How to Propagate Maidenhair Fern


Maidenhair ferns, part of the botanical genus Adiantum, are tender stems covered in thin, lacy looking green leaves often associated with woodland and forested groundcovers. Indoor maidenhair ferns can be grown in diffused lighting with proper humidity levels. Maidenahir's fan-shaped fronds provide textural interest alongside more typical, linear-foliage houseplants. Propagating maidenhair ferns can be a rewarding process when new ferns emerge from spores of existing plants. Create your own indoor fern garden by propagating maidenhair species.

Things You'll Need

  • Maidenhair fern leaves
  • Paper sacks
  • Peat moss seed start medium
  • Plastic bags
  • 2-inch pots
  • 3-inch pots
  • Cut fronds from the mother plant in summer when spores are ripe. Ripe spores appear as dark yellow or brown dots on the underside of the maidenhair fern leaf.

  • Place fronds in a paper sack and close. Allow the frond to shrivel and the spores will dry, dropping from the frond into the sack.

  • Fill plastic bags with peat moss seed starting medium. Lay the spores on the top of the medium and water well to evenly moisten the growing medium. Close the bags and place in an area where the temperature is maintained at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Remove the baby ferns from bags when they are 1 inch tall, potting them in groups in 2-inch pots. Keep the potting medium moist, but do not overwater as algae can quickly form and kill delicate starts.

  • Transplant the maidenhair fern starts to individual 3-inch pots when they have reached a height of 3 inches. This process may take time, so patience and regular watering is critical to success in the propagation process.

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  • Photo Credit fern image by Kanisdha Buasri from
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