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.

8 thoughts on “Bird’s nest fern ( Asplenium nidus )

  1. Yes, the plants love showers, it’s the best way to water most house plants. It’s just not always practical. I usually leave them sit there and enjoy the humidity while they drain for about a half an hour.

    Be very careful pulling leaves out of the center. If you damage the crown area, the plant can die. Before you know it new growth will come and the middle ones now will be pushed out into the crowd and less noticeable anyhow.

  2. I checked on my birdsnest plants, peace lily, peperomia, crotons, and queensilver or silver queen? I gave all of them a shower this morning and they’re leaves are sooo shiny! I am so very happy.
    Can I do it every other day? It’s about 23 to 16C here now. Tomorrow is going to be warm and lots of sunshine!
    I also have a plant that’s called “peacock feather” almost the same as silverqueen. (These 2 plants have different names in other countries that’s why it confuses me. Anyway, my peacock feather plant has a very dry brownish leaves at the bottom and sort of wilted. But then the top and middle looks healthy and few small leaves sprouting.

    Please advise.
    Many thanks

  3. Just do it when the soil of each plant needs water. Too much watering and they’ll get root rot.

    For me that’s about once a week in the summer, about once every 4 days in the winter when the heat is on. Some plants more, some plants less, that’s just an average.

    I usually check the plants twice a week, and just water the ones that are dry.

    Have to use the Latin names, every location has its own local names for plants.

    Sounds like it needs more frequent watering. Or it may be since the new stuff is healthy you are doing things right and it just needs time to recover from what ever was off before.

  4. Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema is the name of the plant I have.
    Are nos. 1 and 2 belong to aglaonema family?

    1. Emerald green with white scattered spots.
    2. Green with white feather like design in the middle. ( my most favourite!)
    Leaves at the bottom turning brown and dry pathes in the middle. Couple of new plants at the top.
    3. Chinese evergreen. Olive green in colour. I put them in a bottle full of water. They are alright. Can I pot them?


  5. ( Chinese Evergreen info ) I find they like to be slightly dry and only water them when the top quarter inch or so of soil feels dry.

    They don’t like much sun, I ‘ve keep them very happy in some of the darkest rooms in my house.

    Since there is new growth they are likely doing just fine, just cut off the brown parts.

    Yes, you can pot them. When you move them from water to soil they will need to loose the water roots and grow soil roots. So keep them a little on the damp side the first 4 to six weeks while they make the switch over.

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