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Crested Japanese Bird’s Nest Fern Care Tips

I love my far out new fern. The Crested Japanese Bird's Nest Fern makes a great houseplant. This tells you how to grow & care for it.

A Crested Japanese Bird's Nest Fern Care

This is a far-out fern with a far-out name! I first saw this Crested Japanese Bird’s Nest Fern, whose botanic name is Asplenium antiquum “Leslie”, at our farmers market and had to have it. I love those wild, wavy edges and the crispy noise it makes when touched. This plant reminds me of an unusual green that I’d put in my salad. Crunchy new arugula perhaps?


“Leslie” loves her spot underneath the Loquat Tree in my garden. And yes, that yellow egg-shaped thing is a Loquat.

Care and Growth Tips

Mine grows outdoors but most of you will likely grow it as a houseplant. Ferns can be tricky to grow indoors because their fine foliage loves humidity. This one, however, is relatively easy because of its “leathery” fronds. Here’s what you know if you want to grow one. By the way, the care for a regular Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) is the same:


Nice bright light but no direct sun.


Keep moist but not soaking wet. An occasional drying out is better than overwatering it. And, don’t keep the crown of the plant wet – it will rot out.


The average home temp is fine. They don’t like old daytime temps or drafts of any kind. If you put it outdoors in the warmer months, make it it doesn’t get any direct, hot sun.

Potting Medium

Use one that’s high in organic content like compost, coco coir, bark &/or worm castings. Make sure it drains well.


Once in spring & once in summer will do it.  Use a liquid fertilizer with a formulation like 14-4-14 or 20-10-20.  (I use worm castings to nourish mine but it grows outdoors).

Check out the worm compost I use. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.

Watch the video & see why I love this fern:

They are epiphytes and are usually found growing on trees in nature.  That means you could grow it on a piece of bark just like the Staghorn Fern. This is one of those plants that also grows in the ground so it’s commonly sold in a pot. What do you think of my new far out fern?!

If you’re interested in more easy care houseplants, then be sure to check out my book Keep Your Houseplants Alive.  It’ll ease your (interior) horticultural frustrations!


Look at how crazy, sculpturally wavy these margins are!

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  1. I have had mine for years and abused it but it survives and is beautiful! I love it!


  2. Rennie – It’s 1 tough fern! I love the ruffly edges. Nell

  3. I have a baby one in a terrarium bowl, and I can hardly wait for it to get bigger and need a new pot. It is so cute little, along with a palour palm and a blue star fern. My bowl arrangement looks 80s inspired but all thing old are new again, and a great use for a vintage bowl.

  4. Hi Tash – Sounds lovely. Yes, all things old are new again & that goes for plants too. Coleus fell out of favor for a while but came back with a bang. Nell

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