Caring for the ferns most used in gardening

The Polypodiaceae are a family of ferns and these are seedless plants that stand out for having pinnate fronds (large leaves with the appearance of a feather or fishbone). There are many varieties, and here are two of the most used in gardening.

You may also be interested in: Care of the Salvinia natans or Water Fern

Bird’s nest fern

The Asplenium nidus avis L., belongs to the family of the Polypodiaceae and is native to Asia and Oceania. This rosette-shaped fern has long, shiny, light green leaves.

It prefers a fertile soil; with peat and good drainage, and a semi-shade; it does not support direct sun. It requires care and is ideal as a houseplant.

It is very susceptible; supports up to 12 ° C. Prefers humid atmosphere; spray foliage 2-3 times per week. Water abundantly but spaced; lots of water once a week. Fertilize with a nitrogen fertilizer in spring; ammonium sulfate, water with 1 g. diluted in 2 liters of water.

It is usually attacked by mealybugs ; do not spray with insecticides. It propagates only by spores in greenhouses; difficult for amateurs. Create a humid environment, spraying the foliage; protected from the currents of air and sun.

Elkhorn fern

The Platycerium bifurcatum Cav ., Is part of the Polypodiaceae family and is native to Asia and Australia. This fern usually grows up to 40-50 cm tall, cultivated for its unique foliage. Its leaves are attached to the support; fertile forked units covered with a soft fluff.

It does not have flowers but produces spores as an organ of propagation grouped at the end of the fertile frond.

It prefers a substrate of peat and black earth; grows well attached on soft trunks. Provide it in full with direct sunlight in the morning or in partial shade. Its adaptation is good and it is ideal as a houseplant.

It requires temperatures above 15 ° C. Environment humidity? It adapts to different situations. Water spaced, every week in summer and every 15 days in winter. Fertilize with a solution of 0.5g ammonium sulfate per liter of water every 2 months.

It is usually attacked by mealybugs; it is controlled with systemic insecticides. It propagates only by stem separation. Avoid cleaning the frond.

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