The Q&A Archives: Wilting Fittonia

Question: We put a Fittonia in the bathroom by a frosted window. After a couple of days it wilted severely and leaves were falling off. After moving it to the kitchen by a non-frosted window, it came back to life. Why is it not liking the bathroom? Could it be the steam from my wifes hot showers?

Answer: The houseplant Fittonia is sometimes called alligator plant, snakeskin plant, or silver net leaf because of the network of white, pink or red veins in the leaves. Just for general guidelines, provide average household warmth (minimum 60F in winter), medium to bright light (no direct sun), liberal water in spring and summer; little water in winter, and high humidity around the plant. I'm not sure why your plant reacted so poorly to what sounds like ideal growing conditions. Perhaps it was sitting in a draft when you had it in the bathroom? Or perhaps the light coming from the frosted window simply wasn't intense enough. In any case, sounds as though you've found the right spot for your Fittonia now. Continued good luck with your houseplant!

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