Lygodiaceae Presl - Ligodia
Lygodium japonicum (Thunb.) Swartz - Japanese ligody
Perennial climbing, found on the edges of the hillsides in China, Japan, the United States, the Greater Antilles. The fern has a long, branched, creeping rhizome. Leaves up to 15 cm long, oppositely arranged, cirrus dissected, consist of 2-3 triangular leaflets. Ligodium (Ligodium) is widely used as an ampelous houseplant. Translated from Greek lygodes means "flexible." In the homeland, various decorative ornaments are woven of fern. The length of the ligodium lashes in the botanical garden reaches 1-1.2 m. This plant is in demand among the population as an ampoule fern that can grow in household interiors.
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The most flexible of ferns - ligodium
All ligodiums are curly ferns that can rightly be ranked as vines, however strange such a combination may seem. In nature, ligodiums are found in South-East Asia.
Ligodiums are representatives of the same family Ligodia (Lygodiaceae). In nature, you can find almost two dozen representatives of the genus Ligodiums, but only one species has gained recognition in floriculture. The absolute leader among ligodiums in indoor floriculture is Japanese ligodium - a bright, flexible and amazing in all respects fern.
Ligodium Japanese (Lygodium japonicum) - a large, unusually ductile curly fern in growth forms and growing possibilities. The length of the wai of Ligodium is not limited, they can stop growing and 50 cm, but more often they extend much higher. Ligodium can be grown in ampelous or potted form, formed on a support - in fact, like any other indoor vine of not too compact size. Ampel ligodiums resemble green waterfalls or cascades of green lace. Creeping roots are quite powerful. Ligodiums form two types of vai: sterile, cirrus dissected, more modest and shorter, and at least half-meter spore-bearing vai with deep dissection into lobes. The finest sorus, numerous division into segments, which themselves resemble miniature waiy because of the serrated edge of the lobes, make the leaves of ligodium irresistibly ornamental. It is almost impossible to consider the structure of individual leaves. The whole plant seems to be continuous lace, consisting of the most complex details.
Ligodiums are very variable in color. Depending on the specific conditions and lighting, they can either preserve a light or bright green color, or represent a darker fern. But the shade of green in ligodiums is always catchy, from the forest palette.
Japanese Ligodium (Lygodium japonicum). © Vojtěch Zavadil
Room ligodium conditions
Ligodiums are ferns universal in every sense. From a stylistic point of view, they can be used in the design of almost any room, regardless of their functionality. They are good for offices and living rooms, will fit into the collection of any greenhouse or conservatory. But with such versatility, one very important factor should be taken into account: ligodia need medium or high humidity. But on the other hand, their favorite coolness is more often found not at home, but in office conditions. This is not a room Spartan, but an exotic plant, for which you will have to carefully select the conditions. And it is worth using it in offices or ordinary rooms only when the requirements of ligodia can be fully satisfied.
Unique curly ferns can only be recommended to experienced gardeners. The point is not only that ligodia need specific conditions. Unpleasant surprises often arise in the development of plants, you need to notice the signals about their ill health and adjust the conditions in time. And for proper care, you need at least a little experience in caring for room exotics.
Lighting and placement of ligodium
Despite belonging to ferns, ligodium is inferior to its brethren in shade tolerance. He prefers, although not sunny places, but the brightest lighting. An insufficient level of lighting leads to impaired growth, stretching and loss of foliage texture, but in rooms with large windows you can experiment with placing ligodium and partial shade. At rest, if the recommended temperature regime is observed, ligodium does not need additional illumination, but moving to a brighter place will not harm it.
This fern feels good on the eastern, western and northern windowsills or in the interior, subject to a similar light intensity. When choosing a place for ligodium, consider what size the plant will reach with the chosen form of cultivation. If the fern is grown in an ampoule basket, then he will need a lot of space. But in principle, even the ligodiums formed on the supports look better in splendid isolation. Plants are exposed at some distance from other plants: after all, their greens are so special that it is better to emphasize it with a solo part.
Temperature and ventilation required by ligodium
The most comfortable for ligodium is a cool environment. This fern loves a temperature of about 16-18 degrees and does not respond well to heat, even if air humidity is controlled or increased. In the period of active growth for ligodium, subject to high humidity, warmer room temperatures are also suitable - from 20 degrees to higher values, but it is better to limit the maximum temperature to 25 degrees. In winter, it is better to lower the temperature to 16 degrees Celsius, avoiding severe hypothermia.
One of the main advantages of ligodium is its resistance to drafts. This plant is not afraid of air flow during ventilation, unless it is a sharp temperature difference. From cold drafts, as well as from hypothermia, the plant must be protected.
Ligodium care at home
Ligodium is considered fairly complex in plant care. This fern does not forgive mistakes, is prone to loss of decorativeness and requires regular watering. You will have to control the indicators of air humidity and carefully approach the top dressing, but moisture is the key factor in the cultivation of this plant.
The most important Ligodium care item is regular monitoring. The leaves of the plant should be inspected every week, paying attention to any changes - from color to the appearance of signs of problems with growth and development. Only regular examinations will help to identify problems at the earliest stages and solve them without much effort.
The rest period in room conditions in ligodiums, albeit relative, but it stands out clearly. As a result of reduced lighting from November to March, the plant stops growth and development.
Ligodium irrigation and humidity
Accuracy and restraint are the key to success in watering ligodium. For the plant, it is necessary to maintain a constant light soil moisture, preventing either dampness or complete drying of the soil, even in the middle layer. Before each procedure, you need to let the topsoil dry. During the dormant period, the substrate is dried twice as much and, accordingly, the time between waterings is doubled. But even in winter, it is impossible to dry the substrate.
For ligodiums, water of the same temperature as the air in the room is used, and always defended and soft in characteristics.
For ligodiums, it is necessary to maintain high or medium-high humidity. The minimum value of the indicators is 60%. The fern develops best when installing humidifiers - both industrial devices and artisanal analogues in the form of plates or pallets. It is not possible to manage with one spraying for this fern, but if the room has constant average humidity indicators, then the installation of the humidifier can be replaced with daily spraying. When placing ligodium, it is worth avoiding the neighborhood with heating and air conditioning appliances.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers for ligodium
Ligodiums do not need frequent feeding. For them, fertilizers can be applied with a universal frequency of 1 time in 2-3 weeks, but the dosage of fertilizers should be reduced by half in comparison with the manufacturer's recommendations. In the resting period, feeding is not carried out.
For ligodiums, you can use not only special fertilizers for ferns, but also conventional universal fertilizers for indoor plants.
Pruning and shaping ligodium
Pruning ferns as such are not needed. All procedures are reduced to the removal of dry or damaged parts, which is carried out as necessary or after wintering.
Ligodiums do not need to be grown only as an ampelous plant, this fern grows beautifully on a support, ligodium can be formed on any contour or base. From simple ladders to curly supports for garden vines. A very popular option is to install separate "knitting needles" for each waya, which give the plant almost fantasy silhouettes and turn ligodiums into living antennas. As such, they often appear on sale, but when choosing a possible solution, it is worth remembering that it is fashionable to appreciate the beauty of this type of ferns when the plant is given maximum freedom. Tie the shoots with soft, natural twine or tow.
Ligodium transplant and substrate
For ligodiums, standard containers are selected. The ratio of the height and diameter of the pot should be either equal, or the height should be slightly larger. When choosing ampel containers, it is worthwhile to dwell on standard, medium-sized, hanging baskets.
This fern will need a rare transplant. It is carried out only when the plant has fully mastered the entire space of the pot and the roots appear from the drainage holes. Usually ligodiums are transplanted once every 2-4 years, depending on the age of the plant and growth rate.
For ligodiums, you can choose a standard soil mixture for ferns. Both a purchased substrate and its own slightly acidic mixture with sufficient nutrition and high breathability are suitable. The optimal soil reaction is from 5.0 to 6.0 pH. If you mix the soil yourself, it is best to combine 2 parts of turf soil with 1 part of leaf and 1 part of sand. It is advisable to mix dry sphagnum or loosening additives to the soil.
When transplanting to the bottom of the tank, a high layer of drainage must be laid. The more the earthen lump will be saved during the procedure, the better.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Ligodiums suffer more from pests of indoor plants than from diseases. Scabies and a spider mite adore the leaves of this fern, and it is very difficult to cope with them without treatment with insecticides. Therefore, a constant inspection, ensuring that problems will be noticed at an early stage, is the most important point of care for ligodiums.
Common problems in growing ligodium:
- the tips of the leaves dry with insufficient watering, fluctuations in soil moisture or in very dry air,
- leaf wilting when the substrate is completely dry,
- stretching, a rare arrangement of leaves when improper irrigation and low humidity,
- blanching or darkening with insufficient lighting and lack of fresh air.
A new generation of ligodium can be obtained from spores by sowing them in moist, slightly acidic soil mixed with sphagnum and maintaining a warm environment with high air humidity in a greenhouse mode with lower heating. In such conditions, spores germinate amicably, but growing plants is very difficult, so they are tiny, fragile and delicate.
A much simpler option is to divide adult ligodiums. At each transplant, the bushes can be divided into two, in the extreme case, three parts, and reducing the volume of the original plant, and getting a few accents for landscaping the rooms.
1.9 Soil moisture
During the growing season, keep the soil evenly moist, but not swampy. In the fall, reduce the frequency of watering a little, but do not allow the drying of an earthen coma. In the warm season, you can use the lower watering by immersing the pot in a large container filled with water.
Spores are sown over the surface of the substrate and covered with glass or a plastic cap to maintain moisture. Seedlings are kept at a temperature of 15 - 20 ° C. Germination occurs within 1 - 1.5 months.