Fittonia - one of the most common ornamental plants, which attracts the attention of gardeners unusual foliage. I can not say that all the varieties of this plant is easy to grow, but when your house is decorated with a small miracle - it's worth all the worries and time spent caring for him.
When I bought my first Fitton Vershafelta, it turned out that the flower is pretty cranky. At first he did not want to grow. Then he had to constantly be moved from place to place - because, apparently, he was the light that much, not enough. But I was not going to give up, and my flower stuck. Later, I bought another beauty (Fittonia Argyroneura) with green leaves and white veins; it was much easier to grow.
Fitton named after two sisters - Elizabeth and Sarah Mary Fitton. These English ladies have received this honor for the creation in the early XIX century, the first of the classic textbook of botany.
Small genus of plants named after Fittonia, belongs to the family Acanthaceae. It is well-known to the family, whose name is called architectural decoration - acanthus leaves, which are widely used in the first Greek and later Roman architecture as a decorative element in the consoles, their ornaments friezes and cornices. Acanthus was also popular in the architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque.
The genus comprises about 10 species, but the most common culture room only two - Fittonia Vershafelta and Fittonia Argyroneura come from wet swampy forests of South America.
Homeland Fitton Vershafelta (Fittonia vershaffeliti) - Peru. It is a perennial herb with surface roots and creeping stems, rooting at the nodes easily. Stalks are not more than 10 cm and ramify densely covered: young - silver, old - greenish hairs. Oval-elliptic leaves about 6-10 cm in length placed on a small petiole; they bare or sparsely pubescent, dull, olive-green, covered with a network of bright pink veins. Small yellow flowers that are not of ornamental value,
Collected in spicate inflorescence; each flower is covered with large bracts below. In Fitton Vershafelta are very interesting species.
Fittonia Argyroneura has oval leaves green c silvery-white veins. In addition, it is very popular miniature hybrid "Nana", which is very unpretentious and easy to cultivation; its length leaves only about 2.5 cm.
Fitton not tolerate direct sunlight, but too dark place does not suit them. The best accommodation option - close to the window in the penumbra of light, but away from the battery of central heating in the winter because the dry air also contributes to Fitton. In winter, when daylight is short, I put them on a brighter place.
Fittonia - heat-loving plant. Winter temperature should not fall below 18 degrees; summer optimum temperature - 20-25 degrees. Ideal conditions Fitton - maintaining the temperature 22-24 degrees throughout the year. The plant does not tolerate drafts and sudden changes in temperature.
Watering and humidity.
Fittonia - a resident of the humid tropics, so summer watering is plentiful; earthen room should not be too dry. In winter, watering Fitton cut, watered sparingly, especially in cool content; water should not stagnate.
One day, returning after a few days of absence home, I found my Fitton with drooping stems and leaves podvyavshimi - the ground was dry. Hoping for the best, and abundantly watered the plant leaves sprayed with water - half an hour stems Fitton straightened and leaves began to rise. Now I always try to have Fitton was a water supply when there is no one to pour it.
Fertilizing with liquid fertilizer is carried out from April to August every 2-3 weeks, but Fittonia very sensitive to excess fertilizer. Therefore it is better to reduce the concentration of fertilizer in a couple of times in relation to that in the instructions on the package of fertilizer for houseplants. To Fittonia always looked splendor and elegance, you need to pinch back the shoots, which gives a more intense branching. Hanging over the edge of the pot shoots are best cut with sharp scissors.
Need to repot the plant every year in spring. It is best to look young specimens, so Fitton should be updated every 2-3 years. The soil is composed of two parts sod land, two parts peat and one part sand; potted necessarily need drainage. Fitton need to repot in shallow (5-7 cm), but rather wide pots, it is best to look these plants in a wide bowl.
Fitton multiply easily - cut off the apical stalk and root in a warm place in the sand. Once I tried to take cuttings to put in the water, and after a while they also appeared roots. Then I planted the cuttings into the substrate, and they are accustomed. It is best to plant a few cuttings in a pot Fitton - then the plant will be very beautiful look.
Can be neatly divided Bush Fitton and sit down. Still possible reproduction by layering from the stem: Fitton stem without leaves sprinkled the ground; when it takes root, cut it carefully and transplanted into a separate pot.
Hazards and control measures.
Fittonia - very tender plant, its content in the indoor environment requires attention and care:
If the ends of the leaves turn brown Fitton and dry, and growth is slowing, the reason may be as dry air and defeat plants red spider mites. It is necessary to remove the damaged leaves and regularly spray the flower. Fitton leaves curl, look podvyavshimi stems fall - insufficient watering, earth in the pot should always be slightly moist.
The ends of the leaf Fittonias yellowish brown - the reason may be as lack or excess of mineral substances. Fitton Stems elongated, the leaves become smaller - the lack of light. If the leaves lose color, dry up, the sunlight is too intense. Decaying, sluggish stems Fitton indicate an excess of moisture and low temperature maintenance. Sudden death Fitton winter may be due to the action of cold and excess moisture. Pests that often harm Fitton: thrips, red spider mites, mealy bug.
Thrips in most cases live on young leaves and inflorescences. It is small (up to 3mm) moving insects greenish, brownish or yellowish color. Thrips suck the cell sap from the leaves and flowers. Leaf damage is characterized by the presence of small yellow spots at the initial stage; then spots become larger, forming a distinctive marbled pattern. Scarred by thrips plant to be treated aktellikom.
When the red spider mite leaf damage similar to the damage that cause thrips; In addition, under the leaves of plants can be seen cobweb. Contributes to the appearance of tick warm dry air, so spraying Fitton - and even a measure of prevention against tick. Scarred by spider mites plant is also to be treated aktellikom.
Mealybug most often located on the petioles; if the infection is very strong, it is possible to meet and scale insects on the leaves. In addition, the wax can be seen everywhere allocation scale insects like small lumps of cotton wool. Mealybug wash off with soap and water (20 g of soap in 1 liter of water). Two - three times at intervals of 5-10 days is necessary to spray the stricken plant aktellikom scale insects. To combat thrips and mites can use tobacco: 40-50 grams of tobacco pour 1 liter of water for two days, strain and this solution to spray the affected plants.
As Fitton very moisture-loving plants, they will look great together with other plants in the gardens or in the bottle indoor terrariums.