The Guardian

Gynelle Leon’s

Houseplant of the week

Maidenhair fern

Why will I love it?

The delicate elegance of this South American native enchants most people. With triangular, arching fronds and a subtle fragrance emanating from its leaves, the maidenhair fern, Adiantum raddianum

‘Fragrantissimum’ , is a captivating, if slightly demanding, beauty.

Light or shade?

This plant does well in bright, indirect light. The fronds can be susceptible to scorching, so filtered sunlight is essential to ensuring its health.

Where should I put it?

Place in an east-facing kitchen or bathroom, where it can bask in light and moisture.

How do I keep it alive?

The maidenhair fern requires a gentle touch and a humid atmosphere. Mist the fronds daily or place the pot on a wet pebbled tray. Water little and often, ensuring the compost and roots never dry out. While it can be a year-round houseplant, it may benefit from a winter rest. During this period, reduce watering and halt feeding to allow it to rejuvenate. It is used to the warmth of the tropical rainforest but it can tolerate temperatures as low as 5C.

Did you know …

Its shiny stalks, which are said to resemble human hair, give the plant its common name.