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Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum)

16 years ago

Soooooo. . . . I'd noticed a while ago that we had a fern about a foot tall growing in the floor of the greenhouse, under the benches. Yesterday I went ahead and "dug" it up ("dug" in quotes because it was only in about half an inch of soil -- and even *that* wasn't supposed to be there; it was just what dripped out of other plants when they got watered) and brought it home, and wiped off the leaves and we've bonded and everything and it's awesome.

But I can't find much of anything very specific about caring for them. Most of what I find when I do searches on the web is talking about keeping them outside, and anything that's talking about indoors is usually in the context of a general post about ferns, and just says something like, "Oh yeah, holly ferns are great, they've got leaves that look like holly, kinda, and they're the most tolerant of all the indoor ferns," and then goes on to talk about some other, more *interesting* fern. I swear, it's like they're all plagiarizing from one another.

Which leaves me not entirely sure what I'm supposed to *do* for this guy. So, the questions, then:

1) What do I *do* for the poor guy? I mean, can I *really* do pretty much anything and he'll be happy? Can anyone who's had one tell me what works?

2) If they're so great then why don't more people have them? I mean, granted, they're not very ferny-looking. But people buy plants that aren't ferny-looking all the time. They're not supposed to be especially difficult to propagate, though I haven't actually seen any specifics on how to do that either. Meanwhile, we don't even have any for sale.

3) Most of the websites where I've found any information at all emphasize that the leaves are a "glossy, dark green." The ones on my plant are more of a pale, apple green, like on a bird's-nest fern. It *had* been in fairly heavy shade (under a table of peace lilies, which were themselves under a layer of hanging baskets, which were under a shade cloth, which is under a layer of glass), and it was covered with a dust / dirt / pesticide residue / hard-water deposit mixture, so possibly it wasn't getting enough light and it'll darken in time. I'm inclined to think it doesn't matter, since not all the pictures I've run into show dark green leaves either, but if this means anything special to anybody please let me know what I should do.

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