Nerve Plant

A Beginner's Guide to Nerve Plant (Fittonia) Care | All You Need to Grow!

Family: Marantaceae
Common Name: Nerve Plant
Botanical Name: Fittonia species


“Stemming” from the tropical rainforests in South America, and recognized for its vibrant foliage, the Nerve Plant makes a very visually captivating indoor plant. This plant thrives in relatively low-light conditions that can be found in many homes, and due to its petite size, it is the perfect plant to add to your tabletops, shelves, or hanging baskets!

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Although the Nerve Plant can survive in lower light conditions, it prefers bright, indirect light. This will help the plant with healthier growth and keep the vibrant coloring of its foliage. We suggest placing the Nerve Plant near a window that faces north or east. These locations typically will be the best to give the pant bright and indirect light, which is idea for this type of plant. However, if you do place the plant by a south or west-facing window, your Nerve Plant might benefit from some filtering. Filtering could be using a sheer curtain or putting the plant slightly away from the window (in efforts to avoid any sunlight intensity).

If natural light is unavailable, you can replace it with an artificial light source such as fluorescent or LED grow light and put them a few feet on top of the plant. Ensure plant receives around 12 to 14 hours of artificial light each day. Make sure you monitor your plants reaction to the light conditions. Any signs fading in color, becoming leggy, or stretching towards the light source could potentially mean that your plant is getting insufficient light. And, if the leaves are appearing to have brown or scorched spots, it could be an indication of too much direct sunlight.


Your Nerve Plant will require the correct watering for its health and well-being. You should plan on watering your plant every 1-2 days. It is suggested to water the plant more often in small amounts, than soaking it all at one time. Ensure you are watering your Nerve Plant until the water drains out of the bottom of the pot. This will be helpful to the entire root ball receiving moisture.

Over the course of the warmer months, your plant may need to be watered more than in the cooler or dormant period of the year. During this time, watering your Nerve Plant most likely will need to be reduced.


Nerve Plants tend to do best in well-draining soil that receives moisture. However, it is crucial to prevent overwatering and waterlogged conditions. Provide the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out a bit prior to watering again. Avoid dry soil. Dry soil can lead to the plant leaves wilting, which could cause stress or damage to your Nerve Plant. This type of plant likes a slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. Commonly used to give the correct balance of moisture retention and drainage is a peat-based potting soil or a combination of peat moss and perlite.

Prior to potting your plant, make sure the soil mixture is moistened slightly to make sure its getting the proper hydration it needs. Then, fill the pot (about two-thirds full) with the soil, and carefully put the plant in the pot, being cautious that the roots are covered with soil. By incorporating organic matter like compost or well-rotted leaf litter o the soil mixture, you can actually improve the plants fertility and structure overall.


It is preferred for a Nerve Plant that it is in a warm and stable temperature range that resembles the tropical rainforest environment, in which its originally from.

The ideal temperature range for your Nerve Plant is between 65°F and 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Consistency is key when it comes to the temperature for the Nerve Plant and it is crucial to keep it away from any area that directly exposes the plant to cold air, like open windows or air conditioning vents. The minimum temperature that a Nerve Plant can survive in is around 50°F (10°C). Any quick drops in the temperature can cause stress and leaf damage, so do the best you can do with protecting your plant from those extreme temperatures.  Monitoring your Nerve Plant for any signs of temperature stress like leaf drooping or discoloration is important.


As the Nerve Plant hails from a tropical rainforest environment, it is only fitting that this type of plant would thrive best in high humidity levels. The ideal humidity level ranges from 50% to 70%, or higher. It is important that these humidity levels are within this range for the plants growth and to prevent any issues with its leaves. To increase the humidity levels indoors, we recommend you use a humidifier or place the plant in a spot where it is naturally humid. Another suggestion we have is to group plants together, as this also can create a microclimate of increased humidity through transpiration.

Avoid any dry air, as Nerve Plants are sensitive to it. It can cause their leaves to droop or become brown around the edges. Never put your plant by heating vents, fireplaces, or air conditioners.


Fertilizing your Nerve Plant is essential to the plant receiving the nutrients it needs both to grow and maintain its overall health. We suggest you fertilize your Nerve Plant every 4 to 6 weeks. Try to limit fertilizing your plant during the winter months, as this is the time period where your plants growth begins to slow down.

Avoid overfertilizing your plant, as it can cause issues such as salt build-up and leaf burn. If you want to go the organic route, you can use a balanced organic fertilizer that is specifically for indoor plants. Always read and follow any directions given by the fertilizer manufacturer, since every has different needs.

Growth Rate

The Nerve Plants growth rate varies, depending on factors like the conditions of the environment, care practices, and more. Usually, a Nerve Plant will exhibit a moderate Although it depends on its conditions, a Nerve Plants mature height is around 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm). Please note that this type of plant is known for its trailing habit, as opposed to the height.

Ensure you are giving your Nerve Plant the best growing conditions, to help them with growing healthily. During the fall and winter, your plant may grow at a slower rate, but will grow more in the spring and summer months, so be patient!

Pet Friend or Foe

The Nerve Plant is pet friendly! Friend!

Pro Tips

  1. You can use dried Nerve Plant leaves in different types of crafts! Try creating pressed leaf art, creating greeting cards with the dried Nerve Plant leaves. Super fun!
  2. Nerve Plants are perfect for micro gardening! So, if you have a small space or want to bring some green to your office desk, you know what to do!
  3. Be patient with your Nerve Plant, as this type of plant requires waiting time and of more importantly, consistent care, for the Nerve Plant to reach its full potential.

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