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Best Guide to Propagate Fittonia Plant

Fittonia is a versatile plant for propagation, with bountiful methods, where you can grow a new Fittonia plant by borrowing a few parts from the mother plant, guaranteed.

To propagate Fittonia, take 4-6 inches of stem cuttings and remove the bottom leaves to expose 3-4 nodes or use leaves with petioles and place them in the soil or water. The cutting will start to roots in 2-8 weeks and be ready for potting in at least 4-6 weeks.

Although the seemingly easy method to propagate Fittonia is pick and plant, the hard part of care calls comes later. So, to learn about Fittonia propagation, stand by and carefully follow the article!

Reasons to Propagate Fittonia

Fittonia can easily root in soil or water using the mother plant’s parts (leaves or stems).

Moreover, Fittonia can easily be divided and replanted to give the desired propagation results.

So, let’s look at some reasons to propagate Fittonia.

  • Propagating a new Fittonia plant from the parts of the mother plant cancels out the chances of hybridization, and you can get the original plant.
  • Using water as a propagation medium helps to monitor root growth and reduces the chances of root rot.
Image represents a potted Fittonia plant
Propagating Fittonia in the soil helps the plant grow stronger roots than the plants propagated in water.
  • If the original plant is dying due to infections or physiological issues, you can take the healthy plant parts from the dying plant and grow another active plant.
  • Although seeds are another way to propagate Fittonia, stem or leaf cuttings give quicker results.
  • Propagated Fittonia plant flower and set the seeds sooner. Also, you can take multiple parts to grow more plants within a few weeks.
  • New cuttings will heal quicker from minor upshots and help recover the dying plant.

Best Time to Propagate Fittonia

The growing season (spring to early summer) is the only time to propagate Fittonia.

Additionally, the mother Fittonia plant pushes out new and healthy growth during the growing seasons.

It also gives your plant enough time to grow healthy roots, reducing the chances of root rot.

However, avoid propagating Fittonia in fall and winter as the cuttings remain vulnerable to dry, cold air and can easily dehydrate. 

Fittonia Propagation Methods & Mediums

Fittonia gives out healthy leaves and stems that can be used to produce another healthy plant.

So, stem and leaf cuttings are the best parts for propagation, and both have their own advantages.

But, the choice of medium (soil or water) is also very important for propagation as it can affect the growth of roots.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Soil

There are a few upper hands while using soil for propagating Fittonia. 

  • Cuttings in the soil can develop strong roots.
  • It reduces the chances of transplant shock.
  • The roots can adapt well to the soil, and the cuttings can easily develop the side roots (feeder roots).

But, there are certain disadvantages while using soil for propagation.

  • While using soil, one has to consider balancing the physicochemical components and other elements, which is tricky.
  • There is a greater chance of disease or pest incidence while using the soil. 
Image illustrates some useful tips for propagating Fittonia
Use clean distillate water free of salts, the correct dosage of rooting hormone, and clean soil for propagating Fittonia.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Water

You can have a certain edge while using water as a medium for propagation.

  • Assessing the root growth becomes easy.
  • You can know the exact time for transplant in the soil when the roots are ready.
  • Roots grow faster in water compared to soil.
  • Water propagation needs fewer nutrients.

However, water propagation can prove defective due to the following reasons. 

  • Using the wrong water may increase the mineral salt accumulation in the cuttings.
  • Water propagation can cause the roots to grow weaker and increase the possibility of transplant shock.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Propagate Fittonia

Considering the success rate and ease of application for newbie gardeners, stem and leaf cuttings fit best to propagate Fittonia.

Additionally, these steps are applicable for both stem and leaf cuttings.

1. Preparing the Cuttings

  • Inspect a mother plant with healthy leaves and long stems.
  • Using sterilized pruners, cut a 4-6 inches long stem cutting with leaves.
  • Snip some basal leaves by cutting at the petiole’s base to expose 3-4 lower nodes.
  • Care to remove all but 1-2 leaf pairs from the top of the stem cuttings.
  • You can secure these leaves for propagation as well.

2. Propagating in Soil

  • Prepare a moist potting mix by combining equal parts of peat moss, organic perlite, coarse sand, and orchid bark.
  • Take 4 inches wide and deep terracotta pots with bottom drainage holes for individual cuttings.
  • Dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone powder to promote root growth, but this is optional.
  • Prepare small holes an inch deep using chopsticks in the soil and place the cuttings.
  • Ensure that the stem nodes or the cut part of the leaf are inside the soil.
Image represents propagation of Fittonia cuttings in LECA balls
LECA balls offer a great medium for delicate cuttings and support root development.
  • Tighten the base with potting mix to keep the cuttings firmly in place, and cover the pots with zip-lock bags to secure the humidity.
  • Water the topsoil gently, and water again until the soil feels dry.
  • Locate the cuttings near an east-facing window, place them over a heating mat and maintain a temperature of 60-85°F.
  • Keep checking the cuttings for root growth by giving the cuttings a gentle dash with your fingers.
  • After 2-8 weeks, the cuttings sprout new roots. Then, you can transplant them into a 6 inches wider terracotta pot after 4-6 weeks.

If you see mold growth on the potting mix, immediately remove covering from the top and expose the cutting to fresh air.

3. Propagating in Water

  • Choose a separate glass jar for cuttings, and fill them with rooting hormone solution.
  • Plunge the stem nodes or cut part of the leaf cuttings in the solution.
  • Cover the cuttings with zip-lock bags and place the cutting in an area with bright indirect sunlight (east-facing window).
  • Replace the water every 3-5 days to prevent algal growth.
  • New roots may take 1-2 weeks to sprout up to an inch.
  • Once ready, you can repot the cutting into a potting mix as above.
Image represents Fittonia cuttings in water
Fittonia cuttings can develop quicker roots in water.

Moreover, you can use LECA balls as a growth medium in water propagation to provide a better root substrate.

The transplants grow new leaves within 3-4 months, and you can continue with normal care.

Learn more about the process of propagation from the video below.

Taking Care of Newly Potted Plants

When tending your newly potted plant, care to follow these guidelines.

  • Keep the newly potted Fittonia plant in 1-2 hours of daily indirect sunlight, avoid blazing sunshine, and maintain a surrounding temperature of 60-85°F.
  • Sustain a surrounding humidity of 50-80% and water every 3-4 days in spring and summer by letting the soil dry out between watering bouts.
Image represents Fittonia plants growing inside a terrariums
Fittonia stem cuttings can easily root inside a terrarium if given enough light, humidity, and temperature.
  • Offer a well-draining organic soil amended with half-strength NPK 5-5-5 fertilizer once a month in spring and summer while reducing fertilizer application in fall and winter.
  • Trim your plant to remove the leggy, damaged or infected leaves frequently and repot the plant annually in spring or early summer in 1-2 inches larger terracotta planter. 

FAQs on How to Propagate Fittonia?

Where Does Fittonia Propagate Faster?

Fittonia cuttings can grow faster in water and are a bit slower while rooting in the soil.

How to Make Fittonia Bushy?

Fittonia can grow long stems when kept in low light but becomes bushy under adequate light conditions.

Where to Take Fittonia Stem Cuttings?

Cut the stem a few millimeters above or below the leaf node to take the stem cuttings for propagating Fittonia.

From Editorial Team

Ensure Proper Humidity Levels for the Cuttings

Use perforated zip-lock bags to cover the cuttings, prevent humidity extremes, and allow the entry of fresh air to save cuttings from rots!

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