Yellow leaves on this plant indicate too much water or poor drainage.

Fittonia needs moisture at all times, but it won't tolerate soggy soil. Cut off yellow leaves and allow soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Buying Tip

You may find Fittonia verschaffeltii for sale by other common names, such as Silver Net Leaf or Mosaic Plant.