How to Grow a Peacock Fern

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Technically a fern ally and not a true fern, peacock fern or peacock spikemoss (Selaginella uncinata) has blue-green foliage that turns a rust color in the autumn. Grow this plant as a ground cover in U. S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 6 to 10, or as an indoor plant in any location. Peacock fern's main attraction is its foliage; the plant grows slowly and has negligible flowers. Over time, plants will grow 6 inches tall and spread up to 2 feet.

Things You'll Need

  • Container (optional)
  • Mulch (optional)
  • Water soluble balanced fertilizer
  • Scissors
  • Plant peacock spikemoss in the ground if growing as a ground cover, spacing plants 2 to 3 feet apart. Choose a shady area with a rich soil, such as one comprised of up of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part loam. For container plants, use a hanging basket or tall container so tendrils can spill over the sides. Place your container plant somewhere it receives indirect light.

  • Mulch the soil to control the growth of weeds if growing peacock fern outside.

  • Water your plants regularly to maintain a moist soil. Do not overwater or the plant roots will rot.

  • Fertilize peacock fern using a water-soluble balanced fertilizer diluted at half strength. Combine the half the fertilizer recommended for your size plant with the regular amount of water and pour this mixture over the fern.

  • Clip back individual tendrils if they grow too long to maintain the size and shape of your plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • In the winter, cut back on watering but do not allow the soil to dry out.

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