Adiantum (pronounced ADD-ee-an-toom) is commonly referred to as the Maidenhair fern. They are regarded as fairly hardy ferns, as opposed to tropical, and can be found all over the world.
These are delicate ferns, with dainty, pale-green leaves that are triangular in shape. The leaves grow fan-like on wiry black stalks. The Rosy Maidenhair fern grows 45 to 60 cm tall and reaches 39 cm wide.
It is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Americas. In Europe it is restricted to the mild, humid Atlantic fringes, including the western side of Britain. It prefers temperatures below 32 degrees Celsius.
There are numerous varieties available, of which the most common are fragrans, monocolor raddianum and scuteum roseum. They can be propagated either by division or spores. It is a slow growing plant that is frost hardy, meaning the foliage is most prominent from spring through to autumn.
The Adiantum genus is a member of the Polypodiaceae family. It contains between 200 and 250 species of deciduous ferns, both evergreen and semi-evergreen.
It is not difficult to grow but make sure it does not dry out as it will not tolerate dry air. For indoor cultivation, the bathroom is a very good location as this plant likes a well-ventilated, humid atmosphere with no direct sunlight. It thrives best in the shade. The roots should be kept moist and the plant sprayed on a regular basis. Good drainage is also required. Adiantum does prefer indirect light and it needs protection from the wind. It also requires organically rich loams.
Ideally grow in a mixture of one part vermiculite, two parts standard potting mix and two parts peat moss. Although the plant does well when pot bound, it does occasionally require repotting – ideally in February or March. In cool weather make sure that you water less. Pesticides should not be used – instead use a weak solution of soap and water to control the pests.
Did You Know?
Adiantum is the Greek word for “not wetting” and was given to the plant because the leaves seem to be waterproof.