The maidenhair fern is suitable for both outdoor and pot cultivation, as an indoor plant. It is very appreciated for the beauty of the foliage which combines a lively color with a light and fluffy appearance. It certainly must not be lacking in our garden to give elegance to the shaded and wet corners, given that the varieties offered on the market, with some care, are now adapted to every type of climate.
The Latin name is и Adiantum capillus-veneris, and it was attributed to it because the delicate foliage remembers the hair of a goddess, in ancient times there were myths related to this plant, which in µEuropa is also widespread as a wild plant; it is an evergreen fern, with a small rhizomatous root system.
The maidenhair It is widespread in nature in most of the world's temperature zones, in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, northern and central; it is a fern with characteristic features, the leaves are composed of small leaves with a particular shape, very thin and delicate, with a jagged margin, attached to each other by thin filaments with a particular black color, which stands out very much from the bright green foliage.
The small plants do not exceed 25-35 cm in height, and in nature tend to become with falling age; they are typical ferns of the undergrowth, which develop especially in the areas characterized by streams, streams and small rivers, or by the proximity to caves or other particularly shaded areas.
In Italy it is mainly used as a houseplant, while garden cultivation is almost never practiced.
The cultivation of this fern is not easy outside of its natural environment unless it is able to reproduce it perfectly. The greatest difficulty consists in providing it with a high and constant environmental humidity as well as suitable exposure and soil. People who have shady ponds, wells or streams can enter it in the garden with tranquility. Elsewhere it will be necessary to be diligent with watering and above all vaporization.
As we all know, most ferns, they are plants that love semi-shaded, humid and cool areas; and Adiantum capillus is no different from most ferns. It is planted in containers of small dimensions, as the root system is quite small, if compared to the size of the entire plant; prefers semi-shaded positions, but we avoid the dark and gloomy shadow, and we prefer fairly bright places.
The right brightness is indicated to us by the coloring of the leaves, which become almost yellowish when the light is excessive, and they darken a lot when the light is definitely low.
Family, genus, species
Pteridaceae, Adiantum capillus-veneris
|Type of plant||Fern, plant with decorative foliage from outside or inside|
|Foliage||Persistent or semi-persistent|
|Foliage color||Light green, dark green, pink, glaucous; dark petioles|
|Height||From 20 to 40 cm depending on the species|
|Width||Up to 40 cm|
|Rusticitа||Rustica (the species); semirustics (apartment variety)|
|Ground||Fresh, calcareous, well-drained|
|irrigations||Frequent in spring-summer; no stagnation|
|Exposure||Half shade and shadow|
|Use||Ground cover and decorative foliage (wet and shady areas); jar|
|pairing||Hosta, heuchera, alchemilla, brunnera, lamium, astilbe, luzula|
In nature they develop in cool and damp places; in the apartment they live in a constant spring, often characterized by an excessively dry climate; to keep the ambient humidity high, we position the vases in a large vase cover, half filled with expanded clay, on which we can leave the vase on the surface; about half the depth of the clay must be constantly immersed in water, so that through evaporation it goes to increase the humidity around the plant; frequent sprays further improve the climate. They are fairly resistant plants, which often survive even in not entirely favorable conditions, but certainly a good environmental humidity and the correct watering lead to more healthy and luxuriant specimens. Maidenhair watering very regularly, throughout the year, trying to keep the soil slightly damp and fresh: as soon as the substrate tends to dry, it is good to water again, with small amounts of water. Every 15-20 days we add water to the fertilizer for green plants, to slightly increase the presence of mineral salts in the soil.
We also remember to avoid placing the plant in a place where it is very close to direct sources of heat, such as radiators or fireplaces, and also near fans or air conditioners, which excessively dry the air. These plants can also be grown in the garden, in a humid and cool area, with a few hours of direct sunlight every day, but not in the hottest hours of the year; in the case of particularly cold or dry seasons, maidenhair tend to reduce or completely lose the aerial part: they will start to develop again as soon as the climate returns favorable. In Italy it is very easy to find specimens of Adiantum capillus grown in the nursery to be kept in apartments; even if it is a plant resistant to cold, the fact of having been preserved for months in a tempered greenhouse, makes it quite difficult to re-educate this plant to life in the open air. So if we want a maidenhair fowl to grow in the garden, we avoid buying it in the fall, rather we choose a beautiful healthy and lush in the spring, and place it outdoors as soon as the nocturnal lows are quite high; in this way the winter cold will come very gradually, allowing the plant to get used to it.
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Origins of the Capelvenere
The maidenhair fern is widespread in nature almost everywhere in the world, especially in areas characterized by a warm-temperate climate. It grows mostly on rocky soils or along the course of the rivers, but always in the presence of calcareous soils, with basic pH and weak and suffused light. The species is not perfectly rustic and in Italy it may fear frost especially in mountain areas; however, there are more resistant varieties that can be easily inserted in any garden.
Propagate a maidenhair
Like all ferns, maidenhair ferns are very ancient plants, which do not produce flowers, fruits and seeds, but propagate through the spores: they are essentially single cells of the plant, which, once released on the ground, are able to develop a new copy; in substance they behave like seeds, but they are difficult to handle, as the dimensions are tiny. Therefore the "seeding" of a fern is certainly not an activity for beginners.
For those who in any case wish to propagate their maidenhair specimen, the method by division of the rhizome is usually used: in autumn the roots of the plant are unearthed, and cut into portions, with the aid of a well sharpened knife. well cleaned. These portions must consist of a part of the original rhizome and a part of the bread of roots produced by it; these new plants are immediately buried in containers that are not too large, filled with a good fresh soil, built with universal soil, little sand and a few pieces of shredded bark.
Maidenhair rhizome portions usually root with good ease, and this type of propagation is therefore quite simple; moreover the division is often useful for very old plants, cultivated in pots for many years, which come as rejuvenated by this type of treatment.
THE CAPELVENERE CALENDAR
|Frequent irrigation (vegetative period)||April to November|
|Composting||Every 15 days; from April to November|
|Irrigation reduction||November to March|