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How to Care for and Decorate with Christmas Fern Plant for the Holidays

Did you know that there are over 10,000 different species of fern?

Ferns are a diverse group of non-flowering plants. They can add a touch of elegance and beauty to any home.

One of the most popular and versatile ones is the Christmas fern plant. With its beautiful deep green color, it makes for a perfect decoration during the holiday season. But caring for and decorating with Christmas ferns can be tricky if you’re not familiar with this plant.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to care for and decorate with these ferns during the holidays. Read on to learn more

What is a Christmas Fern?

Christmas ferns are also known as Polystichum acrostichoides. They are native to eastern North America. They’re named after their unique ability to stay green throughout the winter months.

This evergreen fern gets its name from its fronds resembling the shape of a Christmas stocking or sock. It has long, dark green fronds that grow in an arching pattern. They can reach up to 2-3 feet in height.

Caring for your Christmas Fern

Christmas ferns are relatively easy to care for. This makes them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor decorations during the holiday season.


One of the most important things to remember when caring for your Christmas fern is to keep its soil moist. This means watering it regularly, especially during hot and dry weather.

However, make sure not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Check the soil moisture by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, then it’s time to water.


These ferns prefer partial or full shade. This makes them ideal for indoor decorations. However, they can also thrive in areas with filtered light.

Avoid placing your Christmas fern in direct sunlight as this can cause the fronds to burn and turn brown. Instead, place it near a window that receives indirect light.

Temperature and Humidity

They prefer cool temperatures ranging from 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They also thrive in high humidity levels. To increase humidity, you can mist the fronds or place a tray of water near the plant.

If your home tends to be dry during winter months, consider using a humidifier. You can also group your fern with other plants to create a microclimate.


During the growing season, you can fertilize your Christmas fern once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer. However, avoid fertilizing during winter months when the plant is dormant.

You can also add organic matter, such as compost or leaf litter to the soil. This helps provide nutrients for your fern.


To keep your Christmas fern looking neat and healthy, you can prune off any brown or damaged fronds. This will also promote new growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruners to make a clean cut at the base of the frond.

Avoid pruning too much as this can weaken the plant. Only remove up to 1/3 of the fronds at a time.

Decorating with a Christmas Fern in Winter

Now that you know how to care for your Christmas fern, let’s talk about how you can decorate with it during the holidays. Here are a few ideas:

Table Centerpiece

Christmas ferns make a beautiful addition to holiday table centerpieces. You can place them in a festive pot or basket and add other decorations like pine cones and berries.

You can also incorporate small LED lights into the arrangement for a warm and cozy touch. This will make for a stunning centerpiece that will impress your guests.

Wreaths and Garlands

You can also use ferns to create wreaths and garlands. You can mix them with other evergreen plants like pine, cedar, or holly for a festive look.

Hang the wreath on your front door or use it as a backdrop for your fireplace mantle. You can also add ribbons, lights, and ornaments to personalize the decoration.

Christmas Tree Accent

If you have a natural Christmas tree, consider using these ferns as accents on the branches. This will add depth and texture to your tree while complementing its natural beauty.

You can also use the ferns to fill in any gaps or spaces between branches. Just make sure to secure them with floral wire or twine.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets filled with Christmas ferns can add a touch of festive greenery to any room. Choose decorative baskets or pots and hang them in areas that need a bit of holiday cheer. This can be on the entryway, living room, or even the kitchen.

You can wrap the baskets with festive ribbons or add small ornaments for extra holiday flair. The trailing fronds will create a cascading effect that enhances the vertical space in your home.

Fireplace Mantle Display

Transform your fireplace mantle into a stunning holiday display by incorporating Christmas ferns. You can use them to create a lush garland that cascades down the sides of the mantle.

Add in other elements like pinecones, berries, and candles to complete the look. This will make for a cozy and inviting focal point in your living room.

Staircase Garland

Drape a garland made from Christmas ferns along your staircase railing. This will create a visually striking effect that guides the eye upward, enhancing the holiday atmosphere in your home.

You can weave in ribbon, lights, or other evergreens to add variety and depth. Secure the garland with floral wire or zip ties to ensure it stays in place throughout the season.

Window Sill Arrangement

Brighten up your window sills with arrangements of Christmas ferns. Place the ferns in decorative pots or containers, and add small holiday decorations around them.

The green fronds will contrast beautifully against the winter backdrop outside, bringing a bit of nature indoors. You can also hang small ornaments directly on the ferns for an added festive touch.

You can also use the Christmas fern fiddleheads in your arrangements. These fiddleheads are said to bring luck and prosperity. This makes them a great addition to any holiday decor.

Enhancing the Holiday Season With a Christmas Fern Plant

The Christmas fern plant is a versatile and beautiful addition to any home during the holiday season. With proper care, they can thrive indoors and make for stunning decorations.

Use these ideas and tips to incorporate these ferns into your holiday decor this year. Remember to properly care for them so they can stay healthy and beautiful all winter long. Happy decorating!

Take a moment to browse through some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.

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