Botanical Name: Microsorum musifolium
Common Name: Crocodile Fern, Crocodylus Fern, Crocodile Plant, Alligator Fern
If you've had success with other plants, you're good to go (Intermediate)
Named for the line patterns reminiscent of crocodile and alligator skin, the Crocodile Fern has shiny, emerald green, long flat fronds that wave gently into the air and arch up and down as though they’re waving hello.
Like most ferns, the Crocodile Fern can vary widely in size depending on maturity, light, and watering; most will achieve a minimum of 30cm (1ft) and can reach up to 1.5m (5ft) in size. They’ll grow up and out, so larger specimens will need a decently sized space. If you’re purchasing a wee one, don’t plan on it tripling in size any time soon, though; you’ll likely need to move it around for a while to find the optimal location for growth to occur. Humidity helps -- consider keeping yours in the kitchen or a bright bathroom. That said, once it’s happy, do expect it to grow into the beast it’s named for.
Low to medium indirect light is key. With too much light, fronds will develop brown spots and dry out. Consider a shelf or other spot near a northern or eastern window. That said, with not enough light, the colour will drain from the leaves.
Crocodile ferns like moist soil, and prefer to be watered from under the leaves, rather than from above, so be leery of pouring water directly on top of those scaled fronds: they may look reptilian, but they don’t enjoy swimming. Root rot is still a concern, so don’t let it sit in water; keep it in a pot with lots of drainage and remember that moist isn’t the same as wet.
A well-draining soil is important to keep this frequently-watered babe from swimming. Don’t pack it in, either - your croc likes an airy soil base so that water can drain freely.
Bite away free from fear, but keep in mind it won’t be nearly as pretty.
Safe for consumption, but we make no promises it’ll meet taste expectations.*
*According to the ASPCA
Crocodile Fern 6"
This Crocodile Fern comes in a 6" plastic growers pot.
Approximately 10-15 inches tall, measured from the base of the pot.
*All plants vary, and may not be exactly as pictured.