Maidenhair Fern Likes Shady Corners

Maidenhair fern (Adiantum tenerum )  is  one of  the most common indoor ferns with  its delicate, lacy light  green  fronds and slender black stalks.

When grown indoors, the new foliage is often tinged with a delicate pink color, but it turns a brilliant green as it matures.   

Also called the  fan fern  with  leaflets  individualized by deep notches  and  fluted edges.

This supple fern with its large cascading fronds can grow  up to 2 feet (60 cm) before it begins to arch and dip.

You can successfully grow this plant indoors  by imitating the damp cool air of a tropical rainforest. 

A lighted terrarium is ideal for this type of plant because of the moisture.   Provide humidity by placing it on a humidity tray;  however,  a room humidifier will be better.  

How to Care for Your Maidenhair Fern

Light:  Medium to high light (near bright east window).  Make sure you provide at least  moderate light and  keep out of direct sunlight  to avoid scalding the leaves.  These ferns do best in a north-facing window.

Temperature:  60 to 65 degrees F during the day and 50 to 55 degrees F at night. Can tolerate  45 degrees F without damage.

Water:  Keep the potting mixture moist at all times, but not saturated.  Water  thoroughly, then allow the soil to drain and empty excess water.  From  September to March, very little water should be given because the plant becomes dormant.  This is their resting period; therefore the soil must never  be allowed to dry out.

Humidity: High (40 % or more).  The best way to keep the air consistently moist is to use a room humidifier.  Keep plant out of drafts and dry air to prevent  dried out , parched  leaves  with brown tips.

Fertilization: Apply every 2 to 3 months during active growth  otherwise apply every 4 months.   Apply liquid houseplant fertilizer at about one-half the recommended rate. 

Propagation:  Start  new plant by  using spores and divisions of  the old  plant. Divisions should have at least 4 fronds for best results.

Repotting:  Repot in winter or early spring when needed.  Always use a sterilized potting mix and do not pot the crown of the plant below the soil level as it is from this point that the new fronds develop. 

Common Problems:   Salt damage can be a common problem for container grown plants.   Roots can be damaged by dry soil and high levels of salt buildup.   Leach excess salts from the soil  with  water.  If  edges of fronds turn brown or plant wilts, raise humidity.  You can also group  your maidenhair fern with other plants.

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