Bird’s nest fern whose scientific name is Asplenium nidus, is one of two of its species in cultivation. Its cousin, the spleenwort looks very different and is much harder to care for. Bird’s nest ferns usually grow on top of other plants and in their natural habitat, they are often found growing in the crooks of tree branches.
Their fronds have a lovely apple color and are shaped like spoons which makes them an attractive choice as a house plant.
The Bird’s nest fern can produce leaves at long as three feet in the wild, but most indoor varieties are much shorter. Though highly attractive, the Bird’s nest fern does require a bit of dedicated attention to help them attain maturity.
Asplenium nidus is not a starter plant for a house plant novice, but rather a plant for people who have gardening experience or who are dedicated to providing the intensive care they need to thrive.
Asplenium nidus adapts well to cooler temperatures and should be raised in filtered light. The optimal soil pH for a bird’s nest fern is 5 and will grow well in a potting mix that is peat-based. The plant has attractive green leaves but does not produce flowers.
About Bird’s Nest Fern
- The center of the bird’s nest fern is called the nest, and all new fronds erupt from this area.
- The bird’s nest fern is a fast-growing plant that features stead growth. New fronds erupt for the middle of the plant and should not be touched until they have matured.
- Bird’s nest ferns are naturally epiphytic, which means they usually grow on other plants with minimal organic material.
- Bird’s nest ferns are generally resistant to pests but should be monitored for common concerns that plague all houseplants.
- Peat-based potting is ideal, as is organic compost for optimal growth of the Asplenium nidus.
- Bird’s nest ferns reproduce via spores or are cultivated from tissue samples as opposed to being split.
- Though non-toxic, keep out of reach of pets and children.
Bird’s Nest Fern Overview
- Nest ferns are labeled as Asplenium nidus scientifically.
- This perennial fern thrives in cooler temperatures and is commonly used as a houseplant.
- Mother ferns are called spleenwort and are not intended to live indoors.
- The leaves of the bird’s nest plant are called fronds.
- The soil of the bird’s nest should be allowed to dry halfway before watering again.
- This plant thrives in high humidity and in the same general temperature as humans.
- The average height of a bird’s nest fern grown indoors is two feet.
- Most developed bird’s nest fern feature frilly or crinkled leaves for aesthetic appeal.
- Asplenium nidus is a tropical plant native to East tropical Africa as well as tropical Asia.
- Mature indoor birds nest ferns have fronds between 20 and 60 inches in length.
- The fronds of the Asplenium nidus are usually four to eight inches wide.
- In nature, bird’s nest ferns are most often found on top of palm trees.
- The fronds of this plant loosely resemble banana leaves.
- Bird’s nest ferns are native to the tropics of East Africa, Australia, Asia, and Hawaii.
- Asplenium Nidus can be found in a wide variety of colors and exciting textures.
Growing Bird’s Nest Fern
Growing a bird’s nest fern in your home requires attention, but with the right conditions, it will grow quickly. New fronds erupt from the nest of the plan and are very delicate. If touched in their infancy, they will become deformed or even die off. If the plant suffers infestation, use insecticidal soap as opposed to a chemical pesticide.
For the best growing conditions, Asplenium nidus should be placed in shaded or filtered light. Direct sunlight will harm the plant, and morning sun can cause plant sunburn. An east or north-facing window is the ideal placement for the indoor version of the Asplenium nidus.
Use an organic compost or potting mix that is peat-based for the bird’s nest fern. For optimal results, use a mixture that is one part perlite and two parts peats. You can also use a potting soil that is a mix of peat and organic compost for the Asplenium nidus.
The main growing season is spring through early fall. The bird’s nest ferns should be fed a liquid fertilizer that has been diluted once monthly during this time. Avoid placing fertilizer pellets or anything else in the nest of the plant.
There is no need to fertilize during the colder months when the plant’s growth cycle is dormant. Overfeeding can cause the bird’s nest fern to get sick. This will result in leaves that have yellow spots or deformed fronds.
Watering Bird’s Nest Fern
The bird’s nest fern is a legitimate plant of the tropics. As a natural jungle plant, they require moist soil that is rich in nutrients. Water your bird’s nest regularly, but avoid soggy soil. Too much-standing water in the pot can lead to root rot which will eventually cause plant death.
The center of the plant, called the nest, is where new fronds spawn. It may be tempting to pour water directly into this area, but it should be avoided at all costs. Watering the nest will encourage the growth of mold and rot in the center of the plants. Instead, water around the base of the plant directly in the soil. Allow the soil to get slightly dry before watering again, but not fully dry or the plant will become brittle.
It is important that your fern is given a warm area to live in. It can tolerate temperatures that range between 68 degrees and 70 degrees. Keep the plant out of direct airflow from vents, fans, and air conditioners to prevent dehydration. Although the plant can tolerate a range of temperatures, it will not respond well to sudden or drastic changes in temperature. If you live in a cooler or dryer climate, consider placing the plant near a humidifier to ensure proper moisture levels.
- Height at shipping is approximately 15-Inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot. Ships in a lightweight, 6-inch décor planter
- Grow best near a sunny window, but shielded from direct sun, especially during the hottest part of the day
- Water when the top couple inches of the soil are dry
- Beautify your home. Make your house feel more like a home with the warmth and life of a lush fern
- With lacy fronds and a classic texture, they work well in just about any interior design scheme, from country casual to formal.
- Beautiful and easy to care for this perfect houseplant is known for its light green crinkly and wavy leaves that look like a birds nest in the center
- This plant is easy to care for, ideal for the beginner or the seasoned houseplant collector and it thrives in medium light and shadier areas of the home
- Loved by interior designers for its textured leaves and shape; ideal size for desks, table and countertops, and window sills in the home or office
- A pet safe houseplant that measures from 10-12" tall from the bottom of the plastic containers to the top of the leaves
- Good for your health, a NASA study identified the fern as one of the top air purifying plants to remove harmful chemicals from the air in your home
- 4 Inch pot
- Ruffled fronds
- Very tropical
- Actively growing
Propagating Bird’s Nest Fern
Propagating the Bird’s nest ferns is very difficult. Unlike other plants that can grow from cuttings of a mature plant or root splitting, this plant requires a different process. Bird’s nest ferns are grown from tissue cultures or spores in a controlled setting. For most homeowners or hobby gardeners, propagating a Bird’s nest fern at home is not possible.
Though the plant grows at a moderate rate, it thrives when it is slightly underpotted. Since the plant can’t be propagated during repotting or pruning, it is best to only repot every other year. Mature Bird’s nest ferns will grow higher above the soil as the lower leaves shed, which can lead to pots tipping over. When refreshing the compost, consider using a larger pot with less soil to help the plant maintain a balance.
Most people have seen a bird’s nest fern even if they did not know what it was called. Many people are attracted to the leaves of the Asplenium nidus, especially when new fronds are emerging from the center. This lush tropical plant is perfect for tables, counters, windows and even the floor as long as they are not in direct sunlight.
To nurture a bird’s nest fern at home, it is critical to give the plant plenty of moisture and warmth. When a favorable atmosphere is present, the plant can tolerate more elevated levels of light.
Consider placing it in your bathroom, kitchen, or in a north-facing corner of your porch. The fronds of the bird’s nest fern are attractive emerald green with a slight wave or crinkle at the ends. This aesthetically pleasing look makes it a top choice among homeowners and businesses all over the country.
The center of the plant is called a nest, this rosette looks fuzzy and soft which is where the plant got its name.
Bird’s nest ferns are a lovely choice of houseplant that tolerates most temperatures well. It does thrive in cooler climates, and many greenhouses have been known to grow oversized specimens. The plant typically grows attached to another plant when in the wild but survives on its own in captivity.
If you happen to have other rainforest plants such as bromeliads or orchids, the bird’s nest fern will fit right in. They grow best in filtered light and a moderately humid atmosphere, just like they would in the wild. Keep in mind that these plants require more care and observation than other houseplants and they are also much more sensitive to light, cold, and moisture.
If you have a greenhouse or a green thumb, this is a suitable plant to add to your collection.