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Fittonia are also known as Nerve Plants due to the delicate patterns that criss-cross their foliage. They come in an array of beautiful colours and are a true treasure for any house plant collection. Unfortunately with this beauty comes a fussy little plant that can become unhappy very easily. Nerve Plants are known to struggle under low humidity but another common issue is a Leggy Fittonia, which is what we’ll take a look at here.
What Causes A Leggy Fittonia?
The main cause of a leggy Fittonia is a lack of light. Nerve Plants need access to lots of bright light while still being protected from direct sunlight as direct light can cause brown burned tips, sunburn and your plant will dry out quickly. As this light doesn’t like direct sunlight lots of people make the mistake of assuming it is a low light houseplant and putting it in a darker area. This couldn’t be more wrong. Fittonia need bright light or the will stretch their stems and become leggy while looking for a light source.
If you notice your Fittonia starting to elongate then move it closer to a light source as quickly as possible. You’ll probably even notice your plant growing towards the light which should be a big indication that it needs moving. If you don’t have a lot of natural light and you’re worried your plant will get worse then grow lights like these from Amazon can really come in handy. They will give the plant plenty of light and you can use them on multiple lights at once. Another great trick you can try is putting mirrors near the plants so the light bounces back onto them from multiple directions. This might not fix the problem if you can’t move your plant to a much brighter spot but it could help. Moving your plant to a brighter spot will help prevent further legginess but it won’t undo the damage already done.
What To Do About My Current Leggy Fittonia
So you’ve moved your Fittonia to a brighter spot where further legginess won’t occur but you’re not sure what to do about the growth that’s already happened? Unfortunately there is no way to reverse that growth, the only way to get rid of it is to cut it away. If you don’t mind how it looks you can leave it but if you’re after a bushier look then you’ll probably want to trim it back. If you do this make sure you use a sharp clean pair of scissors to avoid rot setting in the stem. Make sure you cut as far back as you want the leaves to start as this incision is usually where new leaves will grow from.
With the trimmed section you can propagate them to make new plants if you don’t want to just throw them in the compost bin. When you take a cutting there should be a node on the stem, as long as this node is here you should be able to propagate your plant. If you place your cutting in water it should start to grow roots, once the roots have grown you can plant it. The only thing to be aware of is that Fittonia can be especially fussy when they’re young so you may need to create a micro environment by placing a sandwich bag or plastic cup over the new plant in order to keep the humidity high. This is a great way to turn a leggy Fittonia into something positive.
Article: Leggy Fittonia
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