The adiantum plant, or Adiantum, is a representative of the Pteris family. It includes about 200 different species of ferns, most of which live in East Asian countries and in the tropics of the Andes mountain system. There, his bushes can be found on nutritious moist soils near water sources.
Adiantum is also known as a curly fern. The scientific name of this plant is associated with its peculiarity – the foliage of the Adiantum is water-repellent, drops of water roll off their leaves, so that the bushes do not get wet during the rains. “Adiantum” can be translated precisely as “a plant that does not get wet.”
Curly fern has been known to mankind since ancient times. Today this plant is considered to be very popular in floriculture. Adiantum can grow both in the greenhouse and at home. It is noteworthy that in addition to their decorative effect, they have a number of medicinal properties.
Description of the Adiantum
Adiantum is a herbaceous perennial with a thin creeping rhizome. It is covered with brown or black scales. Like other ferns, Adiantum forms special frond leaves. They are arranged alternately or oppositely, attached to dark petioles up to 25 cm long. The base of the petioles is also scaly. The foliage surface is smooth, and its color varies between green and bluish colors. Segments on wide leaf blades resembling feathers form a kind of fan. The segments themselves can have different shapes. From the inside of the leaves, near the veins, there are sori in which plant spores are stored. They can be round, linear, or oblong.
Such ferns are considered quite whimsical and require strict adherence to the basic growing conditions. But modern varieties of Adiantum can grow successfully both at home and in the garden. Usually, a foot-shaped Adiantum is used for a garden, while at home other types are often grown – “hair Venus”, transparent, etc.
Brief rules for growing adiwantum
The table shows brief rules for caring for adiwantum at home.
|Lighting level||The plant prefers partial shade of the north or east side.|
|Content temperature||The optimum temperature for keeping is up to 22 degrees in summer, about 15 degrees in winter.|
|Watering mode||Watering is carried out as needed, in the summer – about once every 3 days, in the winter – once a week. It is advisable to use the bottom watering method by immersing the container with the flower in water.|
|Air humidity||High humidity is required, so in the summer the leaves of the Adiantum are sprayed daily.|
|The soil||The soil for planting Adiantum must have an acidic reaction, contain a lot of humus, and also be loose enough.|
|Top dressing||From mid-spring to autumn, the plant is periodically fertilized with formulations for species with beautiful foliage, reducing the dosage by half. In winter, no feeding is carried out – the plant is resting.|
|Transfer||Adiantum transplants are performed approximately once every 2-3 years.|
|Bloom||Adiantum is grown for beautiful foliage.|
|Dormant period||The dormant period lasts from October to February.|
|Reproduction||Disputes, division of the bush.|
|Pests||Aphids, spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs.|
|Diseases||The plant can lose its attractive appearance due to mistakes in care.|
Home care for Adiantum
Indoor Adiantum are sensitive to direct sun, so such a plant should not be exposed to bright light. Best of all, the bush will develop in partial shade, so most often it is kept on the northern or eastern windows. Bright sun rays can lead to the death of the Adiantum leaf plates.
It is not necessary to place the plant on the windowsill. Usually it gets too cold or crowded there, so enough free space should be chosen for its lush foliage. The Adiantum does not tolerate a change in living conditions and adapts for a long time to any changes, so you must immediately choose a suitable corner for the bush. It is not worth rearranging the Adiantum pot unnecessarily – moving and even turning the pot can have a bad effect on the state of the bush.
Adiantum prefers moderate temperatures. It reacts poorly to heat and grows best if the room is kept no more than 22 degrees. Too high a temperature can result in leaf dropping. In the summer, you can transfer the bush to the street, exposing it to shade. In winter, when the plant is resting, they put it in a cool place (about 15 degrees), and also try to keep it away from batteries. But too low a temperature during this period can lead to diseases of the root system.
To grow Adiantum you need clean air. This plant does not feel well in a dusty room, loves airing, but is afraid of drafts. The room in which the Adiantum is kept is regularly cleaned, and they also try not to expose the flower in the path of the air currents. Because of this feature, you should not place the pot with the plant in the kitchen, as well as in other places where it can be smoky. It is also not worth smoking next to the bush.
Compliance with the watering schedule is an important condition for growing the Adiantum. The soil in the pot with it should not dry out, this can lead to drying out and death of the leaves of the bush, followed by a long recovery process. But stagnation of moisture is considered no less harmful for the plant. Constantly waterlogged soil can lead to the development of rot on the roots of the Adiantum. In order not to flood the bush for sure, you should use the bottom watering. The pot with the Adiantum is placed in a basin with settled water at room temperature so that the bottom is in contact with the liquid. It should be removed only after the soil surface is saturated with moisture. After that, the pot with the bush is put into the sink, allowing excess moisture to drain, and only after that is it returned to its place.
Usually in the summer, these steps are repeated twice a week. In winter, due to the cool content, watering is usually carried out 2 times less often, but the principle of soil moistening is preserved. For irrigation, you must use settled or filtered water. It is not its hardness that matters, but the absence of chlorine. Rainwater can also be used.
The air humidity near the Adiantum should be increased. In the heat, the leaves must be sprayed from a finely dispersed spray, regardless of the season, using slightly warm settled water. But in a cold room, spraying is not carried out – in combination with a low temperature, they can result in the development of diseases.
Spraying can be replaced by other methods of humidification. So a pot with Adiantum can be put on a tray with wet pebbles or put it in a larger pot, in which the voids are filled with wet sphagnum.
The soil mixture for Adiantum must be acidic, contain a lot of humus, and also be loose enough. You can use a mixture of leaf soil with double peat, to which charcoal has been added. Sometimes sand is also added to the soil. Fern substrates can also be used, to which sphagnum and leavening agents – perlite and vermiculite – have been added.
Adiantums are fertilized only in the warm season – from mid-spring to early autumn. Once every 3-4 weeks, the bushes are watered with a half dose of fertilizer solution for species with decorative foliage. In order not to overmoisten the soil, top dressing is usually combined with watering. In winter, the bushes do not need feeding.
The curly fern Adiantum does not need frequent transplants. The rate of development is low, in addition, the plant does not like too bulky pots. Transplants are carried out only when the bush outgrows its pot, and its roots will be visible from the drainage holes. Usually this procedure is carried out every 2-3 years, in the second half of spring. Very mature bushes can not be touched, simply replacing the topsoil in their pot up to 7 cm thick.
The roots of the Adiantum are quite large, so you need to choose the right pot for such a fern. Wide containers with holes in the bottom will do. They can be made of wood or ceramic, glazed only from the outside. The new container should be 1-2 cm wider than the old one. A good drainage layer should be laid at the bottom of it. A little soil is poured over the drainage, then the bush itself is transferred into the pot and carefully poured the earth into the voids. It is not worth tamping the new soil too much – the fern prefers loose and not caked soil.
After transplanting, the bush takes a long time to recover and does not grow. If at the same time the Adiantum has not thrown off all the leaves, they try to keep it in conditions of high humidity. It will be useful to spray the plant with a drug that reduces the level of stress – epin or zircon, or a natural analogue – a solution of succinic acid.
To maintain an attractive appearance, the Adiantum should be regularly pruned. This procedure is carried out in the spring, before the bush begins to actively develop. Old, stuck or yellowed leaf plates are subject to removal. With timely pruning, the power of the plant will be directed towards the growth of fresh foliage. After the removal of excess shoots is completed, the fern should be watered and sprayed. This way he can recover faster.
Reproduction methods of Adiantum
Dividing the bush
At home, Adiantum can be propagated by dividing its rhizome. Usually the division is timed to the transplant. When the bush is pulled out of the ground, the roots are divided into pieces with a clean and sharp tool. All cuts are sprinkled with crushed coal, and then the cuttings are planted in their own smaller pots, observing the previous level of deepening to prevent root rot. Before dividing, it is important to inspect the plant and estimate the number of growth points. It is not recommended to divide specimens with their insufficient number – their divisions may not take root, which can lead to the loss of the entire plant. In addition, you should not divide the rhizome in dry ground or divide it into too small parts.
Even if all the rules are followed, parts of the Adiantum bush take root long enough, so you should be patient before they begin to develop in a new place.
Reproduction by spores
For the reproduction of the Adiantum, you can also use its spores. To collect them, in the spring they cut off a leaf from the bush and carefully collect the spores on it on paper. When they are dry, you can use them for sowing. For germination, choose a shallow container, filling it with a mixture of a double part of peat with sand and leafy soil. The soil mixture is compacted and spilled with boiling water for disinfection. When the ground has cooled well, the spores are evenly distributed over its surface, covered with glass or film and carried away to a dark but warm place. During sowing, it is necessary to disinfect the seed with a pale solution of potassium permanganate.
To accelerate germination, you can use the bottom heating to a level of 21 degrees. Sprouts of Adiantum trees sprout unevenly and can appear both in the first week and 2-3 months after sowing. After the formation of shoots, the shelter should be removed from the container, and it should be rearranged in a bright, but sheltered place from the direct sun. A couple of weeks after the emergence of seedlings, they can be thinned out, leaving only the strongest. When the seedlings grow up, they are dived into a larger container, keeping a distance of 2.5 cm. You can dive the sprouts directly into separate pots, planting 2-3 seedlings per container. Peat soil is used for transplantation. Reproduction of Adiantum by spores allows you to get stronger bushes, already adapted to certain conditions.
Pests and diseases of the Adiantum
Adiantum leaves contain special substances that scare away harmful insects from the bush, but some of them are still able to resist plant defenses. If scabbards have started up on the Adiantum, the pests are removed from the bush by hand, armed with a brush or cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Sometimes aphids appear on the plant, causing curling and yellowing of its leaves. A small amount of aphid will help with a soapy solution. It is applied to the leaves and then washed off.
It is recommended to avoid insect control chemicals – the plant reacts sharply to them and often sheds all the leaves. But if folk remedies did not help, you should still treat the bush with an insecticide, following the instructions. It is also recommended to use special preparations against mealybugs – simpler methods usually do not work on this pest. If a spider mite appears on the Adiantum, a suitable acaricide is chosen for treatment. A warm shower and removing the cobweb from the leaves can help with a small number of mites.
By nature, Adiantum has good immunity and is almost not affected by diseases. Systematic errors in caring for it are capable of weakening the flower. So the products of combustion in the air, its dryness and lack of moisture in the soil lead to the fact that the edges of the leaves of the bush begin to dry and turn brown. But in spraying and watering, it is also important to know when to stop. If the leaf blades do not dry out, but curl, the Adiantum is kept in conditions of excessively humid air and low temperatures.
During the formation of spores, brown stripes or dots form on the seamy side of the Adiantum leaf plates. Their appearance is a sign of normal fern development, not a disease.
Possible growing difficulties
- Massive yellowing of foliage – insufficient watering or the need for feeding.
- The foliage becomes pale, turns yellow and dries up, or becomes covered with brown spots – the scorching rays hit the bush. Leaves also burn out and dry out due to excessively low humidity.
- Falling leaves are a sign of dry air in the room.
- Pallor and lethargy of foliage – excessive moisture combined with coolness. Rot may develop on the roots.
- Drying of shoots and tips of leaves – low humidity during hot periods.
- Drying of all foliage can occur during too warm wintering. The affected bush is transferred to the cool (about 18-20 degrees) and watered regularly. If the root system is intact, the Adiantum should release fresh foliage.
Types of Adiantum with photos and names
Such adiantums live on the territory of the Crimea, the Caucasus, as well as in Central Asian countries. Adiantum capillus-veneris loves wet corners near water bodies. Its foliage is up to 20 cm long and is divided into fan-shaped segments. The size of the bush reaches 60 cm. Spores in this species are formed in the upper part of the leaf plates. Such Adiantum is often grown at home.
The unusual name of this plant is due to its appearance. On long thin petioles, graceful fan leaves, painted in a pale green color, are attached. There is a legend that the Adiantum bushes appeared from locks of hair of the goddess Venus that fell to the ground.
One of the most ornate ferns. Adiantum pedatum forms bushes with openwork foliage. The height of the plant is about 60 cm. In nature, it can be found both in North America and in the East Asian forests. The species is distinguished by shiny flat leaf blades of a pinnately dissected structure. There are cuts along the edge of the sheet. The leaves are attached to a thin shiny petiole, located there horizontally. This Adiantum is considered one of the most frost-resistant – it can withstand severe cold up to -35 degrees. Among the main varieties:
- Aleutikum – with a height of up to 12 cm, the bushes are up to 20 cm wide. Due to its greater resistance to bright light, this variety is most often used for potting.
- Imbricatum is a dwarf form with a height of about 15 cm.
- Kompaktikum – small bushes up to 35 cm tall.
- Yaponikum – bushes up to 45 cm high, about 30 cm wide. Young specimens have pinkish-copper shoots, acquiring a green color as they develop.
The species lives in the American tropics as well as the Caribbean. Adiantum tenerum has a short rhizome. Its foliage is characterized by a triple-feathery structure. At the base, the leaves are wedge-shaped, and their upper edge is serrate. The name of this species is due to their delicate structure. The dimensions of one leaf are up to 50 cm wide with a length of up to 70 cm. The length of the petiole is about 30 cm. One of the features of this Adiantum is the more frequent leaf fall. Famous varieties include:
- Scutum Roseum – young leaves grow up to 30 cm in height, and their color varies from pinkish to green.
- Farleyens – is distinguished by unusual twisted leaf blades.
The species lives on the Australian continent and New Zealand, is found in the African highlands, as well as in India and Madagascar. Adiantum hispidulum has creeping roots and palm-cut foliage. The surface of the leaves is covered with fine hairs, which gave the species its name. The length of the leaves is about 15-25 cm. The size of the petioles in this case reaches 35 cm. Small diamond-shaped leaves reach 2 cm in length and up to 0.5 cm in width. This makes the species look good in a pot.
An epiphytic species that lives in the Brazilian subtropics. Adiantum raddianum has graceful leaves up to 45 cm long and up to 25 cm wide. The leaf blades have a bend. They are formed by many bright green leaves in the form of a fan, which are attached to black shiny petioles up to 25 cm long. Famous varieties:
- Grassillium; Micropinnulum – varieties with particularly small foliage, preferring very high humidity. Because of this property, they are usually grown in florariums.
- Festum; Fritz Lut – these varieties are considered more resistant to growing in adverse habitats, which is why they are often used in floriculture.
This Adiantum is used as an ampelous plant. Adiantum caudatum has foliage up to 60 cm long. The petioles are brown, and the tops of the leaf blades have buds. The species is considered very sensitive to dry soil.
Or beautiful Adiantum. The species forms one meter high bushes with feathery foliage. Adiantum formosum has fragile roots. Its leaves are arranged on purple-black petioles and are divided into small diamond-shaped segments of dark green color. The length of the leaf reaches 50 cm, and the width – up to 35 cm. This species is considered quite persistent and undemanding, so it can be grown both in warmer rooms and in a cool place.
A Kashmiri species that can also be found in Nepal. With a decrease in temperature, the leaf blades of such a Adiantum acquire a brownish color. Adiantum venustum has narrow foliage up to 20 cm long. The leaves have a dark purple petiole and slightly pointed segments.
The peculiarity of Adiantum cuneatum is the horseshoe-shaped sori on the wrong side of the leaves. In nature, such plants are found in Brazil. This designation is usually considered synonymous with Ruddy’s Adiantum, but outwardly, the appearance also resembles a beautiful Adiantum.
The species forms bushes 25 to 40 cm high. Adiantum diaphanum has double-feather foliage at the base. The frond grows up to 20 cm in length with a width of about 3 cm and stays on petioles about 20 cm long. Segments of foliage are colored green and have a smooth surface. They are round at the top and concave at the bottom. Sporangia are formed along the edges of the leaf plates closer to the top.
One of the most common types. Adiantum Fragrans lives in both South Asian countries and the Andes, forming dense thickets. This plant has delicate foliage and a height of up to 50 cm. It differs from other Adiantum plants in a faster growth rate. The length of individual leaves reaches 3 cm, and the width is up to 1.5 cm. The petioles on which the leaves are located reach 15 cm in length.
Properties of the Adiantum
Adiantum leaves contain many valuable substances, including flavonoids, lipids, steorides and triterpenoids, as well as acids and essential oils. In Western European countries, such ferns are often used to prepare medicinal moods and syrups that help reduce fever and produce an expectorant effect. Adiantum is also considered a good medicine for respiratory diseases. Its leaf extract has antibacterial properties. In addition, preparations based on the plant help with diseases of the liver, spleen, and also the bladder.
The sap of the plant helps in treating the effects of animal bites, acting as a remedy for rabies, and also aids in the healing of ulcers. Chinese healers use the leaves to make a decoction that helps to get rid of alcoholism and smoking addiction. The plant can also be useful for beauty. So rinsing hair with a decoction of foliage or diluted Adiantum juice can get rid of dandruff. An alcoholic tincture of the leaves is considered a remedy for psoriasis.
The Adiantum has no pronounced contraindications, but such drugs are not recommended for pregnant and lactating women and young children. Allergy sufferers should also be careful with them. Also, Adiantum should not be taken with individual intolerance to the substances it contains.