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Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Struthiopteris spicant
Also known as : Herring Bone Fern, Snake Fern
Deer fern (Struthiopteris spicant) is a fern that is used to habitats of shady forest floors, making it an excellent and award-winning ornamental groundcover. However, it must not be grown in limey soils, and fertilizers that contain lime should not be used, as it will kill the plant. The Latin name spicant is thought to refer to its natural growth form of spiky tufts.
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
4 to 8
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Key Facts About Deer fern

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Attributes of Deer fern

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Fern
Harvest Time
Summer
Plant Height
30 cm to 61 cm
Spread
30 cm to 90 cm
Leaf Color
Green
Blue
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
5 - 32 ℃

Scientific Classification of Deer fern

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distribution

Distribution of Deer fern

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Habitat of Deer fern

Woods, Heaths, Moors, Mountain grassland and on rocks
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Deer fern

Deer fern boasts a natural range predominantly in temperate regions of Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as parts of Western Asia. It is also native to certain temperate areas of North Africa, exhibiting a broad distribution across major regions, which extends eastward to include parts of Japan. The species flourishes within these diverse yet climate-specific zones, indicating its adaptability to various temperate habitats.
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
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Questions About Deer fern

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Watering Watering Watering
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
What should I do if I water my Deer fern too much or too little?
Overwatered Deer fern
Despite how much it loves water, it is possible to overwater the Deer fern. This is most likely to happen if you leave your plant sitting in a pool of water or use a planter that doesn’t have drainage holes. Either of those conditions will be too wet and will prevent the roots from being able to take up nutrients and moisture. Too much moisture in the soil can also allow fungal or bacterial diseases to develop.
Wilted and yellow leaves are the initial symptoms of overwatering. Over time, the stems may droop and fall over, or begin to feel soft and mushy. However, be sure to check for other causes if you suspect your Deer fern is overwatered, since other issues can look similar and it’s difficult to give this plant too much water.
Underwatered Deer fern
Vigilance is required to keep this plant wet enough, unless you’re using a self-watering planter, meaning that many fern owners inadvertently let their plant get too dry now and then. In dry conditions, this plant can change in appearance seemingly overnight, from lush and green to brown and crispy.
In extreme cases, the plant may dry up so thoroughly that it seems there are no living fronds left. But it may still be possible to save the plant if some of the roots are still healthy. Cut off all of the dry and dead stems, then water thoroughly and return the plant to its usual location. Unless the roots are all dead, this plant can be surprisingly resilient and start putting out new fronds. It may take several months to grow back to the size it was before, but this is possible if you provide proper care in that time.
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How can I water my Deer fern properly?
Your Deer fern prefers consistently moist soil that mimics its native enironment, which could mean watering as often as every one or two days. This is a plant that should not be allowed to dry out. Once the top layer of soil begins to feel even slightly dry, it’s time to water again. And don’t just give it a few drops of water: soak the soil completely until water drains out from the bottom of the pot. After the excess water has drained out, dump it so the pot isn’t sitting in a puddle. This is the best method to ensure that soil never gets too dry.
Read More more
What should I consider when watering my Deer fern?
The amount of humidity in the air around your Deer fern will influence how often you need to water it. Higher humidity in the air means less frequent watering, as evaporation is slower. Keeping this plant near a heating or cooling vent will cause it to dry out quickly, so choose a location that is protected from any type of draft. They prefer dappled and indirect sunlight and temperatures between 55-80 degrees F (13-27 degrees C) meaning that keeping these ferns in a warm and sunny spot windowsill could cause them to get dehydrated quickly.
Rainwater or distilled water is great for this plant if you have access to it, although tap water in most places also works fine. Certain minerals and chemicals in tap water can cause brown leaf tips, especially since Deer fern has very thin and delicate leaves.
Small pots can cause issues for Deer fern , because they only hold a small amount of potting medium and can dry out more quickly. It is best to allow this plant more space in the pot than many other houseplants.
Consider using a self-watering planter for Deer fern. This type of pot uses a wicking system that allows the soil to continuously soak up water from a central reservoir, meaning that the moisture level in the soil stays consistently moist. Not only does this type of pot keep you from having to constantly water your fern, but it is also quite beneficial for the roots to have a constant supply of water instead of going from dry to wet and then back again.
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More Info on Deer Fern Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
Lighting
Partial sun
Deer fern thrives best in a location that receives moderate yet consistent light exposure. While it has the ability to withstand areas of lower light, the plant might show signs of stunted growth and poor health. Its natural habitat features an environment with diffused light, sheltering it from extreme light conditions.
Best Sunlight Practices
Temperature
-25 - 35 ℃
Deer fern is a native to cooler climates, with a temperature preference of 41 to 90 °F (5 to 32 ℃). In winter, make sure not to expose it to temperatures below its preferred range. During summer, ensure it doesn't overheat.
Temp for Healthy Growth
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Plants Related to Deer fern

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Great scented liverwort
Great scented liverwort
Often found on damp rock structures, great scented liverwort prefers to grow where it has constant moisture without being soggy. It gets its common name for its faint odor of urine, which occurs because it soaks up nitrogen and sulfur from its habitat.
Almond-leaved pear
Almond-leaved pear
Almond-leaved pear is a cold-hardy deciduous tree. This wild pear tree is often used as a rootstock for cultivated pear trees. This tree will tolerate growing in part shade, however, this will stunt its ability to fruit.
Guinea gold vine
Guinea gold vine
Guinea gold vine is often grown as a garden plant. It can be used as a ground cover or attractive climber. Though very showy, the yellow flowers of guinea gold vine are said to produce an unpleasant odor. If eaten, its fruit causes a burning sensation in the mouth. The plant appeared on a postage stamp in Australia in 1999.
Japanese wild cucumber
Japanese wild cucumber
Japanese wild cucumber is a flowering vine that belongs to the same family as cucumber, squash, watermelon, and other gourds. And This plant can be found in fields, forests, and along roadsides, but always in moist places. It belongs to the genus of Zehneria japonica, named after the famous botanical artist Joseph Zehner.
Devil's bouquet
Devil's bouquet
The Nyctaginia capitata is also known as its catchy common name, devil's bouquet. It is native to some parts of the United States, and it repeatedly blooms through spring, summer, and fall. It is mostly grown for decorative purposes.
Matchbox bean
Matchbox bean
Matchbox bean (Entada phaseoloides) is a tropical plant that is rich in saponins and can be used as a natural soap. It has characteristically large seed pods that grow up to 1.8 m in length. Each seed pod contains 10-20 seeds that are buoyant enough to be dispersed on ocean currents.
Cape jasmine
Cape jasmine
Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen shrub with unique, glossy evergreen leaves and stunning flowers. The sophisticated, matte white flowers are often used in bouquets. The exceptional beauty of this ornamental plant has made it a popular and highly appreciated plant amongst gardeners and horticulturalists.
Golden pothos
Golden pothos
The golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular houseplant that is commonly seen in Australia, Asia, and the West Indies. It goes by many nicknames, including "devil's ivy", because it is so hard to kill and can even grow in low light conditions. Golden pothos has poisonous sap, so it should be kept away from pets and children.
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Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Deer fern
Struthiopteris spicant
Also known as: Herring Bone Fern, Snake Fern
Deer fern (Struthiopteris spicant) is a fern that is used to habitats of shady forest floors, making it an excellent and award-winning ornamental groundcover. However, it must not be grown in limey soils, and fertilizers that contain lime should not be used, as it will kill the plant. The Latin name spicant is thought to refer to its natural growth form of spiky tufts.
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
4 to 8
more
plant_info

Key Facts About Deer fern

feedback
Feedback
feedback

Attributes of Deer fern

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Fern
Harvest Time
Summer
Plant Height
30 cm to 61 cm
Spread
30 cm to 90 cm
Leaf Color
Green
Blue
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
5 - 32 ℃
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Scientific Classification of Deer fern

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distribution

Distribution of Deer fern

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Feedback
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Habitat of Deer fern

Woods, Heaths, Moors, Mountain grassland and on rocks
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Deer fern

Deer fern boasts a natural range predominantly in temperate regions of Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as parts of Western Asia. It is also native to certain temperate areas of North Africa, exhibiting a broad distribution across major regions, which extends eastward to include parts of Japan. The species flourishes within these diverse yet climate-specific zones, indicating its adaptability to various temperate habitats.
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
question

Questions About Deer fern

feedback
Feedback
feedback
Watering Watering Watering
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
What should I do if I water my Deer fern too much or too little?
more
How can I water my Deer fern properly?
more
What should I consider when watering my Deer fern?
more
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More Info on Deer Fern Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Plants Related to Deer fern

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Lighting
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Outdoor
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Requirements
Partial sun
Ideal
About 3-6 hours sunlight
Full shade
Tolerance
Less than 3 hours of sunlight
Watch how sunlight gracefully moves through your garden, and choose spots that provide the perfect balance of light and shade for your plants, ensuring their happiness.
Essentials
Deer fern thrives best in a location that receives moderate yet consistent light exposure. While it has the ability to withstand areas of lower light, the plant might show signs of stunted growth and poor health. Its natural habitat features an environment with diffused light, sheltering it from extreme light conditions.
Preferred
Tolerable
Unsuitable
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Artificial lighting
Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
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Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
1. Choose the right type of artificial light: LED lights are a popular choice for indoor plant lighting because they can be customized to provide the specific wavelengths of light that your plants need.
Full sun plants need 30-50W/sq ft of artificial light, partial sun plants need 20-30W/sq ft, and full shade plants need 10-20W/sq ft.
2. Determine the appropriate distance: Place the light source 12-36 inches above the plant to mimic natural sunlight.
3. Determine the duration: Mimic the length of natural daylight hours for your plant species. most plants need 8-12 hours of light per day.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Insufficient Light in %s
Deer fern thrives in shady environments and can tolerate low light. Although symptoms of light deficiency may not be readily apparent, it's important to provide adequate light to ensure optimal growth and health.
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Small leaves
New leaves may grow smaller in size compared to the previous ones once they have matured.
Leggy or sparse growth
The spaces between leaves or stems of your Deer fern may become longer, resulting in a thin and stretched-out appearance. This can make the plant look sparse and weak, and it may easily break or lean due to its own weight.
Faster leaf drop
When plants are exposed to low light conditions, they tend to shed older leaves early to conserve resources. Within a limited time, these resources can be utilized to grow new leaves until the plant's energy reserves are depleted.
Slower or no new growth
Deer fern enters a survival mode when light conditions are poor, which leads to a halt in leaf production. As a result, the plant's growth becomes delayed or stops altogether.
Lighter-colored new leaves
Insufficient sunlight can cause leaves to develop irregular color patterns or appear pale. This indicates a lack of chlorophyll and essential nutrients.
Solutions
1. To optimize plant growth, shift them to increasingly sunnier spots each week until they receive 3-6 hours of direct sunlight daily, enabling gradual adaptation to changing light conditions.2. To provide additional light for your plant, consider using artificial light if it's large or not easily movable. Keep a desk or ceiling lamp on for at least 8 hours daily, or invest in professional plant grow lights for ample light.
Symptoms of Excessive light in %s
Deer fern prefers shade and is sensitive to direct sunlight. Due to their intolerance to sun exposure, they easily develop symptoms of sunburn, making proper shading essential for their well-being.
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Chlorosis
Chlorosis is a condition where the plant's leaves lose their green color and turn yellow. This is due to the breakdown of chlorophyll from excessive sunlight, which negatively affects the plant's ability to photosynthesize.
Sunscald
Sunscald occurs when the plant's leaves or stems are damaged by intense sunlight exposure. It appears as pale, bleached, or necrotic areas on the plant tissue and can reduce the plant's overall health.
Leaf Curling
Leaf curling is a symptom where leaves curl or twist under extreme sunlight conditions. This is a defense mechanism used by the plant to reduce its surface area exposed to sunlight, minimizing water loss and damage.
Wilting
Wilting occurs when a plant loses turgor pressure and its leaves and stems begin to droop. Overexposure to sunlight can cause wilting by increasing the plant's water loss through transpiration, making it difficult for the plant to maintain adequate hydration.
Leaf Scorching
Leaf scorching is a symptom characterized by the appearance of brown, dry, and crispy edges or patches on leaves due to excessive sunlight. This can lead to a reduction in photosynthetic capacity and overall plant health.
Solutions
1. Move your plant to the optimal position where it can receive abundant sunlight but also have some shade. An east-facing window is an ideal choice as the morning sunlight is gentler. This way, your plant can enjoy ample sunlight while reducing the risk of sunburn.2. It is recommended to trim off any completely dehydrated or withered parts of the plant.
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Temperature
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Outdoor
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Requirements
Ideal
Tolerable
Unsuitable
Just like people, each plant has its own preferences. Learn about your plants' temperature needs and create a comforting environment for them to flourish. As you care for your plants, your bond with them will deepen. Trust your intuition as you learn about their temperature needs, celebrating the journey you share. Lovingly monitor the temperature around your plants and adjust their environment as needed. A thermometer can be your ally in this heartfelt endeavor. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore your plants' temperature needs. Cherish your successes, learn from challenges, and nurture your garden with love, creating a haven that reflects the warmth of your care.
Essentials
Deer fern is a native to cooler climates, with a temperature preference of 41 to 90 °F (5 to 32 ℃). In winter, make sure not to expose it to temperatures below its preferred range. During summer, ensure it doesn't overheat.
Regional wintering strategies
Deer fern has strong cold resistance, so special frost protection measures are usually not necessary during winter. However, if the winter temperatures are expected to drop below {Limit_growth_temperature}, it is still important to provide cold protection. This can be achieved by covering the plant with materials such as soil or straw. Before the first freeze in autumn, it is recommended to water the plant abundantly, ensuring the soil remains moist and enters a frozen state. This helps prevent drought and water scarcity for the plant during winter and early spring.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Low Temperature in Deer fern
Deer fern is cold-tolerant and thrives best when the temperature is above {Suitable_growth_temperature_min}. During winter, it should be kept above {Tolerable_growing_temperature_min}. When the temperature falls below {Limit_growth_temperature}, although there may not be any noticeable changes during winter, there may be a decrease in sprouting or even no sprouting during springtime.
Solutions
In spring, remove any parts that have failed to sprout.
Symptoms of High Temperature in Deer fern
During summer, Deer fern should be kept below {Suitable_growth_temperature_max}. When the temperature exceeds {Tolerable_growing_temperature_max}, the leaves of the plant may become lighter in color, prone to curling, and more susceptible to sunburn.
Solutions
Trim away the sunburned and dried-up parts. Move the plant to a location that provides shade from the midday and afternoon sun, or use a shade cloth to create shade. Water the plant in the morning and evening to keep the soil moist.
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