Niphidium crassifolium, Graceful Fern

Niphidium crassifolium

Graceful Fern
Family: Polypodiaceae
Origin: Central America, South America
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeModerate waterEpiphyte plantOrnamental foliageEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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It is a small shrub, usually growing 2-5ft tall. Niphidium crassifolium will grown best in semi-shade and be provided with moderate water when planted.

Niphidium crassifolium has an ornamental foliage, with leathery fronds that can be up to 12 inches wide, in clumps grouped around the branch tips of the shrub. The fronds become larger and a darker green as the plants mature. It has been used in Ethnomedical practice as anti-inflammatory, for ulcers and for uterine cysts and disorders.

When growing in cold regions, Niphidium crassifolium is a fantastic pot plant and can be grown in USDA Zones 9-11. The mature plant can tolerate cold temperatures of at least 30°F for a short period, but it's best to move the plants indoors during cold and wet periods. It can be grown indoors provided there is plenty of sun provided. The pot and soil should be well-drained and never allowed to become soggy, as root rot quickly sets in. Water should also be provided in moderation and every few days, with an occasional misting over the leaves. In addition, Niphidium crassifolium can be propagated; this is easy to do and can be achieved through simple division or through the use of fresh spore or sterile leaves.

Niphidium crassifolium requires a sunny or semi-shaded area to grow and keep moist but not soggy soil. The plants should be fertilized monthly with a balanced fertilizer and given additional iron and zinc if the soil is not particularly rich. Pruning is necessary whenever the plants grow beyond their desired size. Take care not to prune too much, as this can damage the plant. By taking these simple steps, the Niphidium crassifolium can be maintained and enjoyed for years to come.

Niphidium crassifolium, Graceful Fern

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