Kangaroo Paw Fern (Microsorum diversifolium) known for its lush apple green and glossy fronds, Kangaroo Paw Fern is one of the prettiest indoor plants. The refreshing fronds and forgiving nature of this fern make it a popular choice among most houseplant parents!
This fern is native to Australia and New Zealand. The name Kangaroo Paw Fern comes from its foliage, which look a little bit like kangaroo paws. It can grow up to 1 foot (0.3 meters) tall and 4 feet (1.2 meters wide).
This gorgeous indoor plant can grow quickly with proper care. All you need to provide is the right temperature, light, water, and humidity – and the love it deserves!
Grow & Care
Like other ferns, it is a hardy fern that thrives in humid environments (high and constant humidity). For beginners, we suggest adopting this fern from a friend. Or, if you’re ready to take more responsibility, own it by buying its spores available at any nursery shop. Now, let’s look at how to grow and care for your kangaroo paw fern.
Growing a healthy kangaroo fern starts from your home. Your indoors (a suitable room) must provide a growing environment for this fern to adapt happily. The location should be humid with enough indirect light to grow healthy. So you should keep it in a warm and humid spot, such as a bathroom or a kitchen.
Impress your friends and guests by displaying your kangaroo paw fern beautifully. Use hanging baskets, glass terrariums or gorgeous ceramic pots!
The warm days of summer are ideal for the growth of your kangaroo fern. Ideally, 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 27 degrees Celsius) is the perfect temperature for your Kangaroo Paw Fern.
Younger plants may even grow to double their size in the warmth of summer and spring. Though it’s known for its forgiving nature, you should keep it indoors in winter. Unless you happen to live in a warm climate, like in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
The ideal growing medium for Kangaroo fern paw is a well-draining mix of organic potting soil, perlite, and coco coir, with a pH between 5.6 and 6. Make sure the container has drainage holes.
Amending the soil with a mix of perlite for aeration and drainage is essential. Or, a small quantity of orchid potting mix coarse would work well for this epiphyte plant. Well-draining soil with some moisture retention guarantees that your fern remains healthy for a long time.
This hardy fern isn’t fond of constant watering. That means you don’t need to water it daily. However, you should keep the soil moist at all times and not let it dry out.
Avoid overwatering the soil because your fern prefers to be moist lightly. It can also do well with regular misting. When the soil gets waterlogged that can lead to root rot.
Use distilled water or rainwater to water your Kangaroo paw fern.
Most ferns prefer shade, this tropical fern is no different. It thrives in moderate indirect sunlight. That means you shouldn’t put it in an area with direct sunlight, as it can scorch the foliage easily.
Keep it where it can catch low light, especially in the morning. Find the right spot at your home with medium light. It could be near the window, or in the bathroom!
Propagate using various propagation methods like dividing its rhizomes or by its spores. Here’s how to propagate a mature plant via dividing rhizomes:
- Remove the fern from the container carefully by digging in with your hands
- Identify additional rhizomes growing of the main plant
- Separate the additional rhizomes with a sharp tool
- Plant the new rhizomes in separate pots, at approximately same level of soil as the rhizome was in the mother plant.
- Water the new plants to moisten up the soil and place the new plants in a warm spot with bright indirect light.
Trim the dry, brown, dead, or diseased leaves at the base should they appear. Otherwise, it is not necessary to prune Kangaroo Paw Fern to encourage growth. The best time to propagate is in the spring.
Repot using the growing medium described before. Like with propagation, the best time to repot your Kangaroo Paw Fern is in the spring. Depending on the growth, you should repot the plant about every two years. Always use a pot with drainage holes!
Benefits of a Kangaroo Paw Fern
For any fern-plant lover, Kangaroo Paw Fern adds an accent of greenery indoors. Like other varieties of ferns, the Kangaroo Paw Fern has its benefits.
According to recent studies, ferns can purify your home. So, adding this fern at home means improving the air quality of your home. Besides, the lush green color of it works well in relieving stress.
When growing a kangaroo paw fern, it’s common to notice a few changes in your fern. From yellow spots to some diseases, these problems can prevent the growth of your fern.
But as soon as you discover any changes, improve the growing condition or seek professional help. That said, here are some common problems you may notice with a Kangaroo Paw Fern.
Fern’s leaves are supposed to stand upright in their perfect shape. When they don’t, it means they’re drooping. It is most likely caused by overwatering.
Just make sure to keep it in a suitable growing condition by ensuring the soil is not too waterlogged with water.
Discoloration (Fronds Turning Brown or Yellow)
Seeing its fronds turning yellow or brown isn’t a pleasant sight. But when this happens, it is usually because of your fern’s exposure to too much sunlight. The best way to avoid this is to move your Kangaroo Paw Fern away from direct sunlight.
Typically, yellow spots in kangaroo paw fern aren’t a sign of any problem. But if the leaves turn yellow and fall off, it could be because of a disease.
Root rot and powdery mildew (fungal disease) are common diseases in Kangaroo Paw Fern. If left unchecked, these can damage your fern. Prevent root rot by not overwatering your plant. Treat powdery mildew with a copper fungicide.
Another problem that your kangaroo paw fern may face is the infestation of pests. These can be spider mites or aphids, among others. For example, sticky leaves are an indication of a pest infestation. Spider mites usually thrive in low humidity, providing the fern with adequate humidity can prevent these pests.
You don’t need an experienced green thumb to grow a hardy plant like a Kangaroo Paw Fern. Just give it love and attention and watch it grow! Just make sure to be attentive to its needs!
Yes, kangaroo paw fern can grow indoors with suitable growing conditions.
Any spot that has constant humidity and low sunlight (a bathroom or a kitchen), preferably near or north window, is best.
Kangaroo Paw Fern is not poisonous, so you can keep it within reach of curious pets and children.