Pot plants: Asplenium, Asplenio, Asplenium achilleifolium, Asplenium bulbiferum, Asplenium dimorphum, Asplenium nidus, Asplenium scolopendrium, Asplenium tenerum

Pot plants: Asplenium, Asplenio, Asplenium achilleifolium, Asplenium bulbiferum, Asplenium dimorphum, Asplenium nidus, Asplenium scolopendrium, Asplenium tenerum

Classification, origin and description

Common name: Asplenio.
Kind: Asplenium.

Family: Polipodiaceae or Aspleniaceae.

Etymology: the name of the genus comes from the Greek splen, spleen, as it was thought that it was able to cure the ailments of this organ.
Origin: tropical forests between India, Japan, Australia.

Genre description: includes about 600 species, which grow spontaneously, for the most part, in the humid and shady areas of tropical forests. However, many species have also naturalized in Europe. In general, they are divided into tropical, exotic and indigenous species (of our regions). Among the first we find greenhouse plants for the environmental conditions they need to live. They can even reach 2 m in height. The smaller plants are also cultivable in the apartment.

Asplenium nidus (photo website)

Species and varieties

Asplenium achilleifolium: native to Africa and Japan, it has thick and leathery fronds. It is a viviparous species and is grown in a greenhouse.

Asplenium bulbiferum: native to Australia and New Zealand, this is also a viviparous species and requires cultivation in a cold or temperate greenhouse. It reaches 50 cm in height and bears the leaves of the bulbils on the reverse.

Asplenium dimorphum: similar to the previous one and originating from the same regions, it reaches larger dimensions (leaves about 1 m long). It must be grown in a cold or temperate greenhouse.

Asplenium nidus: native to tropical Asia, it is the most widespread and the only species cultivated as an ornamental plant. It has whole lanceolate leaves with a wavy margin, dark green, shiny and with a central rib in relief on the underlying page and dark at the base and on the back. Falling down the basal leaves can give rise to a short scaly and brown stem. In nature it is an epiphytic species. It can reach 60-130 cm in height.

Asplenium scolopendrium: has shiny leaves up to 40 cm long. It resists even at low temperatures.

Asplenium tenerum: native to the islands of Indonesia, it is a characteristic species for the crown arrangement of the leaves and for the large number of pinnules. It must be grown in a hot greenhouse with high atmospheric humidity.

Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions

Temperature: the minimum winter temperature should be around 10-16 ° C (with lower temperatures you risk the appearance of brown spots on the leaves). In summer it would be good not to exceed 23-24 ° C.
Light: also adapts to moderately illuminated environments, absolutely without direct sun.
Watering and environmental humidity: regular all year round, taking care to avoid stagnation that can cause the rhizome to rot. The humidity must be raised in all possible ways, making sure that washing and spraying do not cause the accumulation of water in the central rosette (for A. Nidus). It is useful to place the plants on terrines with gravel always kept humid.
Substrate: soft and aerated soil, based on garden soil and leaves (or peat) and coarse sand. For the species A. nidus a compost composed of compost and sand in equal parts and peat in double quantity is necessary.
Special fertilizations and tricks: pay particular attention to drainage, to avoid stagnation harmful to the rhizome.


Most of the species belonging to the genus Asplenium are viviparous: the plants carry already germinated spores under the leaves (they are in practice small seedlings), which will be sufficient to plant to obtain new specimens. This should only happen when the seedling has developed 2-3 leaves. Direct sowing of spores can also be practiced, generally reserved for the species A. nidus.

Diseases, pests and adversities

- Mealybugs: they appear with yellow spots on the leaves and with the physical presence of the parasites themselves, under the leaves, brown in color. They are fought by physically eliminating them and treating the plant with an anti-coccidic product or rub the part with a pad soaked in water and alcohol.

- Leaves that have dark edges and wilt: it is probably caused by keeping the plant in a too hot environment.

- Molds and fungi: they can be caused by the presence of stagnant water in the saucer and are manifested by dark spots on the leaves. Eliminate stagnation and use fungicides.

Indigenous species and varieties

They are species that live spontaneously in the wet and rocky areas of our regions. They stand the cold and adapt well to low light places. They are suitable for rock gardens in wet areas and, in particular, for decorating walls, filling the interstices between stone and stone, requiring little soil to develop. They are very rustic ferns, which do not require special care, except that of a high degree of environmental humidity and regular watering in dry periods. They usually resist well to low temperatures and snow. They multiply by division of the tufts. Since they are not properly houseplants, we will not dwell on the detailed description of the species.

Video: Samambaias em ótimo local (January 2022).