The great variety of forms of ferns as well as their adapted way of life and frugality are the reason why more and more fern lovers are interested in this shade plant and are establishing it in their gardens or homes. The graceful maidenhair fern in particular has attracted plant lovers all over the world. Its lush growth and unusual foliage make it an eye-catcher in the living area or in the conservatory. Mainly animal lovers know about the peculiarity of the maidenhair fern. In contrast to many other types of ferns, the maidenhair fern is non-toxic to animals and therefore does not pose a threat to cats and the like.

General information about the maidenhair fern

The maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris, is also known by the poetic name venus hair. Responsible for this pictorial description are the thin, shiny petioles, which, on closer inspection, bear a resemblance to human hair. The maidenhair fern is actually at home all over the world, some of its kind can even be found in the Arctic Circle or in the tropical rainforest. Plants cultivated in our latitudes are not considered hardy and are therefore only found as houseplants.

The individual fronds of the maidenhair fern are divided into countless pinnate leaves, which have a fan-shaped to wedge-shaped appearance. With good care, the fronds can reach a length of 35 to 75 centimeters. If the lady fern feels treated appropriately according to its wishes, then it grows magnificently into a dense bush, which comes into its own in lovingly decorated hanging baskets, among other things.

Little is known so far that the green plant not only serves as a room decoration, but is also used as a medicinal plant. The ingredients of the fronds have been proven to have a positive effect on health and they are used in processed form, especially for lung or respiratory diseases for external and internal use.

care at a glance

The times when ferns were usually only assigned a niche place in horticultural design are long gone. The maidenhair fern has changed places and is by no means a stopgap. Due to its lush growth, it is now one of the most popular indoor plants in our latitudes. Even if it is intended more for indoor use, the fern can still take a wind-protected place on the balcony or terrace in summer. As thin as the plant sometimes behaves, once it has found a suitable location, the care required is limited. The maidenhair fern

  • needs warm temperatures
  • loves high humidity
  • likes a sunny to partially shaded spot
  • do not expose to drafts
  • water regularly
  • does not tolerate waterlogging

location characteristics

Maidenhair ferns love a bright location, but should be protected from direct sunlight, otherwise there is a risk of burning the sensitive fronds. Those who only own sun-intensive south-facing windows can have shady onesThis can be remedied by placing the fern in the area of ​​larger plants or by shading it with a curtain or blinds. If the indoor temperatures rise above 25 degrees Celsius, you can provide refreshment by placing the fern in a saucer filled with pebbles and water. The plant tolerates cooler temperatures of up to 12 degrees Celsius. Since the cultivated houseplant is actually at home in the rainforest, it needs not only a bright location but also enough humidity. This can be guaranteed by installing an air humidifier. Direct spraying must be avoided at all costs, as this method of moistening also promotes pest infestation. Even drafty nooks and crannies in the living area do not suit the sensitive little one at all.

Important care rituals

The right soil mixture is a prerequisite for perfect growth. A soil with a slightly acidic pH is ideal for the maidenhair fern. For potting and repotting, a soil mixture of equal parts compost and foliage soil is preferred, but alternatively, simple peat and humus-containing potting soil can also be used. The maidenhair fern should be watered regularly with preheated, lime-free water. However, this process can be difficult, since he neither likes dryness nor waterlogging, it is not always easy to find the optimal balance. The soil should therefore be checked with a finger test. If the surface of the soil has dried slightly, you can pour more water without worrying. Automatic irrigation has also proven itself as an alternative method. dry fronds form, then these should be cut off close to the ground. Otherwise, no pruning is required. Under ideal environmental conditions, the fern will sprout again relatively quickly.

The nutrient requirement of the maidenhair fern is relatively low. If the plant has been cultivated in soil with a peat mixture, it is advantageous to fertilize it with a weakly concentrated liquid fertilizer during the growth phase. Ferns grown using simple potting soil will only need fertilizer every 8 to 10 weeks. When the roots of the maidenhair fern appear at the surface, it is time to repot. To do this, the roots are severely shortened and the plants are put back into the previous pot with the addition of new substrate. The best time to enlarge the environment is spring.

propagation by division

With this propagation practice, the yield of young plants is relatively low, but the hobby gardener is sure of success. The rhizomes of the plant are easy to see because they grow just below the surface of the soil. In order to divide the plant, the plant must first be carefully removed from the plant pot. First, sections with about three fronds are separated and then placed in a planter. The insertion can be done in groups or individually. Then it is poured on carefully. The small seedlings thrive best in an ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

Generative propagation by spores

A very productive propagation of ferns is carried out by spores. These are located on the underside of the leaves, in the so-called sporangia. If you are interested in generative propagation of your ferns over several years, you should consider that often only the older plant specimens form spores. To obtain the spores, the fronds with the mature spores are cut off and packed in parchment or foil bags. Incidentally, the degree of maturity of the spores can be recognized by the membrane that surrounds the sporangium. The cut should be made just before it falls off. The bags are stored under ideal ambient conditions of at least 25 degrees Celsius and a high humidity of 55 percent.

The sowing of the spores is possible all year round. Small boxes or bowls filled with peat growing medium or simple potting soil are ideal for storage. The spores are then sown evenly and thinly distributed. A glass plate serves as a cover and the spores feel very comfortable under temperatures of 22 to 24 degrees Celsius and additional light. However, high humidity is necessary for germination. If sowing was successful, germination occurs after 1 to 4 weeks. Pricking out takes place after 8 weeks. Then the small seedlings can be potted in a larger vessel.

Occurring diseases and pest infestation

Carelessness in the care of the maidenhair fern often results in a pest infestation. If the fern is sprayed with moisture from the outside, the leaflets are usually not long in coming. These worms love wetness and actually live in soil water. By spraying the ferns, they find their way up the plant and can do immense damage. The aphids force their way into the interior of the leaves through tiny stomata and begin their fateful work. Using meticulous methods, they suck out the leaf cells, causing the leaves to turn brown. In order to stop the hustle and bustle, infested leaves should be removed immediately and no further spraying should be done.

They are always and everywhere present: voracious aphids. Even the maidenhair fern is often not spared from an infestation if it is not cared for properly. Normally, aphids are simply hosed down or washed off with soapy water. Since the fern reacts allergically to this bath, plant protection sticks can be used to combat the pests. Under no circumstances should plant protection sprays or similar agents be used, since the maidenhair fern is sensitive to chemical substances and its lifespan would come to an abrupt end.

Spider mites
Another enemy that likes to settle on ferns are spider mites. These prefer to settle on the underside of the leaves and suck the cell juice with relish. When infested with spider mites, the leaves then appear white to silvery and initially slightly mottled. In the advanced stage, discoloration sets in, which makes the leaves appear gray-brown and dried out. Since maidenhair ferns do not tolerate chemical products well, old household remedies should be used to combat spider mites. Wrapping the plant in a clear plastic bag is particularly effective. After about 10 days, in which you should continue to water the maidenhair fern regularly, all pests should have died.

If the leaves of a fern begin to curl up or the edges of the leaves begin to wither, then it is not always the fault of pests. Sometimes too dry air or too little watering can also cause this appearance.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *