Asplenium: types and their description, features of home care

Asplenium (asplenia, ossicles, boneless, Asplénium) is a herbaceous plant of the fern genus that has a large number of roots and attractive green foliage. Its beauty and unpretentiousness attract many plant growers. If you want to join their number, read the information on how to grow it properly.

Types of asplenium and their description

It is believed that in nature there are about 700 species of asplenium, most often grown at home:

  • South Asian;
  • bulbous;
  • scolopendra;
  • anticum
  • Osaka
  • crispy.
Common to all species is the absence of flowers.

Check out a houseplant like adromiscus.

South Asian

Asplenium South Asian (bird or crow's nest, in Latin - Asplenium australasicum) in nature grows in the east of Australia on stones, trunks or branches of other plants, while not being a parasite. Outwardly, it resembles a nest, from which yellow-green leaves grow 80–150 cm long and up to 20 cm wide in the form of a narrow dense funnel. Leaves grow on short petioles in the form of inverted lancets, tapering below. The edges of the leaves are wavy.

It is very similar to the representative of another type of aspleniums - nest, in which the leaves form a wider funnel. The main root is straight, thick, covered with scales, the subordinate roots are thin and tangled. Propagated by spores growing on leaves in narrow groups at an angle to the central vein. Loves moisture and shadow.


Asplenium bulbiferum (Asplenium bulbiferum) grows on the earth, its homeland is Australia, New Zealand, India. The leaves of the plant are wide, thrice-pinnate, up to 1 m long, up to 30 cm wide, light green in color, the tips of the second-order leaves are serrated, but without sharp edges. The shape is elongated, triangular, the ends hang down. At the ends of the leaves are onion buds, from which small copies of the plant grow.

When falling to the ground, the shoots are strengthened by the roots and become an independent fern. The stems are thin and hard, the color is darker than that of the leaves. The plant loves a temperate climate and the absence of direct sunlight. In the cold, discards foliage. It is similar to viviparous asplenium, but it has narrower leaves.

Did you know? In New Zealand, the bulbous aspenium is called pikopiko or mauku, which translates as “laying hen”. There, its leaves are considered edible.


Asplenium skolopendrovy (common leaflet or skolopendrovy, deer tongue, Asplénium scolopéndrium) in the wild is a rare specimen, it can be found between southeast Sweden and the Mediterranean, in the north of America and Asia.

The name of the plant is associated with spores that are attached to the back of the leaves in the form of oblong sores resembling centipedes (in Latin - scolopendrium). The leaves are dense, green, the hue is dark, the shape is in the form of a belt, they grow up to 80 cm long, up to 6 cm wide, the ends of large leaves bend down, the cuttings are short. The edges of the leaves are wavy, curly in some species.

Did you know? Fern deer tongue belongs to the remnants of the ice age and is a witness to the extinction of dinosaurs.

He likes moist carbonate or peat soils, limestone rocks, prefers a shadow near a beech, maple or coniferous trees. It is widely used in medicine for the treatment of:

  • coughing
  • tuberculosis;
  • lung diseases;
  • skin diseases;
  • kidney disease;
  • infertility
  • problems with the stomach, liver, spleen;
  • bladder stones;
  • damage, wounds, ulcers - stops blood, relieves pain, disinfects;
  • malaria
  • infiltrates and tumors.


Asplenium anticum (ancient, ancient, Asplenium antiquum) grows in the east of Asia, in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, on tree trunks, in poorly lit forests, on rocks. In nature is endangered. This is an evergreen plant about 1 m high and the same size wide with xiphoid bright green leaves, the middle of which is dense, and the edges are thin.

It is often confused with nesting ossicles, but the latter has leaves of the same thickness. It is undemanding to the soil, but needs good watering, indirect sunlight, protection from frost.


Asplenium osaka is the trade name for the nesting bones (Asplenium nidus), one of the species. This perennial evergreen fern looks like a rosette of arched leaves with ruffled edges up to 60 cm high. The color of the leaves is light green, the middle in the lower part is black, in the upper part it is light, the leaves form a funnel. On the underside of the leaves are spores in long rows of sores located at an angle to the center.

Did you know? In Taiwan, nestling bone sprouts are cut into small pieces and fried with garlic and chili.

Nesting fern - an epiphytic plant, often grows on palm trees and bromeliads, but can also grow on moist, fertilized soil. Under natural conditions, it can be found in the east of the tropical part of Africa, in Tanzania, in the temperate and tropical climates of Asia (Indonesia, East Timor, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand). It is widely cultivated as a houseplant, while it is often confused with a South Asian ossicle, which has longer soruses and a dense funnel of leaves.

In folk medicine, asthma and ulcers are treated with this fern, eliminate bad breath, and neutralize muscle weakness.


Asplenium Crispy wave (crunchy waves, green climbing, Asplenium Crispy Wave) - a new species in the family of nesting ferns, known since 1961 thanks to gardener Haruo Sugimoto, who found it in the forest, improved and registered. The edges of the shiny yellow-green sword-shaped leaves resemble shuttlecocks, have a beautiful corrugated structure. Cuttings of leaves form a rosette, as in a bird's nest. The plant loves moisture without swamping.

Breeding methods

At home, the plant can be propagated:

  1. The kidneys. So the bulbous and viviparous ferns multiply. From small bulbs at the ends of the leaves of the mother plant, a tiny daughter fern grows, which naturally falls away on its own. At home, you need to carefully disconnect the kidney and a piece of the sheet adjacent to it, prepare a small pot with well-moistened rich soil and cover, not forgetting to periodically water and ventilate. When the growth of the plant is noticeable, it is no longer necessary to cover.
  2. Dividing the rhizome. This method is used during the spring transplant for large ferns. A root that is well cleaned from the ground with a sharp knife is divided into parts that are placed in prepared pots with earth. After such propagation, the plant leaves for about a month, needs fertilizers that can only be sprayed with leaves, then grows at the usual pace and does not require special care.
  3. Disputes. In the spring, a large sheet of fern is cut together with mature spores, which are carefully removed on a clean paper sheet. Spores are scattered over the sterilized and moistened soil, and covered, not forgetting to air and water daily as necessary. Then the container with the spores is transferred to a dark warm place, where the temperature is not lower than +22 ° С. Germination of spores takes several months, after which it is necessary to thin out the sprouts, removing weak ones, leaving a distance of 3 cm between them. After another month, they pick.

Care and necessary conditions for growing

To create the necessary conditions for indoor asplenium, you need to choose the right one:

  • pot;
  • priming;
  • fertilizers;
  • temperature and light conditions;
  • humidity level;
  • and also observe the rules of pruning and transplanting plants.

Pot selection

Fern loves that the pot is not very wide and large. In a large pot, the fern will receive more water than necessary, and watering will take place less often. This can lead to fungal diseases. However, in a small pot, the asplenium will also be uncomfortable.

Important! When choosing a pot, focus on the diameter of the crown of the fern - a container with a diameter of 2–2.5 times smaller than the crown will do well. If it turns out that a week after watering, the soil in the pot is still wet, you have chosen a pot that is too large.

The material from which the pot is made may be:

  • plastic;
  • clay.
Plastic is light and comfortable, but short-lived, does not allow the plant to breathe, does not retain water. Clay will last much longer, it retains moisture better, it is heavier, therefore more stable, which matters if the plant is large and there are children or animals in the house. However, clay pots suffer from fungi.

The pot should not stand closely on the pallet, there should be a small distance between them. At the bottom of the pot you need to install drainage. Remember to keep it clean. It is very important that the pot fits organically into the interior of the room and combines with the asplenium, then the bones will serve as a good decoration for your home.

Soil and fertilizer

For the bones, a weakly acidic, nutritious, loose soil is best suited, which passes moisture and air well. These plants can also be grown on open, well-fertilized soil near the house, if your region has a warm climate all year round. Epiphytic species look good on other trees.

Important! It is best to plant a plant in the foggy wet months of spring.

If you harvest the soil yourself, use sheet, peat, humus and coarse sand in the proportions of 3: 2: 1: 1 or turf, peat, coarse sand in the proportions of 1: 1: 1.

During the period of active growth, the plant needs liquid fertilizers, which should be applied at least twice a month, and with the onset of the cold period, the fern should no longer be fertilized.

Optimum temperature and humidity

Asplenium is a thermophilic and hygrophilous plant. In frost-free regions, it can withstand a short-term drop in temperature to 0 ° C, but this should not be abused. It is necessary to water the plant as it dries, about 1 time per week with soft settled water. A slight drying of the soil will not damage ferns, but it is better to maintain uniform humidity.

Important! The ideal temperature for the bones is from +16 to +21 ° C, the minimum is +13 ° C.

The soil should be moist, but not wet, otherwise the process of decay will begin. For the same reason, water should not be poured into the center of the outlet, but under the leaves on the ground. Moisturizing is facilitated by rubbing dust from large leaves with a damp cloth (it is better not to touch young leaves, they do not like this) and spraying the plant. Moist peat or sphagnum moss will help keep moisture in the pot.

Light mode

Ferns should not be exposed to bright sunlight, so the southern windows are not suitable for them. In a very shaded place, the bone will grow poorly. If it is not possible to install the plant in a place with medium light, provide shelter from direct sunlight. Kostenets will feel good in a bathroom with a window.

Pruning and transplanting

Asplenium roots are closely intertwined, so they are easy to damage during transplantation. To prevent this, transplant the plant only when the roots fill the pot or after purchase. It is possible to determine that the pot is small, according to how moisture is absorbed: if it is poorly absorbed, it is time to transplant. The ossicles are transplanted in the spring, and sometimes it is necessary to break the pot, since the plant is firmly attached to the walls by its roots.

Find out how and when to transplant indoor plants.

During the transplant, you need to carefully inspect the roots and remove the blackened or rotten. When you clean them from the ground, do not damage the root system. Cut dead or yellowed leaves regularly to maintain the beauty of the plant. It is not recommended to touch living leaves; protect them from damage by children or animals.

Video: transplantation and care of asplenium

Major diseases and pests

Asplenium is susceptible to such diseases:

  1. Root or gray rot - fern stops growing, the soil has a musty smell, the leaves turn brown first, then black, black flies fly around. You need to transplant the plant into a new pot with different soil, washing the roots in soapy water and removing the damaged ones. The old pot can be used after treatment with bleach, which then must be thoroughly washed with soap, or after washing in a dishwasher.
  2. Leaves curl - low room temperature.

  3. Bacteriosis of leaves - spots appear on leaf blades that should be treated with a soap solution. The ailment is usually caused by improper watering.
  4. Leaf spotting - occurs when fertilizer is not used properly. It is necessary to maintain the proper acidity of the soil.

  5. Burns - arise from drafts or dry air. Move the plant to another location.
  6. The leaves are pale, thin - not enough light.

The following insects harm the Cossacks:

  1. Aphids are small, almost transparent insects that feed on plant sap. It helps spraying with soapy water infused with garlic.
  2. Spider mite - manifested by small white dots and thin cobwebs on plants. It helps spraying with infusions of dandelion, bleached, alder, chamomile, tobacco, onion peel or garlic.
  3. Leaf nematode - manifests itself as brown spots near the central vein and edges. It is not easy to remove it, so it is often recommended to get rid of the plant. You can try to remove the plant from the pot and wash it in soapy water at a temperature of +50 ° C for at least 10 minutes and plant it in a new pot with new soil. The old pot is to be processed.
  4. Mealybug - a well-visible shaggy louse sucking juice from a plant and secreting a white waxy coating. The plant is wiped with a cloth soaked in soapy water, sprayed with garlic, tobacco or cyclamen infusion.
  5. Thrips are sucking insects, with their appearance small dots appear on the leaves. They are fought with fungicides.
  6. Whiteflies are small white moths laying eggs, from which gray larvae hatch. The plant is treated with special preparations.

Read more about what and how to feed indoor plants at home.

Thus, the asplenium will serve as a good decoration of any home and household plot. You can choose the type that you prefer, or plant several different ones. To preserve the beauty of the fern, do not forget to properly care for it.

Interesting Articles