Nerve Plant Is an Easygoing Houseplant Anyone Can Grow

This low-maintenance plant thrives even when the light is low.

If other plants haven't been able to adapt to the low light in your home, you'll be in the market for a pot of something that can stand up to the dark. Try nerve plant, a compact, low-maintenance houseplant with distinctive foliage and minimal light requirements.

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Nerve Plant Characteristics

Nerve plants, members of the Fittonia genus, get their name from their appearance. It has dramatically contrasting foliage: The deep green leaves are veined with pink, white, or red, the look of which recalls the many-veined nervous system. Fittonia species are also occasionally known as mosaic plants, though that name is typically reserved for Ludwigia sedoides. Nerve plants are evergreen perennials, so they keep that striking foliage all year long.

Fittonia species are compact plantings. They'll grow to about four inches tall, so they're great for small pots and can be placed on tabletops, bookshelves, and desks in homes or offices.

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Nerve Plant Care

These plants thrive in indirect, filtered light and need regular watering. Nerve plants are especially suited to dark spaces and can grow even when the light is low. If placed in a spot that's too sunny, a nerve plant's leaves will soon scorch. Keep it away from hot sun, and give it low to medium light. If near a sunny window, try filtering the light with a sheer curtain.

Fittonia species crave high humidity and grow best when their soil is kept evenly moist. If your nerve plant isn't getting enough water, it will droop dramatically. Keep an eye on it, and give it a drink of water by soaking the soil evenly, allowing excess water to drain from the planter. That should help your nerve plant perk up again.

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Choosing a Nerve Plant

There are lots of different color combinations of nerve plants available for purchase. In fact, many Fittonia selections are named according to the colors of their foliage. Popular 'Pink Angel' nerve plant has bright pink veins in deep green leaves. 'Pink Star' also has pink veining. 'Ruby Red,' 'Red Anne,' and 'Red Star' have red stripes, while 'White Brocade,' 'White Anne,' 'Titanic,' 'Superba,' and 'Stripes Forever' have white veins. 'Black Star' has purple-red veins, and 'Purple Vein' has lavender stripes. 'Leather Leaf' has big foliage with white veins, and 'Daisy' has large, variegated leaves in shades of white, grey, and green.

If you're looking for a plant that will thrive in a low-light environment, look no further than nerve plant. It's a reliable planting with striking foliage that will brighten up even the darkest of spaces.

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