90904Some of us might remember Delta maidenhair fern, Adiantum raddianum, as a houseplant that was popular for terrariums in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Although quite happy in terrariums, it eventually gets big enough to crowd other plants in such tight spaces. It prefers to be potted on a porch, or in a regularly watered and sheltered spot in the garden. It tolerates quite a bit of shade.

Regular watering is important to keeping the foliage well hydrated, particularly among potted plants that are unable to disperse their roots into surrounding soil. The stolons bellow the foliage are not so sensitive, so can regenerate new foliage if partly desiccated old foliage needs to be cut back. They want good rich soil or potting media, and appreciate occasional application of fertilizer.

Individual fronds (leaves) have the potential to get as long as a foot, and half as wide, although they are mostly significantly smaller, and might be only half as long. Each frond is intricately divided into many small leaflets that are almost triangular, except that their out edges are curved and scalloped. Foliage is lighter green than that of most other ferns. Rachi (leafstalks) are black and thin.

16 thoughts on “Delta Maidenhair Fern

      1. What killed them, and how long have they been dead. If they just desiccated, it might be worth setting them aside to see if they do anything.


    1. If they are like ours, they are in no hurry to get established. Those that grow wild (here) are difficult to relocate. Those that are grown in cans are easier, but do not grow much right away. Then, when no one is watching, they are suddenly established, and are unexpectedly resilient. They may just take time to disperse their roots. I would expect yours to be easier though.

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  1. What a beautiful fern! I used to avoid maidenhair ferns because they look so fragile. I am slowly building up confidence with hardy varieties grown outside. They enjoy our humidity. They can be slow to take off for me. I will watch for that one and give it a try. 🍀

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    1. You know, This on is not on of my favorites, just because I prefer to cut it back to the ground if it gets roasted in the dry heat. It is tough, but gets cut back sometimes. It would be less likely to do that in humid climates.

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      1. They want humidity and moist soil to look good, but can survive without it. I certainly do not recommend letting them get dry, since they die back to the ground, and then need to recover. The native species, in some places, is bare all summer.

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