The five-fingered maidenhair fern or Northern maidenhair fern is extremely attractive. It differs from other maidenhair ferns in the almost palmate shape of its 1 ft. (30 cm) frond blades, carried on leafstalks up to 20 in. (30 cm) long.
The small leaflets (pinnules) are oblong and pale green. All maidenhair ferns need warmth and humidity to thrive. A.p. ‘Japonicum’ (early red maidenhair) has purple-pink fronds. A.p. ‘Laciniatum’ has fronds to 8 in. (20 cm) and deeply divided pinnules.
Size: Height to 2 ft. (60 cm).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal to warm room; minimum 50°F (10°C).
Moisture: Keep moist at all times.
Feeding: Give half-strength liquid fertilizer once a month in spring and summer.
Propagation: Divide older clumps or remove a small piece of rhizome with 1—2 fronds attached.
Special needs: Adiantums like high humidity, but not wet roots (which will quickly rot), and they should never be allowed to dry out. Drafts and dry air will shrivel and eventually kill the leaves.