Crispy Wave Fern: A Complete Care Guide

Crispy Wave Fern

The Crispy Wave Fern, also known as Asplenium nidus, is a plant that is often grown as a houseplant. This fern is a variety of Bird’s Nest fern, with it’s wavy leaves making it unique. This plant is native to southeastern Asia, Australia, Hawaii, Polynesia, and Eastern Africa.

How to care for a crispy wave fern?

Proper care for a crispy wave fern requires that you provide the appropriate light, temperature, soil type, watering, fertilization, and maintenance. If you meet these key aspects for this plant, you will have a very happy fern that will thrive in your household. This fern is considered easy to grow and an excellent choice as an air purifying plant.

Light and Temperature Requirements

The Crispy Wave Fern prefers partial shade and only likes direct sunlight for a few hours a day. This is because it often grows in areas where it only gets some light through the tree foliage under which it grows. This plant does not appreciate too much sunlight and will often respond by turning the leaves yellow. The best temperature for this fern is a comfortable level of warmth between 60 to 80 degrees F or 16 to 27 degrees C. It’s important to note that it will not tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees F or 10 degrees C. Temperatures below this will cause the plant to die.

Soil and Planter Requirements

The Crispy Wave Fern does best in loamy soil, which is a type of soil that is composed of all three main types of soil, including sand, silt, and clay. This provides plenty of water retention, while offering good drainage and aeration for the plant. These ferns do well in regular potting mix that has been amended with peat moss as well.

Allowing your plant to have proper drainage is essential, so choosing a planter with plenty of drainage holes is important. This will prevent your fern from getting waterlogged and experiencing root rot. This fern will do well in a smaller pot, as they are very slow growing plants. The pot should be big enough to fit the plant’s roots comfortably with an inch or two extra for growth.

Watering Care

These plants do well with high moisture in their soil, as well as plenty of humidity. Misting the plant is commonly recommended to add to the humidity in the air. This is extra important if you low humidity in your house. You can also put a humidifier nearby to add that extra moisture to the air that it loves. These ferns can be put into bathrooms because they love moisture and warmth, however it’s important to make sure that they still do get the light that they require.

You should water this plant when the top inch or two of soil is dry to the touch. This plant likes moisture, therefore you do not want all of the soil underneath to dry out. You should water this plant once roughly every four to five days, depending on the environment that the plant is in. If the top two inches of soil still feel moist to the touch feel free to wait an extra day or two.


This fern does not require too much fertilization, as ferns tend to be pretty sensitive to fertilizers and generally do not need much added. You can choose to fertilize the plant once a month during the warmer months where you will experience the most growth, which is generally from spring to early fall. The best type of fertilizer for this plant is going to be liquid fertilizer with the NPK ratio of 24-8-16. This amount applied sparingly throughout the growing months will allow your plant the optimal nutrients to thrive. Be sure to mix be mixing your fertilizer to a strength meant for indoor potted plants.

Pruning and Maintaining

Maintaining and pruning your crispy wave fern is an important aspect of having this plant in your house. Pruning is generally a very simple process where you will remove any dead, damaged, or browning leaves on the plant. Make sure to disinfect your scissors before and after cutting the leaves to avoid spreading any disease to and from your plants. Cut the damaged leaf as close to the base, near the soil, as possible. Make a clean cut of the leaf and dispose of it. Be sure not to damage the center node that the fronds grow from. This will maintain your plant in a healthier state by allowing it to put all of it’s energy into growing the healthy leaves.

Common Issues and Pests

There are not many common issues with this plant if their key needs are met. You may experience issues with dying leaves if the plant does not get enough sun or water. The leaves to this plant are delicate and can easily be torn or break.

The main pests that threaten this plant are ones that are mostly found outdoors, so you should not have much of a pest problem if your plant is kept inside. Some of the common pests that affect this plant are aphids, mealybugs, and snails or slugs. This plant may also experience bacterial or fungal disease. Root rot may occur if the soil is not well draining and stays waterlogged for too long.

Overall, the crispy wave fern is a beautiful addition to your house with it’s wavy foliage. It provides great benefits to the air quality of your home, while not being too difficult to care for. With some basic care, this plant should thrive and grow for a long time.

Article Sources:

Asplenium nidus. North Carolina State Extension