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



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage




This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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)

Slaughter, Louisiana

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

Chandler, Texas

College Station, Texas

Corsicana, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 2, 2021, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mine is container grown, placed in a full shade spot. It froze during Feb 2020 winter storm Uri, but coming back. Easy plant, nice lustrous foliage.


On Oct 27, 2018, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

Cyrtomium falcatum thrives happily in my zone 7b garden. This is its 3rd year in the shade. Low maintenance. Love its glossy foliage!


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.


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.


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, ev... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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