Rabbit's Foot Fern Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#59

Unique is definitely a great word to describe Rabbit's Foot Fern but creepy is also another adjective! This low to medium maintenance houseplant can be a great addition to any home!

Botanical Name: Davilla fejeensis

Common Name: Rabbit's Foot Fern, Spider Fern, Squirrel's Foot Fern, Deer's Foot Fern


Sun Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern can handle low light conditions but thrives in bright, indirect light as well! Avoid any direct sunlight because that will cause the foliage to burn. I currently have mine just off an east window and it is doing great!


Water Requirement

These ferns need a bit more moisture and you shouldn't let them completely dry out in-between watering. If you don't water enough, the foliage will become brown. That being said, you still want a well-draining soil and not allow the plant to sit in extra water.


High humidity is definitely a positive factor for the Rabbit's Foot Fern and if you have the opportunity to provide that, you should! But they can tolerate low humidity as well. I currently don't provide extra humidity, besides occasionally misting, and my plant is growing great!


Fertilizer

As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. Unless you are extremely over-fertilizing your plant, there isn't necessarily a wrong way to do this. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer and I fertilize every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active! I use about 1/2 to 3/4 the recommended amount of fertilizer because I would rather under-fertilize than over-fertilize my plants.


Practical Houseplant Book: "Apply a half- strength balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from spring to early fall."


There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.


Propagation

The best way to propagate is dividing when the plant is more mature, or big enough to divide.


Other Facts

  • Part of the Davalliaceae family.

  • Native to Australia, Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands.

  • The lacy foliage is a grey and green color with fuzzy rhizomes trailing over the sides of the plant. The rhizomes are meant to hang over the edge of the pot so make sure not to plant them and bury them in soil.

  • This plant does very well in a hanging basket to show off the unique rhizomes. Another potential home for it would be a kokedama which is a form of Japanese garden art with the plant's root system wrapped in soil and covered with moss. This environment is great for houseplants that tend to need more moisture.

  • Good news! This is a non-toxic plant to pets and humans! Check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!


Instagram Q&A

I asked followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for the Rabbit's Foot Fern...


"All the misting, pebble trays and humidifiers couldn't keep mine alive. Why?"

  • The first question to ask would be if that is the only thing you altered? I assume not but it could have been an issue with light or watering as well. I do not give mine extra humidity and it is doing okay so I would double check your watering patterns and how much light you are giving it.


"When do you know when to repot it?"

  • This is a tricky question because the rhizomes make it hard to check! Usually when plants are just replanted into new pots, they typically don't need to be repotted for a couple years. The best way to check is pulling the plant out of the pot, if possible, and checking the root system. If you can't pull it out easily, that may even be the sign you need to repot it.


"How much water? Does it need a special pot?"

  • Medium moisture is best- I water mine about once a week, I don't provide any extra humidity, and I keep it off an East window. The amount you water can depend on your environment.

 

WANT TO LISTEN?

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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)

 

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