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  #1  
Old 04-26-2019, 08:53 AM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Default Maidenhair fern

Back in February, I asked on a FaceBook SH page if anyone had a maidenhair fern in SH. Decided to go for it. Had purchased two, same size. Both were putting out new growth.

So far, not impressed. Keeping them side by side, so same overall conditions. When one in SH's leaves started to shrivel and dry up, I tried using a heat mat for awhile. Didn't seem to help. I've grown African Violets in SH, which have basically the same super-fine roots. Really wanted this to work. It's not dead yet, but close to it. One on right is still in same plastic pot I purchased them in. It's putting out new fronds.

Any ideas how to make this work?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2019, 02:47 PM
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Love the maidenhair but can't grow them .... my winter humidity is just too low for them to handle.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2019, 08:58 AM
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Me too Paul. That's why I'm trying SH. Figured that would help. So far, not so much. Humidity is always a struggle for me except for the hot summer months.
But heck! I can grow all kinds of orchids... just these darned ferns. I won't stop trying.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:55 AM
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Another, oft-stated, fallacy revealed!

Semi-Hydroponics does little, if anything for humidity. The water vapor spreads rapidly throughout the room, raising the overall humidity only a teeny, tiny (probably immeasurable) little bit.

Also...be careful about ferns growing near orchids, especially S/H orchids. The spores germinate quite readily, and the roots will choke out the orchids. "Ask me how I know..."
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2019, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
Back in February, I asked on a FaceBook SH page if anyone had a maidenhair fern in SH. Decided to go for it. Had purchased two, same size. Both were putting out new growth.

So far, not impressed. Keeping them side by side, so same overall conditions. When one in SH's leaves started to shrivel and dry up, I tried using a heat mat for awhile. Didn't seem to help. I've grown African Violets in SH, which have basically the same super-fine roots. Really wanted this to work. It's not dead yet, but close to it. One on right is still in same plastic pot I purchased them in. It's putting out new fronds.

Any ideas how to make this work?
Why not grow it just like the other one that seems to be happy??
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Another, oft-stated, fallacy revealed!

Semi-Hydroponics does little, if anything for humidity. The water vapor spreads rapidly throughout the room, raising the overall humidity only a teeny, tiny (probably immeasurable) little bit.

Also...be careful about ferns growing near orchids, especially S/H orchids. The spores germinate quite readily, and the roots will choke out the orchids. "Ask me how I know..."
So no different that the "humidity trays," which I know doesn't help raise humidity? I guess that makes sense... no more help than the humidity from a bark base. ;(

I don't keep ferns and S/H orchids in same area. But if I could get maidenhair fern to start popping up in orchids, I'd take it then transplant!

---------- Post added at 09:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:53 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchid Whisperer View Post
Why not grow it just like the other one that seems to be happy??
Well, mostly because it's an experiment and I'm determined to win. Plus, the other one looks happy for now. It's only a few months under my care. I've yet to successfully have one look good after a year's time. And I'm sure it's a humidity issue. These darned maidenhair ferns just can't take the lower humidity levels during the inside months growing season.

I'm getting ready to go back to growing one in a terrarium. Bought a couple of new ferns, breaking out a 20 long aquarium and have at least one that looks nice. Mostly I'm stubborn, and want to grow one in an area where I want it to be instead of where it wants to be.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:12 AM
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What if you were to use a very tall container, like a vase? You could drill for standard s/h drainage and fill with enough media to allow the plant a good amount of room to grow up while still in the container. That would seem to have to help increase humidity. A typical vase would likely be too narrow for long term use, but a larger container could work out.



Edit: duh.....like an aquarium? Can't believe I didn't think of that right off the bat! Essentially a great big, semi-hydroponic terrarium. Drill for a bulkhead fitting at the proper height and plumb the waste water into a sump for recirculation, or right down the drain.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrosa View Post
What if you were to use a very tall container, like a vase? You could drill for standard s/h drainage and fill with enough media to allow the plant a good amount of room to grow up while still in the container. That would seem to have to help increase humidity. A typical vase would likely be too narrow for long term use, but a larger container could work out.



Edit: duh.....like an aquarium? Can't believe I didn't think of that right off the bat! Essentially a great big, semi-hydroponic terrarium. Drill for a bulkhead fitting at the proper height and plumb the waste water into a sump for recirculation, or right down the drain.
I have a vase (12") wide, couple of feet tall. Like the ones you see in vanda vase culture at the supermarket. Maidenhairs "floof" out so quickly I doubt it would be worth the time. I have a 5 gallon glass bottle, but I'm too afraid to try drilling a hole. It was one my grandma had a terrarium in and I don't wanna take the chance.

I'm putting a fern collection into a 55 (bigger is better, right?) regular old terrarium style, with maybe a few orchids. Never tried it, and want to.

Gonna do the S/H idea in the 20 long, with a couple of paphs, maybe a phrag, and try a maidenhair in middle as a centerpiece. (bought two more starts yesterday) Thought is if the maidenhair sees other plants growing successfully in S/H it would step up its game.

I've never drilled an aquarium before...always bought them already drilled. I'm awaiting a larger size bit off Amazon, and don't really want a 55 to be my first experiment. I'm a bit chicken.

Last edited by WaterWitchin; 04-29-2019 at 09:43 AM..
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2019, 11:21 AM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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I have 2 ferns in SH, but they are not maidenhair ferns. It took them several months to make the transition.

These were cheap "fairy garden" plants in 1" pots. I started them in 12 oz cups for SH. They didn't do anything, as in they didn't die but they also didn't grow or show signs of adapting. I moved them at the same time that I moved some african violets. ANYWAY, after 4 months, I decided it wasn't working and I got ready to take the ferns out and they had actually filled the cups with roots and had roots growing out of the draining holes.

What I have had to do for them is keep them bagged. They are now in bigger SH containers and doing well. Not crazy about the look of plants shrouded in plastic but it works. Also, as they get bigger, it's hard to find nice clear bags that fit.

My violets, on the other hand, have been much happier moved out of SH. I couldn't flush the pots without disturbing the plants, so they're back in a non-flushing wicking setup.

Another thing about the ferns is that with the initial transition, I couldn't remove all the potting medium, so that came over into the cups. At this point, they are well rooted in the hydroton so that I could lift them with the hydroton as a solid mass and move them into bigger containers.

In July, when it's warmer and more humid, I'll try removing the bags and see how they do, but I believe the bags make a huge difference. I've had to bag a few orchids in SH as well.
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2019, 09:36 AM
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I still have a couple of violets in S/H... for me, they grow best in regular soil, watered from bottom. I'll likely move them back. After watching them for a couple of years, just not as satisfied with their growth or look.

Pretty positive it's the humidity level with the maidenhair fern. They're a struggle for me regardless of how I grow them. I've grown a couple of other ferns in S/H... but they're not nearly as picky about humidity as a maidenhair.

I don't want a "bag" effect... want the decorative, main part of my house effect. The problem is once they obtain any size I haven't been able to provide enough humidity. Touchy little buggers. Summer in Kansas... plenty of humidity, but too much heat and wind outside and A/C sucking out humidity in house. Winter... fight to keep a grow space where I can keep humidity at 50-60%. A losing battle for a maidenhair.

I'm going to try it in S/H, but inside a terrarium that I'm building. Hopefully, I'll get the best of both worlds.
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