Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Maidenhair fern ( Pteridaceae Adiantum )




maidenhair fern

maidenhair fern

This is a recent addition to our fern garden. Like most ferns it wants light to full shade, high humidity and moist soil. If it gets too dry it will die back, but will likely reappear when water reappears. Like other ferns it is susceptible to root rot if too wet during the winter months.

It does very well near ponds or in shallow running water. It can often be found growing among rocks where a trickle of water is going by.

It is a Texas native and endangered in many south eastern US states.

Maidenhair ferns will reach about 2′ tall and across.

I haven’t had any luck with maidenhair ferns, too dry or too hot they just don’t survive the summer here. They appear every spring and fall, but spend summer and winter under ground.

Propagate by division.

It is reported to be a fast grower, it is too soon for me to say on that. This southern fern prefers alkaline soils so may do well where other ferns have failed in your garden.

There are over 200 kinds of Maidenhair ferns spread throughout the world. They grow in temperate climates but are more common in warmer climates especially moist mountain areas. Some are as small as 2″ tall some as tall as 6 feet.

Things to watch for on ferns:

Leaf scotch: appears during dry, windy weather.  Water frequently and deeply and provide what shade and shelter you can.

Scale: looks like small brown bumps on stems and underside of leaves. I use orange oil.

Mealy bugs:  Looks like white fuzz on plants.  I just wash them off with a garden hose.