- Common Name: Spider Brake or Spider Fern Sun Exposure: Light Grows in the shade, ideally in the woods and along moist banks. Hardiness Zones:6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Mature Height:1-2 feet Spread:to 1 foot Spacing:24-36 in. (60-90 cm) Growth Rate:Year 1-
Brake Fern – Pteris Cretica
The brake fern is an ideal indoor or outdoor plant. Multiple varieties differ in their variegations and leaf shapes. Some feature bright white stripes, some have frilly tips, and others have creamy white lines. This plant is bushy and vibrant, so it is easy to plant alone or to add dimension when among other plants. Th fronds start to arch at the tip as they begin to grow. The pinna taper to a point and are full. The first stalk is black in color and long.
The brake fern has an Old World tropics native range, and it is low maintenance, needing only a medium amount of water to thrive. The hardiness zones include nine through 12.
This fern requires partial to full shade outdoors, and bright, but indirect light indoors. When indoors, humidity is important and a clay pot, either indoors or out, help to ensure the roots are kept cold. This non-flowering evergreen grows to a height of one to two feet. Its spread is also one to two feet. This fern grows at a moderate rate, achieving its full height and maturity in just two to five years.
A potting mix that is peat based is ideal for the brake fern. Feeding it a diluted fertilizer every 30 days should be done from April through September to ensure healthy growth. As the fern grows, re-pot it about once a year, or divide the plant, to ensure it has the space to reach its full spread size.
The brake fern is an ornamental species, making it an ideal patio or deck border. It also works as a viable ground cover in gardens and for general landscaping. Another widespread use is in rock gardens and rock walls since it works well in vertical habitats.