Adiantum capillis-veneris, or Venus's Hair Fern, is widely distributed from warm temperate to tropical regions. It will reach 12-24 inches tall in containers with attractive fronds of a delicate appearance. It is one of the most commonly grown Adiantums.
Culture: Adiantum capillis-veneris need bright indirect light with warm temperatures and a well-drained soil mix. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. To every 6-inch pot we add 2 tablespoons of ground limestone to adjust the pH. The plants should be watered on a daily basis during the growing season And require much less in the winter when growth is slow. They must be watered carefully as to not get the foliage wet; if the fronds are kept wet, dead patches will appear and spread. We fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. The plants should be repotted once a year.
Propagation: Adiantum capillis-veneris are propagated by division or by spores. The ripe spores can be collected on a piece of paper placed under spore-bearing leaves. Sow spores on equal parts of peat moss and sand, with ground limestone added in late winter. The spores germinate best at a temperature of 68-70 degrees. The growing medium should be kept constantly moist and covered with glass or plastic. Once new plants are large enough to handle they can be transplanted into individual containers.
Adiantum capillis-veneris was featured as Plant of the Week December 6-13, 2001.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.