The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Ferns.

Common name(s): Hare's-Foot Fern
Davallia Family - Davalliaceae. Genus of 34 species of mostly epiphytic ferns, found by streams or on rocks in W. Mediterranian. Davallia is often used in a hanging basket. Most of these plants have creeping stems that are covered with silvery white, black or brown fuzzy scales that resemble small paws. They have finely divided fronds that rise directly from the creeping stems and can vary in length from 6 inches to 6 feet. The tropical varieties of this fern need a minimum temperature of 55 F. Grow Davallia canariensis (carrot-like foliage) or the larger but less hardy Davallia fejeensis.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 50 F in winter. Brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all time. Reduce watering in winter. Misting is necessary. Divide plants in spring.Sow spores as soon as ripe at 70 F (21 C).

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Ohio U.S.A.
10th Aug 2008
I've had 3 of these plants over the years, and killed each one! Either the leaves dry and fall off, or the feet rot. can anyone tell me what the best soil to use is, and how to best water these planta?
2nd Oct 2008
Judicious neglect is the thing here. It sounds as though you are over watering. Use a well drained commercial potting mix and hold off on the watering for a couple of weeks at a time. Make sure the plant isn't sitting in a puddle. You can mist the fronds from time to time. Make sure there is good air circulation around the plant. The fronds may wither and fall off during the Fall and Winter. That's not unusual and does not necessarily mean the plant is dead. Mostly, don't over water. Very important.
2nd Aug 2010
I've had one of these for years. I planted it in a wire basket with sphagnum moss and the stems surrounded it making it look like a sphere with ferns.
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