Bright apple-green, shiny, wavy leaves of the Crispy Wave fern make it a delightful addition to your houseplant collection.
This tropical epiphyte is a fast grower in the right conditions and its fascinating sculptural sword-shaped leaves form a dense nest that gave it a nickname “a bird’s nest.”
Known also under the name Japanese Asplenium Nidus, this fern is native to tropical India, South-East Asia, Australia, Polynesia, Hawaii, and eastern Africa.
In its native tropical jungle, Crispy Wave fern grows in the shade of large trees, in the nook of large branches or palm leaves, and can reach up to five feet.
As a houseplant, this lovely fern rarely grows taller than two feet. It is considered easy to grow, as long as it has a warm, very humid environment. The Crispy Wave fern is an excellent air purifier.
- 1 Crispy Wave Fern Care
- 2 Common Problems
- 3 Tips for growing Crispy Wave Fern
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions about Crispy Wave fern care
- 5 Conclusion
Crispy Wave Fern Care
Crispy Wave fern is an epiphyte native to the hot tropical jungle. It thrives in an indoor environment that has bright to medium indirect light. It requires a consistently high temperature of 60 to 72°F (15-22°C) and very high humidity of 60 to 90 percent. This fern grows well in the well-draining consistently moist soil. It does not require much fertilizing, but it benefits from occasional feeding during the growing season of commercial liquid fertilizer.
As an epiphyte, Crispy Wave fern grows between the branches of large trees or between large palm fronds, feeding on decomposing leaves and other forest detritus. In your home, it will grow happily in the mix of organic compost, pine bark, coarse sand, and/or perlite.
The coarse matter in the soil ensures sufficient aeration for the roots and the drainage of excess water. The organic matter provides nutrients and consistent moisture. A commercial soil mix for succulents or cactus will do well too.
The key to providing your fern with just enough water is that the soil mix is well-draining but it retains moisture consistently and does not dry out. Make sure that the pot your fern grows in has a drainage hole.
You can plant your fern in a fairly small pot but if you want it to grow large, use a large pot and watch it slowly grow into a forest giant five feet tall.
The Crispy Wave Fern needs evenly moist soil at all times but it should never be soggy. Soil that is wet to the touch retains too much water and can cause roots to rot.
A short period of dry soil is not going to hurt it as long as it is not too long and it does not happen often.
Keep an eye on your fern by touching the soil frequently and water it regularly to ensure it has all the water it needs.
Choosing the good, well-draining soil will ensure that it retains just the right amount of water.
Use room-temperature water. Cold water might shock the plant. Sometimes the shock can cause some leaves to drop.
It is important to use filtered or rainwater. Tap water contains fluoride and other minerals that can accumulate in the soil and burn the roots.
It is difficult to establish a strict watering schedule for your Crispy Wave fern. Touch the soil frequently to make sure it does not dry out. Water thoroughly but make sure the excess water gets drained out through the drainage hole.
Your Crispy Wave fern normally grows in the shade of large trees, getting only the filtered, indirect light.
Try to provide the similar light: bright to medium bright indirect light, ideally from the window with northern exposure.
Do not expose your fern to direct sunlight, or the leaves will burn. If you do not have a choice and all your rooms get too much light, shade them with light curtains or place your fern behind another large plant.
As a tropical plant, your Crispy Wave fern likes to be consistently warm. The ideal temperature ranges between 60 and 72°F (15-22°C).
Avoid sudden changes in temperature that might shock your plant. Do not let the temperature drop below 55°F (13°C) or above 100°F (35°C.) Try not to keep your fern near a direct source of heating or cooling or near a drafty window or door. The consistently right temperature is, together with humidity, the key to making your fern thrive.
Maintaining high humidity in the room where you keep your Crispy Wave fern is absolutely crucial to keeping it healthy. The ideal humidity should be between 60 and 90 percent.
If you have a humidifier, you can maintain the humidity under control. If not, you can increase humidity by placing the pot on top of the pebbles in the tray filled with water.
Placing together a bunch of plants that like high humidity will create a micro-climate and benefit all of them. Make sure that there is enough air circulation between them to avoid common house plant pests that also love humid, hot air.
Crispy Wave fern is one plant that really loves its leaves misted. Misting is not enough to ensure proper humidity, but will make the plant happy, especially in the winter when the house is heated and the air is normally dryer. This is also the time when the fern is not growing vigorously so you are not watering it as frequently as usual, so it is not getting enough water that way either. Spray your fern a few times a day.
Crispy Wave fern does not need much fertilizer, especially if you planted it in the compost mix.
Nevertheless, it would benefit from a monthly feeding during the growing season, from April to September.
Use a liquid 24-8-16 all-purpose fertilizer diluted to half its recommended strength. Do not fertilizer during the winter, when the growth of your fern slows down.
You will know it is time to repot your Crispy Wave fern when it starts toppling over and it totally overgrows its pot. It also means that there is no much soil left and it is time to refresh it.
Choose a pot one size larger than the previous one. Take your fern from its old pot and shake off the old soil. Place it in the new pot and fill it all around with the fresh soil mix, the same coarse mix you used before.
If you want your fern to grow large, you can pot it in the larger pot and give its roots the space to spread. Keep in mind that the large pot is not going to help if your fern does not get high humidity.
The only time you need to prune your fern is if you notice that the leaves are damaged, have brown spots, or are rotting at the base.
Just trim the damaged leaf from the base and it will encourage new growth. If the leaf is rotting, it might have stagnant water accumulated at the fern’s rosette, in its middle.
Be careful when you water your fern and water the soil around the plant without letting the water in the fern’s heart.
The Crispy Wave fern is not easy to propagate. The division of roots does not work and neither do leaf cuttings. Your fern has to be propagated by tissue culture or spores.
To propagate your fern by spores, you first have to collect the spores. The easiest way to do it is to place a mature leaf on a piece of paper for a few days.
The spores grow in clusters on the underside of the leaves, in a herringbone pattern, from the central rib to the margin of each frond.
Once the leaf is dry, collect the spores and sprinkle them on a moist growth medium like peat moss. Once they sprout, keep them in a shaded area and mist frequently. Once they are big enough, place them in the individual pots.
This whole process requires a lot of patience and is rarely attempted by inexperienced gardeners. If you manage it, congratulations. If not, keep trying, it is worth it!
Crispy Wave fern is a non-blooming plant.
The Crispy Wave Fern takes years to become mature. It grows as large as the place they grow in allows. So, in a small pot, you might get a ‘bonsai’ fern.
In a large pot and with excellent humidity, your fern will grow lush and large, up to five feet. If your goal is to have a plant that will purify the air in your room, a large Crispy Wave fern is your fern to do it.
Crispy Wave fern is fairly resistant to plant diseases but there are a few issues you should keep an eye on.
The fern forms a tight rosette, a nest, in the middle, and water can accumulate there and cause the leaves to rot. To avoid it, water your fern carefully around the plant.
If you see tiny bumps on the stems or leaves of your fern, it is likely it is infested with scale. You will probably first notice sooty mold growing on the plant produced by the fungal organisms that feed on the honeydew produced by the scales.
The best way to eliminate scale is by cleaning the leaves with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, spraying with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
You can also introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs. Keep at it and separate the infected plant from others to prevent their infestation.
Fighting any insect infestation or plant disease is not easy, it is time-consuming and it might be heartbreaking if you are not successful. To prevent problems, be vigilant. Inspect your plants frequently.
Check each frond of your fern on both sides. Inspect the soil for crawling bugs. If you catch the problem in time, you have a much better chance of dealing with it.
If you keep your Crispy Wave fern together with other house plants, leave enough space between them. Air circulation is crucial for preventing fungal disease and pest infestation.
Tips for growing Crispy Wave Fern
- Your Crispy Wave fern requires very high humidity to thrive. It is a good idea to invest in a humidifier. Mist it with a spray bottle a few times a day.
- Place your fern near the window with indirect, diffused light, never in full sun.
- Do not let the temperature fluctuate. Consistent temperature is one of the most important conditions for your Crispy Wave fern to thrive.
- Inspect your fern for pests frequently. Do not wait for an infestation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crispy Wave fern care
Why are the leaves of my Crispy Wave fern drooping?
This is nothing to worry about. Your fern does not require much light, but if it does not have enough, its fronds will lean towards the source of light, making the drooping appearance. Move your fern to a better location and it will grow straight. You can also try rotating the pot occasionally.
Should I mist my Crispy Wave fern?
Crispy Wave fern is one of the plants that enjoy occasional misting. Keep in mind that misting alone is not sufficient to provide your fern with enough humidity. It requires between 60 and 90 percent humidity. Installing a humidifier in the room where you keep your fern is ideal. It helps to place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Grouping humidity-loving plants also increase humidity.
How big does a Crispy Wave fern get?
Crispy Wave fern grown as a houseplant will usually grow up to two feet (61cm). It can be much larger if grown outdoors. It also can grow larger if grown in an oversized pot. To grow large and lush, Crispy Wave fern requires very high humidity and consistent temperature.
The sculptural wavy sword-like fronds of the Crispy Wave fern make a beautiful accent plant in the house. If it is happy and lives in a humid room with indirect light, your fern will grow lush, bright green, and dense.
Crispy Wave fern is considered an easy plant to grow, as long as its living conditions are adequate. It is not a diva, but it hates sudden changes in temperature and humidity. The shock might cause it to drop leaves.
This fern is known for its ability to filter the air, including removing formaldehyde and increasing oxygen. If the clean air in your home is your concern, plant your Crispy Wave fern in a larger pot and watch it grow into a lush, large bush.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.