For ease of care Java fern is an excellent plant to buy. It tastes horrible to fish and is seldom eaten for this reason. Furthermore this plant can be kept in a range of conditions. These qualities make Java fern the perfect aquatic species for beginners and those who often kill their plants.
All java fern varieties have leaves growing directly from the rhizome.
New leaves sprout at the growing tips as the fern spreads. The foliage color it lime green though older specimens will begin to turn black as they age. These dark blemishes are the fern producing spores so they do not indicate that a plant is unhealthy.
Different cultivars have been developed but the basic java fern leaf shape is that of a long twisted sword. These leaves can reach a length of 25 cm or almost one foot.
Java fern 'Tropica' is a variety that grows small random projections from the sides of the leaves. It can grow a little faster than the original form and also has the ability to grow twice as high.
The narrow leaf form grows more compact and bushy than the broader types. It's leaves also tend to be shorter.
'Windelov' Java fern has branched leaves similar to antlers on a large dear. The foliage is small and appears quite compact.
Care For Java Ferns
Unlike many plants java fern does not need it's roots or rhizome buried in the substrate. It grows best when the roots are allowed to attach to a solid object. If you do plant it directly in the gravel never never cover the fleshy rizome of the plant will suffer. Wood or rock is used and the rhizome is tied down until attachments have formed.
This plant likes to be protected from intense illumination. It grows slowly which is typical of low light plants. Heavy fertilization is not required as it uses few nutrients. Water temperature can range from a 18 to 28 degrees Celsius making it suitable for coldwater and tropical tanks.
Young lava fern plantlets grow directly from larger leaves on the mother plant. Detached leaves that have come adrift may also grow new plants. They will stay green for a number of weeks if left floating in water. When a few cm in length they can be plucked off and carefully attached to a stable object. For reproduction splitting the rhizome is also possible but waiting for plantlets will yield more new ferns.
Java Fern For Sale
People buy java fern when they want a plant that has simple requirements. There is often lava fern for sale where aquatic plants are available because of it's wide appeal. Expect to pay less than $10 per plant and usually somewhat less.
Below are the current eBay listings of Java fern plants for sale.