The Adiantum Capillus-veneris, or Culantrillo fern, is one of those beautiful plants that looks so delicate and perfect that you will want to have it in your home. But as a good fern, it can have a bit of a bad reputation. But don't believe the gossip, they are not difficult plants but misunderstood. With this Culantrillo fern care guide, you'll have everything you need to make it grow lush, radiant and happy. You'll look like the plant charmer in front of the rest of the world, this guide will be our secret.
Culantrillo fern facts
- It is so popular that it has a lot of common names: Venus hair, Culantrillo de pozo, Venus hair, spiderwort, and many more.
- Not only is it beautiful and elegant, but it is also a powerful purifier that removes toxic particles from the air and improves humidity levels.
- It is native to tropical rainy regions, where it often grows along streams and rivers. So you will have some idea of the humidity levels it requires.
- Its delicate and beautifully green foliage is completely safe for pets. While you won't be happy for your furry friend to chew on the leaves, at least you can be sure it won't affect their health.
- The Culantrillo fern can measure between 20 to 40 cm in height and width. It is a rather short but leafy plant, so it is perfect for places where you want a plant with volume, but that does not grow in a huge way.
Care of the Culantrillo fern
Light and temperature
The delicate culantrillo fern prefers semi-shade, although it loves morning and evening sun. It is important not to place it in direct sunlight, as it will burn its leaves. You can leave it near a window with a curtain or protected by other plants. Rotate the pot from time to time, so that it grows in a balanced way.
It prefers constant temperatures between 18 and 25°C, although it can withstand freezing temperatures of -5°C, it is very sensitive to cold draughts.
In short: semi-shade, indirect sun in the mornings and a warm to cool temperature. In winter, it is best to keep it indoors, but if you have it outdoors, protect the root ball from frost with some mulch.
Watering and humidity
This is the part where the success of your Culantrillo Fern lies. It is less complicated than it sounds. Remember that she tends to grow along the banks of rivers and streams, so you must have concluded that she has a HIGH moisture requirement. Now, the problem is that many people confuse moisture with watering, but you won't make that mistake.
Your fern's substrate should always have a certain level of moisture. When you put your finger into the substrate, you should feel that it sticks to your finger and feels soft and loose. If the substrate feels mushy, with a mud-like texture and your finger comes out completely dirty, you are overwatering. If, on the other hand, the substrate feels dry and sandy and your finger comes out completely clean, you are underwatering. Never let the substrate dry out between waterings, because your fern will die. Another detail to pay attention to is the leaves. If you see them twisted, curled inwards, it lacks water. Avoid watering when the sun is shining, as this can burn the leaves.
As for humidity, you can use some tricks to keep the humidity levels up. The simplest is to group it with other plants that require a certain amount of humidity, like its companions in the Purifier trio. You can also place it on a saucer with pebbles and some water. The liquid will evaporate, maintain the humidity and not affect the roots. Another option is to place it in places like the kitchen and bathroom, where it will get the humidity levels it needs.
Keep it away from radiators in winter and drafts from air conditioning in summer, just as these appliances can wreak havoc on your skin, they will steal moisture from your little fern. Don't forget to spray it a couple of times a week. It will thank you by becoming even greener and more radiant.
Pay attention to the leaves. If they bend in on themselves, they are receiving frost currents. When the edges dry out, droop or look wrinkled, it's from lack of moisture, so spray a little water on them. A trick to ensure that it is well hydrated is to water it by capillary action, i.e. from underneath. Submerge the pot in a tub or container of water. Let it soak for a while and then allow the excess to drain freely. You will be surprised by the result.
Substrate and Pruning
The culantrillo fern will live and grow best in a neutral or calcareous substrate, but never acidic. You can use a mixture of universal substrate with a little peat and river sand to improve moisture retention. As for fertiliser, you can fertilise it between April and September with a balanced fertiliser diluted every 10 days. It can be repotted every two years, as it is a slow grower.
The culantrillo fern does not require frequent or annual pruning, but it is a good idea to remove the dry, ugly fronds. If you see that the stems are drying out and look ugly, full of branches with few leaves, cut them back and water twice a day. This will stimulate new leaf growth in a very short time.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.