Adiantum Rad Fragrantissimum

Maidenhair fern history is quite interesting. Its genus name translates to “non wetting” and refers to the fronds’ ability to shed rainwater without becoming wet. In addition, the plant is the source of an aromatic, volatile oil commonly used as a shampoo, which is where its common name of maidenhair derived.

The Maidenhair fern is one of the few ferns that produce an enchanting fragrance. The beautiful contrast between the evergreen leaves and the dark stems adds a unique interest to both indoor rooms or outdoor balconies as a standing or hanging plant. NOTE: Remember to bring your fern indoors before the frost hits and cold nights. If you are interested in splendid growth and long life this beauty requires the right care.

The maidenhair fern varieties we produce are easy to care for. But that means you must still provide a certain amount of care in order for the beautiful ferns to grow healthy and provide a powerful presence in your home or balcony for many years. Below you will find a detailed care guide explaining the required attention for your fern.


The following care guide for the maidenhair fern will teach you how to care and nurture it, so that you can enjoy the Maidenhair (Adiantum Rad Fragrantissimum) fern for a long time.

Adiantum is evergreen and puts a colorful accent into living rooms, kitchens and especially in a bright bathroom.


INDOOR LOCATION: In order to support the growth of the maidenhair fern which originates from the humid tropics, you should choose a suitable place for it. The temperature and light conditions are paramount.

The maidenhair fern loves the morning and evening sun, while it will quickly show brown leaves when it is exposed to the bright midday sun. It feels most comfortable in a half-shady place outside, also in the shelter of trees. You should make sure it receives the same light intensity from all sides so it can grow evenly.

When cultivated inside, places near windows with a southward or westward direction are best. It should be rotated now and then so that all sides receive sunlight. A rotary plate is the ideal choice for the maidenhair fern to be moved by a quarter turn every three to four days.

Warm wind is no problem for the maidenhair fern. However, it is sensitive to cold drafts. It should be exposed to constant temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-22 Celsius).

It is also important to remember that our maidenhair fern prefers a humid environment of at least 60 percent humidity. This is why it should not be placed above or around heaters which dries out the air. Optimal is a location near an aquarium or indoor fountain as well as a place in bathrooms or kitchen.

HUMIDITY: You will either need to mist the plant daily or set it on a water-filled pebble tray.

POTTING: Ideally, an attractive and healthy fern will have just enough room to accommodate the root system with about an inch of space for further growth. Most ferns develop shallow root systems, so shallow pots or pans are best. To maintain the proper balance of root systems and space, some ferns, depending on growth rate, need repotting several times a year.

When you pot, remember that a small fern in a large container looks rather ridiculous and will be more subject to problems because of moisture excesses, etc. Start small ferns in small pots. Shift them to the next size pots as they become crowded.

Inexperienced gardeners repot ferns just as the pots seem to be three-fourths full. However, you should wait until the plant seems to be spilling out of the pot before repotting. Remember that some ferns grow rapidly, while others are extremely slow. In time, you will learn the growth characteristics of the ferns you enjoy.

Years ago, clay pots, wooden boxes or moss baskets were the most popular fern containers. Today, however, many gardeners use plastic pots. Growing plants in plastic pots is a bit different than other containers because moisture and air cannot move through plastic. This means you have to water the plants less often.

Regardless of the pot you use, you will be more successful if the containers have drainage holes. In potting, place an inch of gravel or clean pieces of broken pots in the bottom of your container. This keeps the drainage holes from clogging. Also, make certain the pots are thoroughly clean. If you’ve used the pots for other plants, you should scrub them thoroughly with a strong detergent and hot water. It’s also a good idea to soak the pots in a solution of one part household bleach and nine parts water. This eliminates disease problems. In mixing and handling the bleach solution, exercise caution. You may injure your skin and eyes if you handle the solution improperly. When using new clay pots, soak them in clean water overnight, preferably longer. This rinses away any chemicals and thoroughly moistens the pot. A periodic washing of the pots is desirable too. This helps remove scum, soil, accumulated fertilizer salts or other materials that might clog air spaces in clay pots.

Potting new plants is relatively simple. After you clean old pots or soak new ones, put gravel or broken crockery in the bottom. Then, partially fill the pot with your potting soil or mixture. Do not pack the soil. Pull the root ball apart so you can spread the roots outward to the edges of the pot. This space facilitates watering. Gently firm the soil if necessary but be careful not to cover the crown of the plant. Water thoroughly to moisten all the soil.

If you’re repotting old or potbound plants, thoroughly water them to make them easier to remove. Do not try to pull the fern from the pot. Instead, put your fingers between the fronds at the base of the plant. Invert the pot, then tap the rim on a table or hard surface. The plant should come out easily after several firm taps. Shift it to the next pot or divide it.


SOIL MIXTURE: Growing mediums vary considerably for the many types of indoor ferns. However, all good mixtures have several things in common. They are well drained because of different components like coarse sand, gravel and charcoal. Most mixtures contain considerable organic matter like peat moss, peat humus, leaf mold, ground sphagnum moss and manure. A soil mixture for ferns must hold adequate but not excessive moisture, contain organic matter and be well aerated so air can move through the soil.

The proportion of the materials varies from one mixture to another depending on the fern. Some gardeners prefer rotted leaf mold. It is most like one of the main ingredients of the soils where many ferns naturally grow. Peat moss and ground or shredded sphagnum moss are more widely used because they are easy to obtain. Artificial mixes used by commercial plant growers are available to the gardening public now and are excellent for ferns.

Regardless of the mixture you use, be sure it is thoroughly mixed. Damp ingredients are easier to mix and pot. They are also safer for the plants.

A typical mixture contains equal parts of peat moss, sand and garden soil. Add lime (one teaspoon per quart of mixture) for the types of common ferns. Other ferns, like maidenhair, thrive in a mixture of one-half peat moss, one-fourth garden or potting soil, and one-fourth of a mixture of equal parts sand, charcoal chips and manure. Usually, for maidenhair, a tablespoon of ground limestone is added per gallon of mixture.

Other mixtures might have ingredients like manure and charcoal. Both are good additions to any mixture. Manure provides nutrition, and charcoal improves drainage.

WATER: Supplying moisture is very complex. This is due to variations in the needs of the plant, its size, the soil mixture and the environment (temperature and light) in which the plant grows. Ferns are certainly no exception. However, for a wide range of them, you can expect to water fairly heavily, particularly during the growing season. This may mean watering daily or once a week. There are no hard and fast rules. To know when to water ferns and all other plants, you must develop a sense of feel of the soil. This is the only way to determine when to water.

It is highly important to water this plant optimally. But watering the plant with hard water will do more harm than good. Distilled water should be opted for.

Some gardeners water by soaking ferns in clay pots in a sink or tub of water for a few minutes. If you do this, remove the plants as soon as they are soaked, usually when the bubbling stops. Don’t submerge the plant when you soak it. Some ferns are sensitive to being covered with water, even for a few minutes. Also, fronds of some types are very brittle, while others are extremely soft. The weight of excess water may break or damage them.

Your watering practices determine your success with ferns. Over or under watering are by far the most common reasons for poor results. Shedding or leaflets occurs very rapidly if the plants are under or over watered.

GROOMING: Ferns need grooming periodically to help them maintain health and vigor. This simply means removing dead fronds or matings of dropped leaflets. This is particularly important in the fluffy types that may be quite compact. Keep the pot clean. Wash it occasionally with warm water and a soft brush.

FERTILIZER: Feed your Maidenhair Fern every 2 weeks during the late fall and early spring (Sept-March) with a liquid fertilizer at 1/2 the recommended strength. These plants love Fish Emulsion.

MISCELLANEOUS: Aphids, Mealy Bugs, and scale are attracted to these ferns.
Carefully rinse the entire plant in soapy water to treat an infestation. Carefully remove any dead or dying fronds; they will drain the plant’s energy and slow down growth. The Maidenhair Fern is a non- poisonous plant safe for cats and kids.

Young Plant Grower BRAAM