Earning the epithet of “Houseplant Diva,” Maidenhair Fern stands out to be a beautiful and elegant-looking plant to decorate your home. However, this special quality comes with a cost: Maidenhair Fern is very delicate and quite easy to damage. For that reason, you need to know the right ways regarding Maidenhair Fern care as well as understand its ideal growing situation. The rest of this article will tell you more.
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About Maidenhair Fern: Facts and History
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) is a native plant of Australia and largely found as well in New Zealand. In the present time, the fern and its hundreds of species spread more broadly across the globe. They now reach the Asia continent as well as the Andes mountain range in South America. In the United States, Maidenhair Fern is even included on the list of most popular houseplants.
Maidenhair Fern has an interesting backstory regarding its name. Back in the day, the plant is used as one of the primary materials to create aromatic oil. While the oil is volatile and can be used for various occasions, its most common use is for washing and cleaning hair like shampoo. Because of this, the fern is popularly known as Maidenhair Fern.
In its natural habitat, the fern grows in some moist locations, such as near a waterfall or rocks in the river. For Maidenhair Fern, moisture and water seepage are beyond important. The same rule still applies when it becomes a houseplant: the fern should be prevented from drying out.
Some Varieties of Maidenhair Fern
Maidenhair Fern has several varieties that are commonly grown as houseplants or planted in the nursery. Four varieties below are some of them.
- Southern maidenhair fern, known for having airy and fluffy foliage. It can be planted in a container or open ground.
- Himalayan maidenhair fern, an evergreen fern from China which is mostly found in humus soil or moist rocks.
- Rosy maidenhair fern, a rough type of Maidenhair that is characterized by its strong appearance and rapid growth.
- Silver dollar maidenhair fern, a type of fern with large divided leaves. It is commonly used as an ornamental houseplant or greenhouse.
Growing Condition of Maidenhair Fern
The key to planting Maidenhair Fern is keeping all the conditions in balance. These include the light, temperature, and water seepage. The fern can’t tolerate direct sunlight, but too little light will lead to damaged fronds and poor growth. Therefore, the best location for Maidenhair Fern is where you can get morning or afternoon sunlight without any excessive amount.
The ideal temperature for this fern is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower rates of temperature may bring some problems to the plant. For this reason, you need to keep the plant away if the temperature falls below 60 degrees. Also, Maidenhair Fern will grow better if it is kept in a room with a high level of humidity. Having it inside a terrarium or under a glass cloche can be an alternative to consider.
Growing Maidenhair Fern Indoor
When growing Maidenhair Fern indoor, the first thing you need to do is putting the plant in a small pot or container. The plant does not really like repotting as it can be easily damaged. So, make sure to choose the best container from the beginning.
If you can’t find humus-rich soil like in its natural habitat, you can fill the pot or container with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matters. Don’t let the soil dry. Otherwise, your plant will not grow well. To keep the soil moist and humid, you can set the plant on a pebble tray or add lime rock to the container.
As for the indoor location, Maidenhair Fern prefers an area with shady light and enough rays for the day. The best location to place your fern is near the windows that face west or south directions. Keeping it in the bathroom as a greenish decoration can be a good choice if your home temperature is considered too dry for the plant.
Maidenhair Fern Care Guide
One of the most important rules in Maidenhair Fern Care is keeping the plant moist and humid all the time. This is realized through watering the plant with clean and refreshing water. It doesn’t matter whether you pour water directly onto the soil or spray the fronds with a spraying bottle; you can do both. What matter is that watering should be done daily.
Every couple of months or so, fertilize your Maidenhair Fern to keep its delicate fronds healthy. Choose a liquid type of fertilizer that is gentle enough to be used in ferns. Conversely, avoid fertilizers with strong chemical substances as it may damage the fern’s delicacy.
If you notice any brown or yellow tips on the fern’s leaves, cut them immediately. Do it gently and carefully use scissors or small shears. While doing so, keep the contact with healthy leaves at a minimum level. Frequent touch with your hand may clog the fronds’ pores and cause them to turn brown or yellow as well.
Problems with Maidenhair Fern
Although you already know some basic information about how to care for ferns, some problems are still lingering around. For Maidenhair Fern, the most common problem that may appear is root rot. The problem faces up if the fern is waterlogged or kept too wet for a long time. Therefore, water seepage is very important for Maidenhair Fern.
Additionally, you need to be aware of several types of pests that can attack your fern, including spider mites, aphids, and aphelenchoides. If those pests happen to harm your plant, consider home remedies with water or soapy solutions before you go with a chemical pesticide.
Once you’ve known about the rules of Maidenhair Fern care and felt responsible enough to have one, you can start to grow this beautiful fern right away. Just remember that when it comes to taking care of Maidenhair Fern as a houseplant, all you need to do is treat its delicate nature with attention and precision. With the right care and treatment, this fern will reward you by showing off its beautiful and elegant features.