Houseplants forum: Fittonia

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bluepoppy
Apr 23, 2013 7:37 AM CST
I have one of these and it was beautiful but it has gotten so big it hangs over the edge of the pot and breaking off..I want to know if I cut off a piece can I get it to root??
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 8, 2013 11:32 PM CST
Try it especially if you have a piece to spare. Of course, Fittonia branches hanging over a pot looks great, doesn't it? Smiling

I don't have a Fittonia now but it was my first houseplant 40 years ago. Now i'm feeling nostalgic and think I ought to go look for one...Wish me luck!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 9, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Yes, it should take root, I've done it by sticking a snapped-off piece next to the mama plant.

If you wouldn't mind, please tell us about the conditions of your plant. I've kept one each of 2 colors alive for a year now, but they're frozen in time. One of the slowest plants here of so many others, no sign of making another round of cute little flowers like they had when I got them last year, around this time I think. Can't imagine it growing enough to even lean, let alone break itself off over the edge of a pot. Tried more sun (last few hours of the day,) less sun (just the first hour or 2 in the morning,) a little fertilizer. Supposed to like humidity and sheesh, definitely have that covered in southern AL! Does it actually need to be above 80% for it to be happy? Coming inside for winter was hard on it, even though we don't use an air-drying heat source, but it never has perked up outside again. If you could add a pic, that would be great too! I'm embarrassed to even show my silly little plants. I do have a little terrarium thing but the "pot" part is so small. Maybe Fittonia would prefer that anyway?

Good luck, Bev! You probably have some good advice too, care to share? If you have a BBS nearby that sells Exotic Angel plants, this is often part of their assortment.
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Name: Rhamel
Albany,NY (Zone 5a)
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teengardener1888
Aug 9, 2013 10:14 AM CST
purple, can i see pics of your fittonia, i dont have any experience with this plant im curious
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 9, 2013 10:55 AM CST
purpleinopp said: Can't imagine it growing enough to even lean, let alone break itself off over the edge of a pot. Tried more sun (last few hours of the day,) less sun (just the first hour or 2 in the morning,) a little fertilizer. Supposed to like humidity and sheesh, definitely have that covered in southern AL! Does it actually need to be above 80% for it to be happy? Coming inside for winter was hard on it, even though we don't use an air-drying heat source, but it never has perked up outside again.
Good luck, Bev! You probably have some good advice too, care to share?


Purple, For a bit there, I didn't think we were talking the same plant...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nerve_Plant.JPG

The plant I had (link of pic above) I kept indoors away from any sunny window. Yes humidity was needed so I spray misted. The leaves used to brown and dry up at the ends so I think I didn't provide enough humidity. I also didn't think it could survive outdoors in any kind of weather since it seemed so delicate. I'm embarrassed that I couldn't keep one for very long...
Sorry I couldn't really add anything constructive in regards to better care of the plant, but whenever I see one, I get so nostalgic... *Blush*

I see from Googling that there are other forms within Fittonia so, yes Purple, a pic would be helpful!

[Last edited by webesemps - Aug 9, 2013 2:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Aug 9, 2013 2:06 PM CST
I've grown Fittonia allbivenis: http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Fittonia off and on for years. They seem to do best for me in terrariums but they end up getting very large and taking over the terrarium very quickly ... they do seem to love humidity! I have a few bits and pieces of Fittonia's ....

The one on the left used to be huge, filling that pot but it's no longer very happy; it receives bright light (no direct sun) and high humidity but still looks pretty pitiful ... The one on the right I found when I was weeding last week, the pot was beneath a shrub (usually where I stick plants when they don't seem to be doing so well; apparently it likes the deep shade so I may put the other one down there too! Smiling
Thumb of 2013-08-09/plantladylin/9327a0 Thumb of 2013-08-09/plantladylin/7500a7

Another little piece that I stuck in one of my terrariums and it seems to be doing well ... and my favorite, a pretty pink variety that seems very happy on the screened porch!
Thumb of 2013-08-09/plantladylin/16d5fa Thumb of 2013-08-09/plantladylin/05f2e8

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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 9, 2013 2:21 PM CST
Thanks for the link, Lin. I saw some variations that I have never seen before!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 21, 2013 12:59 PM CST
Finally remembered to take a pic of this today, always overlook it because, IMO, it's not doing great. I'm not even sure if both pink and red are still alive at this point. Put both in this pot this spring. I've taken cuttings from the Impatiens and Hypoestes many times to keep them small but the Fittonia does nothing but cling to life.

Thumb of 2013-08-21/purpleinopp/7a2d48

This one part looks like it's forming some tiny flowers, so I guess that's good.

Thumb of 2013-08-21/purpleinopp/a2ac83

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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Aug 21, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Yep, looks like that Fittonia is at the pot's edge struggling for its place. Hope the competition with other plants doesn't wipe it out. Crying
Name: Peggy
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
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pgurney
Sep 23, 2013 8:28 AM CST
I have the Fittonia that has reddish leaves with green 'veins'. Love them!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 24, 2013 10:06 AM CST
Yeah, I didn't know it was going to shrink. When I put that pot together this spring, the Fittonia was the main thing, and so much bigger. There was a light pink one, and a dark pink one. There was one little Impatiens and one Hypoestes, which I trimmed to near the surface and stuck some of the cuttings around the pot. I've taken more cuttings of these two often to maintain their tiny stature, because they are growing so much faster. Something has to fill it up, that's the look I want for that pot.

To remove most of the peat from Fit's original pot and add it to this, a lot of the roots were broken. Most plants like that, maybe Fittonia does not, possibly compounded with the degree to which I did it, removing much more of the roots than if it had been a normal repot from normal 'soil' that just falls right off of roots.

It's had near 100% humidity for months. I don't know what the heck it wants that is so different from the other plants in the pot in particular, and on the front porch in general.

Where it sits, there are a few brief periods of dappled light before 10 AM. Trees do some of the dappling and there are other pots hanging above and in front of it. Now that the other plants are shading it too, I wouldn't think that could be too much light. What do you think out there?

And if it's making flowers, is it unhappy? Since I'm not even sure, I've instituted emergency mode for Fittonia, which means I don't ever look at it on purpose. Once in a while, one acquires a plant that is so shy and sensitive, it simply can't grow if there is any pressure at all about its' appearance. Just inspecting such a plant, or even smiling and telling it how cute it is, can be so alarming that the poor thing can simply be put in shock. If you have one of these you really need to look at and your peripheral vision isn't enough, peeping through the blinds, using a periscope, or night vision equipment, can be options. Maybe that's why a terrarium works so well, no way it's more humid than summer in the SE. Maybe Fittonia is unable to see anything but its' own beautiful reflection in the glass, so has no idea anyone can see it. Green Grin!

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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Sep 24, 2013 10:34 AM CST
Gee, now I may give up looking for a Fittonia (Big box stores now have their seasonal big houseplant selection). I've always suspected humidity would be an issue, but Tiffany, you say it may be finicky bordering on difficult too?
I like your poetic evaluation of Fittonia... Smiling
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 24, 2013 2:01 PM CST
Hehehe, I'm easily amused, glad you like the silly sidebar.

I wouldn't steer anyone away from this cute little plant, quite the opposite. It's been a joy to have around. More stories here of them doing well than my one pitiful pot. What if it's something like our dog peed on it when I took it to the back yard to be repotted? Look forward to a post of yours in the near future saying you don't (or do) know why my silly plant doesn't look like your big beautiful one!

If it would grow some piece big enough to take a cutting, maybe that would grow better than the original insulted roots I now have? Not discounting your suggestion that the companions are hogging all of the space, just listing the other stuff that's been done to it. The others are definitely out-growing it. What I've taken from this story is to try to quell my urges to buy any plants that don't look like their roots will separate from a sponge of peat. You can't just stick that in a bigger pot, at least I never have and had it live long afterward, and once the pot is so full of roots the plant is wilting all of the time, it's a tough situation trying to remove it without tearing so many roots. Maybe I should have taken cuttings right away instead of expecting it to grow. Clearly I've made a mistake here, probably many, Fittonia is a great plant, and I'm only in the process of killing my first, that's not much to go on, just a rockin' bad example.
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 25, 2013 10:52 AM CST
hope you don't mind me jumping in.. but I took several cuttings of mine .. they are slow growing for sure.. I had them outside for summer and boy o boy they are just creeping along.. but they did root
Name: Rhamel
Albany,NY (Zone 5a)
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teengardener1888
Sep 26, 2013 7:10 AM CST
My Hypoestes died of no water, I didnt have it for 2 weeks!!! Crying Crying Crying Crying Yet i watered it every other day, forgot once, and it died Crying Crying I have never tried fittonia before, yet i find it in the stores alot, they can be a drama queen
Gardening is an art,the soil is the paper, and plants are the paintbrush
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 27, 2013 4:32 AM CST
I always put some water gels in my containers.. in case there is a whoopsie
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Sep 27, 2013 10:54 AM CST
I'm all ears! Good tip, Allison.
Name: Rhamel
Albany,NY (Zone 5a)
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teengardener1888
Sep 27, 2013 11:08 AM CST
thanks for the tip
Gardening is an art,the soil is the paper, and plants are the paintbrush
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2013 7:30 AM CST
Is it called Fittonia because it's always having a fit?
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Sep 30, 2013 10:35 AM CST
nodding

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