How to Grow the Gorgeous Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis)

Hailing from the rainforests of Peru, Fittonia are a classic terrarium plant that thrive in humid environments. A spreading evergreen with deep, strikingly coloured veins.

They’re most commonly found with bright green leaves and silvery-white veins, but you can also readily find varieties with pink, white, and green veins. They can be quite sensitive to watering (they’ll dramatically collapse if they’re not getting enough) but generally fare well in closed containers.

Fittonia Albivenis (Nerve Plant)

Where to Buy Nerve Plants

See the links below to purchase from reputable terrarium plant shops and marketplaces (may include affiliate links). 

US – See on Etsy
UK – See on Etsy

Fittonia albevenis Care & Growth

Plant TypeFoliage
LightingBright, indirect light
Temperature60-80°F (15-26°C)
WateringRegular, even moisture
HumidityHigh humidity (60-90%)
Growth3-6 inches


Ideally Nerve Plants should be placed in bright, indirect light. They can handle lower light placements (but may lose some of their vibrancy). They’ll quickly burn in direct sunlight but they do well under fluorescent grow lights.


As a tropical plant, Fittonia likes constant moisture. It’ll often faint if it’s too dry, but will quickly rebound once it’s watered.


Fittonia should grow happily in a substrate that’s suitable for tropical plants. That means a substrate that retains moisture well, but also has plenty of drainage.

Temperature & Humidity

Nerve Plants love high, constant humidity and a high temperature. In fact, they can be pretty sensitive to it. They can be grown as a houseplant under the right conditions, but do much better in a sealed terrarium container.


As a creeper, Fittonia can grow fairly fast, and it does like to spread out and make use of the space. You might find pruning the stems to be useful every now and again to keep in check.


Propagating Fittonia from leaf cuttings is straightforward as long as they’re large enough to include a few growth nodes. They’ll sprout roots a couple of weeks after they’ve settled.

Varieties & Similar Plants

There are two main groups of Fittonia to speak of; Verschaffeltii and Argyroneura. Both come with a lot of varieties, but Argyroneura tend to be smaller and more suitable for terrariums. Look out for the Minima variety if you’re looking to plant a very small terrarium.

Check out our guide to building a Fittonia terrarium if you need more help!

Alternatively, the Polka Dot Plant can provide some colour and character aplenty with its wide variety of spotted foliage.

Common Problems

Fittonia can be very sensitive plants. Prone to fainting at the first sign of dryness or a cold draught. They should settle down once they’ve acclimated to a terrarium.