Saturday, May 5, 2018

Care For Your Maidenhair

Adiantum raddianum is the generic name for maidenhair fern

It is attractive, with fast growing evergreen foliage.  Its thin 6"- 12" black stems hold delicate, lacy fronds which have bright green, triangle shaped leaflets. The fronds can grow to 12" wide and 18" long.  The plant itself can spread to about 24".  Give it enough humidity and do not expose to drafts, gas fumes or cigarette smoke and it will reward you with a long life.

It likes bright, indirect light and night temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees and high humidity with moist soil.  A terrarium is ideal but if that isn't possible,  humidity can be provided by setting the planter on a tray of wet pebbles. It is also helpful to mist the plant regularly with room temperature water. The bathroom is a great location for the maidenhair.  Never allow the roots to dry out.  

It wants to be fed monthly spring through mid summer with a half strength solution of house plant fertilizer.  Keep dead or damaged fronds cut back to the base

Mealy bugs and scale insects are enemies which attack the undersides of the fronds.

Repot in spring when necessary with a rich well-drained potting mix.  Do not use a pre-fertilized mix.

Start a new plant from rhizomes that spread under the soil.  Divide the roots into 3 or 4 pieces in early spring.  Each piece should have at least 2 or 3 fronds.