Asplenium, or Kostenets - green fountain
Aspleniums are quite unpretentious and very beautiful ferns. In nature, distributed throughout the world. In Russia, there are about 11 species. In temperate latitudes, low species with pinnate or forked leaves and short vertical or creeping rhizomes are more common; in the tropics - large, with cirrus or whole leaves, resembling green fountains, up to 2 m long.
Asplenium, or Kostenets, or Asplenius (Asplenium) - a genus of ferns of the Kostenets family.
Types of asplenium (ossicles) that grow in the temperate zone on rocks and on stony forest soils feel great in open ground on retaining walls, alpine hills and in rocky gardens, in the shade with sufficient moisture. Tropical species, which will be discussed later in this material are popular indoor plants.
Description of Asplenium
Kind Asplenium, or Kostenets (Asplenium) unites about 500 species of ferns of the Asplenius family (Bony). These are perennial herbaceous plants, terrestrial epiphytes; the rhizome is creeping, short, protruding, sometimes erect, in soft scales. The leaves are simple, whole to pinnately dissected, smooth. Sporangia (reproductive organs) are located on the underside of the leaves, on fork-free veins. Petiole is dense.
Aspleniums are common in all zones of the western and eastern hemispheres, among the representatives of the genus there are deciduous species, as well as non-resistant and winter-hardy.
In culture, they are represented by species that look very different from each other. In indoor culture, evergreen tropical species are often cultivated.
Popular types of indoor asplenium
Asplenium South Asian (Asplenium australasicum)
Homeland - Eastern Australia, Polynesia. Epiphytic plant with large leaves up to 1.5 m long and 20 cm wide. They are assembled in a dense, rather narrow funnel-shaped outlet. The rhizome is straight, thick, covered with scales and many tangled subordinate roots. The leaves are whole, sometimes incorrectly cut, reverse lanceolate, with the greatest width in the middle or slightly above the middle of the plate, rather sharply tapering to the bottom into a very narrow base. Soruses (spore-bearing organs) are linear, located obliquely with respect to the middle vein of the leaf.
Asplenium nest (Asplenium nidus)
Homeland - moist tropical forests of Africa, Asia and Polynesia. In nature, this fern leads an epiphytic lifestyle, on the trunks and branches of other plants. It has a thick rhizome and leathery large, whole, xiphoid leaves, reaching large sizes. They form a dense rosette at the apex of the rhizome. On the uncut leathery, green leaves, a black-brown median vein passes.
The leaves, together with a scaly rhizome and tangled roots form a kind of "nest", so it is sometimes called a fern-bird's nest. Asplenium nesting is easy to breed indoors. In culture, it is not so huge, but it looks very impressive.
Asplenium skolopendrovy (Asplenium scolopendrium)
Asplenium skolopendrovy very similar to asplenium nest-shaped. Sometimes found as skolopendrovy leaflet (Phyllitis scolopendrium), they also call it "deer tongue." In England and Germany, this plant is found in the wild, there are many of its hybrid forms. Belt-like leaves first grow upward, and eventually bend in an arc. The edges of the leaves are wavy, in the species crispum and undulatum - curly. The plant is ideal for blue gardens and cool rooms.
Asplenium bulbous (Asplenium bulbiferum)
Homeland - New Zealand, Australia, India. Grassy deciduous fern. The leaves are thrice pinnate, oblong-triangular, 30-60 cm long and 20-30 cm wide, light green, hanging from above; Petiole straight, up to 30 cm long, dark. Sporangia are located on the underside, one on each lobe. On the upper side of the leaves, brood buds are formed; they germinate on the mother plant. Asplenium bulbous niroko distributed in culture; grows well in rooms and moderately warm rooms.
Asplenium viviparous (Asplenium viviparum)
The birthplace of the viviparous asplenium is the island of Madagascar, Macarens. Ground perennial rosette plant. Leaves with short petioles, twice and four pinnate, 40-60 cm long, 15-20 cm wide, arcuate. The segments are very narrow, linear to almost filiform, up to 1 cm long, about 1 mm wide. Soruses are located on the edge of the segments. On the upper side of fern leaves, brood buds develop that germinate on the mother plant. Falling into the ground, they take root.
Features of care for indoor asplenium
Temperature: Asplenium belongs to thermophilic ferns, it is desirable that the thermometer should be around 20..25 ° C, in winter at least 18 ° C. It does not tolerate drafts.
Lighting: The place for the asplenium should be fairly bright, but with shading from direct sunlight, you can light penumbra, but not a dark place.
Watering: Watering is plentiful from spring to autumn and moderate in winter. Instead of the usual watering, it is recommended from time to time to immerse the pots with the plant in a container of water. Asplenium does not tolerate hard and chlorinated water; for irrigation use water at room temperature, which has settled for at least 12 hours.
Fertilizer: Fern is fed once a month from April to September with a weakly concentrated fertilizer solution (about half the dose for plants such as philodendrons or ficuses).
Air humidity: Aspleniums need moist air, about 60%. With dry air, the leaves of the plant dry. It is best placed on a wide pallet covered with expanded clay or gravel. They watered the earth in a pot and poured water into the pan. If there is a central heating battery nearby, then it should always be hung with a damp towel or sheet.
Transfer: Asplenium is transplanted annually or after a year. Does not tolerate planting in too large a container. The soil should have a slightly acidic reaction. The soil is loose - 1 part leaf, 2 parts peat, 0.5 parts humus and 1 part sand. You can use a purchased soil mixture for orchids.
Breeding: Asplenia, like all other ferns, is propagated by spores and division of the bush.
Growing Asplenium at Home
Aspleniums - do not like too bright sunlight. Sunlight causes browning and leaf death - (wai). They grow well near windows of northern orientation.
For good growth for asplenium in summer, the optimum temperature is 22 ° C; at low humidity, the plant does not tolerate temperatures above 25 ° C. In winter, the optimum temperature is in the range of 15..20 ° C, lowering the temperature below 10 ° C can lead to the death of wai, and sometimes to death of the plant. Plants do not tolerate drafts, cold air and dust.
In summer, the asplenium is watered regularly, the earthen lump should not dry out, this can lead to the death of the wai, and waterlogging should also not be allowed. It is optimal to water by lowering the plant into a vessel with water; as soon as the top layer shines with moisture, the pot is removed, the excess water is allowed to drain and put in a permanent place. In winter, ferns are watered sparingly, depending on the requirements of the plant and dry air. For irrigation use soft water at room temperature. It must be remembered that overdrying, as well as excessive waterlogging of an earthen coma, is detrimental to the plant.
Asplenium loves frequent spraying, in the summer at high temperature (above 22 ° C) dry air can lead to the death of wai, if this happens, cut them off. Spray the plant regularly, and soon new vaiyas will appear. Place the pot with fern in a larger vessel filled with wet peat, or on a tray with wet pebbles. In winter, asplenium should be sprayed with soft warm water every day; if it’s cool in the room, spraying should be reduced to prevent mold.
In the summer, once a month, when watering, feed the asplenium with half-concentration mineral and organic fertilizers.
Only damaged or very old leaves need to be trimmed. If the bush of asplenium dries by accident, cut off the dried leaves, and what remains is to be regularly watered and sprayed twice a day, soon young leaves will appear. Among other things, daily spraying of ferns keeps the plant clean. Do not use any preparations to give gloss to leaves.
Asplenium is transplanted in the spring (if the plant is cramped with a pot), after the plant begins to start growing. For young plants with delicate roots, a mixture consisting of peat, leaf, humus soil and sand (2: 2: 2: 1) is used. Adult large specimens of fern are planted in a mixture of turf, leaf, peat, humus soil and sand (2: 3: 3: 1: 1). Small shards and pieces of charcoal are added to this mixture; chopped sphagnum moss can also be added.
During transplantation, dead roots are removed, but living ones are not pruned and, if possible, are not damaged, since they grow very slowly. Do not crush the ground very much - ferns love when the soil at the roots is loose. After the transplant, the plant is watered with warm water and sprayed. Pot for planting should be chosen wide.
Asplenium is propagated by division of the rhizome, brood buds and spores.
By dividing the bush, the overgrown asplenium is propagated in the spring, during transplantation. The bush is carefully separated by hands, pay attention to the number of growth points. If there is one growth point or they are few in number, then you cannot divide the fern, this can lead to death. Young plants after division do not immediately start to grow.
In viviparous species of asplenium, meristematic tubercles appear on the veins, giving rise to a brood kidney. A daughter plant develops from a kidney with dissected leaves and short petioles. Separating and falling, they pass to independent existence. You can break off the brood buds of a fern along with pieces of vaya and root them in a loose substrate. You can also take advantage of young plants already rooted independently.
You can try to propagate asplenium from the spores formed on the lower surface of the leaves. They are sown in early spring, best of all in a nursery heated from below, where a temperature of 22 ° C is maintained.
Cut a piece of fern and scrape off the spores on paper. Pour in a nursery a layer of drainage and disinfected soil for sowing seeds. Water the soil well and disperse the spores as evenly as possible. Cover the nursery with glass and place in a dark, warm place. Every day, briefly remove the glass for ventilation, but do not let the earth dry.
The nursery should be kept in the dark until the plants appear (this will happen after 4-12 weeks). Then transfer it to a bright place and remove the glass. When the plants grow, thin them, leaving the strongest at a distance of 2.5 cm from one another. Young specimens that develop well after thinning can be transplanted into pots with peaty soil - 2-3 plants each.
Diseases and pests of asplenium
The occurrence of the most common diseases, such as gray rot and leaf bacterioses, which lead to their drying, can be prevented by limiting the watering of ferns. The appearance of spots that arise due to the defeat of the phylosticta (Phillosticta) and tafina (Taphina) can be eliminated with fungicides based on cineb and maneb. Leaf spotting can be associated with improper use of fertilizers (exceeding the required dose) or with inappropriate soil composition for ferns: it must have a low acidity.
Brown spots can be a sign of the appearance of a leaf nematode - in this case, it is better to throw the plant out - it is very difficult to fight the nematode. Damaged leaf edges may indicate adverse environmental conditions (dry air, irregular watering, etc.). It is not recommended to apply gloss for leaves!