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Moonlight Fern

Pteris cretica

Size: Small
Pot: Eco Planter
Eco Pot

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  • Pet Safe:Yes

  • Care Level:I'm Easy

The Moonlight fern (Pteris cretica) has thin green leaflets with serrated margins that mimic a palm leaf. This species' lush growth habit (clump-forming) produces wiry thread-like stalks from small rhizomes in the soil, and the stalks have pinnate leaflets in rows. In the wild, this fern likes a vertical habitat close to a water source.

Moonlight Fern
Moonlight Fern

About Moonlight Fern

Bright indirect light + Moisture + Humidity = A Happy Moonlight fern! Love your fern by giving it a spritz, a drink, and plenty of Vitamin D, and it will return the love with lush pinnate leaflets to reward you.

Care Level: I'm Easy

Likes a lot of humidity

Pet Friendly: Yes

Safe for pets!


Africa, Europe and Asia, Southern Mediterranean

Fun Facts

"Moonlight Fern prefers rock walls, steep slopes, or vertical habitats in the wild where there is a constant trickle of water to keep it moist. Moonlight Fern is a common species of brake fern. Brake is a Middle English term and resembles the correlating name bracken; both words simply meaning “fern.”"

Moonlight Fern

Great For People Who…

  • Great for people with pets
  • Great for people who nurture their plants like their children
  • Great for people using Feng Shui
Moonlight Fern

Great For Spaces That…

  • Great for spaces with high humidity environment or climate
  • Great for space with room for a grouping of plants
  • Great for spaces with medium indirect light

Pteris cretica Care Guide

  • High

    Indoors: Bright indirect light.

  • Medium

    Keep your Moonlight fern consistently moist but not in soggy soil. Use filtered, bottled, or tap water that is sitting 24 hours to release the chemicals and water enough to discharge out of the drainage holes. Once the water is fully drained, replace it into the cache or decorative pot.

  • High

    This heart fern enjoys and thrives in 50% humidity.

  • 60 to 70

    Warmer room temperatures and adding a humidifier to its surroundings will help it thrive.

  • 8|9|10|11|12

    Outside: This Moonlight fern thrives in part shade to full shade where temperatures are above 55°F at night and high humidity.

  • Monthly

    Apply a balanced, liquid fertilizer specially formulated for indoor plants at half strength every month. Apply during the spring and summer seasons. Let it rest during the winter.

  • Yearly

    When receiving the Moonlight Fern, do not repot immediately but wait at least 6-12 months or if the roots are beginning to get crowded and growing through the drainage holes.

    Repot in the spring, using a 2 inches bigger pot to give the roots room to spread.

    Place a piece of screening at the bottom of the container over the drainage hole to secure the soil and allow it to drain. Use a rich, well-draining indoor potting mix amended with 25% compost and to help with fertility.

    Water your plant in the old pot before transferring over and let it sit an hour.

    Add soil to the bottom to elevate the root ball. Lift the plant and release the roots against the existing planter. Use a clean knife or garden trowel to wedge between the pot and the soil to loosen.

    Inspect the root ball. Notice if there are any dead or rotting roots and trim off with sterile pruners. If the plant is rootbound, cut through the roots to alleviate continued encircling.

    Ensure the plant is sitting about 1 inch below the edge of the pot to avoid water spillage. Add more soil and backfill around the sides by tamping down. Fill up to the soil line but not over.

    Water thoroughly, leaving the soil damp but not soggy. If settling occurs, add more soil.

    Water well to dampen the soil and let it drain.

  • Monthly

    If the leaves on your fern dry out or become crispy, trim off the stems down to the base. Keep the base and roots moist and new fronds will form eventually. Place it on a pebble tray to keep the humidity high. Remove any debris on the soil and replenish if necessary.

  • Division

    Propagate and divide your Moonlight Fern in the spring.

    Hydrate the plant the night before.

    Pull from the container and brush or wash away the soil carefully around the roots. Carefully divide or cut through the clump with a sterilized knife. Repot the fern in rich, indoor peat-based potting soil Be aware that each new plant needs several leaves with sufficient roots attached.

    Use a container 2 inches bigger than the root ball with drainage and deep enough for its roots to grow. Place the plant at the same level as the previous pot adding soil at the bottom.

    Water the soil and add more soil if settling occurs.

    Set it in medium to bright, indirect sunlight while they are rooting. Place a large, clear plastic bag, spritz with water on the interior and place over the new plant to create a humid environment.

    Check the moisture and humidity each day and add misting to keep the soil moist while the roots establish.

    After 6-8 weeks, roots will begin to establish. You can tug onto the stem to ensure the roots are anchoring well. Remove the plastic bag but keep the air humid around it with a pebble tray and misting.

Moonlight Fern

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