Pteris Silver Lace

​​​​​​​​Pteris Silver Lace

  • Common name: Pteris Silver Lace, Silver lace fern, Slender brake fern, Sword brake fern, Variegated brake fern
  • Scientific name: Pteris ensiformis
  • Family name: Pteridaceae
  • Origin: Asia and the Pacific
  • Height: 12-18 inches
  • Width: 12-16 inches
  • Growth: Moderate
  • Zone: 8b-11
  • Light needs: Part shade; if grown indoors, use bright, indirect lighting
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers damp yet well-drained soil. A mix of peat moss and soil is ideal. Prefers somewhat acidic soil (pH 6.0-7.0)
  • Moisture: Prefers a humid environment; soil should be kept damp at all times
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whitefly. Treat with neem oil if any of these pests appear.
  • Growing conditions: Grows best in a warm, humid area with shade and indirect light. Planting it beneath trees is ideal, as it will provide the plant with the shade and indirect sunlight that it prefers. Soil should be kept consistently damp. It can also be kept indoors in a container, where it should receive bright, indirect light. If kept indoors, make sure to mist it regularly as it like humidity.
  • Characteristics: Fronds have lanceolate, serrated, divided leaves, light green with yellow-white variegation down the middle. Roots are in the form of rhizomes. The brown spores grow along the edges of the leaves.
  • Propagation: By rhizome division
  • Facts: In Taiwan, it is a popular component of herbal drinks. In the wild, it grows under trees, where the canopy protects it from direct sunlight.
  • Designer considerations: It is a great choice for a terrarium or vivarium due to its need for humid conditions, as well is its unique and showy leaves. It also makes a great understory plant, and can be used as ground cover for shaded areas. Its light green and white leaves pair well with more colorful plants, especially flowering plants. 
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