Maidenhair Fern - Adiantum
The Maidenhair Fern is an attractive and easy addition to many a gardener's space. These plants come in a wide variety of species and displays found all over the world. The fronds range from feathery in appearance to flattened, fringed, or fanned. Some species fan out from the center while others are reminiscent of clusters of grapes in formation. Most are green; a few, such as the Rosy Maidenhair, have pink or red foliage. They need shade, so avoid full sunlight. The tallest species can grow up to 3 feet in height. Most are smaller at maturity and generally fan outwards. They can grow in zones 3-10, depending on the species.
They require well drained, moist soil. If they dry out, giving them a good soaking in water usually revives them. They are well suited for both indoor and outdoor planting. If indoors, do not let them get below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If they reach this temperature or below outdoors, healthy Maidenhair ferns will simply go dormant until warmer weather. However, frost should be avoided. Besides being a good choice for houseplants, these beautiful plants are often used as fillers in flower arrangements,as waterside decoration, or in terrariums.
The Maidenhair Fern plant adds texture and interest to any of these settings, and can soften and brighten a room all at once. Watch out for aphids and mealybugs. Treat accordingly if these pests are spotted, outside or in a well-ventilated area. Other varieties include Adiantum aetheopicum, or Common Maidenhair. This species has a flat, spread out appearance. Adiantum caudatum is an eastern variety also called Walking Maidenhair. Capillus-veneris, or Black Maidenhair, is a small, widely found variety. Maidenhair Ferns are good companions to Hostas, Lungwort, and Corydalis. Whether perched precariously near a waterfall or brightening a favorite room, Maidenhair Ferns are a popular choice.