Fittonia ornamental air-purifying indoor plant
Fittonia albivenis or F. verschaffeltii is an ornamental beautiful indoor plant with air purifying capacity. The common name of this plant is the mosaic plant or nerve plant. Leaves are the main attractive feature of this plant. As the name suggests the leaves are oval olive green in color. And the leaves have white, pink, or rose color mosaic-like or snakeskin-like patterns. Fittonia genus has 15 different types of species.
- Family: Acanthaceae
- Common name: Mosaic plant, Nerve plant
- Botanical description: Evergreen, creeping herbaceous perennial plant
- Height: 11-30 cm
- Width: 30 cm
- Light requirement: Sensitive to light, therefore, kept indoor
- Water: Water whenever the topsoil becomes dry. Avoid overwatering as it rots the roots.
- Soil: Aerated soil with good drainage capacity and enriched with humus or organic substances.
- Propagation: Stem cutting
How to take care of a Fittonia plant?
The plant Fittonia is a creeping plant. Keep cutting the flowers which occur in the form of inflorescence for the good growth of the foliage. The plant needs indirect light or low light. Water the plant when the topsoil becomes dry or leaves started droop. The plant needs high humidity and indirect bright light. Therefore mist or spraying the leaves will be good for the growth of the plant. Stand the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water to maintain humidity. Every month fertilization of the plant will be good for its proper growth. Use liquid N, P, and K fertilizer.
Fittonia as an indoor air purifying plant
Indoor air pollution nowadays becomes an equal problem like outdoor air pollution. It mainly depends upon the household activity and ventilation condition of the house. Studies said that indoor air pollution is 10 times more harmful than outdoor air pollution. Planting indoor plants are one of the most efficient solutions.
Studies suggest that Fittonia plants help in the removal of toluene from the indoor air (1). Toluene is another harmful air pollutant that causes central nervous system dysfunction, necrosis, Irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. Children exposed to these harmful pollutants also suffer developmental problems and reproductive problems in females. The major source of toluene pollution is gasoline, solvents in paints, plastic and soda bottles, paint cosmetics, and other organic chemicals (2). Fittonia plants indoor thus results in removing toluene from the air and thus give clean and fresh air to respire.