Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

Bird’s nest fern ( Asplenium nidus )

Bird’s nest ferns want moist soil, not a great deal of sun, no direct sun is fine, and it doesn’t mind the cold. they will do fine in drafty locations. This is one of the easiest houseplants to grow.

Do not mist these ferns! While like most plants, they love humidity, they do not like to have their leaves wet for any length of time. If you feel they need more humidity set the plant pot on a dish of gravel that has water in it.

In a pot this fern will likely reach about 18″ tall.

There are over 700 species of Asplenium worldwide, they are found everywhere. The nested leaves form a catch all place for debri which rots and forms compost to feed the fern. Outdoors you might find insects living there or even other plants that have taken up residence.

Propagate by division. It will form spores on the back of the leaves in straight lines when it is happy.

Possible problems you might have with bird’s nest ferns:
Root rot: no new growth appears, black flies may be around plant, soil might smell musty, leaves turn brown then black.

Solution – Repot. Take the plant out of old soil. Carefully wash off the plant and roots. There is bacteria you must remove before repotting. A little dish soap is ok. Replant in new clean soil. If you are using the same pot be sure to scrub it with bleach or run through the dishwasher first.

Leaf Nematodes: Brown spots appear near the center of the leaf near main vein and spread out to leaf edges.

Solution: You might save the plant by immediately removing infected leaves, maybe not. It might be possible to kill the nematodes by raising plant temperature over 125’F. Fill the sink with water warmer than 125′ and soak the plant for at least 10 minutes. Thoroughly wash the plant, a little dish soap is fine. Repot in clean soil. If you are using the same pot, send it through the dishwasher or scrub it with bleach first.

Scale: Little brown bumps on underside of leaves. Leaves may be sticky.

Solution: Wash with warm water and dishs oap, spray with orange oil if that doesn’t work.