How to Care for Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) Indoors


Maidenhair Fern, Delta Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum raddianum

Botanical name: Adiantum raddianum
Synonmy: Adiantum cuneatum
Family: Pteridaceae
Common names: Maidenhair Fern, Delta Maidenhair Fern

Description

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) also called Delta Maidenhair Fern bears wiry, shiny, dark stems which resemble human hair.

The fronds in Maidenhair Fern are semi-erect in young plants but they droop as the plant ages. The fronds are small and have a lace-like appearance.

Delta Maidenhair Ferns have a delicate constitution. They require moist air, warmth and bright indirect light, which make them ideal for growing in a terrarium or a warm, humid bathroom.

The genus name is derived from the Greek word adiantos, meaning "unwetted" in reference to the leaves ability to repel water without being wetted.

Size

The Maidenhair Fern can grow to a height of 2 ft with a spread of 1-2 ft.

Origin

Adiantum raddianum also called Adiantum cuneatum is native to North America where they can be found growing on rocks and in between rocks around waterfalls where moisture seeping through sustains them.

Toxicity

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The Ferns are safe to grow indoors.

Where to Buy

Delta Maidenhair Fern is an valuable addition to your houseplant collection. Buy Maidenhair Ferns from Etsy.

Maidenhair Fern, Delta Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum raddianum

Adiantum raddianum Care Indoors

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) grows best in a brightly lit spot with plenty of humidity and warmth and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Delta Maidenhair Fern also requires frequent pruning to maintain it neat and tidy as well as discourage pest infestations.

Repotting is necessary when the fern becomes pot-bound as failure to repot in time may result in wilting and death of the fern. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Watering

For optimum growth of Maidenhair Fern, water it liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil consistently moist at all times.

Decrease watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can result in root-rot disease and death of the fern.

Light Requirements

Maidenhair Fern thrives in bright indirect light. Keep it away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the fronds.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the fern receives light on all sides for even growth.

Delta Maidenhair Fern can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth between 18-250C is ideal for Maidenhair Fern. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

Keep the Delta Maidenhair Fern away from draughts as it requires consistent warmth. Draughts cause sudden changes in temperature which can result in leaf drop.

Maidenhair Fern requires high humidity inorder to thrive. Too little moisture will lead to curled leaves, brown leaf tips and edges and leaf drop. It is important to maintain the air is moist at all times.

To raise humidity for the fern, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

You can also grow the fern in the moist areas of the home like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry area but also ensure that the lighting is adequate for the fern.

Delta Maidenhair Fern can also be grown in a terrarium as a humid environment can be maintained easily inside a terrarium.

Soil

The best soil for Maidenhair Fern should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Potting mixes specifically designed for ferns are perfect for this plant. Buy quality Ferns Potting Mix for Delta Maidenhair Fern from Etsy.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Maidenhair Fern with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) once a month during the growing period for a lush growth.

Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time. Avoid Nitrogen-rich fertilizer as it can cause brown leaf tips.

Pruning

Pruning Maidenhair Fern is easy. Remove dead and damaged fronds. As the fern ages, the older fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the fern looking neat and tidy as well as reduce pest infestations.

Repotting

Repot Maidenhair Fern at the beginning of the growing season when it becomes overcrowded. One sign of an overcrowded fern is wilting leaves. Failure to repot an overcrowded fern can result in death of the plant.

Repot the Delta Maidenhair Fern into a pot that is 1 size larger than the current one and one that has a drainage hole to avoid having soggy soil.

You can also divide a large fern into several sections which can then be potted individually.

Propagation

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) propagation can be done from spores or by plant division at the beginning of the growing season.

How to propagate Maidenhair Fern by plant division

Carefully take the fern out of its pot and divide it into several sections. Ensure each section has adequate roots.

Pot these sections into individual pots in moist, free-draining soil to avoid rotting.

Make sure that each pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight to avoid sunscorching.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Maidenhair Ferns are well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Maidenhair Fern from spores

Spores are brown dots on the underside of the fronds of your Maidehair Fern. When they ripen, the cases open and tiny dust-like spores fall out.

Cut the frond and place it on a piece of paper with spores side down.

Allow time for the spores to fall out of the cases onto the piece of paper. The spores can also be obtained by shaking the frond occasionally.

Thinly spread the spores on moist soil and cover the set up with clear polythene to maintain humidity and warmth.

Place the set up in a brightly lit area away from direct sunlight. The spores should sprout in 1-2 months.

Allow the new Maidenhair Ferns to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

Maidenhair Fern, Delta Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum raddianum

Adiantum raddianum Problems

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum) problems include yellowing leaves, leaf drop, brown leaf tips, curled leaves, wilting, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Brown dots or lines on the underside of fronds

Brown dots or lines on the underside of fronds are spores which can be used for propagation of new Maidenhair Ferns.

They indicate that the frond is mature and healthy. In their natural habitat, these spores drop to the soil and grow into new Delta Maidenhair Ferns.

Curled leaves, brown leaf tips, leaf drop

Curled leaves, brown leaf tips and leaf drop in Maidenhair Fern is dry air (low humidity).

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Wilting leaves

Wilting leaves in Maidenhair Fern is an indication of overcrowding in the current pot resulting in underwatering of the fern (too little moisture in the soil for the fern to take up).

Repot the Delta Maidehair Fern into a pot one size larger than the current one in good quality soil like these ferns potting soil available at Etsy.

You can also divide the fern into several sections and pot them in individual pots for more ferns.

Excessive leaf drop

Excessive leaf drop in Maidenhair Fern is indicative of underwatering which implies that there is too little moisture in the soil.

As such, the fern cannot take up water to the leaves for food making, therefore, the leaves begin to drop in a bid to save energy.

Water the Delta Maidenhair Fern thoroughly in the growing season and maintain the soil consistently moist but not soggy.

Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Brown shells scattered on the fronds

The brown shells scattered on the fronds of Maidenhair Fern is an indication of an infestation by scale insects which are promoted by dry conditions.

To discourage the pest infestations, raise the air humidity by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Maidenhair Fern can also grow in the moist areas in the home like the bathroom and laundry area if the lighting is adequate.

Isolate the affected fern to avoid spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read more on how to get rid of Scale Insects in houseplants.

Pests

The other common pests in Maidenhair Fern are Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected fern to avoid spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Yellowing leaves

Yellowing leaves in Maidenhair Fern are due to soggy soil (overwet soil). Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.

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