Nephrolepis is a house fern that came to us from tropical and subtropical regions. It was initially very popular in Southeast Asia, as well as African and American countries. Nephrolepis belongs to the genus of ferns.
In addition to its appearance, this plant also attracts attention with such properties as air purification. Nephrolepis is able to easily absorb substances such as formaldehyde and toluene. In addition, this plant kills germs that sick people release into the air. That is why Nephrolepis can often be found on windowsills in hospitals and medical institutions.
In order to maximize the beauty of this fern, it is recommended to use hanging planters, since Nephrolepis seems less graceful in ordinary pots.
Popular types and varieties of Nephrolepis
Nephrolepis has many varieties, but only two of its types can be grown at home – sublime Nephrolepis and Cordifolia Nephrolepis.
The most common are the following types of this plant:
This type of this plant is the most common and it is easiest to grow it at home. It has a high root perpendicularly located, foliage is large, once feathery. This type of flower almost does not respond to changes in the humidity regime.
As the name implies, this type of flower was bred in the United States, namely in Boston. But this did not stop breeders from other countries, and after a short period of time, Boston Nephrolepis appeared in the world with double-pinned, triple-pinned and even a small amount with four-pinned fronds.
This type of nephrolepis is rapidly gaining popularity among indoor plant lovers. Significantly different from other types of Nephrolepis. The main differences are that on the underground shoots there are bulges in the form of tubers, and the growth of the leaves is directed straight up.
It was first grown in Central America. It differs from other species in its incredibly long leaf; with proper plant care, it can reach two meters in length.
Nephrolepis Green Lady
This type of Nephrolepis has very lush leaves that crown the rhizome. It is one of the most beautiful varieties of this plant.
Nephrolepis – growing and care at home
Despite the fact that only two types of Nephrolepis can be grown at home, it is absolutely not difficult. Even a novice florist can handle this. The main thing is not to act at random and read the basic tips for caring for Nephrolepis.
Location and lighting
The primary task when caring for a fern is to find the right light regime. As you know, this plant prefers dark places, so it is strictly forbidden to place it in the open sun. But this does not mean at all that you need to place Nephrolepis in the darkest corner of the house. Just place it where there is a slight shadow, and the rays of the sun are diffused.
If it is not possible to place Nephrolepis under a natural light source, then you can replace it with a special lamp. Under artificial lighting, the plant should be placed under a lamp for at least a few hours a day.
As a rule, there are no problems with the placement of Nephrolepis in an apartment, because due to its appearance, it fits perfectly into various interior styles.
The best option would be to place the plant on the windowsills of the east and west windows. If your apartment does not have windows facing east or west, and the windows are illuminated by the sun throughout the year, then do not despair, you can simply place Nephrolepis at a short distance (at least 1 meter) from the windows. You can use a beautiful stand or a vase for flowers – it will seem that it was originally intended.
In summer, the plant can be moved to the balcony. Naturally, we must not forget that the plant should be placed in a darkened place. It is also important to ensure that rain does not fall on Nephrolepis – this will negatively affect the further growth of the plant.
In autumn and winter, Nephrolepis must be kept in a warm room, so it must be taken from the balcony. Nephrolepis will feel perfect if in the cold seasons of the year, artificial lighting is organized with the help of a lamp; the plant needs to be illuminated for at least 6-7 hours a day.
Regardless of the season, the optimum temperature for growing this fern species is 20-22 degrees. It is worth noting that nephrolepis is able to survive a decrease in temperature by 12 degrees, but this can become severe stress for the plant and lead to the occurrence of various diseases or pests.
In addition to lighting, the growth of Nephrolepis is significantly affected by the level of air humidity. For a plant, it will be preferable to be in a room where the humidity level is high enough. This is due to where this fern comes from – in tropical climates, there is always a high level of humidity.
If Nephrolepis is grown in an apartment or office, it is necessary to spray it daily with water. According to some professional florists, spraying is best done not even once, but two or three times a day.
Only with daily spraying with water can the necessary moisture level be provided to Nephrolepis. In the case when it is not possible to spray the plant with water every day (for example, a trip to the sea or on a business trip), you can put a container filled with water next to the fern – this will humidify the air next to the Nephrolepis.
Watering Nephrolepis is necessary daily, and at the same time, do not forget about spraying with water, which also needs to be done two or three times a day. If in the winter season you can forget about watering the plant for a while, then in the summer you should water the fern abundantly. When autumn comes, you can switch to watering mode after one day, but you need to continue spraying the plant in the same mode as in summer.
Topdressing and fertilizers
This type of fern requires regular and frequent feeding. Especially Nephrolepis needs feeding in the autumn and spring. For feeding, it is best to use mineral and organic fertilizers (in order).
It is strictly forbidden to fertilize the plant from mid-autumn to the end of winter since the impact on the soil during this period can lead to the emergence of pests. Fertilizers should never be concentrated.
In order for Nephrolepis to become more healthy every year and not have any diseases, it is necessary to carry out a fern transplant every year. It is best to replant the plant during the spring season. Plants that are more than three years old should be replanted every 2-3 years.
If you notice that the pot in which the Nephrolepis grows is already too small, then you do not need to leave everything like that – it is better to transplant the plant into a larger container. This will speed up the growth of the flower. It is best to plant a plant in a soil mixture of peat and coniferous soil.
The pot for growing Nephrolepis must be wide and shallow. This is due to the fact that the root system of Nephrolepis is superficial. Pebbles or expanded clay must be poured onto the bottom of the pot – this will ensure good drainage and wastewater. If this is not done, then waterlogging and acidification of the soil may occur, which, in turn, leads to the death of the plant.
Reproduction of Nephrolepis
Reproduction of the Nephrolepis fern is possible in two ways: by shoots and division.
For example, by transplanting a plant annually, a large Nephrolepis bush can be divided. If you propagate Nephrolepis by shoots, then you need to put a small pot next to an adult bush and sprinkle the tops of the young plant with a prepared soil mixture. Very soon, fronds and roots will form in the new pot. After 3-4 fronds grow, the young plant can be transplanted from an adult flower.
The rhizome can be divided only after young leaves appear on the sides. It is these sides with rhizomes that are transplanted into a new pot.
Problems with growing Nephrolepis
When growing Nephrolepis at home, there may be certain signs that the plant is uncomfortable. For example, if dark spots appear on a fern, then most likely it is exposed to excessive sun exposure. To solve this problem, it is imperative to rearrange the plant in the shade and do not forget about watering and spraying with water.
If the appearance of rot is observed on the Nephrolepis, then most likely the reason is that there is stagnation of water in the pot. In other words, you have poured too much water into the flower. To solve this problem, it is necessary to dry all the soil, and after that continue to water the plant (it is very important not to overdo it again).
If Nephrolepis begins to dry out, you need to look for the cause either in the watering mode (the plant is not watered enough), or in the lighting (the plant does not have enough light). In this case, it is recommended to rearrange the fern to a different, more illuminated place and be sure to moisten the soil.
If the fern has not seen an increase in growth for a long time, then this may be due to a lack of space in the pot. You just need to transplant the flower into a larger pot.
Diseases and pests
With improper care of Nephrolepis, various diseases or pests can strike it. For example, if Nephrolepis lacks moisture in the air, then a spider mite may appear on it. Occasionally, the appearance of the scabbard is observed. The appearance of a mealybug is characterized by a deterioration in the condition of the leaves, external damage is observed on them.
With proper care, Nephrolepis will not only delight you with an incredibly beautiful appearance, but also improve your health by clearing the air of harmful substances and microbes.