How to Grow a Peacock Fern

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Things You'll Need

  • Container (optional)

  • Mulch (optional)

  • Water soluble balanced fertilizer

  • Scissors

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.


Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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


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


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