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Rabbit's Foot Fern

Complete Guide to Growing and Caring for Rabbit's Foot Fern | Tips and Solutions for Common Problems


Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Davallia fejeensis) is a popular houseplant that belongs to the fern family. It is known for its unique furry rhizomes that resemble a rabbit’s foot, hence the name. Rabbit's Foot Ferns are native to Fiji and can be found growing in the crevices of trees and rocks in the tropical rainforests. They are easy to care for and make excellent indoor plants.

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about Rabbit's Foot Fern Plant, including its care requirements, propagation techniques, common problems, and more.


Rabbit's Foot Fern has fronds that can grow up to 2 feet long and 4 inches wide. The fronds are pinnate, which means they are composed of leaflets that grow on either side of a central stem. The leaflets are dark green and glossy, with a slightly serrated edge.

The most distinctive feature of Rabbit's Foot Fern is its rhizomes, which resemble a rabbit's foot. The rhizomes are hairy and can grow up to 12 inches long. They are typically brownish-black in color and are used to anchor the plant to its growing medium.

Light Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it's best to place the plant in a location where it will receive filtered light. A north or east-facing window is ideal for Rabbit's Foot Fern. If you are growing the plant indoors, you may need to supplement the light with artificial light during the winter months.

Watering Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern likes to be kept moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be sure to water the plant from the bottom by placing it in a tray of water and allowing the soil to soak up the water. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can cause them to rot.

Humidity Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern prefers high humidity levels. If the air in your home is dry, you may need to mist the plant regularly to keep the humidity levels up. You can also place a humidifier near the plant or group it with other plants to create a microclimate of higher humidity.

Temperature Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Avoid placing the plant near drafty windows or doors, as this can cause the plant to become stressed.

Soil Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern prefers a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite works well. Avoid using heavy soils that retain too much moisture, as this can cause the plant's roots to rot.

Fertilizer Requirements:

Rabbit's Foot Fern is a light feeder and does not require frequent fertilization. You can feed the plant once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize the plant during the winter months when it is dormant.


Rabbit's Foot Fern can be propagated by division or spores. Division is the easiest and most common method of propagation. To divide the plant, gently remove it from its pot and separate the rhizomes into smaller clumps. Replant the clumps in fresh potting soil and water well. Spores can be more challenging to propagate, but it is possible. Collect the spores from the undersides of mature fronds and sow them on the surface of moist potting soil. Cover the pot with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse and keep the soil moist. The spores should germinate within a few weeks.

Common Problems:

  1. Brown Tips on Fronds - If the tips of the fronds turn brown, it's usually a sign that the plant is not getting enough humidity. Increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly or using a humidifier.

  2. Yellowing Fronds - If the fronds turn yellow, it's usually a sign that the plant is overwatered. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again, and be sure to water the plant from the bottom to avoid getting water on the leaves.

  3. Root Rot - Root rot can occur if the plant is overwatered or if the soil does not drain well. If you notice the plant's rhizomes becoming mushy or soft, it's a sign of root rot. To prevent root rot, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and avoid overwatering the plant.

  4. Pests - Rabbit's Foot Fern is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. To control pests, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use insecticidal soap.

  5. Brown or Black Rhizomes - If the rhizomes turn brown or black, it's a sign that they are rotting. This can be caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Remove any rotting rhizomes and replant the healthy ones in fresh soil.


  1. Repotting - Rabbit's Foot Fern should be repotted every 1-2 years to refresh the soil and provide more growing space. Repot the plant in the spring before new growth begins.

  2. Pruning - Prune any brown or damaged fronds with clean, sharp scissors to maintain the plant's appearance and health.

  3. Decorative Pot - Rabbit's Foot Fern looks great in a hanging basket or a decorative pot. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes to avoid waterlogging the soil.

  4. Outdoor Growing - Rabbit's Foot Fern can be grown outdoors in a shaded or partially shaded area. Be sure to protect the plant from strong winds and direct sunlight.


Rabbit's Foot Fern is a unique and easy-to-care-for houseplant that adds texture and interest to any indoor space. With the right growing conditions, Rabbit's Foot Fern will thrive and provide years of enjoyment. Remember to provide bright, indirect light, high humidity, and well-draining soil, and you'll be rewarded with healthy and happy plants. If you encounter any problems, refer to the tips and solutions listed above to keep your Rabbit's Foot Fern looking its best.

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