Microsorums - special ferns
Despite the status of ancient plants, ferns are still able to surprise with their originality. Among them there are not only plants with classic vayas, but also with not quite ordinary greens. Lush and delicate, fashionable and extravagant micro-forums are an example of just such fern-originals. Wide wavy leaves of an unusual shape form a dense, almost tangled plexus, and bright gloss only emphasizes the non-standard greens with a “crocodile” pattern. This is still rare, but quickly gaining popularity fern - one of the best candidates for landscaping the kitchen and bathroom, living rooms and cozy work areas. Growing microsorums is not such a difficult matter, and it is growing quite quickly.
Microsorum - friendly fern
Curly, curvy, unusual - this is how any micro-forum is perceived in any collection. These are special ferns with a very "complaisant" character, which delight the more they grow older, constantly actively grow and develop, transforming from modest bushes and slender curtains into lush and curly handsome men. And at the same time, they always remain a plant and neutral in terms of style, and universal in terms of possible use, and surprisingly original. For the unique netted vein microsorums we call “crocodiles”: the surface of fern leaves is really similar in pattern to the skin of these reptiles. Microsorums represent the family Millipede (Polypodiaceae) and came to our interiors from Australia, Oceania and Southeast Asia.
Microsorums (Microsorum) - medium-sized ferns with creeping rhizome, usually limited to 25-50 cm in height. Roots can crawl out onto the soil surface. The length of leaves in indoor culture never exceeds 60 cm, although in nature this fern forms meter-long vayi. The foliage of the microorum is petiolate or sessile, forms nice curtains. The leaves are either simple, narrowly elliptic, or pinnately dissected into large broad lobes (usually the number of lobes is limited to 3-5 segments). Young juvenile vayi plants are more reminiscent of sorrel than ferns. The characteristic section on the vayi appears only with age: the fern becomes more and more delicate every year. The network of veins is mesh, resembles (as already mentioned) crocodile skin. All leaves of the microsorum have not a flat, but a wavy surface, an uneven-wavy edge. They curl slightly, bend, twist, giving the plant its curly appearance. Soruses (brown-red dots on the leaves) are located either in rows along the central vein, or unevenly on the underside of the leaves. Sporangia are not covered (from the Greek spóra - sowing, seed and angéion - vessel, receptacle) - unicellular (in fungi and many lower plants) or multicellular (in higher plants) reproductive organ in which spores form).
Popular types of micro-forums
In the genus of microsorums about fifty species of ferns. In room culture, they are represented by only three of the most compact and decorative types:
- Microsorum point (Microsorum punctatum) - fern with a short creeping rhizome and very rigid narrow elliptic leaves sitting on short petioles. Forms compact and resembling spring sorrel curtains up to 30 cm high.
- Banana leaf microsorum (Microsorum musifolium) - a rarer species, with age capable of producing meter-long shoots. The leaves are very unusual, leathery. Thanks to the mesh veins, it resembles the skin of a crocodile more than other species, although the general shape of the leaf is really similar to bananas.
- Multi-leaved Microsorum (Microsorum diversifolium) - a plant with bright leaves that are divided into 3-5 segments of an oval-wavy shape, which, when touched, emit a very pleasant aroma.
Today, the aquatic species of fern is often associated with the name of microsorums - pterygoid microsorum (Microsorum pteropus) This is a very fashionable view among aquarists today, which is actively promoted as one of the most original ferns for cultivation in paludariums and aquariums. It is rooted in sandy soil, used as a wonderful decoration for the middle and back of aquariums.
Once a business card of the kind was considered skolopendrovy microsorum (Microsorum scolopendria), but today a plant with a different structure of fay and a form of growth has been re-qualified as Phymatodes scolopendria, and, given the much greater similarity with nephrolepsis than with microsorums itself, this is not surprising.
Even newcomers to floriculture can grow microsorums. Despite the love of high humidity, these ferns are unpretentious and hardy plants. They can forgive small mistakes in care, they themselves signal an uncomfortable environment and are well restored. These are heat-loving and actively growing ferns that do not cause any difficulties in care.
Lighting for micro-forums
The only drawback of microsorums, or rather the parameter by which they are inferior to classic indoor ferns, is their photophilousness. Microsorums need bright lighting, but with protection from direct sunlight. Ideal for these ferns are the eastern and western window sills. In winter, it is advisable to adjust the lighting, increasing it to create a more stable environment. Fern responds well to exposure.
Now on sale are some varieties of microsorums that feel good in light partial shade and accustomed to shading. Lighting parameters that are comfortable for the plant are best specified upon purchase.
Microsorums belong to the most heat-loving indoor plants. They are not afraid of heat, but suffer from the slightest hypothermia. It is better to limit air temperature to minimum 20 degrees of heat. A comfortable temperature range in which the plant will not lose its decorativeness - from 21 to 28 degrees heat. The most important point in maintaining a warm environment for micro-forums is protecting the roots from hypothermia. For microsorums, it is not so much the temperature of the air that is important as the temperature of the substrate, it is better to mix the plant on stands, avoiding contact with the cold windowsill or other surfaces that can lead to cooling of the soil in the pot.
The love of warmth and stability is manifested in microsorums and the fact that plants can not be carried out in the open air in the summer. This fern is grown only in room culture. When ventilating the room, ferns should be protected from drafts.
Watering and humidity
Like all other ferns, microsorum is a water-loving plant. He will not tolerate dampness, stagnation of water, but abundant regular watering after drying only the topsoil is the best strategy. This fern forgives short, but not long droughts. In winter, soil moisture is slightly reduced, waiting 1-2 days after drying of the upper layer of the substrate.
For watering microsorums, you can use only soft water. If possible, it is better to water the plant with rain or boiled water.
Microsorums feel great both as an ordinary potted plant, and in moist florariums with paludariums. The only difference in caring for plants is the need to grow air humidity when growing in living rooms. Microsorums just love spraying, and if you have the opportunity to carry out procedures 2-3 times a day, you can limit yourself only to them. But it is much better to stabilize the humidity of the air by placing the plant on trays in moist moss or pebbles, placing other artisanal or industrial humidifiers.
This fern prefers organic fertilizers, if they are not in your arsenal of funds - then complex universal fertilizers or special fertilizers for ferns. Top dressing is applied only during active growth, from mid-spring and all summer, with the standard frequent 1 procedure in 2-3 weeks.
Transplant and substrate
Change of containers for microsorum is carried out only when the previous pot becomes too close for the fern, the roots literally begin to crawl out of the container. Usually this fern is transplanted no more than 1 time in 2-3 years. The optimal time is the beginning of active growth in February or March.
For microsorums, not classic pots are used, but cups are very wide and as low as possible. Microsorums look great in hanging flowerpots, flowerpots on legs, decorative stands.
The soil for growing microsorums is easy to pick up. Ready-made substrate for ferns or any breathable and loose soil mixture will work equally well. If you mix the substrate yourself, then give preference to a mixture of equal parts of sand, leaf soil and peat, or a mixture of equal parts of turf and sheet soil with half the amount of sand and peat. In the substrate, additives of pine bark, charcoal, sphagnum are only welcome. The optimal pH reaction is from 5.5 to 7.0.
When transplanting a microsorum, an average drainage of at least 2-3 cm high is laid. When planting a fern, it is important to ensure that the plant is not buried in comparison with the previous capacity. Handle the plant very carefully, without removing the substrate, avoiding even the slightest contact with the roots. After transplanting for 3-4 days or a week, the microsorum is kept in a semi-shaded location, with high humidity (you can even install a greenhouse or a cap).
Diseases and pests
Microsorums are resistant plants that can only be affected by very dry air. In the vicinity of infected cultures, microsorums are threatened by scale insects, in the absence of spraying - a spider mite. It is better to deal with pests by combined methods, using mechanical removal of insects with increased air humidity and treatment with insecticides in case of a running problem. Quite often, "throws" to the plant and thrips, mealybugs, whiteflies.
Common problems in growing microsorums:
- drying of the tips of the leaves with low soil moisture;
- yellowing of leaves in a sunny place;
- stunting in direct sunlight;
- drying of leaves at low humidity;
- pale color, loss of turgor with improper feeding;
- stunting or stunted growth and loss of leaf attractiveness due to lack of light.
Reproduction of microsorums
The most popular method is rhizome separation. Microsorum can be divided at each transplant, gently cutting young plants, allowing the slices to dry and treating them with crushed coal. The rules for planting divided ferns are the same as for plant transplants.
Getting a fern from a spore is a lot harder. This method is used very rarely; germination requires lower heating, drying of spores, germination on peat in conditions of very high humidity and low light.