Arifolia Hemionitis is the scientific name used for this stunning plant that is most commonly known as the heartleaf plant or tongue fern.
This plant was first found in 1859 and is a Southeast Asian native. The Arifolia Hemionitis is an epiphyte plant, which means it grows on trees without soil, and it is considered a delicate dwarf fern.
Other than it being known for its heart-shaped leaves, this fern has a unique feature that makes it stand out as compared to others.
The leaves of Arifolia Hemionitis are attached to a stem that is black in color and is almost string-like. Compared to other ferns, the Arifolia Hemionitis leaves grows into a matured form.
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Arifolia Hemionitis Plant Care
To grow your Arifolia Hemionitis well, you need to provide it with high humidity levels between 60-80 percent. Keep your plant in well-draining soil, but also one that has a high moisture-retaining ability. Soil with perlite, peat, and potting soil works best. The ideal temperature range for this plant is 68-85°F (20-29°C).
Arifolia Hemionitis is an epiphytic plant that can grow without soil. But when grown indoors, this plant needs soil to get its nutrients.
Any plant that has been grown out of its habitat always needs extra nutrients to survive, and the same applies to Arifolia Hemionitis.
Soil that’s rich in nutrients and is well-draining is the best option for Arifolia Hemionitis.
You can buy pre-made mixes for tropical plants from stores, or you can make your own mix. To make your own mix, you need to add equal parts of perlite, peat, and potting soil.
Arifolia Hemionitis loves to live in soil that is always moist but not wet. Usually, this plant needs more water when it’s brought into its new home.
The leaves on this plant end up curling fast if it is over-watered. To avoid over-watering your Arifolia Hemionitis, make sure that the top 2 inches of the soil are dry before watering again.
Overwatering can kill your Arifolia Hemionitis fairly quickly; thus, always avoid over-watering.
Adding a layer of sphagnum moss on the top of the soil can help your Arifolia Hemionitis retain moisture.
Even though Arifolia Hemionitis loves moisture, it is still more susceptible to root rot due to the shallow root system.
This is why you should never let it sit in a puddle of water.
In its natural habitat, Arifolia Hemionitis will usually grow under the shade of a tree, and this means they get filtered light. This is why even when potted, these plants prefer to live under indirect light.
If your Arifolia Hemionitis is being placed inside of a terrarium, providing direct light from artificial light will be enough since everything is controlled.
But if your plant is not being kept in a glass dome, then your leaves will start to shrink if it is provided with direct sunlight.
The leaves on Arifolia Hemionitis die extremely fast if too much sunlight is provided.
Arifolia Hemionitis is sensitive to temperature changes. It likes to remain in warm environments; thus, you should place your plant in temperatures above 60°F (15°C). The ideal temperature range is 68-85°F (20-29°C).
Cold temperatures where frost is common can kill the plant.
Arifolia Hemionitis is described as a beginner-friendly plant. But if you cannot control the humidity levels around it, then it can become difficult to care for.
Compared to other ferns, Arifolia Hemionitis is a lot fussier when it comes to humidity. This plant loves to be kept under high humidity levels.
If humidity levels are not high, then one night, your plant will be perfect, and the next morning it will be curled up.
Humidity levels of 60 to 80 percent are best for this plant. Humidity below 60 percent can leave your plant crispy.
If your plant has curled up, just place a plastic bag over it to help it recover its humidity levels.
If curling up of the leaves is a consistent occurrence, then it is best to place your plant in a terrarium or glass dome.
Arifolia Hemionitis are not fussy when it comes to fertilization. It does not require much fertilizer, and usually, half of the recommended amount of fertilizer is needed.
Using a water-soluble fertilizer that has been diluted in water should be used once a month.
Arifolia Hemionitis do not have an extremely extensive root system and like to be rootbound. Hence, there’s no need to repot until a few years have passed.
You should repot your Arifolia Hemionitis once it has overgrown in the pot. When repotting, makes sure you:
- Use sterilized tools.
- Check if the soil is stuck between the roots. If it is, then repot your plant.
- Use the same soil mixture, which has perlite, peat, and potting soil.
If you do not water your Arifolia Hemionitis as often, then using a plastic pot will help retain the moisture in the soil.
Arifolia Hemionitis does not need to be pruned too often. There’s no need to prune your Arifolia Hemionitis unless there are yellow or dead leaves on the plant.
When pruning, make sure you:
- Do not cut too much of the plant.
- Use sterilized tools.
- Cut off all dying leaves.
- Use sharp tools.
There may be no need to prune, but it is great when it comes to encouraging new growth.
Even though Arifolia Hemionitis can reproduce through the germination of spores, it is not the fastest way of propagating your plant.
Spores are black or brown in color and are seen on the bottom side of the leaves of your plant.
Arifolia Hemionitis can be propagated through division, which is the easiest and fastest method of propagating this fern.
Here are the steps to propagate Arifolia Hemionitis:
- When propagating, take sharp shears or scissors to cut off a bunch of plants that you want to pot.
- Use tools that are clean so that the roots do not rot.
- Plant your divided Arifolia Hemionitis into a pot and water it properly.
- It is recommended that you place the divided plant in a dome or clear plastic bag. This will help the plant deal with repotting and propagation.
- Increasing humidity levels will stop your plant from curling up and drying.
If you want to propagate with spores, you can try to find spores from the dry leaves since they are easier to dislodge. The spores will fall into the soil even if you only slightly move the leaf.
You can also put the dry cut leaf on the top of the dry compost or soil. The spores will naturally fall off.
But when using this method, your soil needs to be moist and warm. The spore’s method can take a lot of time before you’ll notice any results.
Arifolia Hemionitis does not flower like other ferns.
This is because it reproduces through its spores, which usually happen during springtime.
The Arifolia Hemionitis has dark-green, heart-shaped leaves that are usually two or three inches (five to eight centimeters) long.
It has black stems that have a height of six to eight inches (fifteen to twenty centimeters).
Usually, its tall leaves are dimorphic, meaning that some of the leaves will be sterile and others will be fertile.
Sterile leaves are present on thick stalks, which are two to four inches (5 to 10 centimeters) thick.
The fertile leaves are present on even thicker stalks and are more arrowhead-shaped rather than heart-shaped.
The Arifolia Hemionitis are not the usual fern leaves since they are waxy, thick, and leathery
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Common Problems for Arifolia Hemionitis
Whiteflies are soft-bodied insects that have wings. This pest is similar to mealybugs and aphids. Even though these pests have wings, they do not use them often.
Whiteflies are really small in size, which is why they often go unnoticed until the damage is done. Once they multiply into a large number, you can easily spot them on the bottom side of the leaves.
Whiteflies are most active during the day. However, even slightly moving the leaves can cause these pests to fly all over the place.
Whiteflies cannot survive outdoors in cold weather; this is why they most often attack indoor plants.
These pests feed the same way and mealybugs and aphids. They do so by sucking up the juices from your Arifolia Hemionitis and end up leaving a sticky honeydew behind.
The sticky honeydew on your Arifolia Hemionitis will end up attracting other insects and cause your plant to get fungal diseases.
To ensure your plant does not get infected by these pests, check the bottom side of the leaves and clean them after every few days.
You can prevent whiteflies from spreading all over your plant by using insecticidal soap.
Fungus gnats are small insects that are capable of flying and usually infest the soil or the potting mix. You can also find them in organic decomposition.
These pests’ larvae feed off of the organic soil matter as well as on fungi.
The larvae also feed on the roots, and this can end up causing your roots to rot. Eventually, these larvae grow into adult fungus gnats that’ll soon become a nuisance.
Adult fungus gnats do not have a long life span, and they do not damage plants or even bite people.
However, their presence itself can be annoying, and these adults end up producing larvae that can kill your plant.
You can reduce the production of larvae by reducing excess moisture and organic substance around your plant. Using commercially made biological control agents is also useful.
Weevils are beetles that are really small in size and have noticeable snouts. They have a pear or lightbulb-shaped body. While adult weevils are not harmful to plants, their larvae are.
The larvae are legless grub that feeds on plants. The adult weevils usually end up on plants so they won’t be affected much by the weather.
Weevils can also enter homes through cracks or openings between the door or window of a building.
The best option to protect them from weevils is by putting them inside your home. Try to close up any openings in the door or windows so that weevils cannot enter your home.
Weevils are attracted to moisture, so they can easily be trapped in an area where more moisture is present.
You can place a shallow pan of water so that these insects go onto that water pan rather than your plant.
Tips for Growing Arifolia Hemionitis
Arifolia Hemionitis are not the hardest plants to care for. In fact, if you follow a few tips, you can keep your plant alive for years.
Some of the best growing tips for Arifolia Hemionitis include:
- Place your Arifolia Hemionitis in well-draining soil. Pre-mixed soils for tropical plants work well for it. These soils usually contain perlite, potting soil, and peat.
- Place your Arifolia Hemionitis in temperatures above 60°F (15°C).
- Surround your Arifolia Hemionitis with 60 to 80 percent humidity levels.
- Do not fertilizer your Arifolia Hemionitis too frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions about Arifolia Hemionitis Plant Care
Is Arifolia Hemionitis toxic?
Arifolia Hemionitis is not toxic to animals or humans. Thus, you can keep it around your pets and children without worrying.
Why are the leaves of my Arifolia Hemionitis turning yellow?
The cause behind yellow leaves is most often related to over-watering. Before you water your plant again throughout the week, just make sure the soil is dry from the top.
Why are the leaves on my Arifolia Hemionitis curling?
Leaves can start to curl due to two reasons; one can be low humidity levels, and the other is over-watering. Both of them can be avoided through observation and proper planning.
Is pruning important for Arifolia Hemionitis?
While this plant does not need to be pruned often, pruning it will allow you to get rid of dead leaves. By doing this, you make sure your plant is protected from pests and fungus.
Arifolia Hemionitis is a stunning plant with unique leaves, and these leaves are the reason for its popularity. Arifolia Hemionitis does not bloom but can easily reproduce through spores.
The plant does not have flowers to emphasize its beauty. But it has other features, such as its thin stems to really make its leaves stand out.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.