I realized the other day that I have 4 different kinds of bird’s nest ferns. I, unfortunately, have killed more than one in the past. Ferns can be a little tricky. But taking care of a bird’s nest fern simply comes down to (in my case, anyway) remembering to water them regularly and upping the humidity a bit. I have decided to keep these ferns together on my counter in the kitchen. That’s where I keep plants that I know need more water so I can keep a close eye on them. I love ferns and these ones are so amazing.

Four types of bird's nest ferns

A compendium of my bird’s nest ferns

Common bird’s nest fern

The fern below is the common bird’s nest fern (though there is nothing “common” about it) or Asplenium nidus. This is probably the one that the others are hybridized from

Asplenium nidus

Asplenium nidus

The common name comes from the center of the fern, which looks like a little nest and the unfurling fronds look like small eggs nestled down in the center before they unfurl. It does look like an egg in the nest, doesn’t it?

Asplenium nidus center

Center of Asplenium nidus

Asplenium nidus ‘Crissie’

This bird’s nest variety is called ‘Crissie’ and has more frilly ends than the Asplenium nidus.

'Crissie' bird's nest fern

Asplenium nidus ‘Crissie’

Below is the center of ‘Crissie’.

Center of 'Crissie' ferno

The nest

I love this extremely ruffled form called ‘Leslie’. It looks like a bunch of lettuce.

‘Leslie’

Here is the center of ‘Leslie’.

Center of "Leslie' bird's nest fern

Center of ‘Leslie’ bird’s nest fern

Here is one that is quite easy to find compared to others. Its called ‘Crispy Wave’, and its edges are wavy all the way down the frond, not just on the ends as on the others.

'Crispy Wave' bird's nest fern

‘Crispy Wave’ fern

Below is the center of the ‘Crispy Wave’.

'Crispy Wave' fern

‘Crispy Wave’ fern center

I think it is cool how the centers all look different. Don’t you think so?

Unfurling frond of 'Crispy Wave'

Unfurling frond of ‘Crispy Wave’ fern

These are gorgeous ferns and not too hard to take care of, as long as you don’t let them dry out at all and elevate the humidity. Put them in an east window if you have one or back a bit from the west and place them on pebble trays to raise the humidity, like the one below.

Pebble tray

A pebble tray helps raise the humidity around the fern

If you can find one of these “nest” ferns, get one. They really are beautiful and not that hard to grow, as ferns go. A fern in the same family, the austral gem fern, (Asplenium dimorphum x difforme) is a great fern for the fern challenged person. So as the family goes, this is a great group of ferns and easier than a lot of ferns. Do you already have any of these ferns?

 

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