A Fuzzy Fun Houseplant Rabbit’s Foot Fern

The rabbit-legged fern is a perfect way to add sweetness to your collection of indoor or outdoor plants. Learn how to grow them here!

Nothing exudes more the richness of the soil of the tropical forest of Fiji than a fern with rabbit’s feet. Whether you grow them in your hardiness zone in the ground or in a hanging basket as indoor plants, the lush and familiar feeling they give is incomparable.

What distinguishes a rabbit’s foot from other Ferns are the Hairy rhizomes that protrude from its base. In potted gardens or indoors where it is kept as a houseplant, This striking feature is an interesting specimen. Even in shady parts of an outdoor garden, the peak fronds of rabbit-footed ferns improve with age.

  • German Last Name(s) Bunnyfußfarn, Bunnyfußfarn
  • Scientific name Davallia fejeensis or Davallia solida var. fejeensis
  • Family Davalliaceae
  • Height and spread 2 feet high and 40 inches wide
  • Light bright and indirect light
  • Soil medium well-drained garden soil
  • Water let the top inch of soil moisture dry out between waterings
  • Pests and ailments aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, Botrytis rot, root rot

All about the rabbit-legged fern

The rabbit-footed fern is currently classified under the botanical name Davallia solida var. Fejeensis. It was previously known as Davallia fejeensis, a name currently considered a botanical synonym. In general, the plant is also known as deer-legged fern, hare-legged fern, Shinobu fern and globe fern. Tropical Fiji is the natural habitat of this plant.

There, rabbit-footed ferns live in damp, shady conditions on forest floors. Outside their original range, they are either deciduous or evergreen, depending on the regions where they are grown. Since their preferred temperatures are between 65° Fahrenheit and 75°, they are mainly grown indoors as houseplants.

Just like other ferns, hare’s foot consists of dense clusters of green fronds. They are epiphytic and do not get their nutrients from the soil, but grow between rock crevices and on trees, drawing nutrients from the water and the air that surrounds them. Their root system consists of fuzzy rhizomes that grow at their base.

They reach 2 feet high and between 1 foot and 3 feet wide. Their fronds are 3 or 4 pinnate and are covered with sporangia on their underside, which release spores to create new plants in their habitat. As a houseplant, they depend on human intervention to reproduce. Their rhizomes allow rabbit-footed ferns to crawl and spread wherever they grow.

Regardless of the climate in which they are grown, they are perennials – even outdoors – that return in favorable conditions. They need to be repotted every few years, as their furry rhizomes leak from the pots and practically invade the soil surface and the edge of the container. As for ferns, they are much easier to care for, although they require some of the basic conditions of ferns to thrive.

There is a similar fern with a comparable growth habit called squirrel fern or Davallia bulata. Although the care for this plant is basically the same, the two plants inhabit different regions, Fejeensis being native to Fiji and Bulata from Japan and China.

An important thing to remember about this plant (and ferns in general) is that they do not tolerate tobacco smoke or scented candles well. Both contain toxins that can damage this delicate plant. Likewise, this plant is ideal for a house with children or pets, as it has no known toxicity.

Sun and temperature for the rabbit-footed fern

Like other ferns, rabbit’s foot needs bright, indirect sunlight – about 6 to 8 hours a day for proper growth. Outside, the shade of trees, porch covers and shrubs will do. Place your hanging basket or container inside offset from a well-lit east window. Too much direct sunlight causes problems, including soft fronds and burnt tips.