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Fittonia: All The Nuances Of Caring For A Flower At Home + Photos And Videos
Fittonia: All The Nuances Of Caring For A Flower At Home + Photos And Videos

Video: Fittonia: All The Nuances Of Caring For A Flower At Home + Photos And Videos

Video: FITTONIA Plant CARE 101 - BEST Soil Mix, Fertilizer, Light u0026 Water Requirements u0026 Propagation 2022, December

South American Fittonia: the nuances of growing at home


Fittonia is another representative of the exotic South American flora, adapted for growing at home. Florists appreciate the plant for its beautifully shaped decorative leaves with interesting patterns. Breeders have bred many hybrids with multi-colored veins, allowing you to create a picturesque collection on the windowsill. The main thing is to properly approach the care of the plant.


  • 1 What is Fittonia

    • 1.1 Overview of the flower - video
    • 1.2 Most common varieties

      1 Hybrids bred by breeding in the photo

  • 2 Features of growing at home

    2.1 Optimal conditions for growing Fittonia - table

  • 3 Planting and transplanting procedure
  • 4 Important nuances of care

    • 4.1 Watering
    • 4.2 Top dressing
    • 4.3 Cropping
    • 4.4 Typical errors of florists - table
  • 5 Diseases and pests

    • 5.1 Insect pest control - table

      5.1.1 Harmful insects in the photo

  • 6 Breeding procedure

    • 6.1 Cutting

      6.1.1 Rooting cuttings of indoor plants in water - video

    • 6.2 Dividing the bush

      6.2.1 Video: Fittonia transplant by dividing the bush

  • 7 Reviews of florists

What is Fittonia

Fittonia types
Fittonia types

Fittonia breeding hybrids are a real riot of colors, in nature everything is much more modest

Fittonia (Fittonia) is a genus of plants originating from South America, it belongs to the Acanthaceae family. In nature, the plant is found mainly in the humid swampy jungles of Peru (it was there that it was first discovered), somewhat less often in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. The genus is very few. According to various sources, there are from 3 to 10 species of perennial herbaceous plants in it.

The plant is undersized, with the only exception of all types of creeping Fittonia. This feature allows you to grow it as an ampel or ground cover crop.

Fittonia leaf carpet
Fittonia leaf carpet

Fittonia is prized by the owners of greenhouses and winter gardens for its ability to cover the soil with a continuous carpet

Florists love Fittonia for the decorative look of elegant leaves. They are located on very thin and short shoots, so it seems that the shoots form a continuous carpet. The leaves are arranged in pairs opposite each other along the entire length of the shoot. In shape, they resemble an egg with a pointed tip. Color - from delicate light salad to rich dark emerald. A characteristic feature is the presence of a pattern of spots and stripes of a contrasting color, randomly located between the veins.

Fittonia leaf
Fittonia leaf

Fittonia owes its success to flower growers to the pattern on the leaves.

Culture blooms at home infrequently, and breeding hybrids do not bloom in principle. But those who did not see Fittonia blooming lost a little. Flowers are small, dull grayish or brownish-yellow in color. Inflorescences in the form of a panicle or spikelet are almost completely hidden by foliage. Experienced flower growers, by the way, recommend cutting the buds without waiting for them to bloom. Flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant.

Flowering fittonia
Flowering fittonia

Fittonia bloom is not the most attractive sight in the world

Fittonia has no value as a medicinal plant. But it is not poisonous. The flower can be safely placed in rooms where small children and pets live. They will not suffer from him in any way, unless they overturn the pot.

"Wild" fittonias at home are extremely rare. They are not adapted to the atmosphere in apartments, they die from lack of humidity, suffer from temperature changes. What is sold in stores, in the vast majority of cases, are hybrids bred by breeding, adapted to significantly different from natural conditions. There are much more of them than representatives of the genus Fittonia.

Flower review - video

The most common varieties

Most breeding hybrids are bred on the basis of Verschatteltii fittonia. It is a very low (no higher than 10 cm), intensively branching plant. Young shoots are covered with thick soft fluff, which, as they mature, thins and changes color from silver to pale green. The leaves are large, up to 10 cm long, matte, olive green. The pattern on the upper side of the leaf plate is crimson pink.

Fittonia Vershaffelt
Fittonia Vershaffelt

Fittonia Vershaffelt is the "parent" of most breeding hybrids

Breeding hybrids:

  • Fittonia silver-veined (Argyroneura). The pattern on the leaves is shiny, silvery white. She, in turn, has a small-leaved hybrid of Nana with leaves no more than 2.5-3 cm long.
  • Fittonia Perseus (Pearcei). It differs from the "parent" in the pastel shade of the pattern and the light-scarlet underside of the sheet plate. The leaf itself is darker.
  • White Anna (White Anne). The pattern on the leaves is white, along the edge of the leaf plate there is a border - darker than its main tone. Other popular white-patterned hybrids are White Star, Frankie.
  • Skeleton. The pattern almost completely coincides with the veins on the leaf, the leaves are rather small, velvety to the touch, matte. Shoots spread, almost without taking off the ground. Sometimes it seems like the blood red pattern literally shines in the sun or glows in the dark. Also purple vein, Red Anne, Fortissimo varieties differ in red pattern (from brick to dark purple).
  • Josan. The drawing is pink, the leaf plate is the same color, but lighter. A dark green border runs along the edge of the sheet, which seems black from a distance. Also in culture, a variety of Juanita is often found with a pattern of a similar shade.

Hybrids bred by breeding in the photo

Fittonia Juanita
Fittonia Juanita

Fittonia Juanita - almost completely pink leaves with small dark green spots and a border around the edge of the leaf

Fittonia Skeleton
Fittonia Skeleton

Fittonium Skeleton has a beautiful clear pattern on a delicate olive background

Fittonia Perseus
Fittonia Perseus

Perseus is a typical representative of the group of Fittonia, which have the semi-official name "pink"

Fittonia White Anna
Fittonia White Anna

Fittonia White Anna - a common breeding hybrid

Silver-barbed fittonia
Silver-barbed fittonia

Fittonia silvery-veined - a plant with a clear silvery-white pattern

Fittonia Josan
Fittonia Josan

Fittonia Josan is one of the most decorative hybrids

Large Fittonia (gigantea) is the only upright representative of the genus. It reaches a height of 50-60 cm. The leaves, as the name suggests, are large - up to 15 cm in length. The pubescent shoots have a beautiful reddish-purple hue. The leaf plate is glossy, shiny, covered with a pattern of bright scarlet stripes and spots. The flowers are grayish pink, the petals turn yellow at the base.

Fittonia large
Fittonia large

Growing a large fittonia at home will almost certainly not work - large leaves intensively absorb moisture and dry immediately if it is lacking

There are almost no hybrids bred on its basis due to the fact that, despite all the tricks of the breeders, plants with large leaves cannot exist in modern apartments due to low humidity. However, it was possible to breed a miniature fittonia (minima) with a small (up to 5 cm in length) leaf plate.

Features of growing at home

Fittonia is a tropical plant, this should be taken into account when creating a comfortable environment for the flower.

Optimal conditions for growing Fittonia - table

Factor Optimal conditions
Location Place the Fittonia pot not on the windowsill, but rather close to the window. If there is no other place, shade the flower from the bright sun. It is strongly discouraged to take it outdoors, even on the warmest summer days and not for long. The plant is purely indoor.
Lighting In nature, the sun almost does not fall on Fittonia. It is reliably protected from it by densely intertwined crowns of tropical trees. But the complete absence of the sun negatively affects the decorativeness of the plant. In winter, when daylight hours are reduced, you can pick up a lighter place for the flower. Or use fluorescent lamps for supplementary lighting (no more than 3-5 hours daily). In general, it is best to determine the level of illumination required by the Fittonia experimentally. You may have to move the pot from place to place more than once or twice until the capricious exotic is completely satisfied. The more light, the more the plant spreads and bushes, with a lack of light, the shoots noticeably rise, trying to stretch upward.
Temperature Throughout the year, it is highly desirable to maintain a constant temperature at + 23 … + 25 ºС. Fittonia has a very negative attitude to its sharp changes, as well as to cold drafts. The flower will not survive "cold weather" below + 16 … + 18 ºС.
Humidity A critical factor for the normal existence of Fittonia in your apartment. It is necessary to create and maintain humidity at the level of 90–95%. The task is almost impossible. Therefore, spray the leaves with a fine spray bottle as often as possible. Wet moss, expanded clay, pebbles placed in the pot tray also help a lot. The only thing that you should not do is pour water directly into the sump. A company from other plants will help maintain the required moisture content. Orchids stand out especially in this sense. In addition, remove the plant as far as possible from operating radiators, which dry the air very much.

An effective way to grow Fittonia, at the same time avoiding the constant work of creating a flower of the required moisture - planting in a special aquarium, an ordinary glass jar or even a wine bottle. It turns out the so-called bottle garden.

Choose a container with a tight-fitting glass lid. Cover the bottom with a suitable substrate. Carefully plant Fittonia in abundantly watered soil, close the jar. Most often, the composition is complemented with picturesque pebbles, moss, decorative figures.

Fittonia bottle garden
Fittonia bottle garden

Fittonia in the florarium is an unusual and effective interior decoration

As soon as condensation appears, the lid is removed for 1.5-2 hours. After 7-10 days, this phenomenon should stop - the microclimate will return to normal.

The disadvantage of this method of cultivation is too active growth of Fittonia in "greenhouse" conditions. Pinching and trimming through the neck is difficult. The procedure is required on average every 6-8 months.

For those wishing to fully reproduce the authentic habitat of the plant, the only way out is to purchase a paludarium. This is a special aquarium that simulates a swamp, and equipment for it, which allows you to maintain the proper level of light and humidity.

In addition to having a certain experience with a grower, fittonia in a paludarium requires a particularly careful attitude. The flower can die from any careless movement during cleaning, it is subject to the development of rot.


Paludarium - equipment that is not recommended for novice florists

Planting and transplanting procedure

Fittonia needs to be transplanted every 2-3 years, as the plants noticeably lose their decorative effect with age. The lower leaves gradually fall off, exposing the trunk. The best time for the procedure is early spring.

A new voluminous and deep pot of Fittonia is not needed. The entire root system of the flower is located about 6–8 cm below the soil surface. Choose a ceramic bowl that looks like a soup plate. An additional plus is the presence of a large drainage hole. But still, about a quarter of the pot's volume will be occupied by drainage. It can be expanded clay, small ceramic shards, pebbles, brick fragments.

Pot for fittonia
Pot for fittonia

Fittonia pot needs wide, but not too deep

Specialized stores sell a special substrate for azaleas, violets or geraniums, which is quite suitable for fittonias, but experienced flower growers prefer to prepare the soil on their own. The main requirements for it are lightness, breathability and the ability to retain moisture.

Fertile sod land from the garden, coniferous land, dry peat, coarse river sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 1: 1 are mixed. Coniferous soil can be replaced with a substrate in which heather grew.

The transplant procedure has no special features. The only requirement is to be careful with the thin and fragile roots of Fittonia. They are very easy to damage. Therefore, the plant, if possible, is transferred from the old pot to a new one with all the earthy clod. You can put several types at once in one container.

Fittonia composition
Fittonia composition

Compositions of several fittonias look very impressive

Important nuances of care

During the year, the conditions of detention and the rules for caring for Fittonia do not change. The plant does not have a pronounced dormant period. It loves high humidity very much, so special attention should be paid to watering.

Withered fittonia
Withered fittonia

Fittonia is quite capricious and immediately reacts negatively to mistakes in care


The earthen ball in the Fittonia pot must be constantly moist. Under no circumstances should it be allowed to dry out. The next watering is needed for the plant when the topsoil dries out a little. In winter, you can wait another 12-15 hours, but no more.

Watering frequency is adjusted depending on the season and weather. If it is a hot summer, the plant is watered more often than in winter. Balance is essential. Stagnation of moisture in a pot leads to the rapid development of rot, and even a single drying out of the earthen coma leads to leaf fall. Fittonia is watered and sprayed only with water that has settled for at least a day, the temperature of which exceeds room temperature by 3-5 ºС.

Pour water until you see that the excess has entered the pan. Wait 30-40 minutes, drain them. Another "indicator" is air bubbles on the soil surface. Their appearance stops when the earthen lump is completely saturated with moisture. This is what you need. Bottom watering for fittonia is categorically not suitable.


A spray bottle is an absolute must for those wishing to grow Fittonia

Top dressing

The culture, in principle, is indifferent to feeding. To improve the appearance, growers use any complex liquid fertilizer for decorative leafy plants, reducing the concentration of the drug in the solution recommended by the manufacturer by 2–3 times. The procedure is carried out every 15–20 days. In winter, the intervals between fertilizing can be increased to a month.


Regular pruning by pinching the shoots about a quarter of their length stimulates them to branch intensively. Fittonia bushes more strongly, looks more decorative.

The cut parts will also go to work - they take root well. In addition to pruning shoots, flowers are also cut from Fittonia. Their formation takes a lot of energy from the plant, it becomes more vulnerable, more often affected by diseases and pests.

Typical mistakes of florists - table

Description of the problem Most likely cause
The tips of the leaves turn yellow, then turn brown and dry out. There is insufficient air humidity in the room. Spray fittonia often. Or purchase a special humidifier.
The leaves lose their tone, droop, curl along the central vein, shoots sink to the ground. Watering too infrequently. Or Fittonia is often watered, but little by little. All soil in the pot should be saturated with water.
Leaves, starting from the tips, turn pale, then turn yellow. Imbalance of nutrients in the soil. The reason may be either a clear excess or an acute shortage.
The leaves become smaller, the distance between them increases, the whole plant seems to stretch upward. The flower lacks light. Move it closer to the windowsill out of direct sunlight, or use artificial light sources.
Light spots appear on the leaves, the pattern turns pale, the leaf plate shrinks, as it were. The plant is sunburned. Move the pot out of direct sunlight.
Shoots rot at the base. Too much watering and / or insufficiently high room temperature.
The plant sheds its leaves. If the problem concerns the lowest leaves of Fittonia, which was last transplanted 2–3 years ago, exposing this part of the stem is a natural process. In other cases, the flower lacks moisture and / or nutrients.

Diseases and pests

Fitonia, as a rule, does not get sick and does not have any specific pests. Most often, the plant suffers from such "omnivorous" parasites as scale insects.

Insect pest control - table

Pest Symptoms Control and prevention measures
Shield On the underside of the leaf plate, in the places of branching of the shoots, dull grayish-brown plaques appear - the shells of pests that suck juice from the plant. Fittonia stops growing, the leaves turn yellow, dry and fall off. Once you find the scale insect, isolate the plant. Disinfect the area of ​​the window sill where it stood. Whip up a thick lather of laundry or green potash soap and apply it to the flower with a soft cloth or sponge. Treat hard-to-reach places with a cotton swab. Let the plant stand for 30-40 minutes, putting on a plastic bag on top and sealing it. Then give the flower a warm shower, washing away the remaining foam. In especially advanced cases, chemicals are immediately used. Read the instructions carefully, strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions. Not all insecticides are capable of dissolving the durable scabbard shell. Aktellik, Metaphos, Fitoverm, Aktara have proven their effectiveness. The most potent is Phosbecid. To completely solve the problem, a minimum of 2-3 treatments with an interval of 7-10 days will be required.

Folk remedies are good rather as prevention. Once every 2-3 weeks, spray Fittonia with infusion of arrows of onions, garlic, hot pepper. Pour a couple of tablespoons of crushed raw materials with 0.5 liters of warm water, close tightly, leave for a day. Strain before use, add another 0.5 liters of water.

Thrips Thrips are small whitish insects that settle on flowers, sucking juice from them. Discolored, rapidly expanding patches appear on the leaves. Then they dry out, a hole is formed in this place. In case of mass defeat, the shoots are deformed, silvery stripes on the leaves are clearly visible - traces of the vital activity of pests. Getting rid of pests is quite difficult. It is best, upon finding thrips, to immediately transplant the flower, disinfect the pot and discard the old soil. Ordinary fly tape is effective against adults. Insecticides will help kill eggs and larvae. Fittonia is sprayed with a solution of Aktellik, Agravertin, Fitoverm, Karbofos, Inta-Vir, Confidor and left for a day under a plastic bag. Treatment alone will most likely not be enough. Do them every 10-12 days until the problem is completely resolved.

For prophylaxis, once every 4-6 weeks, you can water the flower with a solution of the same drugs, reducing the concentration by 2-3 times.

Spider mite Pests settle on the lower part of the leaf plate, sucking out the plant juices. From above it looks like a lot of small beige dots. At the same time, thin, almost imperceptible threads appear, similar to a cobweb. Leaves discolor, curl, dry. Isolate the affected plant immediately, disinfect the pot, tray and windowsill. In severe cases, immediately apply chemicals belonging to the class of acaricides. Actellik, Marshal, Omite, Aktofit, Apollo help well against spider mites. Spray the plant or immerse it upside down in a deep enough container for 7-10 minutes. The maximum effect will be obtained by processing dry fittonias at a temperature slightly above + 20º С in the morning. Don't forget about personal protective equipment for yourself.

The best prevention is sterilization of pots, soil, "quarantine" for newly acquired plants. Periodic application of soap suds and a warm shower are helpful.

Folk remedies - infusion of garlic, onion arrows, dandelion roots, prepared as described above. If you have raw materials, cut the cyclamen tubers, boil for 45 minutes, strain and cool the liquid.

Mealybug Off-white small lumps appear on the plants, similar to cotton wool or poplar fluff. A whitish sticky bloom on the leaves is clearly visible. In especially severe cases, the edges of the pot are covered with a waxy mass of the same color. If the problem is detected in time, wipe off all the pests you see with a soft cloth, give the plant a shower. Then, for prophylaxis for a month, spray it weekly with an alcohol-soap solution (for a liter of water, 50 ml of vodka or alcohol tincture of calendula and 10 g of fine soap shavings), refined olive oil mixed with water, an infusion of dry peels of any citrus fruits, horsetail rhizomes. In the presence of highly prolific pests, only chemicals will help. It is advisable to change the drug for each treatment - the worms quickly develop immunity. Phosphamide, Aktara, Nurell-D, Rogor, Calypso have proven their effectiveness. The interval between procedures is 12-15 days.

Harmful insects in the photo


Mealybug is a common pest that does not disdain most indoor plants

Spider mite
Spider mite

If you do not take action in a timely manner, the spider mite will cover the plant with a continuous layer of whitish bloom.


Thrips are easy to spot just by shaking the plant, but very difficult to get rid of


Folk remedies against the scabbard are practically useless due to the durable shell

Breeding procedure


The most popular in home floriculture is the propagation of Fittonia by cuttings. Planting material is obtained by pruning a plant. The tops of shoots 5–8 cm long are rooted in water or wet sand. Each should have at least 3-5 leaves.

Fittonia stalk
Fittonia stalk

Rooted cutting is the fastest and most effective way to get new fittonia

  1. The stalk is lowered into a container, at the bottom of which water is poured in a thin layer (no more than 1 cm), or it is vertically stuck into the sand and covered with a glass jar of a suitable volume. To create a greenhouse effect, it is recommended to place a container with water in a large plastic bag and tie it up.
  2. The optimum temperature for rooting cuttings of Fittonia is + 23… + 27 ºС. Once every 4–5 days, the "greenhouse" is removed, the leaves are sprayed. Under these conditions, the roots will appear in 5-6 weeks. But 2.5-3 months is a very likely period. So please be patient.

Some experienced flower growers recommend the following method, which is more gentle for the plant:

  1. The chosen section of the trunk is pinned to the ground with a hairpin or a piece of wire, 2-3 pairs of leaves are cut off on both sides of this place and lightly sprinkled with soil.
  2. When the roots appear, the new plant is carefully separated from the "parent", transplanted into an individual pot with soil suitable for adult Fittonias.
Rooted cuttings of fittonia
Rooted cuttings of fittonia

Rooted Fittonia cuttings take root well

Rooting cuttings of indoor plants in water - video

Dividing the bush

The procedure is carried out simultaneously with the transplant. Often they do not resort to it, because the fragile roots of Fittonia are very easy to damage.

To minimize the risk of plant death, the roots are washed under running water, then placed in a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate for 10-15 minutes. The separation operation is performed with a sharpened sterile knife or scissors.

The plant needs to be cut so that each part has several healthy shoots. The root system is divided approximately equally between them.

Division of fittonia
Division of fittonia

Dividing Fittonia carries a high risk - you can lose both plants

New fittonias are kept under a glass jar for 10-12 days. After this time, it is removed daily, gradually increasing the duration of the flower's residence under normal conditions. After a month, move the pots to a suitable place, care for the fittonias as usual.

Video: transplanting fittonia by dividing the bush

Florist reviews



Alexandra Bond



Fittonia is a rather demanding houseplant in terms of keeping conditions. Growing a culture takes a lot of time and effort from the grower. Do not spare them to create a suitable setting for the flower, and it will delight you with elegant leaves.

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