Ferns in the apartment
There are many species of fern grown in the apartment, as there are many ferns spread on the earth, there are tens of thousands of them, present in all wet and shaded areas, from alpine forests to rainforests. They are all united by loving shade and humid climate; the ferns they are very particular plants, in fact they have neither flowers nor fruits, their development is ensured by small dark spores, which can be found gathered in "bags", called sporangia, generally present on the underside of the foliage. The plants of fern they typically have a dense group of roots, from which the fronds develop: elongated stems that carry foliage. The leaves of the ferns they are generally very jagged and engraved, but there are species with sword or lanceolate leaves. The species cultivated at home are many, and generally belong to the genus Adiantum, Asplenium or Nephrolepsis; however, every year the nurserymen cultivate new species and varieties, given the ease of cultivation of these plants and the good adaptability to the home climate. Some of the species grown in the apartment are the same that we can find in the woods, because these plants adapt well to climates even very different from the climate of the place of origin. So not always there fern that we have at home comes from exotic places, sometimes it is an Italian native species.
Attention to humidity
Surely the main needs of ferns concern watering and light; these plants prefer shady places, not affected by direct sunlight, and also bear to be grown in completely dark positions. The foliage is generally dark in color, and tends to lighten if the plant receives excessive doses of direct sunlight. The contribution of water is fundamental: practically all fern species in nature develop in cool and humid places, but not necessarily near watercourses; instead they prefer a constant but not excessive humidity. So it is essential that the soil in which we grow our ferns is constantly moist, but not soaked with water; therefore we provide frequent watering, avoiding however to water with large quantities of water. Rather, we try to keep the air around our fern humid; this can be achieved by cultivating the plant in a large tray filled with perlite, lapillus, pumice stone or expanded clay: by keeping a few centimeters of water in the tray constantly, we will ensure that the humidity around the plant is high, thanks to the constant evaporation of the water; in addition, the tray will collect all the water from excess watering. It is however essential that the water contained in the tray never reaches the base of the pot. Periodically, at least every 10-12 days, add specific fertilizer for green plants to the irrigating water. Ferns are evergreen plants, therefore they never have a real dormancy period; in any case during the months in which the daily insolation is reduced we avoid fertilizing, because the plant usually slows down its development.