​​​​​​​​Tiger Fern H/B

  • Common Name: Tiger Fern H/B
  • Scientific Names: Nephrolepis exaltata 'Tiger Fern'
  • Family Name: Nephrolepidaceae
  • Origin: Tropical areas around the world, such as in South America, Central America, Florida, Polynesia, and Africa
  • Height: 1.5-2 ft
  • Width: 2-3 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 9-12
  • Light needs: Partial shade to full shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers a moist, nutrient rich soil, such as a peat-based potting soil. Needs acidic soil (pH 5.0-6.5)
  • Moisture: Soil should be kept consistently moist. Prefers to be kept in a humid environment.
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: Scale, mealybugs, slugs and whiteflies may be an issue. If kept indoors, low humidity may cause its leaves to drop.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a shady area where it is protected from direct sunlight, such as underneath trees. It should be kept in an environment that is consistently humid, with moist, organically rich soil. It can also be kept indoors in more humid areas of the building, but special attention has to be paid to keeping its soil moist. It does very well in a hanging basket, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Characteristics: Grows in a clumping, mounding formation. When kept in a hanging basket it grows to form a distinct ball-like shape. Fronds are light green, with yellow and green variegated leaflets, which look like stripes, hence its name. Sori, which contain spores, are arranged in lines on the underside of leaves. However, this cultivar will not produce true spores, and has to be propagated by other means.
  • Propagation: By runner division
  • Wildlife: Snails and slugs may occasionally eat its leaves. Small animals may use its fronds for shade or shelter. Does not attract pollinators due to its lack of flowers.
  • Facts: The species name, exaltata, means “tall” or “lofty”. Nephrolepsis exaltata is known for having many different cultivars, many of which were used in parlors years ago. This cultivar, ‘Tiger Fern’, is named for its variegated leaves which have striped patterns.
  • Designer considerations: It makes for a great porch plant, especially when kept in a hanging basket, as it will grow to form a puffball shape. It can also be used for ground cover and mass plantings in shady area, where its variegated leaves will add extra color and dimension. Place near flowering plants for a more complete, tropical look.


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Tiger Fern H/B