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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Care & Cultivate Squirrel Foot Fern - Davallia trichomanoides

This particular type of fern is commonly known as Rabbit foot fern,
alternatively also known as Squirrel foot fern, Deer foot.. Bear foot..
These are Dacallia species which are very much like a weed growing everywhere rather than been cultivated as a prized fern collection.

Their difference are very much identified in their geographical location and the shape & co lour of their furry rhizome. The silvery white shade furry rhizome is known as Rabbit Foot Fern (Davallia Fejeensis) 

The Hare's Foot Fern, Black Rabbit's Foot Fern also known as Squirrel Foot Fern which has a brown to black shade rhizome. (Davallia trichomanoides)

This one is native here in Malaysia, it can be found everywhere.
(on tree barks, by the drain sides, even along wall cracks at the back of houses where it grows wildly)
These cut-ferns were often used for flower arrangements and these last very long almost 2 weeks in a cut form. Usually cut ferns withers within days but not this one.

How to Care for Squirrel Foot Fern


This one is very hardy, it can handle infrequent watering as well as over-watering. 
Although - do be concerned with over-watering unless your medium you are using must be fast draining. The root-ball seemed to be like a strands of thick furry succulent type root system. These will trail and grow everywhere.

If the leaves turn yellow then it means it is receiving too much water and roots are starting to rot.


These thrive in bright shaded areas similar like orchids and other epiphytes. Often these grow together side by side. Too much sun can burn the leaves.


These ferns thrive with fast draining medium similar used for orchids.
Bark, wood chips, perlite, charcoal, sphagnum moss, coconut husk chips, and similar materials does very well for this fern medium. 


Hank F said...

Hi James,
I appreciate your love of plants. They are a joy.
A friend gave me several cuttings of squirrel foot fern and I am potting them. The reports on how to pot them seem mixed. Some say just to press the furry feet into the soil but not to cover them and others say to bury the feet. What are your thoughts?


James David said...

Thanks Hank for dropping by.
I suggest its best to bury them first as they are cuttings.
Eventually the rhizome will trail out with new fronts. As you can see from the picture, I had totally buried them as these give good support for the plant to stand upright.
Placing the roots just above the soilmix may cause the plant to be unstable and may fall over from the pot & they might not recover from the intial shock.
Hope this helps.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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