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Button Fern · Wiki

Botanical Name: Pellaea rotundifolia

The Button Fern is a dependable plant that grows well indoors with little care.

Arching fronds densely covered with small, round leaflets makes this New Zealand native an eye-catching accent for any brightly lit room. Place this fern on a plant stand among other tropical plants or put it in a hanging basket and allow the trail of leathery, button-shaped leaflets to cascade over the side.

You may find [i]Pellaea rotundifolia in garden shops in the spring and Summer, although it's not as easy to find as other types of ferns. With good care you'll enjoy it for a long time.

Caring for button fern is easy. Unlike most ferns, Pellaea tolerates fairly dry conditions; but this fern won't tolerate soggy soil.

Re-pot in the spring when the roots have filled the pot. Move the fern to a pot that's only slightly larger, and be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole, to prevent soggy soil; this is a great time to divide the fern.

Keep this evergreen in bright, indirect light and at a constant room temperature. It won't go dormant, and with consistent care, it will grow year-round.


Care Tips

Origin: New Zealand

Height: Up to 1 ft (30 cm)

Light: Bright light, but no direct sun

Water: Water thoroughly, then allow the top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Fronds that are yellow and wilted are a sign of over-watering. Cut back on water and trim off any damaged fronds. Check the plant's roots to see if they have rotted; if they're mostly black, get rid of it.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity. Raise the humidity around your fern with a room humidifier or set the plant on a humidity tray.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C)

Soil: Peat moss based potting mix with added perlite or sand to help drainage.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly year-round with a 20-20-10 liquid fertilizer diluted in half.

Propagation: Division; in the spring divide the plant into 2 or 3 sections with a sharp knife and place them in pots. Be sure to get roots with stems attached. Fern spores can be propagated, but germination takes a few months and is not always reliable.



Brown leaf tips are caused by high temperatures, above 75°F (24°C), or dry air. Trim off dry leaflets and raise the humidity around your plant.
Posted By Gremelin Posted on June 24th, 2018 · Updated on September 2nd, 2020
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