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Microsorum musifolium, Alligator Fern, Crocodile Fern

Microsorum musifolium

Alligator Fern, Crocodile Fern
Family: Polypodiaceae
Origin: Australasia
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeEpiphyteRegular waterOrnamental foliageUltra tropical, minimal temperature 55F

Growing best at 55F and higher temperature, it is an ultra-tropical mini-shrub, gaining 2-5 feet in height. Microsorum musifolium is perfect as a houseplant, or planted in locations with live oak, hickory and pine. It has a fast growing rate so regular water is needed.

Microsorum musifolium (Alligator Fern) makes an attractive addition to any landscape. A fast growing, evergreen tropical fern, it can grow to a maximum of 2-5 ft in height and likes a sheltered, semi-shaded location with light but not direct sunlight.

Receiving regular water is key and it should be watered in the morning or evenings in hotter climates. It can even be grown in cooler climates in a pot, either brought in for the winter or kept outside in a sheltered place.

The strikingly shaped, light green fronds of the fern form a lovely backdrop to its stunning stiff, leathery, dark green alligator-skin foliage. This unique leaf shape is the main reason for its popularity, particularly among the horticultural enthusiasts. As the fern grows, it will produce small structures known as rhizomes, anchoring it firmly to the ground, however be careful not to give too much space to allow running, as it may spread further than expected.

A bright, airy location with good air circulation is all that's needed to grow Alligator Fern. It is an ideal plant for a north-facing window with no direct sunlight and prefers ericaceous compost, being especially good in terrariums and hanging baskets. A regular misting to keep the fronds hydrating and adding dolomite lime to your potting mix, will ensure a healthy long-term growth of this beautiful fern.

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