By Gary McGregor
Q: What’s worse than throwing out your dead Maidenhair fern?
A: Being told it probably wasn’t dead and would have revived if you had kept it.
Alas, it’s true. Many “dead” Maidenhairs end up in landfill when they are actually just having a bad hair day (or month) .
If your plant has wilted brown fronds and looks like its time is up, trim the foliage right back and keep the soil moist. Wait at least a couple of months before deciding if it’s time to buy a new one.
Native to many countries around the world, Maidenhair (Adiantum spp.) can be tricky to grow, but is a joy to behold when you get it right.
Most of the hundreds of species in the genus like humidity, so a steamy bathroom without direct sun can be an ideal location. Keep the potting mix moist but not saturated.
Self-watering pots can help. Mist or sit the pot on a tray or wet gravel to create humidity around the foliage.