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For a pop of colour in the office, house or even the bathroom, nothing compares to Nerve Plants (Fittonia spp.) These low growing, trailing wonders come in a variety of colours from hues of pink and green with white veins or the mesmerising green with pink veins. Great for growing in pots, shaded areas of the garden or in terrariums, where they shine like the little gems they are! They are native to humid to tropical forests in South America, so are well suited to growing in a terrarium where their vibrant foliage looks fantastic when grown together with green leafy plants such as ferns.



How to grow fittonia in a pot

  1. Choose a spot in the garden or indoors, that is well lit but away from direct sunlight. 
  2. Fill chosen planter with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.  
  3. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots. 
  4. Position in pot and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  5. Water regularly to keep the soil lightly moist. Fittonias like humidity and will enjoy having their foliage misted with water during hot dry weather.
  6. Feed fortnightly from spring to autumn with Yates Thrive Houseplant Liquid Plant Food.
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How to grow fittonia in a garden

  1. Choose a well drained, shaded spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in some Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch lightly with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw and water in well. 
  5. Water once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions to keep the soil lightly moist. 
  6. Feed fortnightly from spring to autumn with Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food.

     
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How To Propagate:

  • You can use longer pieces of stems (around 10 cm long) that contain nodes (a bump on the stem), as cuttings to grow more plants.
  • Remove all but the top set of leaves, dip stem ends into Yates Clonex® Purple Rooting Hormone Gel and gently insert the cut end into a pot filled with moist Yates Seed Raising Mix. Place the pot in a warm protected spot (a Yates Mini Greenhouse is ideal), keep the mix moist and roots should form within a few weeks. Then the new nerve plants can be planted into their own small pots to grow.

Feeding tip: Help keep nerve plants flourishing by applying Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food every fortnight from spring to autumn.


Growing tip

  • Nerve plants can be easily propagated through division or by soft tip cuttings. 

  • Trim back long or leggy plants to create a bushier specimen. 

  • Nerve plants will grow very happily in quite small pots, including self contained terrariums, low bowls and dish planters. 
  • These plants don’t like having wet feet. Avoid having the plants sit in wet soils for long periods of time as root rot can occur.Nerve plants will do best when grown in a warm, well-lit spot that is protected from direct sunlight and draughts.
  • Keep the potting mix consistently slightly moist. Regularly check the moisture levels in the potting mix by inserting your finger into the top few centimetres. If it feels dry and dusty, water the plant. If it’s still moist, leave watering for a few days. Nerve plants like to be kept moist but not waterlogged.
  • During hot or dry weather, nerve plants will appreciate their foliage being misted with water. You can also sit the pot on a saucer of water that’s filled with pebbles (so the base of the pot isn’t sitting in water) and regularly add water to the saucer. This helps to create a more humid environment around these rainforest loving plants.
  • For more compact, bushier plants, regularly pinch out the stem tips.

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Common Problems and Solutions

Aphids: New leaves distorted and yellow, foliage and stems covered in sooty mould, insects crowded on young leaves and shoots. 

Solution: Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray

Mealybugs: Small white furry or cottony looking sap sucking insect pests that can gather around leaf bases.

Solution: Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray