Black Rabbit's Foot Fern

Scientific name: Davallia Trichomanoides
Synonyms: Black Rabbit’s Foot Fern, Squirrel Foot Fern

The Black Rabbit’s Foot Fern may be a commoner in the indoor plant community but it has worked hard to earn it’s place. As a resilient and easy care fern no plant collection is complete without this quirky little critter. 

Davallia Trichomanoides is native to Malaysia where you will find it creeping along the ground as a groundcover or happily living in the nooks and crannies of trees and rocks soaking up nutrients and moisture from the warm damp air. 

  • Origin: Malaysia
  • Height: 30cm - 45cm spread indoors and in its natural habitat
  • Toxicity: Non Toxic to humans or pets

Common Symptoms

  • Brown edges on fronds: Like all ferns, Davallia Trichomanoides loves humidity and a lack thereof will be indicated by brown edges on the fronds. Rectify this by placing your fern in a more humid environment such as a warm bathroom or kitchen or spritz daily.
  • Dry rhizomes / fronds: This is an indication that your Indoor fern is not receiving the adequate amount of moisture. Water your fern more regularly to prevent the rhizomes from drying out and be sure to keep the soil lightly moist during active growth.
  • Leaf drop: Davallia species are deciduous meaning they drop their leaves in colder weather, be sure to check that the location you are keeping your fern in doesn't get too cold as this will cause severe leaf drop.  
  • Pale fronds and slow/no growth: Pale to lime green fronds are an indication that your houseplant is receiving too much light and needs to be relocated to a lower light spot. If the lighting is correct but your leaves are still pale and your fern has not grown much then consider feeding your plant to revitalise it. 
  • Limp Fronds: This is a clear sign of overwatering. Reduce your frequency of watering and allow your soil to dry out partially between waterings. Make sure to check that your planter is well draining as your fern does not like wet feet.
  • Pests: Davallia Trichomanoides are susceptible to common indoor plant pests such as aphids, mealybug, fungus gnats and white fly. Identify which pest you have as soon as noticed and try remove manually where possible. If the infestation is extreme, treat with a weak solution of Neem Oil frequently. However, don't dredge the plant with pesticide however as they do not take well to their fronds being coated in oil.

Care Instructions

  • Light: Medium to Bright Indirect light.
  • Water: Keep evenly moist during Spring to Summer and allow the soil to reach dryness in cooler weather.
  • Humidity: Medium to high humidity is recommended. Place in a warm moist location such as a bathroom or kitchen and spritz daily.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures range between 21°C and 27°. Do not allow temperatures to drop below 18°C or frond drop and/or dormancy may occur.
  • Soil: A well draining moisture retentive soil is ideal for this variety of Indoor plant.
  • Fertilizer: For optimal growth, fertilize every 2 -3 weeks during the growing phase with an organic fertilizer formulated for ferns or a ¼ strength of a well balanced general purpose organic fertilizer.
  • Repotting: Repotting should take place during Spring. Repot into a planter slightly wider than your current planter, be careful not to bury any rhizomes as this could be detrimental to the plant.
  • Propagation: To Propagate this indoor plant take cutting of about 4-5cm from healthy rhizomes making sure to have at least one stem and frond per cutting. Pin the piece of rhizome onto a well draining moisture retentive potting medium using toothpicks or strong rust free wire. Keep medium moist and place in a warm brightly lit area.

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Black Rabbit's Foot Fern Care Instructions