Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fishtail Fern, Fishtail Sword Fern
Nephrolepis falcata

Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Nephrolepis (nef-roh-LEP-iss) (Info)
Species: falcata (fal-KAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Aspidium biserratum
Synonym:Nephrolepis davallioides
Synonym:Tectaria falcata

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 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:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By PalmBchBill
Thumbnail #1 of Nephrolepis falcata by PalmBchBill

By PalmBchBill
Thumbnail #2 of Nephrolepis falcata by PalmBchBill

By Camillia84
Thumbnail #3 of Nephrolepis falcata by Camillia84


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MotherNature4 On Nov 16, 2007, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This fern was in a large clay pot when given to me. It was scraggly. It has improved since dividing it and repotting in heavy plastic pots.

Positive PalmBchBill On Sep 6, 2006, PalmBchBill from West Palm Beach, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

This fern is growing wild amongst regular sword ferns along a ficus hedge here on my West palm bch. property.
Another member I.D.'d it and said it's cultivar is 'Furcans'
Sword ferns are said to be invasive under some conditions but I'm pleased to have them!


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

Bartow, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Dickinson, Texas

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