Japanese Holly Fern

Japanese Holly Fern, Cyrtomium

Japanese holly fern is a coarse-textured, heat-tolerant, easy-to-grow plant that provides a wonderful contrast to lacy-textured plants in shady spots. It can take drier conditions than many ferns and is deer resistant.


Japanese holly fern grows well in partial to full shade, in fertile, moist, well-drained soil with a lot of organic matter mixed in. This fern often grows best when it is not pampered. It tolerates some drought and should not be overwatered—keep the soil just moist during the growing season.


Use Japanese holly fern in shaded beds and borders, in rock gardens, at the edges of woodland gardens and in containers. Japanese holly fern also makes a great houseplant in reasonably bright rooms. Its glossy, dark green foliage provides winter interest.


C. falcatum is an evergreen perennial fern with slender, arching stems that grow up from erect, scaly rhizomes. It has shiny, leathery, dark green fronds with holly-like pinnae (fern leaflets). Dwarf cultivars and cultivars with variations in the foliage are available.

Features: evergreen perennial fern; attractive fronds; decorative habit; low maintenance

Height: 24–36"

Spread: 24–36"

Hardiness: zones 6–10

Notes: Japanese holly fern is a great container plant indoors or out, and the attractive, long-lasting fronds can be cut for use in flower arrangements.

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