Nerve Plant vs. Polka Dot Plant | Key Differences You Must Know

Both nerve plants and polka dot plants are great houseplants, in part because they are easy to grow and can add a lot of color and ambiance to any room in your home. They have a similar look because they have beautifully patterned leaves Attractive and fast growing, these are great plants to have in your home regardless of what you’re looking for in a house plant.

This article will explore some key similarities and differences between the nerve plant and polkadot plant. This will help you to decide which is best for you.

Key Similarities between Nerve Plants and Polka Dot Plants

If you put nerve plants and polka dot plants next to one another, the first thing you’ll notice is that they both have etchings on their leaves that can be white, pink, red, and even shades of purple.

The etchings are shaped a little differently but are still very similar, which means the two plants can look almost exactly alike in some instances. With both nerve plants and polka dot plants, you get a gorgeous household plant that comes in beautiful shades to complement anyone’s decor.

Nerve plants are part of the Fittonia species and are considered evergreen perennials, which means that they have beautiful foliage all year long. On the other hand, polka dot plants are members of the Hypoestes phyllostachya species. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the nerve plant and the polka dot plant are alike:

1. They Have Etchings on the Leaves

Both nerve plants and polka dot plants have etched markings on their foliage. On the nerve plants, the etchings look a lot like lines that are well planned-out and very organized. Polka dot plant etchings are a little more mottled and look like large blotches, but in both cases those etchings can be several different colors, including various shades of pink, purple, red, and white.

My tiny nerve plant has beautiful colors and markings on the leaves.

2. They Make Perfect Houseplants

Both nerve plants and polka dot plants are ideal as houseplants because they both thrive when indoors. Nerve plants are compact and polka dot plants are considered semi-compact, but both are small enough and look great on top of desks, bookshelves, and tables in both homes and offices. They can light up any room they’re in with their color and size.

3. They Like Humidity

Both nerve plants and polka dot plants love humidity. This means that if you live in a dry area, you may have to spritz them with a little bit of water on a daily basis. This is neither difficult nor time-consuming to do, but it’s important because it keeps the plant nice and moist, which is what they need to grow and thrive from one year to the next.

4. Their Watering Requirements are Similar

Both nerve plants and polka dot plants need consistent, even watering, but you can’t let either of them get too wet. For both of these plants, the best thing to do is check the soil by sticking your finger in it 1-2 inches down, then watering only if that top part of the soil is dry.

Keep in mind that when these plants are in pots, they may not need to be watered as often as they would if they were being grown outdoors. Also, make sure your soil drains well by using a pot that has drainage holes in it.

5. They Both Have Many Different Varieties

Both the nerve plant and the polka dot plant offer lots of varieties, so regardless of the color or look that you’re going for, you can easily find them in that design. Some of these varieties include:

  • Angel (Nerve)
  • Black Star (Nerve)
  • Camina (Polka Dot)
  • Confetti (Polka Dot)
  • Pink Brocade (Polka Dot)
  • Pink Star (Nerve)
  • Pink Vein (Nerve)
  • Purple Vein (Nerve)
  • Red Anne (Nerve)
  • Ruby Red (Nerve)
  • Splash (Polka Dot)

Key differences between Nerve Plants and Polka Dot Plants

While there are a lot of similarities between nerve plants and polka dot plants, there are a few differences as well. These include the following:

6. Nerve plants are smaller than polka dot plants

Neither the nerve plant nor the polka dot plant gets that big, but the nerve plant is a little smaller because it only grows to around four inches tall. On the other hand, polka dot plants grow to 1-2 feet tall, which is a lot bigger than the nerve plant. These two plants are indeed two very different sizes when they’re fully grown.

This nerve plant is tiny compared to my hand.

7. Their Light Requirements are Different

One of the biggest advantages of the nerve plant is its ability to grow well even in low-light conditions. Even if you keep the nerve plant out of the way of your windows, it will still get enough light to thrive.

Polka dot plants, on the other hand, need lots of bright but indirect light on a regular basis. You can put these plants close to a window, use artificial light, or place sheer curtains on your window if you place the plant close to it.

As you can see, there are numerous similarities and differences between the nerve plant and the polka dot plant, but a good thing to remember is that they are both fantastic houseplants because they are the perfect size and are bright and colorful. In fact, if you want something to decorate your home or office but you have limited space, these are the plants you need.


Both nerve plants and polka dot plants make great indoor plants for your home or office, and both are uniquely designed and available in many different colors. As a general rule, both of these plants are easy to grow and low-maintenance

If you make sure you give them enough light and water and pay attention to them otherwise, they should do very well in your home or office. These are beautiful plants that will easily dot the landscape of your home or office with beautiful colors such as pink, red, and lavender. So if you’re looking for houseplants that look good and don’t need tons of attention, these are definitely two plants to consider.