Plant Care Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern

4.1 out of 5 (28 experiences)

Erect Sword Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Erect Sword Fern has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily

About Erect Sword Fern

The erect sword fern is native to the Hawaiian Islands where it is known as kupukupu, okupukupu or ni'ani'au. It has been introduced to several habitats where it has become an invasive species, such as New Zealand and Florida. To protect your local ecosystems (especially if you live in a warm, tropical climate) we suggest growing this plant only indoors. 🪴


Nephrolepis cordifolia

Also known as

Duffy Fern, Fishbone Fern, Herringbone Fern, Ladder Fern and Lemon Button Fern

How to care for Erect Sword Fern


How often to water your Erect Sword Fern

Water needs for Erect Sword Fern
0.5 cups
every 7

Erect Sword Fern needs 0.5 cups of water every 7 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Erect Sword Fern

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Erect Sword Fern in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Erect Sword Fern: 6ft from a window
6ft or less from
a window

Erect Sword Fern can tolerate being far from a window and light source.

Place it less than 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Erect Sword Fern in your home 🏡.


How to fertilize Erect Sword Fern

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Erect Sword Fern: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Erect Sword Fern after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Difficulty Level

Erect Sword Fern is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Native Region
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Yellow Leaves

Care Summary for Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 7 days


< 6ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Erect Sword Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 13
Erect Sword Fern has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 11
Erect Sword Fern has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 7
Erect Sword Fern has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 4
Erect Sword Fern has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 3
Erect Sword Fern has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 1
Leahr05 avatar
leaf-1 7 Plants
xp 321 XP

i find it hard to keep alive, but watering it a little more often than the app suggests seems to do the trick

Browns easily Browns easily
Mossycabbages avatar
leaf-1 102 Plants
xp 3,045 XP
globe American Fork, UT

Picky with humidity and doesn’t like tap water. Does grow quickly and with gorgeous bright green growth. I keep mine at ~85% humidity with grow lights and spagnum moss covering the soil for extra moisture

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Hkpierson avatar
leaf-1 24 Plants
xp 993 XP
globe Brattleboro, VT

Unless you’re in a warm, humid climate, this plant does best in an enclosed terrarium.

Browns easily Browns easily
Cgggreen avatar
leaf-1 17 Plants
xp 514 XP

It’s really moody and gets mad when it gets too dry

Browns easily Browns easily
Cheribuno avatar
leaf-1 53 Plants
xp 1,935 XP
globe Richmond, Victoria

The easiest deen I have to look after. They are hardy, tolerant and not that fussy

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Hope avatar
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 95 XP
globe Bristol, TN

It is beautiful and likes low light. Perfect inside plant.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Joykling avatar
leaf-1 23 Plants
xp 2,375 XP

Drinks water like a fish! Self-watering planters are a must. Lots of new growth after transplanting to SWF

Fast grower Fast grower

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