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Plant Know-How: Microsorum musifolium

Crocodile fern close
If you're the kind of person who reaches for the weird plants at the nursery then this is the plant for you. This scaly looking fern is Microsorum musifolium, sometimes referred to as the Crocodile Fern or Alligator Fern (for obvious reasons). This epiphytic fern grows in warm, humid forests underneath the forest canopy. Like all ferns it will do well in your home given it is provided added humidity and kept moist. Ferns can often seem intimidating, but we think this truly unique species is worth the specialized care it requires! 
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Light: Microsorum musifolium will thrive in your home if placed in medium to bright indirect light. It will even tolerate a lower light area. Be sure to protect fronds from any direct light. As the plant naturally grows below a dense forest canopy it is not able to withstand any direct light and will burn.

Water: Like most ferns Microsorum musifolium should never be allowed to dry completely. Water your plant when the top 1-2" have become dry. Be sure to check your soil as the amount of light your Microsorum musifolium will determine how quickly your plant can utilize the water in the soil. If your plant is sitting in a saucer be sure to dump out any standing water after a thorough watering. While Microsorum musifolium doesn't want to go dry it also does not want to be sitting in standing water as this will lead to root rot. Provide added humidity for your plant with a humidifier or pebble tray.

Did you know? Ferns are some of the oldest plants on this planet and existed before plants evolved to reproduce through flowering. Because of this ferns have an ancient way of reproducing, which is through spores that develop on the underside of their fronds!

Inspired to bring home one of these scaly ferns? We have 6" sizes available on our website for curbside pickup and local delivery!