How to Grow a Maidenhair Fern

Updated April 17, 2017

Maidenhair fern, also called Adiantum, grows well as both an indoor as well as outdoor plant in warmer environments. Light green, delicate foliage fans out from the stems of these humidity-loving plants. The maidenhair fern can only grow outside in areas of the country where the temperature does not drop below -1.11 degrees Celsius. Whether it is grown outdoors or indoors, however, the maidenhair fern requires attention and care to survive.

Propagate the plant by dividing existing overgrown plants or by planting spores found on the underside of the leaf in the summer. If dividing, place the new plant in the ground at the same level as it was planted before. This is the easiest means of propagating the maidenhair fern.

Plant the fern in part shade or place it in a window in filtered bright light. The fern needs well-drained soil, with high organic matter. Before planting outside, mix organic compost into the soil. When potting indoors, use a potting medium of half peat and half perlite.

Water the maidenhair, keeping it consistently moist but not soaked. Indoor growers may want to place pebbles and water in a tray underneath the pot to increase humidity. This type of fern needs water all year-round, as opposed to other plants which go dormant in the winter months. Do not overwater, or your ferns will wilt and their roots could rot.

Fertilise the plants once a month from April to September. Only fertilise at half-strength with a water-soluble fertiliser to avoid scorching the foliage, but otherwise follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Tray (optional)
  • Pebbles (optional)
  • Organic compost (optional)
  • Potting medium (optional)
  • Water
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.