Nerve Plant

8 Tips on How to Care for Your Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis Infographic)

Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis) is a beautiful houseplant with striking lace-like patterned foliage. It is not the easiest houseplant to care for since Nerve Plants have high moisture and humidity requirements. It’s best to keep your Nerve Plant in a terrarium otherwise the upkeep to maintain the constant humidity will become too much. Otherwise, a high humid location such as a bathroom is a good spot for your Nerve plant. Here are tips on how to care for your Nerve Plant.

Nerve Plant Houseplant Infographic

Nerve Plant Infographic
Nerve Plant Houseplant Infographic

8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Nerve Plant Houseplant

1. Your Nerve Plant is Happiest in Bright filtered light 

Nerve Plant will be happy with bright, filtered light. It does well in artificial light. 

2. Abundant Water is Best for Nerve Plant

Your Nerve Plant needs to be well-watered. Water your Nerve Plant when the top of the potting mix feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Nerve Plant is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 0.5 inches deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Nerve Plant. Your Nerve Plant needs to be well-watered otherwise it will completely wilt if it dries out. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Nerve Plant

Your Nerve Plant needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your Nerve Plant

Your Nerve Plant should be fertilized once a month. 

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Nerve Plant

Repot your Nerve Plant when it’s outgrowing its current pot. Repot in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot. 

6. Drainage is Essential for Your Nerve Plant

Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Nerve Plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Nerve Plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Nerve Plant

Your Nerve Plant needs to have a daytime temperature of 65F to 75 Fahrenheit (18-24C). The nighttime temperature should be at 55-65 Fahrenheit (13-18 C).

8. Humidity is Vital for Your Nerve Plant 

Your Nerve Plant is a houseplant that requires high humid conditions. Regular indoor air is too drying for your Nerve Plant. It’s best to keep your Nerve Plant in a terrarium. 

But if you do decide to keep your Nerve Plant outside of a terrarium, then you should increase indoor humidity. Mist your Nerve Plant every day. Turn on the humidifier. Keep your Nerve Plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Nerve Plant is not sitting directly on the water. You should also keep your Nerve Plant in a room with high humidity such as a bathroom

You May Also Be Interested In Other Houseplants that will do well in Humid Spaces: Boston Fern, Prayer Plant and African Mask Plant

3 Common Nerve Plant Houseplant Problems

The common problems for Nerve Plants are aphids, plant collapse, and root rot.

Nerve Plant: Looks Wilted (Soil is Wet)

Problem: Your Nerve Plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Nerve Plant plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Nerve Plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your Nerve Plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Nerve Plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Nerve Plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Nerve Plant: Lots of tiny green, grey, and brown insects under the leaves

Problem: You see a lot of tiny green, gray, and brown insects all over the underside of the leaves of your Nerve Plant. There are also sticky clear residues on leaves and stems. Plus the tips of the stems have curled up and look deformed. 

Aphids
Aphids

Cause: Aphids could be the problem but you should make sure by taking a closer look at the insects. There should be 2 tubes on the backside of the insects. Use a magnifying glass to identify the aphids. 

Solution: Aphids are common in houseplants. You can get rid of aphids by washing the aphids off with water or soapy water. You can also use rubbing alcohol. Or spray your Nerve Plant plant with insecticidal soap and horticultural oil to get rid of the aphids.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Problem: Nerve Plant wilted and completely collapsed

Problem: Your Nerve Plant has wilted and completely collapsed. 

Wilted Plant
Wilted Plant

Cause: Your Nerve Plant requires high humidity and abundant water. If the soil dries out, your Nerve Plant will wilt. 

Solution: Water your Nerve Plant immediately. If it’s only been a few hours then your Nerve Plant should recover and come back. However, if it’s been days, your Nerve Plant will probably not recover. Make sure you have good drainage. Make sure you have drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Also, make sure the drainage hole does not sit directly on the accumulated water in the sauce. Elevate the pot by using pebbles or pot feet. 

Nerve Plant Houseplant Facts

NameNerve Plant
Scientific NameFittonia albivenis
LightBright filtered light
Daytime Temperature65 to 75F (18-24C)
Night Time Temperature55-65F (13-18C)
WaterAbundant Water
HumidityHigh Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix
FertilizerOnce every month
Nerve Plant Houseplant Facts

Nerve Plant: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Common Names of Nerve Plant?

Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis) is also called Mosaic Plant, Painted Net Leaf, and Silver Net Leaf.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Nerve Plant?

Your Nerve Plant needs to be well-watered. Keep the soil moist. Water your Nerve Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 0.5 inches deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Nerve Plant. Your Nerve Plant needs to be well watered otherwise it will collapse when the soil dries up. 

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Nerve Plant?

Nerve Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Nerve Plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Nerve Plant. 

Nerve Plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Nerve Plant?

Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen on your Nerve Plant.

How Big Does Your Nerve Plant Get?

Nerve Plant is a small plant and can grow to 6 inches high and 12 inches wide. The leaves can grow to 4.5 inches long.

How Do You Propagate Your Nerve Plant?

Your Nerve Plant Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your Nerve Plant plant by stem tip cutting.

Below are steps on how to propagate Nerve Plant Plant by stem tip cutting:

1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of Nerve Plant (include a node)

Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.

2. Place your Nerve Plant Stem Cutting in a Jar of Water

Place the Nerve Plant stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of your Nerve Plant will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.

3. Plant your Nerve Plant Stem Cutting in a New Pot

Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.

4. Place your New Nerve Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun

Place your new Nerve Plant plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.

You May Also Be Interested in These Humid-Loving Houseplants:

How to Care for Your Nerve Plant (Infographic)

How to Care for Your Prayer Plant (Infographic)

How to Care for Your Boston Fern (Infographic)

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