Why Is My Nerve Plant Drooping? 8 Most Common Causes

The nerve plant is a tropical plant also known as Fittonia aliveness. They are native to humid tropical forests, preferring warm temperatures, humidity, and average daily sunlight. Its delicate foliage is green with contrasting white and silver veins. They are very popular to grow in homes or offices around the world. The beauty of this plant is in the shape of the neural network in the foliage.

To keep the foliage of this plant healthy, you need to have a careful care regimen and follow certain guidelines. However, in the process of taking care of nerve plants, you may face wilting leaves. Why is my nerve plant drooping? To answer this question, let’s find out what causes nerve plants to wilt and die.

Why Is My Nerve Plant Drooping?

For plants in general and nerve plants in particular, there are many causes for their leaves to wilt and die slowly. Some of the underlying causes are improper watering, lack of light, inappropriate humidity, lack of nutrition, extreme temperatures, or pest attack.

Lack Of Water

Lack of water is one of the leading causes of nerve plant wilting. As you know, this plant is native to tropical forests. Therefore, they prefer wet and watery environments.

So you need to water enough every day to avoid the soil completely drying out between watering. When there is a lack of water, the nerve plant will quickly lose water from the cells due to rapid evaporation, so the leaves will wilt and dry out in the sun. You can water every two days to ensure that the ground is always moist and the soil is loose.

Watering Too Much

Most of us can make this mistake during bonsai care. We often tend to water more than plants need.

Overwatering causes the leaves of the nerve plant to soften and droop due to too much water in each cell. Overwatering also causes root rot that prevents the root system from transporting nutrients and water. From there, the nerve plant will droop, soften, and die.

Therefore, when watering, you need to remove the excess water on the ground and stimulate water to drain from the drainage holes to avoid waterlogging. Do not try to water according to the schedule, you should water according to the actual situation of the plants and the weather.

why is my nerve plant drooping

Lack Of Moisture

Tropical forests provide nerve plants with a large amount of moisture in nature. So when you grow this plant indoors, air conditioning or other mechanical devices can make the air drier.

Frequent lack of moisture will also cause the leaves of the nerve plant to wilt and tilt. To overcome this situation, you can mist the plants or place the potted plants near the humidifier in the house. In addition, you can also place the potted plant on a cobblestone tray with water to maintain moisture for the plants.

Inappropriate Lighting

Nerve plants usually grow downstairs in tropical forests under taller trees in their natural habitat. Therefore, light with low to medium intensity is ideal for the growth of this plant.

You should not put the potted plant in the sun for many hours because the sun will burn the leaves and wilt. A warm light for a few hours a day will help the nerve plant to develop fully.

Extreme Temperatures

Nerve plant prefers warm and temperate temperatures in tropical conditions. The ideal temperature for this plant to grow and develop best is in the range of 60 to 79 degrees F (16 – 26 degrees C). This temperature will help the nerve plant grow evenly and always maintain a healthy vitality.

Besides, this plant is not able to tolerate cold. So if the area you live in is too cold, the nerve plant will be stressed and die. Maintaining a room temperature above 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) will help prevent the plant from getting heatstroke. In addition, you should not place the potted plant in areas next to the fireplace or areas with unexpected temperature differences in the house because the plants will wilt.

The Soil Is Barren And Poor In Nutrients

Soil that is too dry, too wet, or lacking in nutrients can also cause plants to droop and wilt leaves. The ideal soil for nerve plants is peat loam, loose and well-drained.

As with any soil composition, you also need to pay attention to the drainage factor because waterlogging will cause root rot and create favorable conditions for harmful fungi and bacteria to attack the plants.

You should also fertilize once a month with a liquid or slow-release fertilizer during the growing seasons. It will ensure adequate nutrition for plants to absorb and grow. Do not over-fertilize as plants can go into shock and die from excessive stress. Provide a moist, loose, well-drained soil medium rich in organic fertilizer for nerve plants.

Read more: 11 Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage

Pests Attack

Nerve plants can resist some common pests and diseases when they are healthy. However, waterlogging is one of the causes of root rot and creates favorable conditions for fungi and pests to attack the roots.

In addition, nerve plants like moist environments, so bacteria and fungi can easily attack the plant if you do not regularly clean the leaves. Some common pests that attack nerve plants are mealybugs and spider mites. You can use antibacterial soap or neem oil to clean the leaves and stems.

Sudden Change In The Living Environment

Plants are also susceptible to wilting or drooping due to sudden changes in habitat. This can happen when changing pots or changing planting locations in different places.

Adapting to a new environment will take time to get used to, so in the first few days, plants will likely droop as the root system is not used to the new habitat.

For the plants not to be shocked when repotting, you should moisten the soil and soak the surface of the soil with a little water to make it easier to move. At the same time, when nerve plants have enough water, they will maintain a lush state after a few days.

How To Revive Drooping Nerve Plants?

Nerve plant wilting and drooping can be caused by many different reasons as shown above. To revive wilted plants, you need to identify the exact cause and fix it. Follow some of the steps below to get your plants back to life.

Step 1: Check For Moisture And Drainage

Plants that are wilting and drooping are often caused by a lack of water, so be sure to re-water them when the ground is dry. Water slowly and add large amounts of water until excess water drains out of the vent. Plants will restore themselves after a day when they get enough water.

If the surface of the soil is wet and has excess water, you need to stimulate the water to drain out and place the potted plant in a bright spot to allow the soil to dry quickly. The cause is that the plants are waterlogged due to too much watering. You need to stop watering and wait for the ground to dry.

Step 2: Check The Light And Temperature

After allowing plants to recover after a day or two due to lack of water or excess water, you need to check the lighting and the location of the potted plant. If nerve plants continue to wilt, you need to check how much direct sunlight they receive each day.

This plant prefers indirect sunlight and does not tolerate direct sunlight for many hours. You can move the pot to an east or west window to avoid direct sunlight with high intensity every day.

In addition, you can use curtains to limit direct sunlight to plants. If the light in your home is too weak, you can use fluorescent lamps to provide light for nerve plants.

Step 3: Increase The Humidity

After changing the location and intensity of light the plants receive, allow them to heal on their own for 2 to 3 days. Then, if the plant is still wilting and shows no signs of recovery, you need to increase the humidity more.

As you know, nerve plants are very sensitive to moisture so they will quickly wilt due to lack of moisture. Use a mist sprayer to mist the leaves every day to create moisture. Alternatively, you can place the pot on a cobblestone tray with water to create moisture. However, keeping the plant’s roots out of the water will cause root rot. Also, use a humidifier to maintain the ideal humidity for your indoor plants.

Step 4: Check The Temperature

Don’t forget to check the temperature and keep the nerve plant warm between 60 and 80 degrees F. Avoid placing the pot next to a fireplace or other locations with fluctuating temperatures.

In winter, you should not put the potted plant in places such as near windows, corridors, or ventilated areas because the plants will wilt due to the cold.


There are many causes of nerve plant wilting such as improper watering, too much or too little water, poor soil nutrients, and lack of light or too much light.

In addition, excessive fertilization or waterlogging also causes this plant to wilt and droop. To overcome this situation, you need to find out the cause and change your plant care habits.

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