Cyrtomium falcatum is a coarse-textured; but handsome fern to 2 to 3 ft. tall. Holly ferns are great for growing indoors, not only because of their glossy green fronds, but because they withstand dry air, drafts, and low light levels. Holly ferns are native to Asia.
Culture: Cyrtomium falcatum best in shadowless light; if only artificial light is available, provide at least 150 foot-candles. The plants prefer night temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees and day temperatures of 68 to 72 degrees. Keep the soil barely moist at all times. Established plant should be fertilized every 6 months with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ strength recommended on the label. Repot overcrowded plants in early spring using a mixture of 1 part loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sharp sand; to each gallon of this mixture add 2 tablespoons of bone meal. Be careful not to set plants any deeper than at the depth at which they had been growing.
Propagation: Cyrtomium falcatum is relatively easy to grow from spores. The ripe spores can be collected on a piece of paper placed under spore bearing leaves. Sow spores on damp peat moss in late winter. They germinate best at a temperature of 68-70 degrees. The growing medium should be kept constantly moist and covered with glass or plastic. Once new plants are large enough to handle they can be transplanted into individual containers.
Cyrtomium falcatum was featured as Plant of the Week July 16-22, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.