Growing and care of Adiantums
Adiantums are among the most popular ferns and they make an ideal pot plants in the right conditions. There is a wide range of species and a huge range of cultivars which produce an amazing variation of fronds.
Follow the Adiantum links below to view photographs of various Adiantum species
Common name: - Maidenhair
Adiantums grow in a wide variety of habitats but always where there is adequate moisture; some grow in the shade while others tolerate bright sunny situations. Some even grow along streams/creeks, others in crevices on rock faces. Generally, Adiantums prefer a well lit growing area with filtered sunlight or exposure to the morning sun. Always avoid sun burning the plants. They like air movement around them but need protection from the winds. Many Adiantums grow well under 70% shadecloth and are most commonly grown in pots or hanging baskets and in a good quality potting mix, some species and cultivars grow well in the ground.
Adiantums grow best in a well drained open good quality potting mix containing humus such as cow manure, tree fern fibre, leaf mould, peat moss or perlite to improve the water holding capacity. A small amount of lime or dolomite is beneficial. Adiantums are better underpotted than over-potted and usually only need repotting each year or two and this is best done in the spring months, that is, the beginning of the growing season.
Adiantums require regular watering in the summer months but with less in winter months when the growth is slow or possibly absent. Avoid wetting the foliage, this is done by raising the fronds with the back of the hand and watering the underneath parts of the plant. Water wells and wicks are used by many fernies. Standing pots on pebbles in a saucer of water helps to increase the humidity.
From spring to autumn, Adiantums benefit from fertilising in small doses at half-strength fortnightly or monthly. Fish emulsion, seaweed extracts, liquid cow manure are all good fertilisers. Slow release fertilisers can be added to the potting mix. Fertilise only when the mixture is moist. It is useful to turn the fern regularly to promote even growth.
Some hardy Adiantums to grow:
Adiantum raddianum and its many cultivars - pots/baskets/ground
Adiantum capillus veneris and its many cultivars - pots/baskets/ground
Adiantum hispidulum - pots/baskets.