Steve will look fantastic teamed with other ferns, like Toby and Bertie. They all like the same conditions.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Microsorum musifolium ‘Crocodyllus’

Nickname

Crocodile fern; Alligator fern

Air purifying

Yes

Plant height (including pot)

20-30cm

Pet/Baby safe?

Yes

Nursery pot size

12cm

About crocodile fern

Like its namesake, the crocodile fern likes to live in places that are wet and rather dark. That and the scaled texture of its leaves are, thankfully, where the crocodile comparisons end. 

Primarily found in the Malaysian Archipelago, the crocodile fern is an epiphyte. That means it grows on other structures, usually attaching its shallow roots to trees or cracks between rocks. It draws most of the water and nutrients it needs from the air of the humid forest. Leaves that can grow up to 4-foot long in the wild give it plenty of surface area to catch all that moisture.

When growing it as a houseplant, try to mimic its natural habitat. It’s used to growing in the shade of larger trees, so it’s happy in fairly low light. It love love loves moist air. A bathroom is an ideal home, but misting regularly will be just fine. A monthly feed with liquid fertiliser (diluted to half strength) in spring and summer will also give it a boost. 

Did you know?

It may look small, but a crocodile fern in the wild can easily grow up to 5-foot.