Fittonia

Fittonia

Fittonia are herbaceous perennials native to South America (mainly from Peru). The genus is part of the Akantov family and has about 10 species.
Fittonia plants are low. Shoots pubescent, creeping. The flowers are solitary, yellow (closer to a gray shade). Flowers are collected in spike-shaped inflorescences in the axils of the bracts. The bracts are round-ovoid in shape with a length and width of approximately 1 cm. Leaves, depending on the species, can be from 2 to 16 cm long, elliptical, green with shades of purple and with brightly distinguished veins.
With proper care, Fittonia grows well, but it should be borne in mind that the plant loves high air humidity and a stable temperature, since a lack of moisture and sudden changes in temperature can be detrimental to Fittonia.

Briefly about growing

  • Flowering: the plant is grown as an ornamental deciduous.
  • Lighting: bright diffused light.
  • Temperature: in summer – about 24 ºC, in winter – about 20 ºC.
  • Watering: regular and moderate. In the spring-summer period – immediately after the top layer of the soil has dried, and in winter you can allow the substrate to dry out to a quarter of the depth.
  • Air humidity: high. The plant needs spraying in the morning and evening. You can place containers with water near the fittonia or place the plant on a tray with wet pebbles.
  • Topdressing: from spring to autumn – with mineral fertilizers for decorative deciduous plants in a half dosage once every 2 weeks, and in winter – once a month.
  • Pruning: during the growing season, the tops of the shoots are pinched, and at the end of March, the bare shoots are cut in several stages.
  • Rest period: not pronounced.
  • Transplant: annual, in March-April, immediately after pruning.
  • Substrate: 2 parts of sod and coniferous land and 1 part of peat and sand.
  • Reproduction: cuttings, layering and dividing the bush.
  • Pests: thrips, scale insects, mealybugs and spider mites.
  • Diseases: loss of decorativeness due to old age or as a result of improper care.

Fittonia care at home

Lighting

Home fittonia, like most indoor plants, needs bright light, but you don’t need to place the plant on a southern windowsill. Can be placed in a room with south-facing windows, but slightly in depth, so that direct sunlight does not fall on the Fittonia leaves. The plant thrives best on western or eastern windowsills. It can grow from the north side, but with a lack of lighting, the leaves lose their beauty. In winter fittonia in room conditions, it is advisable to increase daylight hours using fluorescent lamps.

Temperature

In summer, the temperature should be around 24 ° C, and in winter around 20 ° C. If, in winter, the Fittonia plant is kept at lower temperatures, then it can get sick. Also, a sharp temperature drop and drafts should not be allowed – the sure harbingers of leaf fall. Fittonia is a houseplant, so you can’t take it outside or on a balcony, even in summer.

Watering fittonia

The basic rule is that an earthen lump in a pot with a Fittonia flower should not completely dry out. The second rule is that the soil should not sour. If you ignore rule # 1, the Fittonia will shed the leaves. If you do not adhere to rule number 2, the roots rot. In winter, water the flower a couple of days after the topsoil dries up, the rest of the time – immediately after drying. Water for irrigation is taken from a settled one, slightly higher than the temperature in the room.

Spraying

The fittonia plant at home needs regular spraying, since dry air leads to disease or pest damage. It is necessary to spray at least once a day, and preferably two: once in the morning, the other in the evening. To increase the humidity, you can put a container with water next to the pot, or put the pot itself on a pallet with wet expanded clay. The pot should not be immersed in water. It is important to remember that Fittonia leaves cannot be polished.

Top dressing

The indoor flower Fittonia needs fertilizers throughout the year, but it must be remembered that their excess will immediately affect the health of the flower. Therefore, the concentration of fertilizer should be halved compared to those suggested on the package. Complex mineral fertilizers are used: once a month in winter, and twice a month throughout the rest of the year.

Pruning

In order for home fittonia to branch better, it is necessary to pinch the shoots. Over time, the bottom of the Fittonia is exposed, which makes the plant less attractive. To rejuvenate the plant, it is necessary to prune at the end of March. But it should be borne in mind that if you completely cut off all the leaves, the development of young shoots will slow down, so pruning is carried out in several stages.

Fittonia transplant

Fittonia needs to be replanted annually in March-April. Together with the transplant, you can also rejuvenate the plant, since Fittonia becomes less decorative with age. The pot needs to be low, but wide. Expanded clay or fine brick is poured at the bottom of the pot, and a substrate is poured on top: two parts of coniferous and sod land, and one part of sand and peat.

Propagation by cuttings

Fittonia can be propagated annually at the time of transplant, combining it with rejuvenation. For reproduction of Fittonia at home, cuttings are taken from a cutting with three to five leaves from the top of the plant. In order for the stalk to take root as quickly as possible, its length should not exceed 8 cm. The stalk is placed with the cut end in the sand, covered with a jar and waited for about a month, from time to time removing the jar, watering and sprinkling. If you root the stalk in a jar of water, then you need to pour no more than a centimeter of water, and tie the jar itself with a bag. Two to three times a week, the bag is untied and the leaves are sprayed. The temperature must not drop below 26 ° C. When good and strong roots are formed, the plant can be planted in the earthen mixture described above.

Dividing the bush

When transplanting, the Fittonia bush can be divided into several small ones and planted in separate pots. The main thing is not to damage the roots, so you need to carefully separate the bushes. Or, on the contrary, plant several plants in one pot to make the bush look more luxuriant, but this can hardly be called reproduction.

Reproduction by layering

Indoor fittonia itself can reproduce by layering, but it is better to help her. To do this, you need to slightly dig in a part of the stem without foliage. After some time, roots will appear in this place, after which the cutting can be separated from the mother plant and planted in an individual pot.

Diseases and pests

Fittonia died suddenly. The first option is too much watering, especially in winter. So you need to water less often, read above how. The second reason is too cold air or sudden temperature changes.

The lower leaves of fittonia fall. In Fittonia, this is normal as the stem becomes exposed over time. The plant needs to be rejuvenated by cutting off the balding shoots.

Fittonia leaves turn yellow. Fittonia is poured – you need to reduce the frequency of watering, allowing the soil to dry out between them.

Fittonia leaf tips turn brown. May sometimes turn yellow-brown. It all depends on whether the flower is fertilized or not since this is a consequence of both an excess and a shortage of fertilizers.

Fittonia leaves shriveled. Fittonia needs high air humidity, and wrinkled leaves indicate its excessive dryness. Another option is excess light or the flower is in direct sunlight.

Fittonia pests. Fittonia is most susceptible to damage by thrips, scale insects, spider mites and mealybugs.

Kinds

Fittonia large / Fittonia gigantea

Originally from Peru. Habitat – tropical forests. It grows to just over 0.5 m in length. Shoots are reddish-purple in color, pubescent along the entire length. Leaf sizes depend on age – from 10 to 16 cm long and 4 to 10 cm wide, but always elliptical. The leaves are glossy, green, the veins on the leaves are red.

Fittonia verschaffeltii

These low specimens can be found in Colombia and Peru. They grow only in the forests of the tropical strip. Shoots practically spread along the ground, so they easily root by layering. Pubescent. The leaves are either ovoid or elliptical in shape, dark green in color with red veins. Sheet dimensions: width from 4 to 6 cm, and length from 5 to 10 cm.

Comments

  1. M

    Melissa on December 2021

    Thank you very much for such an interesting article about my beautiful charming flower – Fittonia !!! I got acquainted with this kind of home plant back in 2013 …) I was very pleased with its singularity and at the same time simplicity. At first (the first year two), the plant grew flawlessly, stood in one place, watered as written (did not allow drying out and tides). And then, having filmed moving to another place of residence, everything changed … the flower began to fade … either I didn’t see it, or he didn’t like it in a new place … but still I want to say thank you for the information about this unbutton, now I know a lot more about my pet !!

    1. L

      Lora on December 2021

      This capricious comrade has thoroughly won my heart! My first Fittonia died – my warm apartment turned out to be the tropics for her. Right now I am trembling over the second purchased flower, two pinched off shoots have recently taken root. Hooray! I’m happy as an elephant. When I practice, I dream of planting several species of this plant with different veins on the leaves in one container!

  2. D

    Debbie on March 2021

    It is now very popular to plant plants in a bottle. Make compositions there. Tell me, is Fittonia suitable for these purposes?

    1. D

      Diana on March 2021

      Yes, Fittonia is perfect for mini-gardens in different vessels. Just a bottle, or even a bottle, choose a larger one. This plant, when it does not blow and suitable humidity, grows very quickly even without feeding. If the vessel is open, then the long processes will have to be shortened.

    M

    Madison on February 2021

    A year ago I bought the first Fittonia, green with pink veins. A miracle, not a flower. Very unpretentious. Later I also bought light green-red, green-white and pink-red. Feel great in a wide but deep pot. Because initially it was a miniature garden, then the topsoil was enriched with decorative small pebbles over time. Perhaps this also somehow had a good effect on the growth of plants. Fittonia, which is already a year old, itself gave layering (when transplanting a neighboring flower, the twig was sprinkled with earth). And the most amazing thing is that for several months Fittonia has been blooming with small purple flowers.

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    Eva on January 2020

    I love Fittonia and have been growing it for about 10 years. I have 3 varieties. I grew everything from one leaf. The soil was the simplest, with sandy garden. I’ll tell you about the variety that is shown here in the last photo. The pot is 15 cm high and the same diameter. I have not transplanted for 9 years, only occasionally pinched and pruned the hanging shoots. Some stems were rooted without cutting in the center of the pot so that it was not empty. Fertilized a little, twice a year. She didn’t stand on ceremony with her. I even watered it at the wrong time, so the plant hung as if it were dead. But after watering, within an hour, it came back to life. Moreover, the hanging situation was repeated many times. Never sprayed. And while moving, I took only 3 cuttings, which have been growing for several months in a mixture of purchased peat, lawn soil and sand from a construction site, very fine.
    Several months ago I bought Dutch fittonias, but they grow very slowly and do not think to bush. I heard that Dutch plants are poorly domesticated and die after 4 months. Even this term did not come out for my copies. But the leaves planted from them gave good roots and everything has already dried up. I don’t understand the reason, because they grew up in the same pot with the mother plant.
    Many sites write that fittonia is growing rapidly. It seems to me that it is growing at a snail’s pace. If you compare with Tradescantia.

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