Blehnum - not a fern for everyone
One of the most original types of indoor ferns, Blechnum is rightfully considered one of the most moody. Its thermophilicity and moisture requirements have turned this relic plant into a true legend. Blehnum, or the little ladies in the room, is not a fern for everyone, but it is surprisingly beautiful. The rather large sizes and the vaya leaves remotely resembling palm trees will easily overshadow any other decorative foliage plant in your interior.
Blehnum - almost the most moody of ferns
Ferns are plants that are easily recognizable not only because of their appearance, but also by their unique character. Moisturizing, loving stable conditions and quality care, these ancient inhabitants of the interiors, however, are not at all homogeneous in their capriciousness.
Among ferns there are plants that are suitable even for beginners, and species that only experienced gardeners can grow. Derbyanka is just one of the last. It is often called one of the most “serious” or demanding ferns introduced into indoor culture. And this plant fully justifies its reputation.
Botanical name derbyanok or palm ferns, as these delicate aristocrats like to call us - blackfish (Blechnum) They represent the family of the same name Derbyankovyh (Blechnaceae). The appearance of these ferns is much more reminiscent of palm trees, rather than their counterparts. After all, long cirrus leaves are so similar in cross section to the narrow symmetrical lobes of vai cirrus palm trees, but only in miniature and from a distance. And although the development of leaves and the form of growth is typical for ferns, the older the plant becomes, the more it resembles palm trees.
Derbyanki are slow-growing ferns. With a height of 50 cm to 1 m, this species cannot be ranked as the most compact of indoor relics. The leaves are collected in strict sockets, long enough, look both impressive and airy due to the gaps between the lobes, and not their dense arrangement. Petioles are shortened or almost imperceptible. In addition, the leaves, with their slight drooping, further emphasize the grace and originality of the fern, which manifests itself with age.
Rhizomes are thick, gradually modified rhizome acquires a trunk-like shape and rises to a height of half a meter, which makes it similar to palm trees. Derbyanki rarely bloom and by no means regularly give spores even in ideal conditions for them, so getting an opportunity to grow ferns from spores is a great success. Sporangia are located almost on the edge of the segments, on the underside of the leaves.
In nature, the species diversity of blehnums is measured by several hundred plants. In room culture, everything is much simpler: the most commonly found is Humpback Blechnum (Blechnum gibbum). The plant is sometimes sold under the name of another garden fern from this family, the Blechnum spicant. But the spiky grass is a plant of open ground, you should not confuse the two species with each other, because they differ both in character and in scope.
The “greenhouse” species of blackheads are considered very rare - the olive-green broadleaf Brazilian blackleaf (Blechnum brasiliense); flaunting with a charming pattern of lobes, Blechnum serrulatum and compact dark-leafed, with almost black petioles, look of Blechnum moorei.
Home Care for Blechnum
Blehnumy feel great in greenhouses and conservatories, flower shop windows. These are very capricious plants, famous for their heat and moisture lovingness. But even if derby women are not suitable for beginners, experienced gardeners can experiment with this magnificent fern in indoor conditions. This plant is for those who love the difficulties and difficult nature of their pets.
Lighting for blehnum
Derbyanki feel great only in “medium” lighting - not too bright, but not too shaded. Solar and even diffusedly bright platforms will not suit them, but all penumbra locations will be an excellent refuge.
The lover of partial shade, Blechnum feels good not on the windowsills, but not far from them in the interior, which allows the use of derbyanka as an exclusive decoration of rooms, a noble, architectural, strictly aristocratic accent.
Comfortable temperature regime for Blekhnum
Without a constant warm environment, no success can be achieved in the cultivation of Blehnum, but fern combines its heat lovingness with dislike of heat.
This houseplant is very demanding on temperatures and can not stand even a slight cool. The minimum permissible air temperature for this fern is -16 degrees, and then the plant will withstand such indicators only in winter. But even in the warm season, blehnums prefer restrained conditions, poorly tolerating hot temperatures above 25 degrees. The closer the temperature will be in summer to 20-23 degrees, and in winter - to 18 degrees, the better. It is necessary to control not only the air temperature, but also the temperature of the soil.
One of the most “complex” features of this fern is a love of fresh air. Blehnumy need accurate, but constant airing. The plant will prefer to spend summer in the fresh air, but only if there it is protected from the heat and will continue to receive regular care.
Blekhnum are extremely sensitive to drafts and any changes in air temperature. Plants need to be protected during ventilation, and even from active "walks" around the room, not to mention air conditioners or heating appliances. Particular attention should be paid to protecting the bottom of the pot: its cooling can lead to the death of the plant even faster than drought. Therefore, it is better to place blehnums on stands, protecting from possible overcooling of floor or furniture materials.
Irrigation and humidity for blehnum
Without constant high soil moisture, blehnum cannot be grown, but the plant does not like excessive moisture. The balance between comfortable humidity and waterlogging can be observed only by carefully checking the condition of the substrate and studying the reaction of the plant itself. The roots of this fern should be in a stably moist environment, drying out for them is fatal.
Water for blehnums will also have to be carefully selected: this type of ferns cannot tolerate non-soft watering, even a small amount of lime can destroy the plant. In addition to upholding, you will have to take care of the temperature of the water: it should be several degrees higher than the temperature of the earth coma.
But even the requirements for stable heat, characteristic of blackheads, overshadows their need for humidity. The indicators for this fern should not only be high, but very high, from 75%. And while the plant can not be sprayed (even rare these procedures will lead to a deplorable look wai), so the task of creating a comfortable environment is not so simple.
Humidifier devices, home or industrial, will cope with the task, as well as placing the plant in the florarium, proximity to indoor fountains and aquariums. A comfortable environment for ferns can also be achieved by growing and immersing the pots in a large external container filled with expanded clay, wet pebbles, peat, hydrogel, etc.
This fern needs regular top dressing. Fertilizers for it are applied at a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks. For blehnum, special mixtures of fertilizers for ferns or at least fertilizers for decorative and deciduous crops are more suitable. The dosage recommended by the manufacturer, even when using special fertilizers for ferns, is reduced by 2 times.
Feeding for blehnum completely stop for the period from October to February. After transplanting, top dressing is not carried out from 3 months to six months, often introducing them only in the second year after carrying in a new container. It is also worth doing with a newly acquired plant.
No matter how beautiful the blehnum may be, without regular cleaning it will look sloppy and neglected. At this fern, the lower old leaves lie, turn yellow and dry, but do not fall off themselves. They need to be cut at the very base of the stem, without leaving stumps, removing, as soon as they begin to greatly spoil the decorative rosettes. Healthy and young vayi should not be touched, even if they are “knocked out” from the common crown of old plants.
Blehnum transplant and substrate
Changing the capacity for this capricious and loving stable fern environment is always very stressful. Therefore, blehnums are not transplanted annually, but only when there is a real need to change the capacity and substrate, the plant simply has nowhere to develop further. This fern prefers emergency rather than planned transplants.
Change of pots and substrate can be carried out in the spring and summer, at any convenient time, which expands the possibility of longer avoiding the transplant procedure.
Even the soil for this fern must be specific. Derbyanki need a loose, rough substrate with a high content of humus. Soil reaction for blehnum is preferred with a pH of about 5.0. When mixing independently, equal parts of peat and humus are usually combined, taken with half the amount of sand and chopped moss.
This procedure itself should go as carefully as possible. A few days before transplanting, the fern is watered abundantly. When transplanting, it is advisable to minimize contact with the roots of the fern by simply transplanting the plant and slightly cleaning the upper contaminated soil layer, but acting very carefully.
After transplantation, blehnums need accurate watering, but very high humidity. It is better not to feed them until the plant uses a supply of nutrients from the soil. This fern without top dressing can do even within 5-6 months. Only after that, supplementary feeding at the usual frequency is introduced into the care program.
The containers for blehnum should not be cramped: usually when transplanting, the size of the pots is increased not by 2-3, but by 4-5 cm, so that the roots have where to develop, but they should not be too spacious. The choice of not too large, but still large pots allows not only to create the most comfortable environment for growth and development, but also to avoid frequent transplants.
Diseases and Pests of Blechnum
On pomegranates, pests are quite frequent guests. The slightest deviation from optimal care is enough, as this fern becomes vulnerable to scutes, spider mites, thrips, felt, aphids. It is better to fight them immediately with insecticides.
Common growing problems:
- drying of the tips of the leaves in very dry air, near heating appliances, in drafts;
- depressed appearance with a lack of fresh air;
- yellowing of leaves at too hot temperatures;
- the appearance of brown spots on the leaves in the absence of airing and heat;
- growth retardation at low humidity, improper selection of substrate;
- translucency, lethargy, blanching of leaves in too bright a light;
- dull leaves with yellow or brown tips, combined with stunting, when the wrong choice of capacity, poor dressing;
- curling leaves after yellowing and browning, wilting or dying off of young leaves in the cold, when watering with hard or cold water.
This fern is propagated mainly by spores. Spores are shaken off onto the surface of a moistened, flattened substrate in wide but shallow containers, and then the crops must be covered with a film or glass. They are germinated in a moist and acidic substrate (peat or peat-sand mixture), at a stable temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, with lower heating and in complete shadow until the first shoots appear.
The emergence of seedlings can be expected for several months. Young plants need soft lighting and extremely stable conditions; they are grown in greenhouses. Thinning is carried out as soon as the plants are strong, leaving no more than one plant for every 2-3 cm of soil. They can be dived into separate containers after the plants grow to a height of five centimeters.
The separation of blehnums is rarely resorted to, since the fern painfully tolerates even an ordinary transplant. But if the plant has grown too much or there is no other option, if you like to experiment, then when transplanting, you can try to divide the rhizome. This procedure can only be carried out on ferns with at least 4 strong growth points.
Divide the room blehnums into large pieces with one (preferably 2 - 3) strong growth point and powerful roots, working with a sharp knife, immediately processing slices. Plants will need a long adaptation, accurate and thorough care.