Resurrection Fern

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Resurrection Fern- Pleopeltis polypodioide

Resurrection Fern is an evergreen triangular shape plant that grows from around 4” to 12” long. Each Leaf (fronds) at maturity has about 18 to 32 rectangular shape projections on both sides of the narrow bonelike stem. The stem measure about 2/16” of an inch in circumference at the thickest part and less than 1/16” at the tip. These projections on the fronds measure an average of 5 cm long by 1cm wide. Like the word suggest “resurrect” The resurrection fern behaves in the same manner by appearing to be dead when it needs water. Therefore, it curls up and looks grey and lifeless; However, when it is watered it comes back to life within 24 hours by unfolding and displaying it apple green crispy color. It is a very low maintenance plant that grows on rocks and other tree barks in a hardiness zone between 6 and 11. Because of its natural ability to survive long drought the resurrection fern can be left without water for many weeks and months and be revived when it is watered. So, you can leave it unmanned and not worry about its care when you go for extended vacations and holidays. It is mainly referred to as an air plant because Ressurection Fern does not need soil, to grow. The resurrection fern gets its nutrients through its leave during in the process of photosynthesis and from the outside of tree barks where they grow. The back of the resurrection fern frond has the spores that are released into the air to nearby and far away trees to grow. Resurrection fern is usually used in landscaping where there are large trees to plant them on, especially on oak and Pecan trees. Although the resurrection fern is mostly an outdoor plant, it can grow on just about every tree with thick bark. To get the resurrection fern on your landscape, all you need is a few fonds that you can insert in the crack or opening on the bark of an oak tree, and you are ready to enjoy this beautiful plant.

The resurrection fern is considered an air plant or epiphyte. This means that the fern links onto other plants, using them as hosts and takes in nutrients and moisture from the atmosphere. The fern lives on limbs and branches of big trees. They are commonly seen living in oak trees. It doesn't cause any damage to the tree, but it's rhizomes are inserted into the bark of the tree. They're also found living on dead logs and rocks. The leaves are a yellow and greenish color and are usually 4 to 12 inches long. They have a leathery texture and sori can be found on the bottom of the leaves. When the leaves are dry, they curl upward so they can absorb the rain quickly when it comes. The stem is skinny and grows to be about 1/12 of an inch. Ferns are in the USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 11. They tend to produce better when they are in partial sunlight. They become to be about 6 to 8 inches tall.


The fern can survive without water for long periods of time. While most plants can't go without losing 10% of water, the resurrection fern can lose up to 97% of water and still live. It does this by winding up its leaves and turning a grey and brownish color, making it seem dead. The fern will unwind whenever there is water around and restore its green color. This makes it sound like it was resurrected, which is how the plant got its name. A scientist has predicted that this plant could go without water for 100 years and still be able to survive with the smallest bit of water exposure.

Resurrection Fern


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