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Plant Profile: Rabbit Foot Fern (Davallia Fejeensis)

Native to Fiji, this epiphytic evergreen fern is a member of the Davalliaceae plant family that also includes other ferns with furry rhizomes such as deer foot and squirrel foot ferns. The rhizomes grow over the the surface of the soil and will grow over and down the sides of a container if gown as a houseplant. The rhizomes give rise to green, triangular erect fronds that are 3- or 4- pinnately divided. Although rabbit foot ferns likes high humidity it is less finicky about moisture in the air than many other ferns. It is a tender perennial so can be grown out of doors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11 but for most of the US is best grown as a houseplant, The genus name, Davallia, honors Edmond Davall (1763-1798) an English-Swiss botanist. The specific epithet, Fejeensis, refers to Fiji Island, where the fern is native.

Type: Epiphytic evergreen fern

Bloom: None

Size: 1-3′ H x 1-4′ W

Light: Bright shade; avoid direct sun

Soil: Porous, moisture retentive, well-drained; needs high humidity so grow on gravel substrate containing low level of water.

Hardiness: Zones 10-12

Care: Mist several times weekly; remove wilted or brown fronds; fertilize monthly at half the recommended dosage.

Pests and Diseases: Botrytis, aerial blights, scale, thrips, mites, mealybugs, whiteflies (avoid pesticides and use alcohol swabs to remove pests)

Propagation: Rhizome tip cuttings, division, spores; divide infrequently as the rhizomes are the main attraction of the plant.

Companion Plants: Calla lily, caladium, canna

Outstanding Selections: ‘Plumosa” (feather-like segments)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia