Birds Nest Fern Basic Houseplant Care:
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) plants are tropical plants native to Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Very slow-growing, Asplenium nidus plants are excellent for seasoned houseplant growers. Care for Asplenium nidus plants, sometimes known as spleenwort, requires attention to watering and propagation but does not require as much attention to fertilization and light as many other houseplants. Bird’s Nest Fern plants, though care is not for the faint of heart, make beautiful additions to homes, rock gardens, and patios.
Birds Nest Fern Plant Care: Light Requirements
Bird’s Nest Fern plants grow best in shady areas. Found naturally in lightly wooded tropical areas, Asplenium nidus plants grow in moisture-rich areas closer to or on the ground. Large trees often prevent excessive light from reaching the plants. To care for Asplenium nidus houseplants, place in an area of the home with indirect or shady light.
Birds Nest Fern Plant Care: Water Requirements
Asplenium nidus prefer evenly moist surroundings. Watering the soil often during growth and housing the plant in a moderately humid area will help to maintain a healthy environment during care for Bird’s Nest Fern. Never allow the soil to become dry to the touch. However, take care not to allow the plant to sit in water as this can lead to pathogen problems. Reduce the frequency of watering in the winter during the plant’s dormant period.
Birds Nest Fern Plant Care: Fertilizer Requirements
As a very slow growing plant, Bird’s Nest Fern houseplants do not require as much fertilization as most houseplants. Asplenium nidus plants perform best when a balanced (20-20-20) liquid fertilizer is reduced to half strength and applied monthly to the soil surrounding the plants. Over fertilization can cause burn in Asplenium nidus plants similar to row-crop plants that receive chemical burn.
Birds Nest Fern Plant Care: Pests & Diseases
Asplenium nidus care may result in the treatment of various pest and pathogen (fungal and bacterial) problems. Aphids and scale insects are common pests affecting Bird’s Nest Fern. Plants that have been watered excessively may experience root rot and other fungal problems. If rot occurs, check the soil and the pot of your plant for proper drainage.
Birds Nest Fern Plant Care: Propagation & Potting
The most popular method for propagating Bird’s Nest Fern is by spores. Place a mature leaf on a piece of paper or a paper bag. The spores can be collected after a few days. Grow these spores under glass or plastic on a moist and sterile medium such as peat moss. House the medium in a cool, shady environment during propagation. Mist daily. These Asplenium nidus plants can be transferred to pots when large enough to care for individually.