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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Valley, Alabama

Berkeley, California

Cambria, California

Castro Valley, California

Encino, California

Goleta, California

Hayward, California

Los Angeles, California

Oakland, California

Salinas, California

Santa Barbara, California

Spring Valley, California

Stockton, California

Sylmar, California

Apopka, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fernandina Beach, 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

Benton, Louisiana

Geismar, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Southold, New York (2 reports)

Asheville, North Carolina

Lafayette, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas

Houston, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Keyport, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 27, 2017, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

Cute house plant and a unique-looking fern. The shade of green is my favorite, lush and cheery. Care hasn't been too difficult, just occasional misting and I make sure it doesn't completely dry out.
I have it in this pot that's this light golden brown color (not sure of exact word for it but it matches the color of a lion I guess) and the two look great together.


On Feb 1, 2017, gram_pat from Benton, LA wrote:

I'm in love with this plant. Despite all the information saying its soil must be kept moist, mine looks fresh and beautiful, even when I go too long between waterings. I brought it into the garage for winter and haven't watered it since, and it still looks fresh and beautiful. Last winter, it stayed outside on the patio all winter long and never faded. It was next to the house, which would have provided some shelter and a bit of extra warmth, and it never faltered. I wish these could overwinter in the flower bed in my Zone 8 garden. I would love to have beds full of these.


On Apr 30, 2015, jkorman from Fernandina Beach, FL wrote:

This plant has over-wintered in Northeast Florida after a very cold winter. It was under heavy canopy and in a protected area.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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 pos... read more


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...


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.