Fishtail Fern - Polystichum falcatum - British Grown

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Polystichum falcatum (Plant with sickle-shaped leaves and many rows of sori)

Common Name
Fishtail Fern, House Holly Fern, Japanese Holly Fern

Native to Eastern Asia

This fern's feathery leaves are broader than many native European ferns, giving it standout foliage in a beautiful green. In its East-Asian home it grows in woodlands and forests, on rocky slopes, and at the edges of streams; in your home, it can cope with drier air but will do best in more moist, shady areas. On the undersides of its leaves in spring and summer, you will find rows of spore-heaps, or sori, on the undersides of its leaves, for which it gets the species name Polystichum. These can even be used to propagate your plant if you're up for some fiddly gardening!

Bright, indirect light will keep your Fishtail Fern happy

Only let the top layer of soil dry out between waters; ferns love moist soil for their roots.

Can cope with drier air than many ferns, but will appreciate the occasional mist in a dry spot too.

Use a well-draining, moisture-retentive soil; added zeolite will help retain moisture and nutrients while sand will help excess water drain away and allow space for the roots to move. Look for mixes designed for ferns which use these or similar components.

Feed every four waters in the growing season, and reduce to every six in autumn and winter.

Average household temperatures of about 18-24°C are fine- make sure it doesn't drop below 12°C in winter.

Yes, but too much nibbling won't be good for pets, small humans or the plant!

Sprouts Top Tips

As with many ferns, the Fishtail Ferm likes to be moist; it can cope with lower humidity than most but try not to let its soil dry out as its roots are still not very drought-resistant. Equally, don't let it sit in soggy soil- excess water should be able to drain off and leave the soil comfortably damp for your plant.