FITTONIA verschaffeltii

FAMILY: Acanthaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Filtered Light
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants

Plant Details

Native to Peru, this evergreen plant gets its common name from the network of rosy red veins that decorate its dark green, 4-in.-long, oval or elliptical leaves. It grows about 4 in. tall and produces long, cascading stems that can spread widely. Bracts containing small flowers appear sporadically, but they detract from the plant's appearance and should be pinched off. Several forms are available. F. v. argyroneura has silvery white veins on leaves that are somewhat narrower and paler green than those of the species. F. v. pearcei has bright pink veins.

Nerve plant does well in hanging baskets, in terrariums, or as a tabletop houseplant. Indoors, place it near a window where it receives bright light but no direct sun. Keep the soil evenly moist; the plant wilts dramatically if it dries out, and though it recovers quickly if watered promptly, the foliage will be left with unattractive brown spots. Feed every other week in spring and summer and once a month in fall and winter with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. Frequent misting is beneficial. Stem cuttings taken in summer root easily. Watch out for mealybugs; wipe them off with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Outdoors, plant in rich, well-drained soil and keep moist. Do not expose plants to temperatures lower than 55F.

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