Project: Fittonia Propagation

Posted by Jordan | Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | , , | 15 comments »

Propagating Fittonia While I was at work on November 12th, I decided that it was time to try propagating my pink Fittonia (Fittonia argyroneura) because it was starting to get a little out of control, so I gathered up all of the tools I needed and started with the project.

The tools I used were:

After doing some research, I found that one of the easiest methods for fittonia propagation is by using stem cuttings. I used the bonsai trimming shears to cut the fittonia stems, selecting stems with 4 to 5 leaves. I put some houseplant soil into the two plastic cups I had, placed the cut stems about an inch down into the soil, and then packed the soil around the base of the stem. I then watered the cuttings, placed them into a plastic ziploc bag, and then sprayed them with water. The last step in the process was to blow air into the bag to expand it so that the plants had room to grow. Once the air was blown into the bags they were closed and the bags were placed on the top of a storage cabinet, which is about a foot below the fluorescent lighting fixture.

Propagating FittoniaEvery couple of days I spray more water, blow air into the bag, and reseal it. So far this has been working well and the cuttings appear to be growing.

There will be a status update in the future to check on the progress of the cuttings.


  1. Wicked Gardener // November 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM  

    Well - It looks like you already know my propagation secret - I like using clear plastic cups so I can see the root development clearly. Did you add drainage holes? I've seen it done with them and without, so just wondering if you add the holes.

  2. Jordan // November 26, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

    No, I did not add any drainage holes this time. I will have to try that with the next batch of fittonia's that I propagate. Thank you for the advice!

  3. Julie // November 26, 2008 at 4:44 PM  

    Fittonia is so strong of a plant to propogate...I just stick the cut parts off into soil and keep moist for a few weeks...it is just amazing! I love my Fittonia...I have three varieties so far! They are the best. I love how they can take low light so well. Your method here reminds me of one blogger who uses the ziplocks, but he takes safety pins and pins them to the back of his curtains so they are in sun and heat. Sweet!!!

  4. william // November 26, 2008 at 10:52 PM  

    An easy to grow ground cover for hot zones or a nice indoor plant for cooler climates. I like using mine in my landscape in spring and summer and move to greenhouse in winter. Clump forming, they spread slowly, but propagate easily from cuttings.

  5. Aiyana // December 2, 2008 at 4:17 AM  

    Interesting. I've never liked propagating plants for some reason. Maybe laziness or impatience. I should probably start!

  6. Anonymous // June 14, 2012 at 1:15 AM  

    May I know why ziplock bag is required?
    can I just leave it in the open?
    how long does it take to see growth?

  7. Anonymous // June 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM  

    Ziplock is required to maintain humidity until it forms roots else the plant n leaves wilt. Takes about a week n a half to two weeks to form roots.

  8. sherlyn // November 1, 2012 at 10:42 AM  

    Hi, my fittonia in ziplock bag for aboutv3 weeks. I saw 3 young shoots. I bring it out of bag but it go limp again. May I ask if you hv this experience? Or know what went wrong?

  9. Unknown // November 29, 2012 at 7:49 AM  

    I have the same problem. They look great, but once they leave the bag they welt.
    Need advice

  10. Justin Lee // December 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM  

    Excellent post btw! :). As to the two comments above. Plants, much like people, need some time to adjust to new surroundings. Instead of just taking the bag off all at once..try punching a few holes in the bag (using a holepunch/etc) and gradually bringing own the humidity.

    Happy propagating.

    Justin Lee

  11. Anonymous // July 3, 2015 at 10:20 PM  

    These comments are clearly from a while back but I thought I might add something for future readers who seem to have issues with removing their propagated plants from their bags. As Justin said, they need time to adjust to their surroundings. Abrupt removal can send them into shock. I am sure punching holes in the bags works just as well but another method is removing the plants from the bag for a short period of time (30 mins - 1 hour for the first time or two) and then placing back in the bag. Do this every day, gradually increasing the amount of time spent out of the bag until eventually removing the bag all together. I'm sure either way works just as well. Just a different method for the same outcome.

  12. Unknown // September 16, 2015 at 4:28 PM  

    will they form roots if you just put them in water like you can do with other houseplants?

  13. PHILME // August 20, 2017 at 9:21 AM  

    Can I cut and put rutting powder on them and place in water to rut them.I have done this to my vine plants and it works.can this method work to

  14. Anonymous // May 4, 2018 at 6:56 PM  

    For me, putting the plant in water works even without rooting powder. I just left it in open air, near my bedroom window.Maybe its because I live in a tropical climate And the humidity is high already. I worries that the temperature may get too high tho, but its fine so far.

  15. Anonymous // July 30, 2018 at 9:22 AM  

    Propagating Fittonia in water did not work for me. Maybe it's our Florida water. They just fainted and after 2 weeks I saw no roots so now I will try using soil and rooting powder.They are beautiful plants and are on my kitchen window sill so they get plenty of humidity that way and give me something lovely to look at.