FITTONIA (fi-toh’-ni-ah) – A genus of tropical perennial herbs from the Acanthus Family grown for their hairy beautifully veined foliage. The flowers are small, 2-lipped and quite inconspicuous being borne in slender spikes beneath bracts. Fittonias are useful low or creeping foliage plants, often grown beneath the benches in the greenhouse or in shaded parts where few other plants thrive. They should be potted in a soil of equal parts loam, leafmold and sand, kept shaded and grown in a temperature never lower than 55 deg.

Red Fittonia

Exotic foliage creepers that come in three color combinations, the round leaves strikingly lined with a contrasting vein network. They’re beautiful around the edge of a shaded pool in a hobby greenhouse, if you can keep the slugs away, and handsome in indoor baskets and planter gardens with a minimum of light. And they cause comment when set on a coffee table or used in small compositions.

Three Fittonia variations are available, two of which are varieties of the species. All require unvarying warmth (60 degrees or more), high humidity, a light soil mixture rich in organic matter, more-than-usual moisture, and slug bait. Propagate by stem cuttings, or sever stems that have rooted in the soil. Fittonia is an evergreen perennial that is known for its attractive foliage, one of them is the Fittonia albivenis ‘Red Anne’.

Fittonia albivenis ‘Red Anne’ or Red Anne Fittonia has a bright pinkish red foliage with a pinkish veins and patches of green making it a very attracted house plant. This plant is suitable for growing indoors and growing in containers.

Fittonia verschaffeltii – Three-inch oval leaves dull green with a network of deep-red veins.

Fittonia verschaffeltii argyroneura – Thinner, crisper leaves emerald green netted with silvery white.

Fittonia verschaffeltii pearcei – Tissue-paper leaves brighter, lighter green with rose-pink veins.

Question: Why do the leaves of my fittonia curl under and turn brown?

Answer: Fittonias require a loose, rich, moist soil. They like a shady place with moisture-laden air. Books about greenhouse gardening give a clue to their successful house culture: fittonias are suggested by several authors for growing in the shaded, densely humid areas under greenhouse benches. When I first grew indoor plants, and had but a few, I could get fittonias to grow only in a terrarium where high humidity could be maintained. Later, as I have collected many more plants, the humidity of our house has increased, and the fittonias thrive on a window sill among other plants. They closely resemble episcias in appearance and cultural requirements, even to their dislike for temperatures below 55 degrees. Fittonia Verschaffeltii is pink veined; its variety argyroneura is white veined.

Family: Acanthaceae
Common Name: Nerve or Mosaic Plant

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