Maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum, also known as Northern maidenhair fern, is a fern that offers soft, arching fronds that lend a touch of elegance to any room. This article will give you facts and information on growing and caring for maidenhair ferns and how to keep them healthy.
Maidenhair Fern Facts
Maidenhair fern is a type of fern with an arching, mounded form. It has a medium texture and a slow growth pattern. It reaches a height and width of about 18 inches. Maidenhair is used for textural accents where you need some varying plant textures, and in terrariums. You can grow this fern outdoors in warm climates in shady areas along with other plants such as hostas. They are great for any type of woodland garden.
The fern has shiny black or maroon stems and bright chartreuse to deep green fronds that are arranged in a half-circle. Maidenhair fern performs best in medium to bright, indirect light. It will tolerate lower light, but this will make the plant more airy and open looking.
This fern thrives in average to warm temperatures (60-80 degrees) and needs high humidity. A tray filled with peebles and water is an excellent method of keeping the humidity high around the plant when it is grown as a houseplant.
*Tip- Setting a pot of fern on a tray of wet pebbles will raise humidity, but don’t let the water get above the peebles because your plant will take in the water from the bottom of the pot and may get waterlogged. The water will evaporate around the plant and provide humidity to the leaves of the fern. You can use this method for any of your houseplants that require high humidity.
Maidenhair Fern Care
The main point to remember with maidenhair fern is to keep it moist but not soggy in spring, summer, and fall. Let the soil dry out only slightly during the winter. Use regular potting soil for potting purposes. You can feed the fern every month during active growth with general houseplant food, and every 2 months during its resting phase in winter. Renove the occasional faded fronds that may become brown from lack of humidity.
Maidenhair Fern Propagation
Maidenhair fern is very hard for the novice to propagate. The most successful methods are spreading spores on soil mix wiht bottom heat and constant moisture, or by carefully dividing a root clump.
Diseases of maidenhair fern is down to one main threat- scale. Scale can be treated with a horticultural oil.
Maidenhair fern has many related species ( all similar to Adiantum pedatum, in appearance), such as A. raddianum, A. formosum, A. aleuticum, A. pubescens, A. venustum. Adiantum capillus-veneris is used in medicinal remedies, and its leaves are used to make an herbal tea. *Tip- Make sure you know you have the right herb variety when making any type of herbal teas to drink.
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