How to Grow Asplenium nidus Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Birds Nest Fern

Asplenium nidus, commonly known as Bird's nest fern, is an epiphytic fern in the family Aspleniaceae.

It is a native to areas of Southeast Asia and Polynesia.

The term epiphytic means that the plant derives its nutrients from the air, water, and debris around it (and not from soil).

Birds nest fern

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) photograph by Bernard Dupont.

These beautiful, glossy plants are typically found in high crooks of palm trees in the wild, and are a beautiful addition to any houseplant collection due to their tolerance for indirect light and general non-toxicity.

Birds Nest Fern
Birds Nest Fern, photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Birds Nest Fern

Your bird's nest fern does best if you can replicate the tropical, humid conditions it loves in the wild.

While Asplenium nidus, is naturally epiphytic, it can survive as either an air or terrestrial plant - just make sure you can mist it frequently, as it loves moisture (but not wetness).

Asplenium nidus leaf
Asplenium nidus leaf cose up, photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

You might try placing it in a bathroom where the shower's heat and humidity will mist it regularly, provided that it is near a window or skylight.

If you do decide to plant your bird's nest fern in soil, it should optimally be organic compost or peat, and fed with weak fertilizer twice a year from April / September.

This plant will grow outward from a tender rosette in its center; this should not be directly watered or touched - doing so risks damaging the beautiful rippled leaves that lend such an exotic air to your decor.

Asplenium nidus, is a charming, pet-safe, and low-light tolerant addition to your home or garden – and with the right care, it can make any space into a tiny tropical oasis.

Asplenium nidus Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Asplenium nidus
  • Common Name: Birds nest fern
  • Growing Zone: USA: 9 to 11
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Fern, Indoor Plant

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 24 to 48
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 12 to 36
  • Time of Bloom:
  • Flower Details:
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Rounded

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: shade to partial shade partial sun
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance:
  • Propagation: Spores
  • How to Prune: Not usually required
  • Pests: Can getscale insectsand leaf and bud eelworms
  • Diseases: May be infected bya rust in mild and damp winters

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of:
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, En masse , Woodland garden
  • Family: Aspleniaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Ferns, Spleenwort

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, Non-native to North America, Does not bloom
  • Genus Detail: Asplenium
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Asplenium nidus plant
Asplenium nidus plant growing in a pot, image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Asplenium nidus. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Fern-like growing guides: How to grow Dicentra and Hunnemannia plants.