I love ferns! Sometimes they don’t love me, though. I’m not the most consistent person when applying water and that is a big no-no with ferns. But, I have found a fern that is a forgiving, easy fern for the typical homeowner. Meet the Austral Gem fern (Asplenium dimorphum x difforme).

‘Austral Gem’ Fern Asplenium dimorphum x difforme

Why it is an easy fern.

The question asked is why is it easier? This is an asplenium like the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus). Though it does not resemble the bird’s nest in any way, it does have a leathery leaf like the bird’s nest. It almost looks like it is a fake plastic plant.  Even though it does have the lacy look of normal ferns, it doesn’t have the paper-thin fronds that most ferns have. Most ferns prefer extremely high humidity to keep those filmy fronds from drying out and this one would also like an elevated humidity, but is much more tolerant of a low reading.

Frond of Austral Gem fern

Keep it moist

Don’t get me wrong. This fern would prefer to be kept moist like other ferns, yet it doesn’t die a quick death if left to dry out somewhat. I have done this. It has reacted by having some brown leaf tips, but as a rule, it just perks back up with water. I’ve never had such an easy fern. Below is the plant tag that came with it.

Fern tag

Costa Farms variety

This plant is from Costa Farms who obtained the Exotic Angel plant company a few years ago. The tag actually has the right name and the right lighting recommendation. I love it! Often the tags are in the wrong plants or have no pertinent information.

Love the sun shining through the ends of the pinnae

Light recommendations

I’ve placed this fern in my east window in a medium light that the tag calls for and it is doing great. I have let it dry out too much more times than I like to admit and it still looks amazing and hasn’t suffered at all. I would not recommend letting it dry out, but if it happens, as long as it isn’t that way for long, this plant will bounce right back. Another great thing about this Australian fern is the fact that it is sterile. Why is that so great? There will be no spores and therefore no brown powdery substance falling on your table or floor.

Close-up of fern frond

So the point of this post is: if you are fern challenged, this fern is for you.

Do you like ferns? Do you have problems with them? Tell me in the comments.

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