Native to southeast Asia, Java Fern, Microsorum pteropus, is found attached to roots and rocks in streams and rivers, along riverbanks, and in marshes. Rhizome should be anchored to wood or stone. If planted in substrate, ensure rhizome is never buried, to avoid rot. Leaves grow 6-12 inches dependent on available nutrient. Thrives with regular fertilization. Black areas on leaves are sporangia, reproductive organs, not necessarily symptom of deficiency. Transparent areas on leaves are a result of too much light. Medium light is sufficient for optimal growth, excellent growth in diffused light. Water circulation / current is essential to optimal growth.
Java fern reproduces by adventitious plants at tips of leaves. After plantlets develop several leaves and roots, they can be separated and propagated. Propagation also possible by cutting rhizome, ensure that leaves and roots attached to each section. Capable of emersed growth in humid conditions, rhizome must remain in water and leaves require sufficient moisture in air. This plant is not eaten by herbivorous fish.
- Family - Polypodiaceae
- Genus - Microsorum
- Distribution - tropical Asia
- Plant Type - rhizome
- Light Requirements - medium
- Placement - Background
- Hardiness/Difficulty - high/easy
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