Austral Gem Fern Houseplant Guide

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Hello, plant lovers! Are you ready to dive into the world of a truly exceptional houseplant? Today, we’re shining the spotlight on a fern that’s far from ordinary – the Austral Gem Fern houseplant. Now, you might be thinking, “A fern? How special can it be?” Well, prepare to be surprised! Enjoy reading!
Say hello to the Austral Gem Fern! This houseplant is known by its full name, Asplenium dimorphum ‘Austral Gem.’ It is a green gem right from Australia’s heart. With its showy silver-green leaves and compact form, it’s no wonder plant lovers can’t get enough of it. People might call it the Jewel Fern or even the Silver Spear Fern.

Austral Gem Fern houseplant, Lush green foliage of austral gem bird's nest fern
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Now, be aware of the delicate look of the Austral Gem Fern houseplant. Its intricate leaves might seem fragile, but they’re stronger than you think! This one holds its own, unlike some ferns with leaves as thin as paper. If you’ve longed to bring a splash of green into your space but worry about tending to a delicate plant, this fern might be your perfect match. Plus, it’s a champ in adapting to low humidity, making it an excellent pick for folks in drier climates. So, if you’ve been looking for a houseplant that ticks all the boxes, why not consider the Austral Gem Fern?

Origin of the Austral Gem Fern Houseplant

Let’s hop on a time machine and return to where our friend, the Austral Gem Fern houseplant, came from. Picture this: the wide-open landscapes of Australia, filled with unique and diverse plants. In this rich environment, the Austral Gem Fern was born.


The Austral Gem Fern isn’t your typical fern. It’s a hybrid. This means it was created by combining two different types of ferns. And where did this cool experiment happen? You got it – Australia!


Australians did more than just invent vegemite, folks. They created this little green gem that brightens up homes around the world. Thanks to its robust and adaptable nature, it became a favorite amongst indoor growers. Who can resist a plant that’s easy to take care of and brings a piece of the Australian outdoors right into your home?

Extraordinary Features of the Austral Gem Fern Houseplant

This unique gem has been winning hearts everywhere. Its special features have made it a top pick among plant lovers. Let’s take a look at what makes this fern such a superstar:

Austral Gem Fern, Asplenium dimorphum,A group of Austral Gem Bird's Nest Ferns
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Tough Leaves

Don’t let the delicate look of the Austral Gem Fern fool you. Its fronds may appear intricate, but they’re pretty sturdy! Unlike some ferns with paper-thin leaves, this fern can grasp a bit of rough and tumble. Perfect if you’re looking for a plant that can take a hit or two!


Friend of Dry Air

The Austral Gem Fern can be without a sauna to thrive. It’s a pro at adapting to low humidity. This makes it an excellent choice for folks living in dry areas or those of us who don’t own a humidifier.



Did you know that this plant is sterile? This means that it doesn’t produce spores like other ferns do. So, if you fancy a fern that will stay clean and is a breeze to look after, the Austral Gem Fern is your guy.


Shade Lover

If you have a shady spot outdoors and live in a warmer zone, the Austral Gem Fern is a fantastic choice. Its thick, glossy, dark green leaves can bring a classy touch to any corner.


Easy-Peasy Care

The Austral Gem Fern houseplant isn’t one for high maintenance. It loves gleaming indirect light but can also make do with medium or low light. As for watering, wait until the top inch of soil feels dry and you’re ready.

Ideal Growing Conditions


To ensure that your fern thrives, providing it with the ideal growing conditions is vital. This includes providing the right amount of light, temperature, and humidity.

Light Requirements


The Austral Gem Fern prefers gleaming, ancillary light. It can tolerate some straight sunlight, but too much can damage the leaves. If the plant does not receive enough light, the leaves may turn yellow or brown. But, if the plant receives too much light, the leaves may become scorched.
Make sure that it receives the right amount of light. You can place it near a window that receives bright, indirect light. Does your window receive direct sunlight? Consider using a sheer curtain to screen the light.

Temperature Preferences


The Austral Gem Fern prefers cooler temperatures. But it can tolerate temperatures up to 90°F. I recommend using a fan during hot temperatures to provide good air circulation. If the temperature dips below 50°F, the plant may start to suffer.

Humidity Needs


The Austral Gem Fern thrives in high-humidity environments. I recommend keeping the humidity level around the plant at 50% or higher. If the air in your home is dry, consider using a humidifier. You can also place a water tray near the plant to increase the humidity. It is also essential to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Planting and Repotting


Potting Mix


When planting an Austral Gem Fern, it is important to use a well-draining potting mix. A combination of perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite in equal parts is ideal. This mix will provide the right balance of moisture retention and drainage for the fern. Avoid using heavy soils or those that retain too much moisture, as they can lead to root rot.

Repotting Process


Austral Gem Ferns prefer to be slightly root-bound, so they only need to be repotted every 2-3 years. When repotting, select a pot that is one size bigger than the current pot. Remove the fern from its old pot, being careful not to damage the roots.
Before placing the fern in its new pot, add a layer of the potting mix to the bottom of the pot. Then, add the fern and fill in the remaining space with the potting mix. Press the mix down around the fern to ensure it is secure.
After repotting, water the fern thoroughly. Place it in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid putting it in direct sun, as this can scorch the leaves. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. And mist the leaves regularly to preserve humidity.

Watering and Fertilizing Austral Gem Fern Houseplant


Watering Schedule

The Austral Gem Fern is a low-maintenance houseplant that requires moderate watering. It is crucial to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can result in root rot, so it is essential to ensure that the soil is well-draining. The number of water will depend on the environment, pot size, and humidity levels. I recommend watering the Austral Gem Fern once a week or when the top inch of the soil feels dry.

Fertilizer Type and Frequency

The Austral Gem Fern does not need frequent fertilization. However, it can enjoy occasional feedings during the growing season. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 is suitable for this plant. You should apply fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season. This is typically from spring to early fall. It is important to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength. This is to avoid burning the plant’s roots.
It is also important to note that ferns generally do not require heavy fertilization. They can benefit from natural sources of nutrients. These include leaf litter from surrounding trees and occasional top dressing of compost mulch.

Pruning and Propagation


Regarding its care, pruning and propagation are essential aspects to consider. Here are some tips on adequately pruning and propagating your Austral Gem Fern.


Pruning Techniques


Pruning is essential to maintain the health and appearance of your Austral Gem Fern. Dead or damaged fronds should be removed promptly to prevent the spreading of disease or pests. Here are some pruning techniques to keep in mind:


  • Use sharp and sterile pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.
  • Cut the frond as close to the base as possible without damaging the stem.
  • Cut off any brown or yellow fronds to promote new growth.
  • Do not remove more than one-third of the plant at once to avoid stressing the plant.


Propagation Methods


Propagating your Austral Gem Fern is an easy and cost-effective way to grow new plants. Here are two standard methods of propagation:

  • Division


Gently detach the plant from its pot and separate the root ball into smaller sections. Each section should have at least one healthy frond and a portion of the root system. Repot each section in a new pot with fresh potting soil.


  • Spores


Collect spores from the underside of mature fronds and place them in a plastic bag. Sow the spores on top of a moist growing medium. Cover them with plastic wrap, and put them in a warm and bright location. Keep the soil moist and mist the spores regularly. Once the spores have germinated and developed into small ferns, transplant them into individual pots.


Remember to be patient when propagating your Austral Gem Fern. It may take several weeks or even months for new growth to appear.

Video Credit: Nick Pileggi 

Pest and Diseases


Common Critters


The Austral Gem Fern houseplant is quite tough, but even the best of us have weak spots. There are some tiny troublemakers. These are mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects that can harm your fern. If these pests camped on your plant’s leaves and stems, they might stunt its growth. Or it can cause it to give up altogether.

Don’t worry, though! You can prevent these uninvited guests. Make it a habit to check your plants for signs of pests. If you spot anything unusual, move the affected plant away from the others. This is to stop the pests from making themselves at home there, too. Caught a small infestation early? Swipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use water and dish soap. But if the problem is more extensive, you might need to call in reinforcements. These can be insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.

Disease Prevention


Our friend, the Austral Gem Fern, is not a big fan of fungal diseases. These can lead to nasty things like root rot, leaf spots, and wilting. Overwatering is a big no-no because it can invite these issues. So be sure to water your fern only when the top of the soil feels dry to your finger.

It’s also a good idea to give your plants plenty of fresh air to keep mold and mildew away. Act fast if you notice signs of fungal disease, like yellowing leaves or black spots! Remove the sick leaves right away and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Wrapping It Up

And that brings us to the end of our chat about the Austral Gem Fern houseplant. It’s been quite an adventure. This fern, which started in Australia, is now loved in homes worldwide. It’s extraordinary!

The Austral Gem Fern is powerful. It has tough leaves and can even do well in dry air. Plus, it’s a clean, mess-free companion that doesn’t scatter spores everywhere. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s pretty simple to care for, even those new to houseplants.

Moreover, the Austral Gem Fern is as versatile as they come, happy in indoor pots and shady outdoor spaces. With its beautiful, glossy leaves, it’s sure to add a touch of elegance wherever it grows.


So there you have it. The Austral Gem Fern is a houseplant that’s charming, tough, and a breeze to care for. Whether seasoned or just starting, this fern is a brilliant choice. It’s safe to say that the Austral Gem Fern houseplant is quite the gem!


Thanks for joining us on this exciting plant journey. Happy gardening, everyone!


Is the Austral Gem Fern toxic to pets?
No, the Austral Gem Fern is non-toxic to pets according to the ASPCA. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your pets and make sure they don’t nibble on any houseplants.
What is the scientific name for the Austral Gem Fern?
The scientific name for the Austral Gem Fern is Asplenium dimorphum ‘Austral Gem’.
How big can an Austral Gem Fern grow?
The Austral Gem Fern can grow up to 12-18 inches in height and 12-24 inches in width.
What is the best way to propagate an Austral Gem Fern?
The best way to propagate an Austral Gem Fern is through division. You can separate the plant into smaller sections and replant them in fresh soil.
How often should I water my indoor Austral Gem Fern?
The Austral Gem Fern prefers to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. It’s important not to let the soil completely dry out, as this can cause the plant to wilt.
Why is my Austral Gem Fern dying?
There are a few reasons why your Austral Gem Fern may be dying. It could be due to overwatering, underwatering, lack of humidity, or too much direct sunlight. Check the soil moisture level. Adjust the lighting, and consider misting the plant to increase humidity.

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