Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Heart Fern
Hemionitis arifolia

Family: Hemionitidaceae
Genus: Hemionitis (hem-ee-oh-NYE-tiss) (Info)
Species: arifolia (air-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Asplenium arifolia
Synonym:Gymnogramma arifolia
Synonym:Hemionitis cordata
Synonym:Hemionitis cordifolia
Synonym:Hemionitis sagittata

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
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

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

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

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4 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive johy_margi On Dec 13, 2013, johy_margi from san salvador
El Salvador wrote:

PROPAGATION : I have propagated them by sowing the new little leaf that grows on top of the old leaf with good results.

Neutral QueenB On Jan 11, 2013, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant will only thrive outdoors in Zone 10 or higher. It will do well in low light, but needs high humidity in order to survive. I had mine in the kitchen window and it was failing, but it is now in a terrarium with nearly 100% humidity and doing well.

Positive dhart74 On Jun 13, 2010, dhart74 from Zachary, LA wrote:

I have had this plant since early spring 2010. It is making small plantlets at the point where the stem joins the leaf. Can I propagate from these? I am borderline zones 8 & 9 so I will keep it potted and sheltered.

Neutral danpv On May 29, 2008, danpv from Camarillo, CA wrote:

I love ferns and can generally grow them well but in past years I have killed two of these cuties.

Still not sure what I did wrong, but next time I see one of these at a nursery, I will try again - not to kill it, but growing one to large size must be quite a sight.

Negative Cretaceous On Mar 24, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have tried growing this fern outdoors twice here in zone 9b, and failed both times. Soon after planting the fern wilts and dies, probably because it requires much higher humidity than is available here. (It is sold as a terrarium plant).

Native to Sri Lanka.

Positive vossner On Aug 23, 2004, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

When I saw this plant at the nursery, I just HAD to have it. So unusual. Planted outside in shady area. Protect from bright light as it will burn leaves; otherwise, pretty trouble free.

Positive lupinelover On Aug 26, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Very unusual tropical fern: the leaves are small heart within a larger heart. They are medium green, leathery, glossy, beautiful. They need to be kept moist; allowing them to dry out will result in a possibly terminal loss of vigor; they also need to be protected from bright sun or the foliage will burn. Otherwise they are a carefree plant of uncommon beauty.


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

Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boynton Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Zachary, Louisiana
Brookhaven, Pennsylvania
Richmond, Texas
Shepherd, Texas

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