You know that feeling. You’ve done some thinking and now you want some new plants. You might place them in a yard, in a house, or simply by your driveway but you want to get them! Well, the sign pointed out and you have to accept it. Lucky for you, we’re here today to talk about the Japanese fern tree that could be your new plant.
Landscape or indoor plant, you will fall in love with it. It might not be easy to it purchase this time of the year (that ship has sailed for now) but it will be worth the wait.
Maybe you can do the extra search but be patient. Once you have it, it will just flourish and you’ll be more than a happy Japanese fern owner!
About Japanese Fern And Its Features
Japenese Fern botanical name: Athyrium niponicum, Filicium Decipiens
Native habitat: Native to Eastern Asia, temperate to tropical zones such as South Florida, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Mexico
Japanese Fern plant family: Dryopteridaceae, sin. Aspidiaceae
Temperature: 55 to 80 F
Fern is the name for a special division of the plant kingdom which consists of more than 10,000 plants that differ from mosses because they have a stem, root, and leaves.
Japanese fern as a Japanese plant has very nicely divided leaves that are medium in size and curly. Its foliage has a unique tropical look that simply takes your breath away. In the flowering season, their flowers are white and usually with short stems.
Most ferns are doubly pinnately divided, and the rest are tripled or as a single entire leaf. They spread from the top to the base and are darker in color on the back. Japanese ferns also have spores that they use to reproduce from June to August.
The fern is a very widespread species and is one of the oldest plants on Earth. Although most of them grow in the tropics where they have developed great diversity due to favorable conditions, they can be found in forests worldwide.
As this is a large and complex class consisting of tens of thousands of different species, it is difficult to summarize the areas in which they live. However, there are few of them in areas that are covered with snow throughout the year, while most of them are in tropical and humid regions.
How Tall Does A Japanese Fern Tree Grow?
Your indoor Japanese fern will grow tall around 12 to 24 inches. But if you want to place it out on the terrace and use it as a perfect dense shade plant, adding some moderate grower in its soil will definitely make it taller and will increase its growing process. With some extra effort and patience, your fern tree will be tall enough to outshine your other plants.
Indoor Location For Your Fern Tree
Japanese fern is a plant of continental climate and loves temperate and humid climates. Although it will survive the winter, it does not tolerate low frosts and loses leaves during this period.
It is best suited to a semi-shady position where it is protected from direct sun and gusts of wind.
It does not tolerate salt or drought periods. That is why it’s so important to avoid full sun and provide it with the part sun only.
When grown indoors, it is not sensitive to changing positions, so it can be easily moved. It likes moist places, so it is an ideal plant for bathrooms. In case you’re wondering, it tolerates other trees well so don’t worry about that.
Light Conditions For Your Fern Tree
Japanese ferns thrive best in strong indirect light and do not tolerate much direct sunlight. They will also tolerate low light conditions, although they will not grow as well as in better light.
Japanese ferns are most commonly found in nature around springs, waterfalls, rivers, and streams where constant humidity is accompanied by shady conditions.
In fact, these types of plants can even be found growing under rocks where any kind of sunlight is rare.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, an east- or north-facing window sill will usually provide perfect lighting conditions.
Think About Humidity As Well
Japanese ferns grow best in an environment with constantly high humidity, and if grown indoors, they should be placed at a safe distance from heating or cooling openings.
Although a damp home can lead to mold and mildew problems, you can easily create a humid microclimate in a few simple ways. Consider using the following accessories and tips to increase humidity;
- Use a moisture container
- Group your houseplants together
- Put your maiden fern in the bathroom
- Use an electric humidifier
What Kind Of Soil does Japanese Fern Need?
Fern is a very easy plant for soil selection. It prefers humus and moist soils, but will also survive on acidic and swampy soils.
For good cultivation, it is necessary to choose humus and deep, fertile soil to which sand is often added.
If you want to put some extra effort into your plant, add composted cow manure and that will do its work. Ferns can also be planted on extremely acidic and poor soils, but will then grow less frequently.
Fertilizer For Your Fern: Feed Your Plant Properly
Although in their natural habitat they grow in a very humus area and help to decompose organic material, indoor ferns do not require a large amount of fertilizer.
Mineral fertilizer can be added during watering in the spring, at most once a month. Avoid heavy salts in your fertilizer.
Watering Rituals Of Japanese Fern Tree
Japanese ferns are extremely fond of moisture, so they need well-drained soil. If you grow it outdoors, it is advisable to shield it from direct sunlight to prevent excessive evaporation and drying. It is important to water it daily using rainwater, but so that the soil is moist and not too watery.
If you grow it as a plant indoors, it is necessary to spray it and maintain a higher level of humidity in the room.
On regular basis water it once a week, immersing the whole pot in water. After ten minutes, it is necessary to drain the excess water and put it on a plate so that the excess water is completely drained. Stick to your regular watering ritual and your fern will grow healthy!
Pruning Japenese Fern
The fern does not respond well to cutting or trimming if you had that on my mind, so it should not be cut or shaped by pruning and trimming. If you’re used to running lower branches with your other plants, fern won’t love it.
Yellow or wilted leaves should be cut or removed from a healthy plant in a fine careful way.
If you notice, however, that cutting should be done, I advise you to consult with your florist and simply check what he/she suggests you do. Then, later on, you might develop some skills to do it on your own.
Learn More About Japanese Fern Propagation
Japanese fern, unlike other plants, reproduces by spores. At the bottom of the leaf are containers for spores that produce prothallium.
It contains the male and female sexual organs, and their fertilization creates a new individual. This way, reproduction cannot be influenced and it takes place with the help of wind or animals.
However, most species that are grown as an ornament can be propagated by sharing the shoots with an old, native plant.
Repotting Japanese Fern Tree: When To Do It?
Ferns are fast-growing plants, so they need to be transplanted from time to time into larger growing pots. When grown indoors, this should be done every two years or when the root protrudes from the pot.
However, ferns are often combined with other plants, so they are transplanted when there is not enough space to grow. When you see that your pot size isn’t big enough for your fern, it is time to repot it.
Plantation Maintenance Of Japanese Fern Tree
When grown indoors, Japanese ferns require not so much care. It is important that you do not remove dust from the leaves as this gives it natural protection.
In addition, it is good to recognize the condition of the leaf because it detects the required amount of water. If the leaf is very soft, it is necessary to increase the amount of water.
If it has fallen off or rotted, there is too much water and the amount needs to be reduced. In the case of ferns that are grown outdoors, it is necessary to mow the grass regularly, especially if they are young seedlings.
Growth Of A Japanese Fern In A Garden
Ferns are a common decoration in gardens, and due to their rich foliage and durability, they are most often planted under trees to hide unwanted parts.
As it likes a moist and shady area, it is desirable to plant it in the northern part of the garden, and it grows well along damp walls.
It tolerates densely planted places or places where there is enough moisture. If you are not able to water it regularly, it is important to provide an irrigation system, and a drip and sprinkler system is also suitable.
Planting Japanese Fern Tree: Quick And Easy
Although growing ferns are mostly bought as a developed plant, it is important to know some planting tips to have a healthy and beautiful plant.
As most of them are very resistant and easily adaptable to new habitats, below are general tips that will help with different species.
If the plant is planted outdoors, it is important to do so after all the frosts have passed so as not to damage it. It is best to do planting in early spring.
Planting Seedlings Of Filicium Decipiens
Since ferns reproduce by spores, the only way to plant them is to plant seedlings. When choosing, it is important to use a treated seedling with a developed root system to make the plant easier to receive.
Plant the plant with the root taking care not to injure it which can lead to a significant reduction in growth.
It is planted in a previously dug hole to the depth at which it grew and later watered well. During the first weeks after planting it is necessary to water more regularly and pay more attention to the plant.
Growing Japanese Fern In A Greenhouse
Growing in a greenhouse is optimal for getting rich and healthy ferns. Thanks to the enclosed space, it is easy to maintain the moisture level with other plants.
It is important to ensure a minimum temperature of 30 F in winter, and in summer it can be constantly ventilated.
The fern loves a place with a lot of indirect light, and if it is too bright, you need to provide it with blinds.
It also requires a spray irrigation system that makes it easier to maintain optimal humidity. As she does not mind the proximity of other plants, you can grow it next to them or in separate pots.
Pot Cultivation Of Your Tropical Tree
Ferns are easy to grow in pots because they do not require a lot of conditions for growth. When choosing a container, it is important to take deeper than 15 inches and fill the bottom with pebbles to ensure good water flow.
In addition, fill it with hummus and loose soil, and plant the seedling with the soil in which it grew, touching the root as little as possible.
Indoors, it needs to be provided with a quiet place away from artificial heating and drafts. It reacts well to being taken out in the summer, but it is necessary to avoid direct sunlight and take it out too early so that the frost does not damage it.
Beware Of The Pests
Although there are few pests that attack ferns, they still exist and cause esthetic damage.
- Red spider
Although it is called a spider, this pest does not look like a spider at all. It is one of the most common pests of indoor plants, and it also attacks ferns. It feeds on the sap of young shoots and lays larvae which, in addition to feeding on sap, dig places to live, so they can damage the plant many times over. Larger attacks cause drying of certain parts of the plant, and it can be solved by using insecticides.
Snails are large pests of ferns that are grown outdoors and can cause the greatest damage to young seedlings. They feed on young shoots and cause primarily aesthetic damage. However, damaged parts of the plant are more susceptible to infections and diseases. Also, excessive bites can cause significant damage which can slow down plant growth. They can be solved by using snails if the plant is grown only as an ornament or by hand collection.
- Shield’s ears
Shield lice are another significant pest that also attacks ferns, and they can appear on plants outdoors or indoors. They feed on juices and cause curling of the part of the plant on which they are located. You can get rid of them by spraying a solution of soap and water or insecticides.
Beware Of Possible Diseases
Ferns are very resistant to habitats, but also to diseases, so there are few cases of diseases in nature. However, cultivars are more susceptible to diseases and their consequences, so below are what they are.
There are many fungi that cause this condition, but most often it is a local disease that can not harm the whole plant. The first symptoms are brown spots that gradually spread and affect an increasing area of the leaf. If the disease is not noticed and remedied in time, it can affect larger parts of the plant and thus harm its growth. It is best to remove the infected part and try to maintain the plant.
- Leaf spot
Leaf spot is one of the fungal diseases that is easily transmitted from other plants. They appear as freckles on the leaves that spread over time and cause more aesthetic damage.
It should not be confused with yellowing or leaf fall, which can also cause an incorrect position, such as direct sunlight. It is good to use fungicides as a preventive measure and to remove diseased leaves.
- Root rot
Fern is a plant that likes high humidity, but not all species are ideal for wetland conditions. Longstanding water can cause root rot which leads to wilting and rot of the whole plant. The first indicator is the decay of the plant, so it is necessary to check the amount of water and the condition of the roots. The occurrence of this disease is prevented by proper watering and drainage.
Is Japanese Fern Tree Toxic?
If you think that your cat, dog, or rabbit will eat a tip of leave and get sick, stop worrying. The Japanese fern tree isn’t toxic to humans or pets. It is completely safe to have this plant in your house. This tree won’t do any harm to your babies. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping if ingested but it’s not a systemic toxic plant. However, this doesn’t apply to all ferns, ferns such as Asparagus ferns, Lace ferns, and Sprengeri ferns are toxic to dogs and cats.
Small Shade Tree For Your Terrace
If you have a patio, a Japanese fern tree will do a great job. Since this plant makes such a good shade, placing it above your patio chairs or terrace chairs is a win!
We all love the good dense shade, especially in the summer. Japanese fern tree, shade, cold lemonade in your hand, and you’re set for this summer!
History Of Japanese Fern Trees
The fern is a very old plant, and it is estimated that the first specimens appeared 360 million years before our era, as evidenced by numerous fossil finds. Given its age, it has undergone some changes, but even today living fossils can be found that testify to the appearance of the plant a million years ago.
Due to its resistance and method of reproduction, it is one of the most widespread plants in the world. Japanese fern was especially interesting for many cultures and customs, but also for legends. Due to its frequency, it has been declared a national plant of New Zealand, and its pattern is used as a motif in decorations.
Magical properties have always been attributed to it, and old Slavic beliefs say that during the night of Ivan Kupala, that is, for the summer solstice, the fern blooms. As it is very rare, whoever sees a flower will be happy all year round.
Wrapping It Up
I am sure that after reading this article you are now mastering the knowledge of Japanese ferns. If you are planning to get a Japanese fern, you are more than ready to do it! With our advice and your good care of the plant, Japanese fern will be very happy in your home. If needed, read it a couple of more times to be fully read before your fern arrives in your home.