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Adiantum raddianum

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Kemper Code:  B573

Common Name: delta maidenhair fern
Zone: 10 to 11
Plant Type: Fern
Family: Pteridaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Tropical Americas, West Indies
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering  
Bloom Color:
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High

Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

This is a perennial fern that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In the St. Louis area, it is typically grown as a houseplant, where it seems to respond best in bright indirect light including diffused sun, but dislikes direct sun. If grown in full shade, foliage will lose its vitality. Use a consistently moist but well-drained potting soil. Roots must never be allowed to dry out. This can be a difficult plant to grow in St. Louis because it needs a very humid atmosphere. Avoid placing plant in drafty areas or in locations near heat registers. Pots may be set in a tray of wet pebbles to increase humidity. Consider siting pots in bathrooms where atmospheric humidity is generally higher. May be grown as a houseplant year around, but sometimes benefits from a winter rest. Remove any browned foliage immediately.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Delta maidenhair fern and its cultivars are perhaps the most commonly grown of the non-winter hardy maidenhair ferns. Triangular, 3- or 4-pinnate fronds with dark stalks emerge from a dense rootstock of short, branching rhizomes. Fan-shaped pinnae (leaflets) emerge light green but darken with age. Fronds typically grow to 12 wide and 18 long. Cultivars of this species come in different colors, shapes and forms. Synonymous with and formerly known as Adiantum cuneatum.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale and mealybugs. Leaves may scorch in direct sun. Fronds will die back quickly if soils are allowed to dry out.


Houseplant that may be considered for bathroom areas and bright areas with some diffused sun. Hanging baskets, pots or containers.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011