Riparium Plant: Adiantum sp.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
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Riparium Plant: Adiantum sp.


This is a quick post. I want to get this picture up while I have the link copied.

I am trying out a new plant that seems to have promise for riparium culture, Adiantum sp. "maidenhair ferns".

I picked up this full potted plant yesterday at a local garden center.



There are quite a few maidenhair fern species and varieties in cultivation, but the label on this just indicated "maidenhair fern". If I get any good results from it I will try to figure out which species/variety it might be.

I have it soaking underwater right now to kill any bugs that it might have brought with it from the nursery. This clump will give me a lot of divisions.

More soon.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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That would look great in a riparium! It is amazing how many plants you can use?!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:45 AM   #3
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If could be Adiantum tenerum ( black leaf stems)and then it could be aswell another Adiantum... Horticulture messed with this fern a lot!

Look into N.American Flora for description.

I wouldn't keep that plant underwater for too long...

It will definitely do well in riparium, terrarium and such.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:13 AM   #4
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Yeah I have no idea whether it might be a species or a cultivar.

I am going to leave it underwater overnight. It might sustain some leaf damage, but I want to make sure to kill any bugs that it might have. I have had scale and other annoying stuff come in on greenhouse plants.

I'll see how it does with its roots in the water. I will try a couple of different potting methods.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:18 AM   #5
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That should be a very good riparium plant, and I notice that Home Depot sells them too. Next time I'm at HD I will look for one. None of the internet references I looked at made any distinction as to various species of it, and I noticed that it is a native plant in several states.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:56 AM   #6
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Well I wouldn't count on all Adiantum growing well in hydroculture. We have a native species here in WIsconsin, A. pedatum, which generally occurs on upland sites, though I have observed that it does prefer shade and moist soil.

I have looked around some and it appears that there are some maidenhair ferns that are strongly associated with wets spots in the wild, especially seeps in cliff faces and the margins of small, stony streams.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:02 AM   #7
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Here's a second shot showing a bit more leaf detail.



If it grows right, this plant could be a good one for a "nature riparium" layout. With it's fine foliage and steady green coloration it would support a minimalist-type scape pretty well I think.

I really like the wiry black leaf stems.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:55 AM   #8
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I got a few divisions of this thing potted up and situated in a tank.



I'll be interested to see what happens. I anticipate that they will either begin to grow very slowly, or up and die all at once.

I have a few more observations with pictures to add later. Now it's time for bed.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:53 AM   #9
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Here are some more detailed shots to show how I potted these plants up.

For three plants I used planters filled mostly with Hydroton, and with a cap of finer gravel.



For two of these I also included a layer of marine crushed seashell substrate. Many of the references on Adiantum that I encountered indicated that they grow best in "sweet" (alkaline, high pH) soils, and that they benefit from the addition of powdered lime to potting medium. I figured that the crushed shells could act as a slower-release source of hardness minerals for the root environment in the pot.

While I have not seen any mentions of Adiantum actually growing as aquatic marginals, these ferns do apparently have an affinity for permanently saturated spots on rock faces or the edges of small streams. Have a look at the habitat in the final picture of this linked page, described as "a continually wet limestone face covered with maidenhair fern"...

http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/bio406d/im...us-veneris.htm

While the plant roots will be below the water's surface, rather than growing along the face of wet stone, I hope that this condition will be close enough to the kinds of natural habitats that many maidenhair fern species prefer.

I planted the last of the four divisions in a planter mostly-filled with the finer planter gravel. I also added the crushed shells to that container, along with a quantity of the clay powder + MTS amendment that I like to use.



Here's one more picture.

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Old 02-06-2010, 03:48 PM   #10
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I searched for this plant at my Home Depot a couple of days ago, with no luck. I may try a nursery today. It looks so good I want to try it too. I really like the leaf shape and the black stems.

EDIT: I just found this website: http://www.malawicichlidhomepage.com...wamp_tank.html where this plant seems to be a success as a riparium plant. Ugly riparium, but beyond that, the plant seems to be thriving.

EDIT AGAIN: Adianthum capillus veneris is said to grow on constantly wet limestone. So, why not filll the planter with limestone pea gravel? Or, maybe Dolomite gravel? That should be a very close match to its natural environment.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:55 PM   #11
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Well now most of the leaves on these plants have shriveled up, although that's not necessarily a bad sign--it might just take some time for them to re-adapt to new conditions. I might have an idea what they will do in another few weeks or so.

You're right that could be good to fill the planter cup with a limestone or similar substrate. I really wonder if these plants might do best with rooted on top of wet rock substrates, and if the conditions inside of the planter cup might be too oxygen-poor. I suppose time will tell.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
Well now most of the leaves on these plants have shriveled up, although that's not necessarily a bad sign--it might just take some time for them to re-adapt to new conditions. I might have an idea what they will do in another few weeks or so.

Your right that could be good to fill the planter cup with a limestone or similar substrate. I really wonder if these plants might do best with rooted on top of wet rock substrates, and if the conditions inside of the planter cup might be too oxygen-poor. I suppose time will tell.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I haven't found any of this plant to try, so I'm going to have to follow your results instead. Just out of curiosity, so many plants will grow hydroponically, even when they are not found growing in water in nature, do you know if the majority of plants will or won't grow hydroponically? The world of plants is so huge this is probably an unfair question.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:23 PM   #13
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Being unable to resist temptation, I found this plant, just this single pot, at my local nursery, so I blew $14 on it, then stopped by a LFS and got a couple of pounds of crushed coral to use in a planter as the substrate. Now we will have two data points with this plant, which, by the way, was not labeled by the store.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:15 PM   #14
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That's neat. That looks like a good-sized clump that ought to give you a couple few divisions. This one is more attractive than the variety that I have. The foliage on mine is denser and more closed and you can't see the nice branching pattern so well.

I'd recommend situating that in the tank so that just the bottom of the planter is down in the water, and with water wicking up through the substrate--I wonder if these ferns will last with their roots actually underwater. In their habitats they grow on permanently wet rocks, but the rhizomes sit on top of the substrate, so I imagine they are accustomed to having more oxygen around their roots.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:14 AM   #15
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I don't think this is going to survive. I washed off the soil, but ended up with what appeared to be just a knob or something like a rhizome with only short roots left. I dunked the whole plant in water for a couple of hours to try to eliminate any pests. There was no way I could see to tease out single plantlets, so I ended up using my pruning scissors to cut it in half to get two clumps. One I planted in a large planter cup, with a small layer of clay balls, and the rest of crushed coral. The fern is planted a bit deep in the coral. I added a few balls of Osmocote between the clay balls and the coral. It is now in my 65 gallon riparium, with about a half inch of the planter under water, after being a couple of inches under water for an hour or so. The new fronds are already wilting.

The other half I planted in a 4 inch pot, to see if I can keep it alive. Since removing the soil ball was so drastic I'm not at all sure this one will make it either. Ferns just aren't like other plants. My fingers are crossed.
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