Such a plant as Scolopendrium3> or Asplenium scolopendrium (Phyllitis scolopendrium) is directly related to the genus Asplenium in the family Aspleniaceae and is a perennial fern. It is also commonly referred to as "deer tongue". It is native to the mountainous Mediterranean regions of Eurasia. This fern prefers to grow on limestone screes or in rock crevices.
The surface of the short, straight rhizome has a dense layer of scaly film.
From the upper part of the rhizome many petiolate leathery leaves (wai) emerge, which are bunched together. The leaves are up to 60 centimeters long and have a well-defined, thick central vein. Simple strap-shaped leaves are 3 to 7 centimeters wide and have a heart-shaped base. The surface of the short petiole has short brownish green hairs. Elongated linear groups of spores (soruses) are arranged along the whole leaf plate in pairs, almost perpendicular to the central vein.
The main species form, which has a completely smooth leaf-plate edge, is not unique. Thus, there are still numerous cultivars that are in great demand by florists:
- "Crispa" - characterized by the corrugated edge of the leaflets, due to which the leaf itself has a "curly" appearance;
- "Undulata" - the leaves have wavy edges and the leaf plate itself is as if it is tightened along the central vein;
- "Marginatum" - the narrow vines have a wavy edge, with them divided into blades;
- "Lacerata" - the leaves are very broad, up to 7.5 centimeters, with their edges irregularly corrugated;
- "Cristatum" - the leaves have a pectinate upper edge and the rest of their surface is smooth and solid;
- "Ramosum" - this cultivar is the most interesting because it has forked and branched leaflets;
- "Ramo Cristatum" - this cultivar has branched, wavy leaflets.
Home care for Scolopendra foliata
The foliata plant is quite suitable for growing at home but needs certain conditions to grow and develop properly.
This plant should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Indoors, it is recommended to choose a darkened place for it or simply place it in the back of the room. It grows best on north-facing windows.
This fern has a distinct dormant period (needs to cool down) as well as an intensive growth period (needs heat). It is recommended to keep the air temperature between 20 and 25 degrees in summer and 12 to 15 degrees in winter.
How to water
This plant should be watered systematically and abundantly all year round.
The potting soil should be slightly moist all the time. This does not mean, however, that it must be wet. Stagnant water in the soil has an extremely negative effect on the fern.
Pour water without chlorine. Tap water should be left standing for at least 24 hours to remove all chlorine impurities.
At the same time, you do not need to soften the water because such ferns grow in limey soil and react quite normally to hard water.
As very low air humidity is common in apartments, the leafhopper simply needs frequent moistening. Warm showers are also recommended. Still to increase air humidity directly next to the plant, you can add claydite or pebbles in the tray and pour a small amount of water. Also next to the pot you can place an open container filled with water or place a room fountain.
Too dry air is especially harmful to young leaves, which are just starting to grow. This can make them dry out and then die off.
Fertile, loose, limey substrate is suitable for planting. You can make such a mixture yourself by combining finely chopped bark, leaf earth and vermiculite (coarse sand) in a 1:2:1 ratio. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot.
Feed this fern very carefully. Fertilization is carried out in spring and summer during the intensive growth of the plant once a month. For this purpose, a complex mineral fertilizer should be used, taking ½ of the dosage recommended on the package.
Precautions for replanting
While the plant is young, it needs frequent replanting, which is recommended once a year in early spring. The new pot should always be larger in diameter than the previous one.
Mature plants should be replanted less often than every 2 or 3 years. When transplanting, take care that the apex buds remain above the surface of the substrate and are not submerged.
The easiest way to propagate the leafhopper at home is to divide the propagated shrub. You can also collect the mature spores if you wish (in late fall) and sow them.
Diseases and pests
It is resistant to disease and to most types of pests.
It differs from many other ornamental foliage plants in that its dead green mass, after some time, can fully recover. In the case where the root system is not dead, then in a short time from the dormant buds in the soil, it is able to grow young leaves. Thus, drought, a temperature drop or sun burns are not very dangerous for the fern. Also if the plant has lost its decorative appearance, its leaves can be removed completely and new ones will replace them after a short time. But if the roots die, for example, if there is rotting due to overwatering of the soil, the whole fern dies.