Cotton Candy Fern Plant Information
The cotton candy fern plant's Latin name is Nephrolepis exaltata. The fern is also known as the Suzi Wong fern, which can grow to 5 feet tall. The name of the plant describes its feel and color. The cotton candy fern has soft, fluffy chartreuse-colored fronds. The fern can be planted indoors or outdoors in large containers or hanging baskets.
Water the plant when the soil dries. The plant should be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry between waterings. The plant should be planted in a container with good drainage so that the excess water can drain out the bottom.
The Suzi Wong can be placed in an area that has morning sun or in a location with indirect sunlight. The afternoon shade is ideal for the fern to avoid excessive drying of the soil from the hot afternoon sun.
The cotton candy fern thrives in temperatures of between 60 degrees F and 80 degrees F. If the temperature drops below 60 degrees F or rises above 80 degrees F, the plant growth slows down. The plant does well in areas with medium humidity when the temperatures are ideal.
Soil and Feeding
Potting soil can be used for the cotton candy fern or you can make your own mixture of one part peat, one part course sand and one part garden soil. The ideal soil has good drainage. Fertilize the fern with a 15-5-15 (nitrogen, phosphates, potassium) fertilizer once a week.
The plant is prone to aphids. When the plant has aphids, use an insecticide with Orthene and Talstar to spray the plant leaves and kill the pest.
Red Fern Plant?
The red fern of Wilson Rawls’ popular children’s novel Where the Red Fern Grows does not exist. The widely grown](http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4dmg/Whats/athyrium.htm) [Japanese painted fern is a showy fern with metallic silver-gray fronds touched with blue and red. It likes moist soil and part to full shade, showing its colors most vividly in cooler climates. Autumn fern likes deep, rich, moist, organic soil. It does not like sun, heat, drought, compacted soil, pollution or urban growing conditions in general. A tropical fern, mahogany fern (Didymochlaena truncatula, USDA zones 9 through 10) grows 2 to 3 feet high and 3 feet wide with new foliage that is a rich mahogany red turning to glossy green as it matures. They’re a good choice for a garden of native plants, useful for filling space between trees and shrubs. They grow naturally in wet meadows, swamps, lake shores, marshes and forests. The dark mahogany red stems bear green fronds.
- Online Plant Guide: Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Smithii’/Cotton Candy Fern
- Great Plant Picks: Athyrium otophorum
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Athyrium Filix-femina
- Monrovia: Lady Fern
- Oregon State University Extension: Dryopteris Erythrosora - Autumn Fern
- Florida Green: 2000 Florida Plants of the Year - Part 3
- Waterloo Gardens: Mahogany Fern
- Goodreads: Where the Red Fern Grows Quotes
- Colorado State University Extension: Athyrium Niponicum 'Pictum'
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Athyrium Otophorum