POP­U­LAR PLANTS PER­FECT FOR THE TROP­ICS

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

Nerve plants (Fit­to­nia sp) are pop­u­lar in­door plants with vividly colour­ful fo­liage. There is a wide va­ri­ety of nerve plants avail­able, some hav­ing green leaves with cream or white veins, oth­ers with deep pink mark­ings and some with stun­ning pre­dom­i­nantly white fo­liage. They are per­fect plants for small spa­ces, only reach­ing about 15cm tall.

They are na­tive to hu­mid to trop­i­cal forests in South Amer­ica, so are well suited to grow­ing in a ter­rar­ium, where their vi­brant fo­liage looks fan­tas­tic when grown with green leafy plants such as ferns.

Nerve plants will do best when grown in a warm, well-lit spot that is pro­tected from di­rect sun­light and draughts. Keep the pot­ting mix con­sis­tently slightly moist. Reg­u­larly check the mois­ture lev­els in the pot­ting mix by in­sert­ing your fin­ger into the top few cen­time­tres. If it feels dry and dusty, wa­ter the plant. If it’s still moist, leave wa­ter­ing for a few days. Nerve plants like to be kept moist but not wa­ter­logged.

Dur­ing hot or dry weather, nerve plants will ap­pre­ci­ate their fo­liage be­ing misted with wa­ter.

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