60601This is one of those perennials that has mixed reviews. Although relatively tough once established, holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum, is susceptible to rot and fungal leaf-spot. It likes to be watered somewhat regularly, but rots if the soil is constantly saturated. Leaf-spot is not as dangerous as it looks, but can be unsightly. Too much fertilizer (to correct the damage) can burn the foliage too.

Individual fronds might get as long as a foot and a half, with half a dozen to a dozen pairs glossy and irregularly toothed pinnae. Foliar texture (remotely) resemble that of some types of holly. Because they disperse their roots so efficiently, mature specimens do not like to be transplanted. Small plants can grow as houseplants for years, but eventually want to get out into the garden. Holly fern likes a bit of shade, and will tolerate rather dark shade.

4 thoughts on “Holly Fern

    1. Yes, it looks as if it is made of plastic. I don’t know why, but they are more attractive to slugs and snails here. I sometimes see them happy, but not normally.


    1. They always seem so much happier in other regions, even where they get a bit cool in winter. Ours are healthy, but are often damaged by slugs and snails. It is the norm for them. They are still pretty, but not as pretty as they are where the snails and slugs do not eat them so badly.

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