Holly Ferns

Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), named for its serrated, sharp-tipped, holly-like leaves, is one of the few plants that will grow happily in the dark corners of your garden. When planted in a flower bed, the lush, deep green foliage provides beautiful contrast as a background for colorful annuals and perennials. Read on to learn about the care of holly ferns.

Also known as Japanese holly fern, this substantial plant reaches mature heights of 2 feet (0.5 m.) with a spread of about 3 feet (1 m.). Holly fern works well as a border plant or a ground cover. You can also plant holly fern in a container and grow it outdoors or as a houseplant.


Although it grows in full shade, holly fern does just fine in partial, but not punishing sunlight. Indoors, place the plant in bright, indirect light.


Holly fern likes moist, but not soggy soil. 


During dry weather, give the plant about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week. Indoors, water the plant whenever the top of the soil feels slightly dry. Water deeply, then let the pot drain thoroughly.