Peacock Fern
Ferns,  Plant Care,  Propagation

Peacock Fern

Welcome to our guide to the Peacock Fern plant, all you need to know to care and propagate this plant, including soil, water, light and humidity.

Peacock Fern Care Summary

Light needs:Medium to bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Keep them moist – check twice a week and water if top 30 or 40% of soil is dry.
Fertilizer:A really well diluted feed, sparingly.
Soil:A normal potting compost.
Temperature:16°C to 30°C (61-86°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops or Etsy.
Other names:Peacock fern, spikemoss, selaginella willdenowii.
Common issues:Underwatering, leaf yellowing.


Peacock fern aka spikemoss aka selaginella willdenowii, is a great little terrarium plant, known for its striking blue color. Fun fact(!): it is actually not a fern at all, it is a type of moss. The key to caring for them is regular watering

See also: Maidenhair Fern, Silver Lace Fern, Lemon Button Fern, Button Fern, Kangaroo Paw Fern, Selaginella Kraussiana, Macho Fern (Nephrolepis Biserrata), Birds Nest Fern Care, Blue Star Fern.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Peacock Fern Light Needs

Medium to bright indirect sunlight is ideal. Direct sun can burn the leaves though, so be careful.

How Often To Water

Keep them moist – check them twice a week and water if the top 30 or 40% is dry. Make sure it does not sit in water though.

Tip: when it comes to watering keep them moist but not soaking wet, tip out excess water after watering so they don’t get a soggy bottom!


You do not need to feed this plant. They can be susceptible to fertilizer burn too. If you do feed, make sure it is a really well diluted feed.

Peacock Fern Soil

Use a normal potting compost. It does not want to be well draining, as they like to be moist.

When to Repot

It’s a good idea to repot them in spring to refresh their soil, even if they don’t need a bigger pot, keep them in the same one and refresh the soil.


50% and above, they will thrive in a lot more too, making them a good plant for terrariums.

Tip: don’t let het humidity drop too low or the leaves can suffer, try to keep them above 50% humidity.


18-25°C (64-77°F) is great for them in the day, and at night try to keep them above 10°C (50°F). They are fairly tolerant of most house hold temperatures.

How to Propagate Peacock Fern

You can propagate it fairly easily by stem cuttings or division. They root well in water so I would take stem cuttings, and let them grow in a jar of water. Then when they take well, repot them into soil. They are fairly easy to prop with cuttings. But if you have a big one then you can easily divide it to.

Peacock Fern close up
Peacock Fern close up

Is It Toxic To Cats?

It is not toxic to dogs and cats.

Peacock Fern USDA Zone

Zones 7-10.

Peacock Fern Indoor Care

They can survive indoors, keep them humid and moist (but not soaking wet) and they should do well.

Why Is My Peacock Fern Turning Yellow?

They can turn yellow for a number of reasons, the main ones being a lack of moisture in the soil. It can also be overwatering. So check you are watering the plant correctly, they like to be moist but not dry or soaking.

Is Peacock Fern An Aquatic Plant?

It is not suitable for growing under water in aquariums, bit can live above water and goes well in a terrarium environment for example.

How To Grow Peacock Fern In An Aquarium?

If you’re using it in an aquarium make sure it is above the surface where it will not get drowned but can benefit form the humidity of the tank,

Other Names

Peacock fern, spikemoss, selaginella willdenowii, Willdenow’s spikemoss.

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops. Or Etsy.

FAQs and Common Problems

They must be kept wet, the main issues with them are underwatering which causes issues like yellow leaves.

Additional Resources


Other Articles You Might Like

There you have it, here ends our guide to this beautiful plant. You might also like our other articles:

Kangaroo Paw Fern, Macho Fern (Nephrolepis Biserrata), Birds Nest Fern Care, Blue Star Fern.

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