There are a lot of houseplants decorating the focal point of many spaces. So Bird’s Nest Fern may be the fittest alternative plant among them, in particular, indoor spaces. This unique houseplant is called nest fern and crow’s nest fern. Also, its scientific name is Asplenium Nidus. Ordinarily, it is native to vast geographics such as Southeast Asia, The Pacific, and Eastern Africa. Due to being a cultivated plant, its use for decoration purposes is increasing day by day around the world.
1) General information For Bird’s Nest Fern Plant
Bird’s Nest Fern typically has curly-edged and folded glossy green fronds emerging from the base and it usually seems a small plant from afar. Just like Boston Fern Plant, it does not have flowers. Generally, it co-lives with trees like palm trees. Because Bird’s Nest Fern benefits from the tree’s humidity and also uses the tree as a shelter by protecting itself from direct sunlight. Aside from the natural conditions, it can grow independently under indoor conditions. Like Cast Iron Plant, it grows slowly. However, newly emerged foliage is quite fragile when it gradually develops. When it comes to height, it can reach up to 24 inches (60 cm). As for the life cycle, it is a perennial plant. In the meantime, Bird’s Nest Fern is completely safe for pets (cats and dogs) in case of ingestion.
2) Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus) Plant Care
Sunlight: Bird’s Nest Fern is vulnerable to direct sunlight. So diffused sunlight occurring at sunrise and sunset has more effective on its casual development. Alternatively, partial shade spots or sheltered spaces may be great places for such plants.
Watering: Weekly or bi-weekly watering will be sufficient. As long as the soil absorbs the water, there will be no question.
Humidity: The moderate humidity is alright for this houseplant. But the more you enhance the humidity, the better it thrives. So there are a few means to ensure that. They are humidifiers, a wet tray filled with pebbles, and water spray, respectively.
Temperature: The optimal temperature range is 60°F – 75°F (15°C – 24°C). Also, it can resist down to 56°F (13°C). Beyond that could be perilous to the houseplant. According to the USDA plant hardiness zones, it can survive in 11-12.
Soil Type: The loam soil and organic material-rich soil have a significant effect on its growth. Also, well-ventilated and well-drained potting soil ensures it breathes easily. Apart from that, there are quite quality potting mixes in the market.
Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizers diluted to half-strength will suffice when applied every two months on its growing season.
Propagation: The shortest way to propagate Bird’s Nest Fern is spore sowing. Don’t use fertilizers while it is in a sowing pot until the germination. The sowing pot should be covered with plastic and glass by allowing some air space. Roughly its germination takes 2-6 weeks.
Repotting: Such works aren’t immediate for young plants yet. In such sizes, repotting yearly is enough. On the other hand, repotting once 2 years when it becomes mature is convenient. There are lots of decorative pots such as animal planters, coconut planters, terracotta pots with different figures that can complement such plants.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Bug Infestation: Aphids, Scales, Mites, and other bugs lead to this problem. In such cases, early intervention is vital. Otherwise, these bugs like to consume this houseplant.
Pale Green Frond: This problem stems from an insufficient amount of sunlight in general. Specifically, long-term low light causes to diminish in the level of chlorophyll. As a natural result of this, fronds go pale.
Brown Frond Tip (Tip Burn): Generally, over-fertilizing and accumulated salt in the potting soil lead to this problem.
Suggestions for problems: First of all, bug infestation is a great threat to this houseplant, it should be cleaned with a damp cloth before infestation happens. Thus such harmful creatures don’t come around Bird’s Nest Fern easily. In the case of bug-infested plants, alcohol-based wipes and insecticidal soaps do good jobs. Secondly, pale green fronds don’t display the plant well but don’t touch the pale ones until you are sure of whether they are dead. Because there is a possibility to turn green again. If they don’t turn, cut the dead fronds and take the plant to more spacious spaces. Also, don’t neglect its regular care. Lastly, another problem is brown frond tips (tip burn). In such cases, cut the brown parts, apply fertilizers on its time, and go on its regular care.