Maidenhair Ferns are part of the Adiantum genus. The name Adiantum originates from the Greek word to mean “unwet”, which shows in the hydrophobic leaves' ability to repel water. These types of ferns are some of the more popular in homes across America. They can be finicky to work with however, as it can take up to 3 years to grow to its full mature size. If you’re looking for an easy plant that can survive a wide range of conditions, look elsewhere.
If you’re up to the challenge to test your plant parenting skills, the Maidenhair fern is your plant. This fern is very particular when it comes to its living conditions, but if you can successfully meet these strict conditions, you will reap the rewards of this stunningly beautiful plant.
Where Do Maidenhair Ferns Thrive?
As stated previously, the Maidenhair Fern is a very picky plant. If you leave it in direct sunlight, you will scorch the leaves. So the natural thought would be to leave it out of direct sunlight, right? Unfortunately not; if you keep it out of the sun all together you will cause it to struggle to grow and bring yellowing to the leaves. This will lead to confusion, naturally, so you have to figure out a couple of things before finding a place for your Maidenhair fern to stay. Would you rather have it indoors or outdoors?
The main point to consider with putting it outside would be the sunlight issue. To see if you live in an area where the Maidenhair Fern can survive outdoors, check out this blog from Soltech on the planting zones in the United States. Maidenhair Ferns thrive in the 10-11 range, so if you happen to live in a state with those levels, you’ll be fine to keep it outdoors.
If you don't happen to live in one of these areas, you’ll have to keep your Maidenhair fern inside. But this isn’t the worst thing in the world, these ferns are a great addition to any home and a great way to add some greenery to your favorite rooms.
How Do I Care For A Maidenhair Fern?
It thrives in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant needs a lot of humidity to survive and constantly needs to be moist. These ferns are naturally found on the floors of forests, protected from direct sunlight by the canopies above. This leads to them mainly surviving off of indirect sunlight, which is also where it will thrive in your home.
If you have a window that provides a good amount of natural light and have a spot where this sunlight can indirectly hit your maidenhair fern, you’re all set. This usually means the window is east-facing, however, if you have it set away from the window or sheer curtains in the window, you can have this plant by a west/south-facing window. Just be sure to monitor your Maidenhair fern’s health to ensure you have it in the right location!
As for watering this plant, you will need to stay on a strict schedule of everyday or every other day. You need to keep the soil moist and never let it dry out, otherwise your Maidenhair fern’s leaves will yellow and start to die. Be wary of overwatering though, the leaves could also turn yellow due to having too much water in the soil. Do you see where these can get finicky to work with? Yellow leaves can mean both under and overwatering, along with a variety of other ailments.
In order to better understand why your plant leaves are turning yellow, check out this blog from Soltech Solutions 8 Simple Reasons Why Indoor Plant Leaves Turn Yellow, and How To Fix It. As for the soil and pot this plant needs, any soil and pot that allows for good drainage will be a good home for the Maidenhair fern. You can go to a local gardening store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s to get a pack of soil at a very good price.
Do I Need Any Equipment To Care For A Maidenhair Fern?
Depending on the natural light situation in your home, you may need to add supplemental grow lights. Soltech Solutions sells a variety of LED grow lights: the Vita, the Aspect and the Highland. Each of these are unique in their own way and provide a different style depending on your preferences.
As mentioned before, you will need pots with good drainage to prevent the soil from drying out or being waterlogged. Soltech Solutions has an article on the Top 10 Eco-friendly plant pots if you need ideas on where to get good plant pots for your Maidenhair fern. Check out this article from Soltech Solutions for more tips on the best indoor gardening supplies to help grow your indoor garden and keep it healthy.