Of the many ferns that can be grown indoors, the bird nest fern has larger leaves than most and gives a truly classy,full-leaf plant look.
Winner of the prestigious BritishRoyal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, this foliage favourite is native to tropical southeastern Asia, eastern Australia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Christmas Island, India, and eastern Africa.
Scientific Name:Asplenium nidus
Common/Other Names: Bird's-nest fern, bird nest fern, Nest fern
Flower Colours: no flowers
Bloom Time:Growth can be rapid during the spring and summer; year round if conditions are ideal.
Asplenium nidus forms large, simple fronds (20 to 60inlong and4 to 8inbroad)that look like banana leaves.
They are light green, often crinkled, with a black midrib, and exhibit circinate vernation.
Spores develop in sori on the underside of the fronds. These sori form long rows extending out from the midrib on the back of the outer part of the lamina (frond).
The fronds roll back as they brown and create a massive leaf nest in the branches and trunks of trees.
Maximum Reachable Height:2 to 6 feet
Difficulty to Grow: low to medium
Care:do not expose to direct sun
Sunlight:filtered light to light shade
Soil:Plant the bird's nest fern in loose, rich organic compost or a peat-based potting mix.
These are true jungle plants -keep the soil moist and provide the highest humidity possible.
Don't let the plant become soggy.
Also, avoid watering right into the "nest" as that encourages mold and rot. Water the soil rather than the plant.
During the growing season (April through September), fertilise about once a month with weak liquid fertilizer.
Don't put fertilizer pellets in the central cup or "nest."
Withhold any fertilizer during the winter, when most plants are in their resting phase.
Precautions:Too much fertiliser will cause deformed leaves and/or brown or yellow spotted leaves.
Culinary Use:The sprouts of A. nidus are eaten as a vegetable in Taiwan, where it is called shn s,and typically cut into inch-long pieces and fried with garlic and chilli peppers.
Ornamental Use: The leaves are big and lush green.
Medicinal Use:Asplenium nidus has been used locally in folk medicine for asthma, sores, weakness, and halitosis.