The sudden return of cold and rainy weather seems to have also brought along the illnesses commonly associated with it, which is why plant of the week is coming to you guys two days late. Seeing as the near constant gloomy weather in Oregon tends to make the house darker, this week’s plant of the week is the low light loving Birds Nest Fern! When you think of a fern, you probably envision the feathery, airy fronds, but this fern defies all preconceived notions of what ferns look like. Birds nest ferns get their name because the center of the plant resembles a (you guessed it) birds nest. This is accompanied by it’s beautiful wavy leaves and a striking resemblance to seaweed.
Birds nests do well in medium-low, indirect light. The amount of light the plant receives will actually effect how crinkly the leaves turn out. A birds nest that receives more light will have crinklier leaves than one that receives less light, but be aware that too much light will cause the leaves to yellow and die. Like other ferns, ideal conditions would mean that the fern will have moist, but not wet soil but birds nests can actually tolerate soil that dries out from time to time. It also doesn’t need high humidity levels, unlike other ferns, which makes it a pretty forgiving houseplant. Another fun trait for this plant is that in the wild, it is considered an epiphyte, which means that it usually grows off of the sides of things and clings to the host, similar to stag horn ferns and orchids. When you purchase a birds nest fern, it will typically come potted in a plant medium, but it can be affixed to plants and hung on walls!