Asplenium bulbiferum (Commonly known as Mother spleenwort or Hen and chicken fern) is an evergreen fern. The versatile fern has dark green arching fronds which can grow up to 24 inches long and 9 inches wide and they grow on black stalks. Each frond is split into between twenty and thirty leaflets. The fronds produce small daughter plantlets on the leaves, which separate from the mother plant to become new ferns. Hence it is called as ‘chickens’ of the ‘hen’ plant. Its fronds are eaten as a vegetable. It is very easy to grow at indoor and outdoor.
Scientific Name: Asplenium bulbiferum
Common Name: Mother spleenwort, Hen and chicken fern.
How to grow and maintain Asplenium bulbiferum:
It thrives best in a partial shade to full shade exposure.
It grows well in humus rich, moist but well-drained soil.
It requires an ideal temperature between 16 to 21°C (61-70°F) with a minimum temperature of 10°C (50°F). Keep your mother spleenwort away from droughts and direct contact with heat.
Ferns must be kept moist at all times and must never be allowed to dry out, however, waterlogging will cause root rot and rapid death. When growing ferns in pots, use an open, friable mix that drains instantly and water plants daily. Make sure that the drainage holes of the pot are not in contact with the water in the drip tray.
Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a general purpose fertilizer.
It can be easily propagated from the buds on the fronds. The bulbils produced will transform into new plants, in nature they will touch the ground and send down roots, this can be encouraged in the garden as well. Plants can also be divided in spring.
Re-potting is required only when the root ball turns out to be so thick and crowded that the pot is full of roots and obviously the plant is not absorbing enough moisture when watered. When this occurs, move plants into pots one size larger in the spring. The roots of these plants will often adhere firmly to the sides of a pot and in some cases, it may be necessary to carefully break the pot to be able to expel the plant.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems.