Ultimate Crispy Wave Fern Care and Propagation Guide

Crispy wave fern care and propagation tips

Looking for a low-maintenance plant to add some life to your home or office?

Crispy Wave Ferns are perfect for beginners because they are so easy to care for. All you need is a little bit of water and sunlight, and your fern will thrive!

With their beautiful, wavy leaves, crispy wave ferns are sure to add some life to any space. They make great plants for homes and offices alike.

Here is a quick summary about crispy wave fern care requirements:

  • Light: Moderate and indirect sunlight ONLY
  • Soil: Well drained with high peat content
  • Water: Always keep soil moist, not soggy and don’t water the center rosette directly. Instead, water evenly.
  • Humidity: Approx. 40-90%. Higher the better.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month in the growing season (summer and spring)
  • Propagation: Difficult. It cannot be divided or propagated easily. The only way to propagate Crispy wave fern is to do it via spores.
  • Toxicity: It is safe for pets as well as humans

What is a crispy wave fern?

Asplenium nidus, better known as the crispy wave fern, is a popular tropical plant that is praised for its air-purifying abilities and unique appearance.

Native to SouthEast Asia, the crispy wave fern often grows in the forked branches of trees, earning it the nickname “Bird’s Nest Fern”.

What sets the crispy wave fern apart from other ferns is its stiff, wavy fronds that form an upright rosette shape.

The crispy wave fern is also denser and bushier than other varieties of Asplenium ferns.

If you’re looking for a tropical plant that is both beautiful and beneficial, the crispy wave fern is a great option!

crispy wave fern care and propagation

Is the crispy wave fern an indoor plant?

Yes, the crispy wave fern can be typically grown as a houseplant. However, it can also be grown outdoors in tropical or subtropical climates.

It gets 18 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.

How do you care for crispy wave fern?

Here are the crispy wave fern care tips and tricks that you should know about:

Watering requirements:

One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for a crispy wave fern is watering.

This plant does not like to dry out, so it should be watered regularly, especially during the hot summer months.

The soil should be kept moist but not soggy, and water should be applied evenly to the plant.

Tip: If the top of the soil feels dry, you should water your crispy wave fern. Insert your finger into the soil and if it feels wet, wait a few days before watering again. If the top of the soil feels dry, water your plant using a gentle spray from a water bottle. Do not soak the plant, as this can lead to root rot.

Besides this, you should NEVER water the plant at the rosette center.  You should evenly water the fern and avoid any collection of water near the center. This will serve as an invitation to fungus, mold and bugs.

Finally, it’s recommended to water this plant in the morning because this will give the plant time to absorb the water and dry out before nightfall.

Have well drained soil:

One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for a crispy wave fern is making sure the soil is well drained.

This can be done by adding drainage holes to the pot, and using soil that drains well. I recommend using a soil with high peat content, as it will help to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

You can also make your own soil by mixing equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Use filtered water to avoid chlorine, fluorine etc:

Another important thing to keep in mind when watering your crispy wave fern is using room temperature filtered water.

This is because tap water can contain chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, which can be damaging to the plant.

Soil:

As I mentioned before, it is important to use a well-draining soil for your crispy wave fern.

I highly recommend using a soil with high peat content, as it will help to keep the soil moist.

You can also make your own soil by mixing equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Finally, you also need to take care of the pots and planters. Although terracotta pots are very popular for plants, they are not the best option for a crispy wave fern. 

This is because terracotta pots soak water and keep the soil moist, which can be too much for a plant that likes to dry out.

I recommend using plastic or ceramic pots instead, as they allow the soil to dry out more quickly and drain well.

Light requirements:

Crispy wave ferns do best in moderate, indirect sunlight.

One way to provide indirect sunlight for an indoor plant is to place the pot near a window that does not get direct sunlight. 

You can also use a sheer curtain or blinds to help diffuse the light. If the light is too low, the leaves will start to flatten.

If you live in a climate with harsh sunlight, it is best to place your plant in an east-facing window where it will receive indirect sunlight. 

Too much sunlight can burn the leaves and it can start turning brown or yellow.

In the winter months, you may need to supplement your plant’s light with a grow light.

Tip: Crispy wave fern needs humidity, so the best spot is either your kitchen or bathroom.

Can crispy wave fern survive low light conditions?

Crispy wave ferns can tolerate low light conditions, but they will grow slower and the leaves will not be as crisp.

That said, your crispy wave fern can die in low light and requires a tonne of care.

Humidity:

Crispy wave ferns prefer high humidity, approx. 40 to 90 %.

If you live in a dry climate, you can raise the humidity around your plant by placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water. 

You can also use a humidifier to increase the humidity around your plant.

Temperature: 

Crispy wave ferns prefer a temperature of 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit, warm and humid. Not too hot, not too cold.

Fertilizing crispy wave fern:

Crispy wave ferns should be fertilized every 4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Make sure to dilute the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as too much fertilizer can damage the plant.

Toxicity to cats, dogs, birds and humans:

Crispy wave ferns are not toxic to cats, dogs, birds or humans.

Pruning:

Pruning is not necessary, but you can trim off any brown or yellow leaves as needed.

Blooms:

Crispy wave ferns do not bloom

Repotting:

Your crispy wave fern will need to be repotted every one to two years ONLY if they grow out of their pot.

When repotting, make sure you use a well-draining pot and soil with high peat content.

Repotting crispy wave fern is simple. All you need to do is remove the plant from its current pot and place it in a new pot that is only one size larger.

Note: Always pot your crispy wave fern during the growing season i.e.  April to September

Pests, Diseases and problems:

Leaves drooping: 

If the leaves of your crispy wave fern are drooping, it is likely because the plant is not getting enough light.  Place the pot near a window that gets indirect sunlight.

Leaves turning brown or yellow: 

If the leaves of your crispy wave fern are turning brown or yellow, it is likely because the plant is getting too much light, the air is too dry or the soil has completely dried out. 

Move the pot to a location with less light and make sure to mist the leaves regularly.

Check the soil to see if it is dry. If it is, water the plant immediately. Sometimes yellow or brown tips happen due to overwatering so ensure that’s not happening.

Leaf rot due to water collection:

If the leaves of your crispy wave fern start to rot, it is likely because the plant is sitting in water. 

Check the drainage of your pot and make sure that the plant is not sitting in water.

Another problem is if you’re watering right in the center of the rosette  which can cause water collection and then lead to leaf rot.

Infested with scales:   

If your crispy wave fern is infested with scales, you will see small, brown bumps on the leaves. 

These pests feed on the plant’s sap, which can eventually lead to leaf yellowing and plant death.

To get rid of scales, you can either use an insecticide or a homemade mixture of dish soap and water.

How do you save a crispy wave plant?

If your crispy wave fern is having  problems, don’t despair! It is mostly likely one of the problems we discussed above

  • underwatering
  • overwatering
  • overfertilization
  • low humidity, or
  • too much/too little light.

Once you have diagnosed the problem, take the appropriate steps to fix it and your plant should be back to normal in no time!

How do you propagate crispy wave fern?

Crispy wave ferns can be propagated by division or by spores ONLY.

You will need to collect the spores (This may be achieved by laying a seasoned leaf on a piece of paper for a few days.) from the plant and sow them on a moistened peat-based potting mix.

The spores will germinate in three to six weeks at a temperature of 18-21 degrees Celsius. Ensure that you keep them humid, mist it and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

A few more things for you on propagating crispy wave fern:

  • Unlike other ferns, Crispy wave fern cannot be divided
  • Offshoots from healthy plants can be separated and propagated.

FAQs on crispy wave fern care and propagation

Is the crispy wave fern air purifying plant?

Yes,  crispy wave ferns are air purifying plants and they help to remove toxins from the air.

Does bird nest fern clean the air?

Yes, crispy wave ferns are known to be able to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

Can I put my crispy wave fern outside?

Yes, you can put your crispy wave fern outside but make sure that the location is shady and that the plant is protected from the wind.

What type of potting mix should I use for my crispy wave fern?

A potting mix that is high in peat content will work best for your crispy wave fern.

My crispy wave fern’s leaves are turning brown, what should I do?

If the leaves of your crispy wave fern are turning brown, it is likely because the plant is not getting enough light, the air is too dry or the soil has completely dried out.

Move the pot to a location that gets indirect sunlight and make sure to mist the leaves regularly.

Check the soil to see if it is dry and if it is, water the plant immediately. Sometimes yellow or brown tips happen due to overwatering so ensure that’s not happening.

My crispy wave fern’s leaves are turning yellow, what should I do?

If the leaves of your bird nest fern are turning yellow, it is likely because the plant is not getting enough light, the air is too dry or the soil has completely dried out.

Move the pot to a location that gets indirect sunlight and make sure to mist the leaves regularly.

Check the soil to see if it is dry and if it is, water the plant immediately. Sometimes yellow or brown tips happen due to overwatering so ensure that’s not happening.

How big do crispy wave ferns get?

Crispy wave ferns can grow to be about 2-3 feet tall and wide.

When should I fertilize my crispy wave fern?

Fertilize your crispy wave fern once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced fertilizer.

Is crispy wave fern toxic to cats and pets?

No, crispy wave ferns are not toxic to cats or pets.

Do I need to mist my crispy wave fern?

Yes, you should mist your plant regularly to keep the leaves hydrated and help increase humidity around the plant.

Where can I buy a crispy wave fern?

Crispy wave ferns are available at most garden centers and online retailers. You can also find them at some home improvement stores.

If not, use Amazon or Etsy.

How often should I water my crispy wave fern?

Crispy wave ferns prefer to be kept moist, but not soggy. Water your plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater as this can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

What is the ideal temperature for my crispy wave fern?

Crispy wave ferns prefer temperatures between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius).

Can crispy wave fern grow in a terrarium?

Yes, crispy wave ferns can grow in terrariums. They prefer high humidity and indirect light but will do well in a terrarium with these conditions.

Conclusion:

Crispy wave fern is a beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance plant that is perfect for beginner gardeners.

This plant is a low maintenance and thrive using these easy tips:

  • Crispy wave ferns prefer indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions.
  • Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Regularly mist the leaves to increase humidity and keep the leaves hydrated.
  • Fertilize your plant once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Crispy wave ferns prefer temperatures between 18-21 degrees Celsius.
  • They can be grown in terrariums.

I hope this article was helpful in caring for your crispy wave fern!

Crispy wave fern care and propagation tips

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