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» Articles » Plants » Rainbow Fern or Peacock Fern or Moss

Rainbow Fern or Peacock Fern or Moss

by Douglas L. Bishop on 3/18/2021 12:53


Here’s an attractive foliage plant that seems to answer to several different names.

When we first encountered it, rainbow fern was the identification on the label of its container. And, since it came from a reliable source, we accepted this designation without question.

Then, upon researching the care requirements of this delicate looking new addition to our gardening choices, we realized that the same plant is alternately called peacock fern, rainbow moss, peacock moss, or sometimes even peacock clubmoss.

Whatever you want its name to be, it’s a great looking little plant with an unusual appearance.

The delicate foliage looks almost like the intricate work done on old style tabletop doilies made of finely crocheted lace.

The color of the foliage tends more toward that of a blueish-green than the typical greens of other ferns.

However, the care requirements are pretty much in keeping with those of any other of the ferns, those being a mostly shaded and cool moist setting.

This fern does well in a hanging basket.

As it grows and spreads, the cascading shoots trail nicely over the container’s edge and downward. In this setting, the fern looks much more delicate and flowing than does the typical hanging basket of Boston Fern.

The rainbow fern also does well in a terrarium setting, feeling quite comfortable and at home in the humid environment created by other plants within the container.

Ferns in their natural environment are perennials, so these plants can do quite well in the proper outdoor setting, that being one that mimics its native surroundings of moist shaded areas.

However, the limiting factor in year-round outdoor cultivation of the rainbow fern is the winter temperature. This fern will not withstand hard freezes.

If you are fortunate enough to live in more temperate climates, your fern will demand little care on your part.

Loose moist soil that is rich in organic matter should provide the needed nutrients to help your plant thrive.

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