A native of Australia, kangaroo fern (Microsorum diversifolium) is an attractive, cool-climate fern distinguished by its firm fronds, which grow to various lengths. Height of the plant at maturity is about 30cm, with a spread of 60 - 90cm. It is sometimes grown as ground cover.
These ferns like warm temperatures 21.1°-23.9°C in the spring, summer, and autumn, but prefer cooler temperatures 15.6°-18.3°C and bright, brighter light in the winter. Best light for this plant is bright, indirect light. High humidity is best, but a kangaroo paw fern still does well in lower household humidity.
Water kangaroo fern deeply once every week throughout the year, providing enough water to soak the roots. Between deep waterings, water lightly every day if needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Don't sprinkle the foliage. Instead, use a drip irrigation system or allow a garden hose to trickle at the base of the plant.
Apply a product containing chelated iron if the fronds take on a yellow or bleached appearance, which indicates an iron deficiency. Iron chelate is available in both dry form, applied to the soil, and spray form, applied directly to the leaves. Iron-deficient foliage usually turns green within a month after application, and doesn't require re-application for several months.
Cut off brown and dry fronds as they appear, as the fronds won't rebound. Dry fronds are usually the result of long exposure to hot, dry wind.
Protect the fern from slugs, which often prey on the foliage of moisture-loving plants, especially during rainy or humid weather. Regular application of commercial slug bait is usually the most effective treatment. However, various natural treatments are also available.
This plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Kangaroo Fern in Hanging Basket
A single Kangaroo Fern in 20cm plastic hanging nursery pot.