Are you are interested in low-maintenance ferns with beautiful foliage? Yes! You are at the right place. Silver Lace Fern is a short and attractive indoor ornamental plant. This is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. The dark-green narrow lacy fronds with prominent central silvery variegation and ruffled margins make it a true eye candy.
Thinking about the uses? The Pteris Silver lace makes beautiful hanging baskets, vivariums, fairy gardens, and table pots. Moreover, the attractive little Sword Fern does equally well as a stand-alone as well as in combination with other plants. Interesting? Let us learn more about the rare and exotic, Pteris ensiformis plant along with its care and propagation.
Silver Lace Fern Classification
Species: P. ensiformis.
Pteridaceae comprises more than 1150 Fern plants. The family is divided into around 45 different genera. According to a recent botanical analysis, the family is yet not described completely and needs revisions for proper analysis.
Ferns can have a climbing or erect rhizomatous growth habit. Leaves of the Ferns, called fronds have some particular features. They are usually compound with linear sori at the frond margins.
Sori are the clusters of spore-producing plant parts in ferns and fungi.
This genus constitutes about 300 different fern species known as Brakes. They are usually native to the different tropical and subtropical zones in the world. The word ‘Pteris’ refers to the feathery appearance of the fronds. Moreover, these fronds are divided into two basic types. Some of them have liner segments, while others have sub-palmate divisions.
Silver Lace Fern Other Names
- Slender brake fern.
- Sword brake fern.
- Variegated leaf fern.
The terms Sword and Slender refer to the narrow, somewhat oval fronds of the plant. Because of the similar leaf structure, these names are used for other ferns as well.
Silver Lace Fern Varieties
- Furcans Ching. (1983)
- Grevilleana Clarke ex-Bedd. (1883)
- Merrillii S.H. Wu (1990)
- Victoriae Baker (1890).
Silver Lace Fern Cultivars
- Pteris ensiformis ‘Victoriae’.
(Commonly known as the Victoria Fern).
- Pteris ensiformis ‘Evergemiensis’.
Silver Lace Fern Plant Features
Height and Spread
- The height and spread of plants vary with environmental features and space available for growth. In open space, the plant may grow up to a height and spread around 25 inches.
- The root system of the ferns is in the form of underground rhizomes.
- The leaves are around 6 inches long and 3 inches wide.
Ferns are usually non-toxic for your kids and pets. However, ingestion of house plants is not healthy for the babies. Thus, we always advise keeping an eye on kids and pets to avoid any health risks.
The plant is a medium to fast grower.
- The Sword Brake Fern is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
- Additionally, it is a common ingredient in the local ancient drink in Taiwan.
Silver Lace Fern For Sale
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Silver Lace Fern Care
The basic part of Silver Lace Fern Plant Care is maintaining appropriate moisture of the soil. You need to keep the soil at least 70 % moist, but not soggy at all. Water the soil generously, until the water comes out of the drainage holes. You can estimate a schedule to water about thrice a week in summer. Moreover, once or twice a week will be enough in winter.
It is important to avoid over-watering. As any standing water at the pot base will lead to fungus and root rot.
Bright to medium indirect sunlight is optimum for the plant. Avoid keeping your Fern in direct sunlight especially in the peak hours. This will save the delicate fronds from scorching out.
Artificial LED light is suitable enough to fulfil the light requirements of a Silver lace Fern Indoors. Thus, you can easily maintain the plant in vivariums, terrariums, and places with no sunlight exposure. Importantly, if you are using strong LED light, avoid keeping the plant in a window or in direct sunlight exposure.
The ideal temperature for the Lace Fern ranges between 60 to 75 °F. These plants can’t bear cold and frost. Thus, any temperature below 55 °F will result in stagnant growth of the plant. Moreover, keep the plant away from the drafts and direct pressure of devices like air conditioners and fans.
Well-drained soil with a PH range of 5.6 to 7 will do well along with your fern plant. You can also a good quality potting mixture easily available in the market. Do you want a homemade growing medium? Consider using a balanced mixture of peat-based soil and perlite.
Being the natives of tropical regions, Ferns usually love humidity. The P. ensiformis do well in 70 to 80% humidity. In dry weather, you can adjust the moisture by frequent mild misting. Moreover, you can also place a humidifier in the room or put a pebble-water tray under the pot.
Fronds are getting dry with the browning of margins is a possible sign of inadequate humidity. Start misting immediately and add a pebble-water tray or a humidifier.
The Ensiformis Fern can do well without fertilizer. However, any additional nutrients on warm days will result in healthy foliage and enhanced growth. You can use a good quality house plant fertilizer preferably in liquid form and half of the stated dose. An ideal fertilizing frequency is once a month in spring and summer. Howbeit, the plant growth slows down on the colder days. Thus, it doesn’t need any additional feed in fall and winter.
Importantly, dry soil is not suitable for fertilizer. The reason being it causes the formation of crystals on the soil. Thus, make sure you always use fertilizer on damp soil.
The plant may grow out of the container. In this case, you can pinch or cut a few branches from the lower side. This will maintain the size, appearance, and enhance growth. You may prune or pinch at any time. However, summer is an ideal time for pruning.
You can consider re-potting once a year in fresh soil or the growing medium. If the rhizome seems to be getting congested in the pot, repotting is a definite requirement. The ideal time to repot a plant in – the spring!
They belong to minimum USDA hardiness zones 9A to 11. The Sunset Zones are 17, 23, and 24.
Silver Lace Fern Propagation
- In wild, Ferns usually propagate through the dispersal of spores.
- Moreover, these plants spread by growing new stems from the rhizome. These pups clump around the mother plant and form more plants. Domestically, you can propagate the plant by repotting the clumps or by the division of the rhizome.
Propagation by Spores
To be honest, his is usually a time taking process. Sometimes, the spores may take months to grow out. Thus, the ideal way to get a new fern baby from a previous one is by dividing the rhizome.
Division of Rhizome
- Just loose the soil around the parent plant and gently take it out from the soil.
- Now take a sharp sheer and cut a 2 inches piece from the rhizome. Make sure that the mini rhizome piece has at least one stem and a frond.
- Now, plant the mother rhizome and the cut piece in moist mediums at the desired places. Make sure the rhizome is half below the soil surface.
- Place the pots in a warm humid place with indirect light or partial shade.
- Keep misting the soil of the baby rhizome mildly. New shoots will develop start developing after a month.
Silver Lace Fern is a small fern popular as an indoor ornamental plant. The beautiful dark-green narrow fronds have a central silvery variegated area and ruffled margins. The Silver Lace Fern Care includes frequent watering, moist warm place, and indirect sunlight. This is a non-toxic plant that has numerous cultivars and varieties. Moreover, it makes beautiful hanging baskets, fairy gardens, and vivariums.