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PlantFiles: Japanese Holly Fern, Japanese Netvein Holly Fern
Cyrtomium falcatum

Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Cyrtomium (sir-TOH-mee-um) (Info)
Species: falcatum (fal-KAY-tum) (Info)

Synonym:Polystichum falcatum

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative aggibot5 On Aug 12, 2014, aggibot5 from College Station, TX wrote:

Gardeners who do not want to grow exotic invasives may want to reconsider growing this in the U.S. I have seen it "in the wild" miles from any cultivation. It does have the capacity to escape and reproduce outside of cultivation and would not be an especially welcome addition to local woodlands.

Positive Anniesfollies On Oct 29, 2012, Anniesfollies from Carlsbad, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

There were several of these beautiful ferns growing under large trees when we purchased our house in 2002. I removed other plants that weren't happy with the shade the trees provided and the Holly Ferns have about doubled their original number. A couple get half day sun - more than I thought they'd like. They get regular moderate summer water, and with intermingled pots of various tropical looking plants (some on drip) I have a tropical looking area without needing lots of water.

The ferns do go through a less attractive period as the older fronds get so covered with spores they get brownish. However, they get so full they need a good trim once a year and away goes the brown and lots of new ones fronds appear.

Positive sladeofsky On Mar 21, 2012, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I think this fern is lovely and a bit hardier than zone 8. I bought mine as an annual accent... but 3 years later it is multiplying and thriving. It's leaves are damaged by extreme cold but new growth quickly erases those blemishes, at least here. I love it.
UPDATE: I have been confused by the hardiness rating of this plant. While here and many other sources state it is zone 8, some zone 7, a few list it as 6. After several years and some very harsh zone 5 type winters (last year was the first time that my ground froze for the entire winter and temps hovered around zero F. for weeks on end) I am completely confident that the zone 6 rating is correct. It is probably only reliably evergreen in z. 8. Last winters extremes was the first time my foliage was completely killed. However, even the small pups that I moved around into exposed unprotected areas survived. I've noticed the plant is less full after colder winters, due to starting from scratch. The only real damage I've done was setting the fibrous crowns ablaze, killing some of the more mature ones. That was stupid, but at least I know that fire is more destructive than ice for this plant.

Positive twilliams555 On Oct 29, 2011, twilliams555 from Arlington, VA wrote:

I have a two year old Holly Fern growing on a dry full shade bank in an urban environment. I do not give it much attention and it grows quite well.

Positive tennisluv On Sep 6, 2010, tennisluv from Snellville, GA wrote:

Planted one of these several years back on the northside of my home @ 20 miles east of Atlanta (zone 7). Have never done anything to it except remove dead fronds each spring. It has slowly spread out to encompass a corner area of 4 ft. No special feeding and never watered. However it is located near a faucet so it does get drippage when I water other plants. For me, it is tough as nails.

Neutral kerrybee On Aug 18, 2010, kerrybee from Astoria, OR wrote:

Very slow growing - sensitive to cold weather. Okay to have as a curiousity, but not as attractive as I'd thought it would be in its third year.

Negative bdanwood On Oct 26, 2007, bdanwood from College Station, TX wrote:

I purchased 25 of what was advertised to be this product from a vendor listed on this site: Santa Rosa Gardens. It turned out to be cyrtomium fortunei (Fortune's Cold Hardy Holly Fern). This product is not as attractive and less drought tolerant. Bad experience with this vendor. We'll see about the ferns.

Positive Suze_ On Apr 4, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

Easy care plant, great structure. Plants do tend to grow slowly, though.

Positive Jerry36 On Apr 23, 2004, Jerry36 from San Diego, CA wrote:

I water this plant once a week and feed with diluted fish-
emulsian every two weeks, It is in the shade except for late afternoon sun. In a 14 inch pot it seems to be doing quite well.

Positive htop On Oct 3, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
I have had several holly fern for many years. The ones that have done the best are the ones that receive more light and less attention. I have only watered them about 4 times this year (although they have had some rain). I killed several by overwatering them which led to disease.

Positive jody On Jun 11, 2002, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant overwintered in zone 7a. It was a mild winter here and it stayed evergreen.

Neutral motts1 On Aug 31, 2001, motts1 from south central, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Avoid direct sunlight in summer;as houseplant fertilize every 6 months with standard houseplant fertilizer, diluted to 1/2 recomended strength.
Attractive holly shaped leaves


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Benton, Arkansas (2 reports)
Conway, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
Carlsbad, California
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Merced, California
Santa Cruz, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Mc Coy, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Largo, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Venice, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia
Clarkston, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Louisville, Kentucky (2 reports)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Slidell, Louisiana
Raymond, Mississippi
Saint James, Missouri
Charlotte, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Amherst, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Astoria, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Hixson, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Brazoria, Texas
College Station, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Eddy, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Grapevine, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Temple, Texas
Arlington, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Kalama, Washington

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