A Nephrolepis sp., better known as Butterfly Fern, won the top prize in the fern category of the table plant competition at the ongoing Hortikultura garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City. The show runs from Feb. 4 – 15, 2016.
The fern is owned by Lardy Abundo, a member of the Philippine Horticultural Society who grows his plants in his farm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The winning fern which made him richer by P3,000 is an imported variety that he bought more than two years ago. He nurtured his fern by giving it the right cultural care which means giving it the right potting medium, fertilizer and situating it under partial shade.
He planted his Butterfly fern in a plastic bowl. He punched holes at the bottom of the container so that the water will drain and the roots will go down through the holes. It is important that the roots pass through bottom holes of the container. When the roots are long enough, create a moist bed of coco peat. When the roots touch the moist bed of coco peat, runners will sprout and the young plants can be used for propagation.
Lardy recommends cubes of coconut husk as potting medium. But before the coco cubes are used, they should be submerged in water for three days to get rid of the tannin. To make the plant robust, he fertilizes every week. He dissolves the fertilizer according to the recommended rate and pours a liter of the solution to each pot.
By the way, the winning fern is popularly called Butterfly Fern because the pairs of leaves in its fronds look like butterfly wings.