Bird's Nest Fern

Bird's nest fern is named for the way its new leaves slowly uncurl from the center, giving it a nest-like appearance.

With wide, shiny leaves, the bird's nest fern makes a lush addition to shaded, protected areas of the landscape, where it can shine as a specimen or a container plant.

An epiphyte, bird's nest fern can grow either on the ground in moist, loose soil, or on trees or rocks with very little media. This fern, native to tropical Asia, thrives in Florida’s humid climate. The large, stemless, bright-green leaves of the bird’s nest fern have a prominent dark brown or black midrib and unfurl from a tight center, eventually reaching up to four feet tall and wide.

Plant it in an area with rich soil; like many ferns, this plant is not drought-tolerant, so don’t let it dry out. It can also be copper-wired to tree trunks to grow on a fibrous slab. If in a container, repot your bird’s nest fern in spring, when the new growth begins.


UF/IFAS Publications

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