Ferns are one of the most primitive plants that have adapted themselves to changing environmental conditions. These tiny bunches of leaves, like that of the maidenhair fern, require a little more than average care on our part. Gardenerdy gives some handy tips that are to be incorporated.
IT’S AN OILY FERN
The oil procured from the leaves of maidenhair fern is used in the manufacture of shampoo. Hence, the name “maidenhair.”
Ferns are known to grow in places where other plants seldom grow. One such fern is the maidenhair fern, which is spotted in woodlands, in the fissures of rocks, or simply under the shade of big trees in a damp yard. It is a native of America, but creeps all over the planet if conditions are ripe for its growth. The fronds of the maidenhair fern are its identity. Though this plant offers to be exceptionally good as ground covers and landscape plants outdoors, it is renowned as a great indoor, ornamental plant.
The scientific name is Adiantum pedatum. The USDA zone is 3 – 8. This fern variety is recognized by its bright green leaves that are thin and delicate. It lends a peculiar poise and grace in the area it grows.
However, do not judge this fern for its gracious appearance. It is hardy enough to withstand unfavorable conditions for a brief period. It is a bunch of demanding perennials whose growth conditions are to be met with precision in order to be rewarded with the best show of their beauty. This Gardenerdy article talks at length about the maidenhair fern care. Keep reading.
TAKING CARE OF THE FERN
► It is highly important to water this plant optimally. But watering the plant with hard water will do more harm than good. Distilled water should be opted for.
► This fern is native to the tropical forests; thereby, it is constantly exposed to swampy and damp soils. Also, the soil is usually acidic in nature. Therefore, if you wish to have this tropical beauty at home, you need to offer it with almost identical growing conditions.
►Noteworthy points are that maidenhair requires air that is high on humidity. It succumbs to dry and hot air. The mechanism that works here is that the minute pores that are present on the leaves of plants run dry if the surrounding air is dry. This hampers the entire process of breathing and photosynthesis.
► The maidenhair fern is a plant that is endowed with thin leaves. Therefore, it is prone to lose immense moisture from its leaf pores. Hence, all attempts should be made to keep its surroundings moist and humid at all possible times.
► A humidifier or pebble tray may be of help in order to fix the humidity conditions of the area where the ferns are growing, especially indoors. Placing the maidenhair ferns upon a half-filled pebble tray prevents them from drying up.
► Spraying the plant with warm water a couple of times a day may help in restoring the moisture. The process is better known as misting.
► The temperature must always remain warm, but scorching heat hampers its growth. Do not leave the maidenhair exposed to the harsh cold weather. It isn’t frost-resistant.
► Maidenhair fern is a good house plant. But there are some factors that can inhibit its growth. Air circulation is vital for all plants. Proper circulation should be restricted indoors. Placing the ferns near big windows is a good way to maintain healthy circulation. But if the area where you place the plant is devoid of large windows, make sure to use a small fan in the room, lest your plant may lose vigor, and also be down with diseases.
► The light needs to be indirect. It definitely requires good exposure to light, but direct light is certainly not the best for your fern.
► The soil is highly responsible for the healthy display of the plant. Your maidenhair fern prefers a rich soil that has good organic compost. Whether you are growing the plant outdoors or indoors, mulch is a must for the soil of the plant.
► Maidenhair loves attention and handling. But of course, handle with proper care. You can cut the yellowing or dry leaves. This also helps the plant to grow well. In fact, this fern will grow dense foliage if you are regular with its trimming sessions.
► Fertilization is to be done only to a level that will help the plant grow. Excess fertilization is to be avoided at all costs. Feeding the plant with a liquid fertilizer twice a week is sufficient for it to grow happy and healthy. Winter months are not the best time to add fertilizers.
► Be kind to the fern while adding the fertilizers. Try to dilute the fertilizers before application, and also add them near the roots rather than pouring them right over the plant. Fertilize only in a moist soil.
► Avoid fertilization immediately after reporting the fern. This may burn the roots of the plants. This is because soon after reporting, the soil is quite rich in nutrients, so fertilizers would just be an overdose of the same, and be detrimental for the plant as a whole.
► If you are growing the fern particularly as an indoor décor, choose a spot that has either an east-facing window or west. This is pertinent because the fern is not adaptable to strong light. Light from the morning sun or the setting sun is diffused and mild.
► Propagating this fern is not hazardous at all. All you need to do is to cut the stems after they are too long and filling. The best time to grow it is during the spring.
WHAT IS NOT DESIRABLE
► If you notice your graceful fern curling up its leaves, know that it is unable to cope up with the dry air in its growing area. Dry leaf tips also indicate the same condition. Premature leaf fall is also a result of low moisture and humidity.
► If you witness the green foliage turning brown, you need to check the conditions in which you are growing your maidenhair fern. Inadequate watering or hard water is one of the causes. Direct or improper light, inadequate air circulation, absence of moisture, unsuitable temperatures are all to be blamed.
► Things to keep away from the fern are the bugs, snails, slugs, aphids, and the mites. Apart from these, the fern is sturdy enough to grow well.
Do not panic about the long list of the useful tips you have read to care of your maidenhair fern. These are easy-to-practice tips, which if done diligently, will turn into a habit sooner than you realize. After all, some routine and caution is too little a price to pay for a healthy, green garden or home. We are sure all plant lovers will unanimously agree!