A very beautiful plant when decorating the interior of an apartment are ferns. In addition, ferns are plants that give a great freshness to the environment, however it is a family of plants that is not easy to maintain, because they have some physical characteristics that make them very different from plants with seeds, since ferns they do not have. In this article, we give you some tips on growing and caring for ferns .
Unlike other plants, ferns are perennial seedless plants (Pteridophytes), with large leaves (similar to giant feathers) and are natural inhabitants of the understory. Since they do not have seeds or flowers, they reproduce by spores or by the seedlings that grow on their rhizomes. For their reproduction they are very dependent on humidity, as their spores need high humidity, that is why they grow where environmental conditions are humid.
Most of the ferns do not exceed 2 meters in height, however tree ferns ( Cyathea genus ) can reach 15 meters. Epiphytic ferns can develop on the trunks or branches of a tree. Other ferns are terrestrial and develop in humid areas and on humus mulch. Some genera like Davallia , Asplenium or Athyrium are easier to grow .
Growing and caring for ferns
It is recommended that the cultivation of the fern be carried out in autumn or spring and prepare the ground well for it. The substrate must be well aerated and of medium consistency, for example, made of heather soil and a little sand. You can also have a good leaf mulch or compost rich in shredded branches. In short, a light and well-draining substrate . Microorganisms and mycorrhizal fungi can also be added to the soil, to mimic the conditions of its natural substrate.
Proper location and humidity for ferns
As we said before, ferns need shade and always indirect light . Ideally, place the plant a little away from a window facing north, since they receive less light, or towards the south.
Ferns are plants that need high levels of humidity in the air and in the environment. We can achieve good humidity with methods such as placing the plant in double pots or putting a humidifier nearby.
To use a double pot, the second one must be larger than the pot where the fern is planted. This should be filled with moss and water and placed on it the other pot. The upper part of the pot on which it is planted should be covered with soil and moss. A few days after planting, it can be watered to make sure it is moist.
The temperature at which the ferns are kept should be approximately 20 ºC , being able to drop below 15 ºC, although they do not grow well. This is so because most of the ferns that are grown at home are from a tropical climate . Placing ferns in bathrooms can be a solution, as the temperature and humidity are generally higher due to showers and bathtubs. So if you have space in this area of the home, we recommend placing it there.
Of course, it is not advisable to place them near a heating or air conditioning, even if it is an area in which you can better control the temperature since these systems dry out the environment too much.
How to water and fertilize ferns
It is convenient to water the soil of the fern pot a little every day, but always avoiding that it is completely filled with water. The ideal is, in addition, to spray the fern with water with the help of a diffuser or spray, and if possible to reuse rainwater for irrigation and sprinkling. Solutions such as denatured alcohol can also be used, which in turn helps in fighting pests.
With regard to fertilizers and manures , they can be applied from six months. Its application will be monthly and must be a specific fertilizer for ferns .
Pruning and transplanting the ferns
Ferns also suffer from certain diseases, although they are usually resistant and do not die, although it is convenient to prune or cut with scissors , previously sharpened and disinfected, the diseased or damaged parts of the fern . If the contagion is to the entire plant, it should be removed so that it does not spread the disease to other ferns. In addition, when there are dry or very old parts, it is advisable to prune them as well, which can happen at any time of the year.
As soon as the ferns grow larger than the plant, it is advisable to transfer them to another pot. The time it is necessary to wait to transfer them depends on each species and also on the state of health of the specimen. Thus, we must transplant a fern when we see that the space in the pot is too small or when we see that there are problems with the soil or drainage.