Fittonia: 9 species with photos and contents in the aquarium
Flora of South America gave us a lot of exotic flowers that took their rightful place on our windowsills.
Some are pleasing with their magnificent flowering, others are impressive in size, and such as phytonia attract a fancy coloring of leaves.
A bit of history and description
If you want to know what Fittonia looks like, a photo of a flower perfectly conveys its beauty. The plant is part of the Acanthus family.
The name of the flower comes from the names of two English sisters who lived in the 19th century. Sarah-Marie and Elizabeth were passionate about botany and even wrote the book, Conversations on Botany.
Of the four species included in the genus, only one belongs to erect plants, the rest are creeping vines. Both are grown at home.
The prevailing color of Fittonia leaves is green with an olive tint.. The adornment that flower growers like so much is the vein of leaf plates - white, silver or pink.
There are signs for the home associated with this amazing flower. It serves as a strong amulet. If the hosts are adversely affected, the plant warns of it with leaves that dry for no reason.
Esotericists speak a lot about what matters in the apartment. They claim that Fittonia harmonizes family relationships, has a beneficial effect on the home atmosphere.
When kept in the bedroom, the plant provides peaceful sleep. Located on the windowsill in the office, it helps to relieve tension and activates mental activity.
Popular views and their photos
The first plant specimens that came to Europe were grown in greenhouses, where ideal conditions were created for them. They felt a special need for high humiditywhich is difficult to organize at home.
Breeders began to work actively with the new exotic and soon developed varieties suitable for home maintenance. We will get to know them better.
In the wild, a silver-veined species covers the soil with a continuous carpet, releasing creeping stems with oval leaves. Due to the beautifully folded pattern of silver-white veins, it is also called the Mosaic plant.
Fittonia red has the same pattern of veins, only their color, as the name implies, is completely different, which also looks great.
Fortissimo Fittonia is distinguished by a round leaf shape and well-defined pink veins.
A bright variety of flower, in which the leaves are painted in coral color, and a dark olive strip runs along their edge.
Josan has green leaves, but wide pink veins almost cover the leaf plate, so it seems that they are pink by nature. The dark green border, if you look at it from afar, looks black.
The dark olive background of Perseus leaves is decorated with a beautiful pattern of dark pink and white veins. Another decorative feature of this species is the scarlet coloration of the underside of the leaf.
Mosaic kings cross
Dramatically different from its brethren in kind, the Mosaic Kings Cross species has amazingly beautiful leaves: not only are they painted white, they also have edges like a frill on a dress.
Next to it, you can put two more species: White Fitton and White Anna. Both are dominated by white leaf color, only the first vein is wide and there is no green strip along the edge, while the second is thinner and the strip is present.
The creeping shoots of Skeleton carry matte leaves with a velvet surface. The drawing on them is made of red veins intertwined with a fancy mesh.
In the sunlight, the leaves of Fittonia shine delightfully, giving it a magical shape.
A short, about 10 cm, plant with pubescent creeping stems. At an early age they are silvery, in adults they acquire an olive color. On the surface of the leaves is a mesh pattern of pink and red veins.
Fittonia Mix is not a plant variety; it is a composition made up of its different varieties. It may include white-chested fittonia, pink fittonia, and fortissimo. What varieties you plant in the tank, you will get such a mix.
Having earned the attention of flower growers, the plant began to inhabit not only ordinary pots: it found a place and in florariums, and even in aquariums.
In a pot
A traditional pot is great for keeping fittonia. The material does not matter, you can take both plastic and ceramics. The flowerpot itself should be shallow and wide so that the root system of the plant feels comfortable.
In the florarium
Fit any florarium transparent container with a wide neck: vases, glasses, bottles, small aquariums.
With this content, the increased humidity required by Fittonia is supported by condensate, which settles on the walls of the florarium.
The minus of such a cultivation, many gardeners consider the rapid growth of a flower: have to transplant it every six months. Florarium with Fittonia looks exotic and very decorative.
Important! The leaves and shoots of the plant should not rest against the walls of the selected container.
The root system of Fittonia calmly perceives the moist environment of the aquarium. The main thing is that the leaves of the flower are in the air. However, in good light, it grows well and under water.
Born in special climatic conditions, an exotic guest is suitable for breeding only in a homely atmosphere: in the open ground, the flower will die. However, at home she needs certain indicators of temperature, light, humidity.
Heat-loving exot feels good at a constant temperature in the area 23 ... 25 ° C. Lowering these indicators to 18 ° C can kill a pet, it does not tolerate sudden temperature jumps.
In nature, the plant hides under the crowns of trees, content with scattered rays. In winter, when the sun rarely appears on the horizon, and daylight becomes shorter, the flower needs an additional light source. Use a phytolamp to illuminate.
Attention! With excessive lighting, the shoots of Fittonia begin to creep, with its lack, they stretch upward. Try to find a place with a comfortable lighting mode for her.
A special parameter that affects the full existence of a tropical plant in the house: 90–95% humidity requiredthat at home is difficult to provide.
Frequent spraying and installing the pot in a pan with always wet moss helps. Categorically do not keep fittonia near heating appliancesbut the neighborhood of orchids is useful for her.
If the pet is in the pot, then regular watering is from March to October. Then it is reduced, but gradually, making sure that the soil does not dry out. When kept in an aquarium, there is no talk of watering.
Part of autumn and winter is a time of rest for Fittonia. There are no significant changes in her care. Watering is slightly reduced, but the soil should remain moist.
The temperature regime does not change, remaining within 23 ... 25 ° C. In order for the plant to get enough light in winter, a phytolamp is installed.
Separately about the transplant
Young people need a transplant every year.. Spend her in the spring. Adult plants living in the house for 5-6 years, the procedure is done 1 time in 2-3 years. They are transferred from a pot or a container to a new place of residence by transshipment.
To create a decorative image and regular rejuvenation, the plant needs annual pruning. Perform it in parallel with the transplant, that is, in the spring.
During pruning, branches that have grown in growth over the winter are removed. In addition, for the formation of a wide crown pinch the tops of the shoots.
Having survived the dormant period, the plant begins to grow actively. To maintain vegetative processes him additional nutrients required. With a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks, complex mineral compositions are added to the soil.
Important! The concentration of fertilizer in the solution should be 2 times less than usual. Excess minerals are harmful to fittonia.
In the historical homeland Fittonia bloom in spring. In the home flower garden, the plant produces buds in the summer. Spiky inflorescences look inconspicuous and faded.
An incomprehensible yellowish shade of small flowers does not cause delight, so flower growers mercilessly cut them off, without waiting for the corollas to blossom.
The emphasis is on the decorative leaf, which without flowers gets more nutrients.
Bringing a flower from the store, its quarantined for 5-7 days, then transplanted to a home container. If this is a pot, then it should be small (in height of the plant) and wide - approximately the same as that taken for growing bonsai.
The procedure itself looks like this:
- Make sure there are holes in the bottom of the pan.
- Lay a 5-centimeter layer of drainage on the bottom.
- Pour a little soil, lay on it the roots of the plant with a lump of earth, sprinkle with the rest of the soil.
In the same way, an annual spring transplant is carried out for young instances of Fittonia.
There is nothing complicated in plant propagation; three methods are applicable to it: cuttings, layering and division of the bush.
To get the cuttings, cut off the top of the shoot so that it has 4 pairs of leaves, counting along with the top. The lower pair of leaves is removed, the stalk itself is planted in the ground or put in a container with water.
When planting the cuttings immediately into the soil, it is worth covering it with a filmto speed up rooting. Using a glass jar of water is convenient in that you can observe the appearance of roots and in time to transfer the plant into a pot.
Dividing the bush
In the division of the bush has its own characteristics. Carefully removing the adult plant from the pot, do not tear it to pieces, but with a sharp knife cut off the "daughter" and put in a pot with soilby compacting the soil near the roots to avoid sinuses.
To get a layering you need bend one of the shoots of the mother flower to the ground, having previously removed the lower leaves from it, and sprinkle it with soil so that it does not rise. For the rooting period, watering and top dressing are carried out in the usual mode.
After 5-7 days, it will take root. After making sure of this, you can cut it off from the "mother" and transplant it into a separate container. The fact that the young plant has successfully taken root is evidenced by the appearance of new leaves.
Aquarium growing details
The aquarium is ideal for growing Fittonia. It allows you to easily maintain the required level of moisture for the plant. There are two ways to contain a flower in it:
- completely submerged in water;
- leaving only the roots of the plant in the water.
In the first method, the required percentage of moisture is maintained for the terrestrial part of the plant, and the roots do not suffer from a lack of moisture.
In the second case, you will have to pay attention to some important details:
- provide adequate lighting;
- use for planting an adult plant with highly developed roots;
- When cleaning the aquarium, take care not to injure the flower.
Mistakes in Fittonia Care
Most often, problems arise when the owner is mistaken with moisture indicators. Drying of the tips of the leaves and their falling are associated with dry air.
If a leaves curl and stain, then the flower is not enough moisture. Excess moisture leads to rotting of the roots and wilting of the leaves.
Improper lighting causes flower health problems.. Thinning of leaf blades and loss of color are associated with excess sunlight.
With improper feeding, its excess or lack of leaves fittonia acquire a yellowish brown tint.
Pests and the fight against them
Many gardeners talk about the excellent health of Fittonia. It rarely gets sick and resists pests well. However, it is not always possible to completely avoid diseases.
We have already talked about the problems associated with poor care. Let's talk about pests that can appear on a plant:
- Worm or shaggy lice. The parasite settles at the base of the leaves, visible on a wax coating. For destruction, a solution of "Actellica" is used: the plant is sprayed with it several times a week.
- Red tick. Appears at low humidity, leaves cobwebs on the underside of the foliage. An insecticidal drug will help to cope with this pest.
- Thrips. They manifest themselves as yellow spots on the leaves. At first they are small, then grow. In this case, it is also worth resorting to treating the plant with Actellic.
The ability to contain fittonia in an aquarium or florarium attracts more and more attention to it. It becomes an excellent object for interior decoration.
Openwork ligature of the pattern on the leaves, the bright colors of the veins, the splendor of the bushes fit perfectly into the home environment and give it notes of tropical exoticism.