Fittonia Snakeskin Plant; 16°C/61°F; Peru

Both F. verschaffeltii with its red-veined oval leaves and creeping habit, and F. argyroneura with ivory-veined leaves of similar shape are difficult plants to care for regardless of the location. They must have constant warmth, fairly heavy shade and high humidity if they are to do well. However, in recent years a miniature form of the latter has appeared on the scene and is proving to be one of the most popular plant introductions. The leaves are small, congested and silvery and the plant has proved to be reasonably easy to care for, certainly much less of a problem than the parent from which it would seem to have sprung. It abhors direct sunlight and cold conditions, but otherwise seems very tolerant of room conditions. The simplest method of propagation is to place a small plant in the centre of a pot of moist peat and to allow the plant to grow over the peat and root into the medium. When rooted the pieces can be snipped off and potted up individually.

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