There are many species of fern cultivated in apartments, as there are many ferns spread on earth, there are tens of thousands, present in all wetlands and shady, from alpine forests to rainforests. They all share the same love of shade and humid climate.
brackens are very particular plants, in fact, they do not have flowers or fruits, their development is assured by small dark spores, which can be found united in “bags”, called sporangia, usually present on the lower page at the apex of the foliage. The plants of fern typically have a dense group of roots, from which the foliage develops: elongated stems carrying the foliage.
The leaves of the brackens are usually very jagged and engraved, but there are species with sword-shaped or lance-shaped leaves. The species cultivated at home are many, and generally belong to the genus Adiantum, Asplenium or Nephrolepsis, but every year the nurserymen cultivate new species and varieties, given the ease of cultivation of these plants and the good adaptability to the climate home.
Some of the species grown in the apartment are the same as we can find in the woods, because these plants are well suited to climates even very different from the climate of the place of origin. So not always the fern that we have at home comes from exotic places, sometimes it is an autochthonous Italian species.
Beware of moisture
Surely the main needs of ferns are watering and light; these plants prefer shady places, not affected by direct sunlight, and can also be grown in completely dark locations. The foliage is usually dark in colour, and tends to lighten if the plant receives excessive doses of direct sunlight.
The supply of water is fundamental: practically all the species of fern in the wild develop in cool and humid places, but not necessarily close to water streams; on the contrary, they prefer a constant but not excessive humidity. Therefore, it is essential that the soil in which we grow our ferns is constantly moist, but not soaked in water, so let’s provide frequent watering, but avoiding watering with large quantities of water.
Rather, we try to keep the air around our fern moist; this can be obtained by cultivating the plant in a large tray filled with perlite, lapillus, pumice stone or expanded clay: by keeping a few centimetres of water in the tray at all times, we will ensure that the humidity around the plant is high, thanks to the constant evaporation of the water; moreover, the tray will collect all the water of the excess watering.
However, it is essential that the water contained in the tray never reaches the base of the pot. Periodically, at least every 10-12 days, we add to the water some specific fertilizer for green plants. Ferns are evergreen plants, therefore they never have a real period of dormancy; in any case, during the months in which the daily sunshine is reduced, we avoid fertilization, because the plant usually slows down its development.
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Ferns in the apartment: Ordinary care and extraodinary care
To have a healthy and well developed fern, it is surely essential to water it regularly; in any case, let’s avoid marking on the calendar the days when it should be watered, rather periodically let’s dip a finger in the mould of the pot and check that it is not too dry, in this case let’s water the plant immediately.
In order to always have a compact and dense fern, then let’s remember to periodically remove the leaves that dry up, cutting them at the base of the soil; let’s also cut the ruined leaves or those with the tip dried up; in this way we will favour the development of new leaves. Periodically then remember to vaporize water over the entire canopy, especially during the hot summer days or when a conditioner or heating system is in action.
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- Ferns are very ancient vascular cryptogams plants, with a vast variety of species (more than 11000).
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