Potted plants: Pteris argyraea, Pteris umbrosa, Pteris, Pteris cretica, Pteris ensiformis, Pteris longifolia, Pteris multifida, Pteris quadriaurita, Pteris tremula

Potted plants: Pteris argyraea, Pteris umbrosa, Pteris, Pteris cretica, Pteris ensiformis, Pteris longifolia, Pteris multifida, Pteris quadriaurita, Pteris tremula

Classification, origin and description

Common name: Pteris.
Kind: Pteris.

Family: Pteridaceae.

Etymology: from the Greek "pteron", wing, for the shape of the light and elegant fronds.
provenance: Eastern Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, Brazil and Mediterranean areas of Europe.

Genre description: includes about 250 species of ferns, rhizomatous, evergreen, with simple, bi- or tripennate fronds, formed by pinnules of various sizes, with the folded edge that houses the spores arranged in continuous rows. They are temperate greenhouse plants that can also be grown in the apartment, taking care to keep the atmosphere sufficiently humid.

Pteris cretica var. Albolineata (Berlin Botanical Garden) (photo website)

Species and varieties

Pteris argyraea

Pteris cretica: native to the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East, Japan and India, this evergreen fern has pinnate and arched fronds, even 40 cm long. consisting of a black petiole on which a dozen pinnules of linear-lanceolate shape, with often toothed margins, attack. The fertile pinnules are narrower than the sterile ones and the terminal ones are longer than the others. Sometimes they may have a lighter longitudinal strip in the center of the foil. It grows up to 45-75 cm. in height. Among the varieties on the market we find: "Albolineata", which has pinnules with a white stripe that extends to the two sides of the central rib; "Cristata", with green pinnules, narrow and crested at the end; "Maya", dwarf variety with mottled fronds; "Wimsettii", with particularly thick fronds formed by irregular pinnules.

Pteris ensiformis: native to China, Australia and Polynesia, this evergreen fern has erect and thin fertile fronds, formed by dark green pinnules, 40-50 cm long. and with wavy edges. The sterile fronds, on the other hand, are smaller and wider and have pinnules with serrated margins, sometimes divided into leaflets. It grows up to 40 cm. The "Victoriae" variety has pinnules (both sterile and fertile fronds) crossed by a central white line and with wavy margins.

Pteris longifolia: native to tropical and subtropical areas, this evergreen species has pinnate fronds, even 70 cm long, formed by a pubescent rachis (like the petiole of the rest) on which are inserted the 40-50 sessile pinnules, with long and narrow lamina, truncate at the base and tapered at the end.

Pteris multifida: this evergreen fern has the appearance of a small compact head formed by many fronds with simple distal pinnules. The lower pinnules are divided into segments with red-brown petioles. The terminal pinnula is decurrent. Among the numerous varieties we point out the "Ouvrardi", with arched branches formed by pinnules with wavy margins.

Pteris quadriaurita: native to tropical regions, this evergreen fern has large triangular fronds, with a red petiole and bi- or tripennate pinnules, lanceolate and pointed. Among the best known varieties we mention: "Argyraea", with pinnules marked by a silver strip; "Tricolor", with characteristic red shades. Today the first variety is considered a species in itself called P. argyraea.

Pteris tremula: originally from Oceania, this evergreen fern has bipinnate fronds on the distal half and three-pronged on the basal half. It reaches 1.5 m. in height.

Pteris umbrosa

Pteris argyraea (website photo)

Pteris umbrosa (website photo)

Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions

Temperature: for most species, the minimum winter temperature should not drop below 7-10 ° C. An exception is P. ensiformis, which does not tolerate temperatures below 13-16 ° C. No species tolerates air currents.
Light: shaded or partially shaded position, away from the sun's rays. Especially for variegated leaf species, exposure to direct sunlight causes growth to stop.
Watering and environmental humidity: water abundantly from March to September (the plant withers and dies if it remains dry for more than a day); reduce doses in autumn-winter, taking care to leave the ground bread always moist (ferns die if the ground bread dries). Environmental humidity should be increased by spraying the foliage and placing the pots on bowls filled with pebbles, always kept wet.
Substrate: mixture based on garden soil, peat or leaf soil and coarse sand.
Special fertilizations and tricks: Pteris are grown in small pots. The rhizomes must be buried very lightly, better if covered with a lightly pressed sphagnum pad. The repottings will have to be done in spring, only if the plant actually comes out of the pot. In spring-summer, give liquid fertilizer every three weeks. In autumn-winter fertilizations must be done every 5-6 weeks.


They can be reproduced, in March, by sowing the spores, obtained by drying the sporangia, in a mixture of peat and sand kept humid and at a temperature of 24-27 ° C. After several weeks, fern-like seedlings will be born. As soon as the dimensions allow it, they will have to be transplanted into 5 cm pots. and treat them like adult plants. It is not very simple as a technique and it will take at least a year to get a small plant. New specimens can also be obtained by division of the tufts, in the spring, taking care to replant immediately the two portions obtained (watering them abundantly) and to keep the environmental humidity high, without resorting to coverings, to avoid stagnation and possible rot.

Diseases, pests and adversities

- Cotton mealy bugs: can attack plants, especially in hot and dry climates. You have to remove them, treat the plant with an anticoccidic product and raise the level of environmental humidity (the spraying and the washing of the leaves allow to eliminate the cochineals in the larval state). As an alternative to the chemical, the affected parts can be rubbed with a cotton swab wet with water and alcohol.

- Brown mealybugs: they occur with the formation of brown growths (determined by the small "shell") and giving the plant a blackish and sticky appearance (due to the production by the plant of sugary substances that make it subject to attack by fungi and fumaggini). They are fought by removing them and treating the plant with an anticoccidic product or by rubbing the affected parts with a pad soaked in water and alcohol.

Video: Como cuidar da samambaia prata pteris #paisagismo #jardim #jardinagem #samambaias #cursos #dicas (January 2022).