Fittonias are creeping, stem-rooting, evergreen plants that grow naturally in the warm, moist conditions of the tropical rain forests of Peru. Commonly known as the mosaic plant, this group comprises attractive, small plants that have downy, deep olive-green leaves, 2½—4 in. (6—10 cm) long, with a dense network of rose-pink veins.
The leaves are oval and are carried on stems 3 in. (8 cm) long. The white flowers are borne in slender 4-angled spikes, up to 3 in. (8 cm) long, but they are largely concealed by bracts. F.a. Argyroneura Group, known as silver net plant, has slightly larger leaves that are emerald-green, closely net-veined with silver-white.
Size: Height 6 in. (15 cm).
Light: Partial shade.
Temperature: Preferably a constant 65°F (18°C).
Moisture: Careful watering is vital: too much and the roots will rot; too little and the leaves will shrivel and drop. Keep barely moist at all times. Feeding Provide half-strength liquid fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.
Propagation: Take 2 in. (5 cm) tip cuttings in spring, or layer by placing the pot inside a larger one filled with soil mix. Pin the tip of a shoot down onto the soil with a wore hoop until it roots, then gently sever it from the parent and pot it up.
Special needs: Fittonias are ideally suited to planting in a bottle garden or terrarium as they need high humidity to really grow well.