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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Caring For Bird's Nest Ferns

Asplenium nidus avis

As small plants these are not very exciting, but once they have been advanced to pot sizes of around 18cm they have few equals. But the growing of these plants to perfection is one of the more difficult exercises in horticulture.

Surrounding objects touching tender
leaves will almost certainly cause irreparable damage, as will spraying foliage with unsuitable chemicals or the presence of slugs.

Leaves can be kept in good order if a temperature of around 21 degree celsius is maintained and plants enjoy good light but not direct sun.

Open, peaty mixture is needed when potting, and water applied to the top of the soil should immediately flow through.

Frequently feeding of established plants with weak fertilizer is preferred to infrequent heavier doses. Keep soil moist.

Scale insects can be seen as dark brown or flesh-coloured spots adhering to the area around the midrib of the leaf. These can be sponged off with malathion.


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