Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bird's Nest Fern, Crow's Nest Fern
Asplenium nidus

Family: Aspleniaceae
Genus: Asplenium (ass-PLEE-nee-um) (Info)
Species: nidus (NID-us) (Info)

Synonym:Asplenium antiquum
Synonym:Asplenium ficifolium
Synonym:Neottopteris mauritiana
Synonym:Neottopteris musaefolia
Synonym:Neottopteris nidus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:


Other details:
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
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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By Mitjo
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There are a total of 54 photos.
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10 positives
6 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive solipsil On Feb 26, 2010, solipsil wrote:

I got this at walmart, it was labeled as Calathea...not the case. Found out what it was thanks to the plant identification forum. Despite not knowing how to take care of it, it has been doing fine for over a month by a window with random waterings... it is even growing cute little new leaves. Will be watering it more often now.

Neutral dordee On Mar 2, 2009, dordee from Silex, MO wrote:

I am neutral on this one since I just got mine last month at a Lowe's, on sale (50 cents each) because they were in sad shape. i like the challenge of bringing something back from the brink. so far, they are doing pretty good despite being nibbled on by 1 of my cats. why she eats them, I don't know since she upchucks the bits of leaf each time. since it is the middle of winter here, they are inside. This is the first time I knew the name and origin and I was just guessing about care so I am glad I found this site. this seems to be a problem with plants at big chain stores like Walmart and Lowe's. they are just tagged tropical plant or fern, ensuring a quick death since you know nothing about the plant.

Positive pirl On Oct 5, 2007, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought this last fall and kept it on the indoor porch over winter, then outside for the summer. Some leaves look distorted but I've seen some photos that give me hope that it may be how it's supposed to look. I enjoy the look of the plant and thanks to all the comments I'll check thoroughly for snails/slugs/scale.

Positive docturf On Mar 25, 2007, docturf from Conway, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I havre had my plant for almost 5 years now (protected during mid-November through mid-March by moving inside). No problems to date with snails, but this year (for the first time) I found about a dozen armored scales scattered throughout the fronds -- easily taken care of with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Docturf

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

This fen is native to Madagascar, Tanzania, China, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and New Caledonia.

Positive creepingsnail On Aug 21, 2006, creepingsnail from Smithville, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I recieved this plant as a gift and have been looking for seven years to find the name of it. All that was on it was "Curly Fern". Thanks Dave!
I have had great luck with mine. Although as someone else said, I did have a big problem with snails one year. Other than that it takes care of itself and gets lots of great compliments. I am going to buy some more of them now that I know what the heck to look for. They are #1 in my book.

Neutral BayAreaTropics On Nov 19, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I have had trouble keeping snails or slugs away from mine also. My neutral rating is only because of it's delicate nature.Otherwise a beautiful plant.Containers only need to have very good drainage. Does fine outdoors in the Bay Area.

Positive Frazmo On Jun 22, 2005, Frazmo from West Linn, OR wrote:

Beautiful medium-size to large fern. This fern produces a crown of shiny, smooth frond's with a hollow/funnel shaped center which would be a perfect spot for a bird's nest. It is native to New Zealand, tropical Asia, and the Polynesian Islands. In its native environment it can grow up to four feet in diameter and around two feet or so indoors. Needs moderate light, a rich potting soil (equal parts humus and soil) in large container. Soil needs to be evenly moist all year. Should be fed every month with 10-10-5 fertilizer. Repotting should be done every third year. Doesn't like dry conditions. If your house isn't humid enough, put on pebble tray or mist around plant every couple of days.

My parents have one that is incredible. I finally located one which is the one that I posted photos of. Very Impressive easy to grow plant that is even more spectacular when mature.

Positive handbright On Feb 18, 2005, handbright from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

This fern is lovely. It grows in a north west location in my yard, under an Australian tree fern, in a very moist and dark area. It currently is about 15 inches high and has a diameter of about 18 inches. My nurseryman said it will not get much larger than this in diameter, but will grow taller.
Well, he lied! 09/06- This fern is really beautiful even after having to be removed from where it was previously sited and placed in a pot. It is nearly twice the size it was when it was deeply shaded, now in bright indirect light.
Seems to tolerate much more light than what it was receiving before. Thanks to all the photos where it was in it's natural habitate, it is now getting what it might receive if it were in the wild...

Positive hanna1 On Nov 8, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just recently got mine, it's still small, I will try the banana peels!

Positive pokerboy On Jul 2, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is so delicate but is so hardy. I live in an area in Australia that can reach -8 degrees in Winter. Okay, it grows in a shady, sheltered patio but it survives all conditions. Short dry spells, full shade and no fertiliser. We only use banana peels which we place in the centre of the rosette of fronds. A great plant that so many people's bad thoughts. It really is very hardy. pokerboy.

Neutral foodiesleuth On Apr 24, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Beautiful plant and quite hardy where we are. Though I do have one at the moment of modest proportions, they grow and spread wildly, to huge sizes up on trees about an hours drive south of us. I have not noticed any snails near ours. We are growing it in a pot, since it was quite small when we got it, but will soon be transplanted to a tree.

Positive dogbane On Nov 9, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've been growing these as a ground cover under Tasmanian Tree Ferns for about three years in New Orleans. They are in a well protected spot, but fared better than most of my other tropicals when the temperature approached freezing last winter. The soil where they are planted is a very porous mixture - I don't think they'd have done as well in a heavy soil. And to address Palmbob's snail problem, the bird's nest ferns in my garden were untouched while the snails and slugs devoured my begonias. May be I provided (unintentionally) a diversion for them.

Negative palmbob On Jul 6, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

OK, I absolutely love this fern, but if there EVER was a plant made for snails, this is it. It is nearly impossible to keep looking good in my garden, even with heaps of snail repellent on it... somehow a snail gets in there and nibbles a leaf, often in the midst of unfurling, totally messing up the perfection of the leaves later on. If you can plant it high up in a tree, that would be best... that's where they occur naturally anyway.

Positive stellapathic On Jun 5, 2003, stellapathic from Cambria, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is my very best house plant. I've lost a couple through the years from scale, but given bright filtered light, ample moisture in the air and plenty of fertilizer, it's a show-stopper.

Neutral Baa On Jan 10, 2003, Baa wrote:

A large, epiphytic fern found in many tropical areas.

Has long, lance shaped, glossy, light green fronds borne in a rosette that remain evergreen.

Loves a moist but well drained media made up of leaf mould, shredded or granulated bark, charcoal and perlite (a mixture may be available from your garden centre). Prefers a lightly shaded area away from full light. Needs to be grown indoors in regions where the temperatures can drop below 10C or 50F.

Intolerant of wet conditions (in which they will rot) but enjoy a humid atmosphere. Can be prone to scale insects.

Neutral Mitjo On Dec 6, 2002, Mitjo from Lappeenranta
Finland (Zone 3a) wrote:

This plant likes very high humidity. Some grow it in a window-closet with orchids, and the plant loves it.


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

Valley, Alabama
Cambria, California
Castro Valley, California
Encino, California
Goleta, California
Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California
Oakland, California
Spring Valley, California
Stockton, California
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Deland, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Kathleen, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Minneola, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Hana, Hawaii
Hawaiian Ocean View, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Geismar, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Southold, New York (2 reports)
Asheville, North Carolina
Lafayette, Tennessee
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas
Port Arthur, Texas
Keyport, Washington

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