Frosted Fern: A Christmas Mystery Plant

Sitting nested in among the Christmas Cactus and the Pontetta’s was this new little plant to me.. The frosted Fern!

Frosted Fern

This wa a new to me plant.. its cute for sure. I can see the appeal, its got spruce like green bough’s and these cut white tips that look like they are carrying a dipping of snow on the ends.  Like many plants at stores, it was being looked after but not well.. it was overgrow in its little pot, deeply in need of a drink to its bone dry soil. It was also on sale.

I wanted to scoop all four of the little guys up and bring them home with me.. but like most things moderation is much better and given that I had no knowledge of this plant or what kind of care it would need.. I stood there wavering.. shoud I or not?

After picking it up and putting it down again.. I sighed and went.. the love of plants got me again and one of them came home with me.. I had it all wrapped up in plant cover to help it going from store to house and then I transplanted it into a much bigger pot, watered it well and started looking for information.

The best that I found was from Laidback Gardener.. a truly outstanding blog!  I have put a little of his advice here and then linked to his site for the rest of it.

If you do not want to read more then here are the highlights

  • No direct sunlight needed or wanted
  • Water at least twice a week, well drained soil is best
  • Ideally place in a spot with your best higher humidity or consider putting a tray with pebbles under it that you keep a bit of water in to give that little plant area extra moisture in the air.
  • Will Grow up to a max of a foot high and foot wide but in house averages six to eights inches normally.

via Frosted Fern: A Christmas Mystery Plant

Among the plants sold during the Holiday season, the so-called “frosted fern” is certainly the most mysterious, because not only is there is so little information about it, but most merchants don’t even seem to know what to call it!
You see, this plant is not a fern at all, but what is known as a spikemoss (Selaginella), a primitive plant not really that closely related to true mosses (bryophytes) either, but rather to clubmosses (Lycopodium and others). So you could call it a “fern ally”, but still, it’s neither a fern nor a moss.

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15 Responses to Frosted Fern: A Christmas Mystery Plant

  1. Marla says:

    Hi Valeria,
    What a lovely plant this is. I bet your glad you bought it now. I have never seen one quite like this. Thanks for sharing all the information about it. It’s always great to learn about new and different plants. Have a healthy, happy & blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. KATHLEEN SCOTT says:

    Interesting and cute little plant, I have never seen one either.

  3. Totally LOVE these little guys, FG! More info (officially known as Selaginella kraussiana) https://oakstreetgardenshop.com/frosty-fern-its-not-a-fern-and-not-a-moss-so-what-is-it-or-whats-in-a-name/ and a great article (Part 1 of 2) about Terrarium Gardening from Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden: http://www.thegardenerseden.com/?p=5553

  4. Yup, Michaela does mention Selanginella kraussiana, (Club moss) here in another of her terrarium articles: http://www.thegardenerseden.com/?p=6763 (and, as knowing & using plants is her business, her info is ROCK solid; )

  5. He does write great articles, doesn’t he?: )
    I also love his header photo, lol

  6. Got a question for you. When you repotted your plant, did you happen to notice all the roots that weren’t actually in the pot, but were attempting to grow up the sides of the “wrapper”? LOL. Thinking that I was in the same store that you shop at (GT?) apparently? (Or maybe not, cause the ones I saw here were very happy, healthy and wanting to GO!; )

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