Maidenhair Fern

FAMILY: Pteridaceae | GENUS: ADIANTUM

TYPE
  • Ferns
  • Vines / Ground Covers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Ample Water

Plant Details

It would be hard to imagine daintier, more graceful ferns than the maidenhairs. Most hail from the tropics, but some originate in North America. Dark, thin, wiry stems hold delicate, finely cut fronds. In most types, the individual leaflets are bright green and fan shaped. Most resist deer.

Maidenhairs typically need rich organic soil, steady moisture, and shade. Tender species are useful as houseplants. Provide bright filtered or indirect light and apply a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month in spring and summer.

southern maidenhair

adiantum capillus-veneris

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • Native to North America.
  • To 112 feet tall and 16 inches wide; fronds twice divided but not forked.
  • Easy to grow.
  • Best in slightly alkaline soil or shaded containers.
  • Fan Dance grows only 6 inches tall, spreading to 2 feet.

rosy maid-enhair

adiantum hispidulum

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Native to tropics of Asia, Africa.
  • To 1 feet tall and wide.
  • Young fronds rosy brown, turning medium green, shaped somewhat like those of Adiantum pedatum.
  • Good indoor or greenhouse plant.

american maidenhair fern, northern maidenhair

adiantum pedatum

  • Zones US, MS.
  • LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to North America.
  • Fronds fork to make a fingerlike pattern atop slender, 1- to 212 feet stems; clumps grow about as wide as high.
  • General effect is airy and fresh.
  • Excellent in containers or shaded beds.

silver dollar maidenhair

adiantum peruvianum

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to Peru.
  • To 1 feet or more tall and about as wide.
  • Leaflets quite large, to 2 inches wide.
  • Good choice for indoors or in greenhouse.

adiantum raddianum(Adiantum cuneatum)

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Native to Brazil.
  • Fronds cut three or four times, 1518 inches long.
  • There are many named types, differing in texture and compactness.
  • Grow in pots; move outdoors to a sheltered, shaded patio in summer.
  • Selections commonly sold are 'Fritz Lthi', 'Gracillimum' (most finely cut), and 'Pacific Maid'.
  • Good indoors or in greenhouse.

wrightii maidenhair fern

adiantum tenerum

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Native to New World tropics.
  • Grows about 2 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
  • Long, broad fronds arch gracefully, are finely divided into many deeply cut segments -34 inches wide.
  • In cooler areas, can be grown indoors or in greenhouse.

himalayan maidenhair

adiantum venustum

  • Zones US, MS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • Chinese native to 8 inches high.
  • Young fronds are bright bronzy pink, maturing to medium green.
  • Grows slowly but forms a 3 feet-wide clump in 5 to 10 years.

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