Japanese Holly Fern

Cyrtomium falcatum Makes a Great House Plant

Cyrtomium falcatum Japanese holly fern growing tips. Also, East Indian holly ferns which are a different species, Arachniodes simplicior. Holly shrub fern, leather leaf holly.

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The 3-5 inch leaflets which line the fronds of Cyrtomium falcatum are dark green, glossy and shaped like holly leaves minus the spines.

This is how the holly shrub fern acquired its common name.

The upright fronds can slowly grow to a height of 2 feet.

This handsome fern comes to us from the Orient, India and the Hawaiian islands.

It is fond of cool temperatures (under 75 degrees F.), moderately high humidity (30%) and moisture. It is hardy outdoors in zones 7-10.

Plant in a peat based mix when growing the fern indoors. If you live where holly ferns can survive in the open ground, amend the soil in the planting area with leaf mold before you plant them.

Plant it at the same level it was formerly growing at to avoid crown rot. Shade to semi-sun is the best exposure.

Feed it just once a year in the spring with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Repot it in early spring when it begins to become pot bound.

This is perhaps the most tolerant of all the ferns of indoor growing conditions. It can be kept in reading level light for extended periods.

Holly Shrub Fern

C. falcatum in a mixed planting.

It is easier to grow than the more popular Boston fern as its humidity requirement is not as high.

The leathery leaves will burn if the plant is placed in a draft or if the air is too dry.

It is best to water C. falcatum from the bottom as it is vulnerable to crown rot when watered over the crown or late in the day.

Increase your collection by dividing the rhizomes in the spring.


East Indian Holly Fern

This is a different fern species, Arachniodes simplicior.

It grows to 24 inches tall under shady conditions. It also performs well indoors if given constantly moist soil.

This indoor fern is prized by gardeners for its dark green fronds which feature a light green, lengthwise stripe down the center.

It will not take frost. Propagate this Hawaiian fern house plant by division.

Other Types of Ferns:


Maidenhair Fern

Ostrich Fern

Bird Nest Fern

Foxtail Fern

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