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Maidenhair Fern Plant

Maidenhair Fern Plant

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Maidenhair Fern Plant

Surprisingly, many species of this delicate, tropical-looking plant are winter hardy; some are even native to the United States. No matter which species you grow, all maidenhair ferns feature light green compound leaves comprised of small leaflets. Several species and varieties bear new growth in pink or red that eventually ages to green. Most maidenhair ferns sport striking shiny black leaf stalks (petioles) that stand out against all the green foliage.

Though Maidenhair Ferns are popular houseplants, they have gotten a bad reputation amongst gardeners for being very particular, difficult to please plants that need a high humidity environment at all times to perform well. While maidenhair ferns do require some specific care to thrive, they are not as tough to please as their warning label suggests. 

One thing is essential in caring for maidenhair ferns, and that is keeping the soil fully and evenly moist at all times. The second the top layer of soil feels slightly dry, it’s time to water again. If the potting soil in the container holding your fern goes so much as halfway dry, all of the fronds on your fern will turn brown and crumbly overnight. 

So, in short, Maidenhair ferns are not impossible to please, they just need consistency and attention. Direct sunlight exposure is welcomed as well, but you will need to pay closer attention to the soil moisture levels when your fern is sunbathing, as the soil can dry out much quicker in direct light. 


Place your maidenhair fern in a location that gets a little bit of shade and a little bit of indirect light. Avoid harsh light or direct rays, as they can burn your fern’s sensitive leaves. Maidenhair ferns will grow best underneath the canopy of trees or other large plants that allow only dappled or filtered sunlight to reach your fern. 

Maidenhair ferns appreciate constantly and evenly moist soil. Amending your potting soil with moss or well-rotted compost will help with water retention without allowing your soil to become soggy in the process. Ideally, your fern should be kept in temperatures above 70 degrees F and should be protected against cold winds and temperature drops that dip beneath 60 degrees F. 

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