Cyrtomium falcatum

Japanese Holly Fern
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Plant Type




Overall Mature Size


Mature Height & Spread

2-3′ x 2-3′


Full to Partial Shade


Medium Water

Special Features

Shade Tolerant

Container Sizes

#1, #5

Sunset Garden Zones

5-9, 14-24

Cyrtomium falcatum is also known as Japanese Holly Fern. Cyrtomium falcatum is an upright fern that forms a rounded mound up to 2 ft. high and 3 ft. wide. It sports glossy dark green fronds on slender arching stems. The individual leaves are leathery and serrated with sharp points. They have a remarkable resemblance to holly leaves thus the common name. Spores light green when young and dark at maturity adhere to the backs of specialized fronds. Japanese holly fern is evergreen in frost free areas but loses its fronds in colder climates. Japanese Holly Fern likes rich acidic soil and good drainage. It thrives with occasional fish emulsion or liquid fertilizer. You can groom it when the foliage becomes frayed or unsightly. These ferns will soon re-grow after being cut back. Japanese holly fern does well in partial to full shade. It tolerates more sun however than many ferns. Best grown in moist but well drained soil.. To propagate it just divide clumps during the warm season and plant the divisions slightly deeper than the parent clump.

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