Botanical name: Davallia fejeensis
Rabbit's Foot Fern is grown for its furry, brown and yellow rhizomes which look like a rabbit's foot and hence the name. The rhizomes absorb moisture and nutients as they crawl. The fronds are finely divided, light to dark green in color and look like carrot tops. The leaflets are attached to wiry stems which grow from the rhizomes. It grows to a height of about 2 ft and about 2 ft wide. Rabbit's Foot Fern is ideal for a hanging basket where the rhizomes can hang freely for maximum display. The rhizomes should not be buried under the soil as it encourages rotting.
Rabbit's Foot Ferns are native to the Fiji Islands in Oceania where they grow on trees or in between rocks. Rabbit's Foot Fern is related to Davallia canariensis (Hare's Foot Fern), Davallia bullata (Squirrel's Foot Fern) and Davallia trichomanoides (Black Rabbit's Foot Fern).
Bright, indirect light is the best for your Rabbit's Foot Fern. Keep it away from direct sunlight as it may scorch the fronds. Turn the pot regularly to ensure even growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
For optimum growth of your Rabbit's Foot Fern, keep the soil slightly moist. Reduce watering during cold months. Maintain the rhizomes moist by daily misting.
Average warmth between 15-240C is ideal for your Rabbit's Foot Fern. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Rabbit's Foot Fern thrives under high humidity. Rabbit's Foot Fern is suitable for humid areas like the bathroom or can be grown in a terrarium where humidity is high. Check out these techniques on how raise humidity for houseplants.
Feed your Rabbit's Foot Fern with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is reduced. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Remove dead and damaged fronds from your Rabbit's Foot Fern. As the fern ages, the older fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the plant looking neat and tidy.
Repot your Rabbit's Foot Fern every 2-3 years at the beginning of the growing season. Use a pot that is 1 size larger and one that has drainage hole(s) to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
Use loose, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter for your Rabbit's Foot Fern. The fern can also be divided into several sections and potted individually. Do not bury the rhizomes under the soil as it can lead to rotting.
Rabbit's Foot Fern can be propagated by plant division at the beginning of the growing season.
Carefully remove your Rabbit's Foot Fern from its pot and divide it into several sections. Ensure each section has adequate roots.
Pot up these sections of Rabbit's Foot Fern into individual pots. Place the pots in a warm shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out until the plants are well established. Do not bury the rhizomes under the soil as it can lead to rotting of your Rabbit's Foot Fern.
The cause of yellowing fronds, brown tips and no new growth in your Rabbit's Foot Fern is dry air. Raise humidity for your Rabbit's Foot Fern by more frequent misting of the rhizomes to keep them moist.
Soggy soil is the reason for yellowing leaves in your Rabbit's Foot Fern. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.
Wilting leaves in your Rabbit's Foot Fern is an indication of overcrowding in the current pot. Repot the fern into a larger pot or divide it up for more plants.
Leaflets drop in your Rabbit's Foot Fern is indicative of too dry soil. Maintain the soil slightly moist and do not leave to dry out completely for an extended period of time.
Browning and yellowing in isolated areas of your Rabbit's Foot Fern are a result of excessive salts in the soil either from watering or fertilizers.
Flush out the salts by repeatedly running a steady stream of water thorough the soil of your Rabbit's Foot Fern and avoid overfertilizing in the future.
Brown shells scattered on fronds of your Rabbit's Foot Fern is an indication of a infestation by Scales. Isolate the affected plant to avoid spread to other houseplants and treat appropriately.
Rabbit's Foot Ferns (Davallia fejeensis) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.