Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Australian Sword Fern
Nephrolepis obliterata 'Kimberly Queen'

Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Nephrolepis (nef-roh-LEP-iss) (Info)
Species: obliterata (ob-lit-er-RAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Kimberly Queen

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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

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:
Light 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:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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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There are a total of 8 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bjdimenna On Jul 30, 2014, bjdimenna from Severna Park, MD wrote:

I bought 2 of these ferns in May of 2014. They are in their original containers from Home Depot and sit on my front porch with no direct sunlight. They get filtered light in the evening. They are thriving except for the one that was open to rain and it has been overwatered just a bit. I am getting ready to divide them to try to put 2 in the ground and see how they do until frost. They have been a great addition to our curb appeal.

Positive orangegirl510 On May 27, 2011, orangegirl510 from Sebastopol, CA wrote:

On my Nephrolepis Ocliterata stems, coming from soil to up to 4 or 5", I see a fine fur type pollen like substance. It looks like fine furry hairs. What is that?

Positive mamakatz On Feb 7, 2010, mamakatz from Orangeburg, SC wrote:


Neutral killarney On May 30, 2009, killarney from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

We asked at the nursery for a fern that could take sun and was told Kimberly Queen would. We planted two in pots at my front door where they get the hot afternoon sun. That was 6 years ago and the same ferns are still going strong. We've never moved them and I only water when I think about it, about once a week at the most.

Then 4 yrs. ago, when we landscaped the back yard, we bought 2 more and cut them in half. They get morning sun and afternoon shade. But now they have spread over my giant liriope and a camelia bush. We pulled some out and planted it in other parts of the beds and now it is trying to take over the whole yard. We are constantly pulling it out and giving it away. In south Louisiana, I would plant it only where you don't care if it spreads or at least where you can easily keep it under control.

Positive janlark On Jan 21, 2009, janlark from Auburndale, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

A friend gave us this plant in spring 2008. We hung it on the east side of a laurel oak and it gets filtered eastern and southern light. Does fine with two soakings a week. Dries out quickly if you skip a watering. Seems to have survived several hours of about 30 a few nights ago.

Positive dhaney On Jul 10, 2008, dhaney from Whitehouse, TX wrote:

A GREAT plant!! Easily divided....I bought a couple of large pots at a Walmart clearance sale...took them home and used my butcher knife to divide each root ball into quarters...stuck in the ground, added a little year later they are as big as the originals....have done nothing but water them....mostly in the shade with a couple of hours of afternoon Texas sun....even look good in winter!

Positive StarGazey26 On Aug 7, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a great plant! I have it outside, along the house, and it gets afternoon sun, and regular water.. It doesnt really spread (well to me, have had it in the ground 4 years) It stays really really close to the house, and does really erect forward! A very nice choice, looks good all year round. Fertalize with 30-10-10, when not dark green! That will correct the problem, might need to fertalize twice a month if you can! Other wise a great non invasive plant, unlike my ivy! Hahaha

Positive greenbud On Aug 7, 2005, greenbud from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Australian sword fern has so far proven itself to be a tough and adaptable plant in my garden (NW Houston, borderline zone 8/9). I have several of these ferns planted under two pine trees in my backyard. They get morning sun, the rest of the day is filtered shade. They are spreading out rapidly (little runners up to a foot away from the mother plant). Summers temps have been around 100 degrees, high humidity - they seem to have no problem taking the heat. I've accidentally let them dry out, and I've noticed very little shriveling. Very forgiving plants. We'll see how they do in the winter, but it rarely freezes here. If it does, it lasts a short time.

Positive Gardener_Krys On Oct 20, 2004, Gardener_Krys from Austin, TX wrote:

This is the everlast fern where I grew up in Texas (Houston) Clumps of this delicate looking fern would be all that was left of abandonded lots under the shade trees. What I like about this fern is that it can maintain a healthy look even in freezes of up to two hours. I find it is good at breaking out of all but metal pots.

Positive Wingnut On Jun 15, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've only had these a month, but so far they're terrific! I put them in two large terra cotta pots at the front end of my porch where they get all day shade and evening sun. I water them every few days, right after they get fairly dried out (but NOT completely dry), being sure to wet them down thoroughly ~ soil, plant and all.


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

Dothan, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Bellflower, California
Carlsbad, California
Cupertino, California
Lompoc, California
Norwalk, California
San Francisco, California
Sebastopol, California
Woodland, California
Auburndale, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Crawfordville, Florida
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Severna Park, Maryland
Biloxi, Mississippi
Pearl River, New York
Liberty, North Carolina
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2 reports)
Pikeville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Dallas, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Houston, Texas
Huffman, Texas
Manchaca, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Whitehouse, Texas
Richmond, Virginia

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