Button Fern Care Instructions

Scientific name: Pellaea rotundifolia
Synonyms: Round-leafed Fern, Button Fern

The Button ferns are one of those popular little cuties you often see in many homes and garden centers, prized for their unique and delicate round-leaved fronds. That will add texture and contrast to any interior space.

Native to New Zealand and Australia prove their hardiness and tolerance to bouts of forgetful watering, however, they are extreme lovers of humidity and can handle low light situations. Try them as a bathtub adornment, or a windowsill specimen.

Though will happily live in any living space, be it on a shelf, or as a coffee table showpiece, as long as their humidity and watering needs are met. All in all a fantastic little fern.

Toxicity: Not known to be toxic.

Button Fern

Button Fern Common Symptoms

  • Crisp Greying leaves: The most common cause of this is underwatering. Be sure to keep the soil of your Button fern slightly moist to the touch and do not allow it to dry out for prolonged periods of time. 
  • Yellowing leaves or rotten rhizomes: Infrequent yellowing foliage on houseplants is most often no cause for concern, however, if the yellowing is on mass and is accompanied by mushiness of the root area, then overwatering is most likely the issue. Avoid allowing the soil to become waterlogged and ensure there is sufficient drainage for your Button Fern. To Learn more about watering issues in Houseplant read: Identifying Over Vs Underwatering.
  • Crispy leaf edges or Crisp brown patches:  This can be caused by too much light or dry air. Button Ferns prefer filtered lighting conditions, due to this direct sunlight can lead to scorching of foliage and crisp brown patches. If your plant is in the correct lighting but you find that it has crisp edges on its leaves, your humidity levels may be too low. Place your plant on a pebble tray for maximum effect.
  • Slow growth or elongated stems: Elongation with large spaces between leaves and slow growth is a clear sign that your Button Fern is not receiving enough light. Move your plant to a brighter position that receives a good amount of filtered natural light to improve growth.
  • Pests: Button Ferns are most susceptible to Mealybug and Aphids in the home environment with the occasional Spider mite infestation if the air is too dry. To avoid Pest infestations, be sure to keep your plant in its optimal living conditions to avoid any environmental stressors, that make plants more susceptible to pests.

Button Fern Care Instructions

  • Origin: New Zealand and Australia
  • Height: Average stem length is between 25cm - 35cm, small compact grower.
  • Light: Prefers bright filtered light, will tolerate medium to low light but will need some natural light.
  • Water: Keep the potting medium slightly moist, but avoid waterlogged potting mix or prolonged dryness.
  • Humidity: High humidity is best. 
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 24°C.
  • Soil: A well-draining water-retentive potting medium is ideal.
  • Fertilizer: Use a quarter solution of a well balanced organic fertilizer once every month during Spring through Summer.
  • Repotting: Button Ferns do not need frequent repotting due to their fine root structure and will only need a slightly larger pot once it has become rootbound, for mature plants this will be every 2 years.
  • Propagation: Button Ferns are fabulously easy to propagate. When repotting, split the plant into sections and plant each section into its own fresh potting mix and place in a bright filtered position and keep moist. The plant will be established once new growth forms.

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