Nephrolepis - air filter
It is widely believed that nephrolepis plays the role of a kind of living "air filter". In particular, it is believed that this plant is capable of absorbing and neutralizing pairs of substances harmful to human health, such as xylene, toluene and formaldehyde. It neutralizes this plant and substances that enter a closed room together with air exhaled by people.
In addition, it is believed that nephrolepis reduces the concentration of microbes in the air that can be carried by airborne droplets. As a result, the room where the nephrolepis is located is much easier to breathe. The local population of Guyana uses double-sawed nephrolepis leaves to treat wounds and cuts.
Nephrolepis is considered one of the most beautiful ferns. If nephrolepis is in close contact with other plants or furniture, fragile fern leaves may be damaged.
Description of Nephrolepis
Nephrolepis (Nephrolepis) Is a genus of ferns of the Lomariopsis family, but in some classifications it is included in the Davalliev family. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words nephros (νεφρός) - "kidney" and lepis (λεπίς) - "scales", in the shape of a porch.
The genus Nephrolepsis includes about 30 species, some of which grow in open places and therefore well tolerate sunlight. Nephrolepis grows in tropical areas in America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. Outside the tropics, nephrolepsis is found in Japan and New Zealand.
The shortened stems of the plant give thin horizontal shoots on which new leaf rosettes develop. Cirrus leaves, preserving apical growth for several years and reaching a length of 3 m or more. Nephrolepis soruses are located at the ends of the veins. They are either rounded or elongated along the edge, as in genital nephrolepis. Bract rounded or oblong, fixed at one point or attached along the base. Leg sporangia of different ages within the same sorus. The spores are small, with a more or less clearly distinguishable feather bed.
In addition to the usual reproduction using spores, nephrolepis easily reproduce vegetatively. On their rhizomes, ground leafless, scaly covered rooting shoots form, similar to strawberry mustaches. This is a very effective breeding tool. Within one year, one plant can form over a hundred new ones. Some species of this genus reproduce with the help of tubers, which are formed in abundance on underground shoots - stolons.
Features of nephrolepis
Temperature: Nephrolepis belongs to thermophilic ferns; temperature in summer is about 20-22 ° C, in winter it is not lower than 13-15 ° C. It does not tolerate drafts.
Lighting: The place for nephrolepis should be quite bright, but with shading from direct sunlight, light partial shade is acceptable. Nephrolepis can grow in quite dark places, but the bush will be liquid and ugly.
Watering: Watering only with distilled lime-free water. Watering is plentiful in spring and summer, moderate in winter, but the soil should be moist all the time. The root neck protrudes from the pot over time, which makes it difficult to water; in this case, watering from the pallet is recommended.
Fertilizer: Top dressing with liquid fertilizer for indoor decorative leafy plants from May to August every two weeks. Or weekly diluted fertilizer.
Air humidity: Nephrolepis, despite its endurance, does not tolerate dry air well, and therefore requires frequent spraying. Ideal humidity is about 50-55%. It is necessary to place the plant away from radiators and batteries.
Transfer: The transplant is carried out in the spring, only when the roots fill the entire pot. The soil should have a slightly acidic reaction. Soil - 1 part light turf, 1 part leafy, 1 part peat, 1 part humus and 1 part sand.
Breeding: Reproduction mainly by division or layering.
Care for Nephrolepis
Nephrolepis prefers diffused light, without direct sunlight.
The best place for placement is windows with a western or eastern orientation. On windows with a southern orientation, nephrolepis is placed away from the window or scattered light is created by translucent fabric or paper (gauze, tulle, tracing paper).
On warm summer days, it can be taken out into the open air (balcony, garden), but it should be protected from sunlight, from rain and draft. If you do not have the possibility of placing plants outdoors in the summer, then you should regularly ventilate the room.
In winter, nephrolepsis provide good lighting. You can create additional lighting using fluorescent lamps for this, placing them above the plant at a distance of 50-60 cm, for at least 8 hours a day. In the autumn-winter period, it is also necessary to ventilate the room, but drafts should be avoided.
For the successful growth and well-being of nephrolepis in the spring and summer, the optimum temperature is about 20 ° C, at a temperature above 24 ° C, there should be high humidity, since it is poorly tolerated by high temperatures.
In the autumn-winter, the optimum temperature is in the range of 14-15 ° C, maybe 3 ° C lower, but in this case, watering is reduced and watered carefully and in a small amount. Excessively warm air harms the plant, so it is advisable not to place it near central heating batteries. Drafts should be avoided.
In the spring-summer period, nephrolepis is watered abundantly after the top layer of the substrate dries. In winter, watering is moderate, after a day or two, after the top layer of the substrate dries. The substrate should not be excessively moistened, the soil should always be slightly moist. Nephrolepis is not as sensitive to the occasional drying out of an earthen coma as other ferns, but it is still advisable not to allow it. Young vaiyas can dry out of this.
Like all ferns, nephrolepis prefers high humidity. Spraying is beneficial for him throughout the year. Spray with well-settled or filtered water. For nephrolepis, it is necessary to choose a place with maximum humidity. With dry indoor air, spraying is necessary at least once, and ideally twice a day. To increase humidity, the plant can be placed on a pallet with wet moss, expanded clay or pebbles. In this case, the bottom of the pot should not touch the water.
Periodically, nephrolepis can be washed in the shower. This procedure cleans the dust of the plant, additionally moistening its vaya, during washing, close the pot with a bag so that water does not get into the substrate.
Nephrolepis is fed during the growth period every week with diluted fertilizer (1/4-1/5 norm) for leafy plants. In autumn and winter they do not feed - feeding during this period can lead to a serious disease of the plant.
Young ferns are transplanted once a year in the spring, and adult plants after 2-3 years. It is advisable to transplant the fern into plastic pots that retain soil moisture better than clay. In this case, the pots should be wide and low, since the root system of the fern grows in breadth.
When the pot becomes obviously small to the plant, its color turns pale, and young leaves do not grow well, vayas dry out. When grown in a pot with a diameter of 12 cm, the length of nephrolepis leaves usually reaches 45-50 cm. Larger specimens are also found, with leaf lengths up to 75 cm. Over the course of a year, the plant grows strongly.
The substrate (pH 5-6.5) should be light and consist of equal parts of high peat, coniferous and greenhouse land with the addition of bone meal (5 grams per 1 kg of mixture). It can be grown on clean peat 20 cm thick, as well as in a mixture of 4 parts of deciduous land, one part of peat and sand. It is useful to add charcoal to the ground - this is a good bactericidal agent.
Good drainage is required - nephrolepis loves moist soil, but it is extremely painful for water stagnation and acidification of the soil. During transplantation, do not cover the neck of the fern with earth - leave the top of the rhizome on the ground. Immediately after transplanting, water the plant abundantly and monitor the humidity of the substrate for a week so that the lower leaves do not dry out.
Nephrolepis is propagated by spores (rarely), rooting of pubescent leafless shoots, division of rhizome (bush), some species by stolons (tubers).
When propagating a plant from spores formed on the lower surface of leaves, they are sown in early spring, best of all in a nursery heated from below, where a temperature of 21 ° C is maintained.
Cut a leaf of the plant 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 well developing after thinning can be transplanted into pots with peaty soil - 2-3 plants each.
In nephrolepis, in addition to leaves, terrestrial pubescent leafless shoots are formed, which are easily rooted. Several shoots (lashes) are pressed to the ground surface of another pot with studs or pieces of wire. Watering the cuttings should be so that the substrate in the pot is constantly wet. When the layering grows and new vaiyas appear, they are carefully separated from the mother plant.
When transplanting adult nephrolepis in February-March, you can carefully divide the rhizome, but only so that each divided part has a growth point. If there is one growth point or they are few in number, then you can’t divide the plant, this can lead to death. Young plants after division do not immediately start to grow. Each divided part is planted in a separate pot, covered with a transparent plastic bag, placed in a bright, warm place (without direct sunlight) and regularly watered and sprayed, periodically ventilated.
Heart-shaped nephrolepis is successfully propagated by tubers (stolons). The largest of them reach a length of 2-2.5 m. Young tubers are white or silver due to the numerous flakes covering their surface. When separated, tubers can germinate immediately without any rest period. Usually one plant grows from one tuber. It always has normal leaves, the same as the leaves of the mother plant.
Possible difficulties in growing nephrolepis
Very low humidity in the room, which leads to the drying of the tips of the wai and their subsidence, and also contributes to infection with a spider mite.
Direct sunlight causes plant burns.
Do not use preparations to give gloss to leaves.
Do not fertilize the plant in the autumn-winter period, this leads to nephrolepis disease.
For successful fern growth, light substrates must be used. In heavy plants develop poorly and can die - the soil soups and the roots do not grow.
Types of Nephrolepis
Nephrolepis elevated (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Homeland - the tropics of Southeast Asia. A ground or epiphytic herbaceous plant with a short vertical rhizome, bearing at the top a rosette of large, up to 70 cm long, once-feathery leaves. Leaves in outline are lanceolate, light green, short-leaved. Segments ("feathers") are lanceolate, dl. 5 cm or more, along the edge of an obscure serrate-town. With aging, the leaf turns yellow and falls off.
On the lower side of the segments, closer to the edge, there are rounded sorts - in two rows on both sides of the middle vein. On the rhizome, ground leafless, scaly covered rooting shoots (lashes) are formed, giving rise to new plants. Soruses are rounded, arranged in two rows on both sides of the middle vein, closer to the edge.
There are many garden forms in culture, which differ in the degree of segmentation of segments.
- Bostoniensis - this variety quickly gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, so today there are already dozens of varieties of Boston fern, for example, Rooseveltii (large, with wavy leaves), Maassii (compact, with wavy leaves) and Scottii (compact, with twisted the edges of the leaves).
There are varieties with double-pinnate leaves, in which each leaf is in turn pinnate. There are forms with three and four times pinnately dissected leaves, so that the whole plant looks lacy. These are Fluffy Ruffles (twice cirrus leaves), whitmanh (three times cirrus leaves) and smithii (four times cirrus leaves).
Heart Nephrolepis (Nephrolepis cordifolia)
Homeland - tropical and subtropical forests of both hemispheres. It differs from the previous species by tuberous swellings formed on underground shoots (stolons), as well as leaves directed almost vertically upward (in the elevated N. the leaves are curved) and with a denser arrangement of segments, often overlapping one another, in a tile pattern. In culture since 1841
Xiphoid Nephrolepis (Nephrolepis biserrata)
Homeland - Central America, Florida, tropical islands of the Atlantic. The leaves are large, have a length of more than a meter, sometimes up to 2.5 meters. No tubers. This species is more suitable for greenhouse cultivation than for rooms.
Nephrolepis looks good as an ampel plant and can be placed both in a regular pot and in a hanging basket. Well suited for growing in the halls and on stairwells, and in bathrooms, if there is a window. Do not use chemicals to give shine to the leaves.