Davallia – cleft foot – care

Davallia attracts attention with its shaggy, brownish-red rhizomes, which hang over the edge of the pot, and for which it even got the name “hare’s foot”. This interesting plant is native to the tropics, which explains its care requirements. In Japan, Davallia is found in the wild and has been exported from there for many years in large quantities to various countries, in the form of monkey-shaped souvenirs.

Davallia is a hare’s foot. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com MPF

Description of davallia

Davallia (Latin Davallia) – a genus of perennial fast-growing, exotic-looking ferns of the Davalliaceae family. The natural area of ​​distribution is located mainly in tropical Asia, found in China, Japan, Polynesia and on the island of Java, in the Canary Islands.

Some species are widespread in culture, cultivated indoors, usually in greenhouses, often cacampal plants.

The popular name for this fern is “hare feet”, sometimes “squirrel feet”, or “deer leg”, which is usually called the most popular species in decorative floriculture – Davallia Canary.

Davalia is one of the most exotic looking, fast-growing ferns. Often the choice falls on her when choosing plants for wet rooms.

Several species are grown as indoor plants, for example, Davallia dissecta, Davallia trichomanoides, Davallia trichomanoides, Davallia truncatula, Davallia pentaphylla – all of them are epiphytic ferns with a thick rhizome of substrater covered with dense pubescence.

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In greenhouses, where tropical plants are grown, D. bullata is always present – gnarled davallia – growing in tropical regions of Asia. In flower shops, it is very rare, since it is difficult to create high air humidity in room conditions. Since davallia is an epiphytic plant, it is attached to pieces of bark, to which thick rhizomes, covered with red-brown or silvery scales, cling to.

Davallia canariensisDavallia canariensis. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com James Steakley

Features of growing davallia


Bright, but protected from direct rays of the sun, partial shade; in winter they are kept at a temperature of about 15 ° C and high humidity (about 70%).


In summer it prefers a temperature in the range of 18-20 ° C, in winter – about 15 ° C.


Bright diffused light protected from direct sunlight. It can grow without shading only on the eastern window.


Plentiful in summer, temperate in winter, but the soil should be moist all the time. It is advisable to water with settled water that does not contain lime.

Air humidity

Davallia does not tolerate dry air well, so the pot is placed on a pallet with wet expanded clay. The ideal humidity is about 50-55%. You can spray only occasionally from a small spray bottle, otherwise the ends of the wai turn brown.


Top dressing with fertilizer for indoor decorative deciduous plants from May to August every two weeks. Fertilizers are taken in half the dose recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use only liquid fertilizers with water for irrigation.

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Annually in spring, only when the roots fill the entire pot. The soil should have a slightly acidic reaction. Soil – 1 part of light turf, 2 parts of leaf, 2 parts of peat land, 1 part of sphagnum moss and 1 part of sand.

Reproduction of davallia

Reproduction is mainly by division or layering. Small independent bushes appear on the shaggy hare’s legs. Cut off a part of the foot with such a bush, prepare a potting mixture of equal parts of leafy soil, sphagnum moss and sand. The cutter has no roots, but the cut-off foot cannot be immersed in the soil – just put it on the substrate and slightly press it in, you can fix it with expanded clay. Moisten the soil and place the pot with the new plant in a plastic bag. The bag does not need to be tied, just spread it out and spray into it a couple of times a day from a fine spray, trying to avoid excessive moisture.

Dawallia pests and diseases

With abundant watering, the root begins to rot.

The very low air humidity in the room leads to the drying of the tips of the wai and their dropping, as well as contributes to infection with spider mites.

Direct sunlight causes plant burns.

Do not use preparations to make the leaves shine.

Do not fertilize the plant during the autumn-winter period, this leads to plant disease.

For the fern to grow successfully, light substrates must be used. In heavy plants, the plant does not develop well and may die – the earth sours and roots do not grow.

Davallia solidaDavallia solid (Davallia solida). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Jerzy Opioła


Davallia care

Davallii prefer bright diffused light, they should be protected from direct sunlight. Best suited for either east or west windows. Plants are able to tolerate some shade, however, their growth slows down.

For Davallia, which is dense and bubbly, the optimum temperature all year round is 18-22 ° C. A drop in temperature can cause plant death. For D. Canary, in winter, it is allowed to lower the temperature to 16-18 ° C; in this case, wintering is easier.

Water the davallia abundantly, with warm soft settled water, as the upper layer of the substrate dries. Watering in winter can be slightly reduced, watering the next day after the topsoil dries up. The plant is very sensitive to overdrying the substrate – in no case should it be allowed. It is better to use a watering can with a narrow spout so as not to wet the rhizomes that have grown and crawling out of the pot. Bottom watering can be used.

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Davallias are sensitive to dry air, therefore, when growing them, it is necessary to take measures to increase its humidity – regularly spray the plants with soft, settled water, place pots with davallias on pallets with wet peat or expanded clay. D. canary is less sensitive to dry air.

Dawallia is fed from April to September with diluted fertilizer (1/4 – 1/3 of the norm) for decorative leafy plants once a month. They do not feed in autumn and winter – feeding during this period can lead to a serious disease of the plant.

Dawallia is transplanted approximately every 2 years, in March-April. Peat, deciduous humus and river sand mixed in equal parts can be taken as a substrate. It is better to take wide pots. Provide good drainage at the bottom of the pot.

Dawallia can be propagated by pieces of rhizome with 1-2 leaves. A metal support is made for a piece of rhizome, with which it is placed on the surface of the substrate. The roots appear in about 2 months.

You can try to germinate davallium spores – in a mixture of peat and sand under a film at 20-22 ° C.

Precautions: davallium spores can cause asthmatic reactions.


Types of davallia

Davallia canariensis

Grows in the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula, in North Africa. Perennial plants, climbing; the rhizome is straight, thick, covered with subulate elastic brown leaves. Leaves are four-pinnately dissected, 30-45 cm long and 22-30 cm wide, leathery; leaflets are very densely sessile, oval-rhomboid, dissected, dentate. The petiole is straight, 10-20 cm long. Sporangia are numerous, densely located, collected at the top; goblet bedspread. Decorative look. Suitable for cool rooms.

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Davallia solida

The native land of the species is the Malay Peninsula, the Malay Archipelago, Polynesia, Australia. Perennial climbing plants; the rhizome is thin, woody, covered with filamentary scales. Leaves are three times pinnate, broadly triangular, 30-50 cm long and 15-25 cm wide; leaflets are finely lobed, linear; fertile on each lobe with one sporangium; sterile, round, serrated. The petiole is up to 30 cm long, glossy, brown. A highly decorative species, used especially as an ampelous plant. Suitable for warm and humid environments.

Davallia bullata (Davallia bullata)

The native land of the species is China, Japan, tropical Asia. Perennial plants; creeping rhizome, covered with light brown hairs. Leaves are three times, four times pinnate, 20-25 cm long and 15 cm wide; leaflets linear, deeply dissected, upper serrated along the edges. Sporangia located on top of leaf lobes; goblet bedspread. Highly decorative look. Cultivated in warm and humid environments.


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Anna Evans

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