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The Crocodile Fern, sometimes known as a alligator fern a crocodylus fern or a crocodile plant, is a fern native to Australia with a slightly unusual texture. The fern gets its name from the scale like texture of its leaves which also makes it an appealing houseplant for fern lovers.
A Crocodile Fern can be sensitive to certain things in its environment but if you follow the tips below you shouldn’t have too many problems with this fern as they’re a relatively easy plant to take care of.
Just like most ferns the Crocodile Fern is used to living under the canopy and therefore doesn’t receive too much natural light in its natural environment. It does grow in countries where sunlight is bright but is often protected from direct sunlight by the foliage of other plants.
Therefore you want to place it in a bright spot but make sure that your fern is not in direct line of the sun as it can scorch and damage the foliage of the plant. A Crocodile Fern will also do quite well in lower lighting conditions. You can move your plant around until you find the perfect spot.
A Crocodile Fern is a plant that likes to drink. Like most ferns, this one prefers moist soil and regular waterings.
However, make sure that you don’t over water your plant. The soil needs to be moist but you don’t want it sodden or your plant will be sitting in water and this can increase the chances of root rot. To ensure this doesn’t happen make sure you have a well draining pot with loose soil to allow the plant to drain properly.
A good rule for when to water it is to touch the top two inches of soil and when they start to dry out its time to give your plant a drink.
Also when you water your plant, do not water directly onto the Crocodile Fern but instead into the soil surrounding the plant. If you water directly onto the plant this can encourage water to sit in the centre of the plant and can promote rot.
As a Crocodile Fern is a plant that originally comes from the tropics, it will need a humid environment in order to thrive. You can achieve this by placing your plant on top of pebble trays that you fill with water, misting your plants regularly or investing in a humidifier.
Signs that your plant isn’t getting enough humidity include crispy brown tips that appear on the foliage. This can also be a sign of under watering so make sure you check your humidity levels and the soil moisture to check the cause.
The best type of soil for the best Crocodile Fern care is a loose well draining soil. This way you can ensure that your soil is moist throughout when you water it but that your roots won’t be sitting in water and running the risk of rot.
When fertilising your plant be careful you don’t use a fertiliser that is too strong as it can damage the plant and cause marks on the foliage that look like burns.
Dilute your fertiliser mix more than you normally would for other plants and don’t over fertilise.
If you notice the symptoms of too much fertiliser than you may want to take it out and water your plant to help remove it from the soil. If you fertilise sparingly with a weak solution then you should see growth from this method.
The easiest way to propagate your Crocodile Fern is to do so by root division. This is the method that will give you the most success with less chance of your propagation not working.
Now that you’ve read the Crocodile Fern care guide, take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions to learn more about this beautiful plant.
You can propagate your Crocodile Fern through root division. When you propagate this way be sure to separate the roots with care as too much root damage can kill your existing plant or cause your new plant not to take.
Then place the new section in soil, water thoroughly (though make sure your plant can drain) and set your plant on its way.
Not all sections will take so you’re better off waiting until you are able to separate several sections of your plant for the best chances of a successful propagation.
Under the right conditions a Crocodile Fern can grow to be five feet tall but you will usually find your plant sitting anywhere from 2 feet up to the 5 feet. Your plant should grow in width at a similar rate to its height.
Although they can be sensitive plants, this fern is usually relatively easy to cultivate and you shouldn’t have too many issues with it.
Crocodile Ferns are only recently becoming a popular house plant option so you may not be able to find them in your local garden centres or nurseries. If this is the case then don’t worry, you should be able to order your fern online, just be aware of how it is shipped because if you receive it bare roots, the plant will need to be potted immediately for best chances of survival.
This plant gets its name from the very distinct markings on its leaves that resemble the scales of a crocodile, because of this you will sometimes hear it referred to as a crocodile plant or an alligator fern.
Watermelon Peperomia are a plants that like it a bit more on the humid side. This plant originates from South America and would be found in slightly more humid conditions so in order for your plant to thrive you want to try and recreate these conditions in terms of light, temperature and of course humidifier.
A great way to increase the moisture in the air for your plants is by misting them. Regularly misting your Watermelon Peperomia will help the leaves to access the moisture that they would in a more humid environment.
The only downside to misting your plants is that it is an extra task you need to remember in addition to watering them. Which is why some people opt for a humidifier.
Whether or not you decide to get a humidifier will probably depend on a number of factors, some of them being: how much time you want to spend caring for your plants, how much money you’re prepared to spend, and how many plants you have that require humidity.
If you don’t want to spend your time misting your plants then a humidifier might be the right option for you as you can fill it up with water and set it going, creating a humid environment for your plant without having to do the manual work.
Different humidifiers have different capacities so some you will have to change every day but others you can set going at the start of the week and just leave running. The capacity will affect the price so these are all things you need to consider when choosing humidifier or mister but the most important thing is that your plant is getting the humidity it needs.
Of course the humidity required is different if you are going to propagate Watermelon Peperomia, in which case it will require much more and you might want to consider finding a plastic dome for your plant to create its own humid atmosphere.
If you don’t like those two options then another thing you can try is to place glasses of water around your plants so as the water evaporates it increases the humidity levels in the air.
Or you could place your plant in a pebble tray that you fill with water. This is quite a popular option and its aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
Whichever one you choose the important thing to remember is your Peperomia likes it moist so try and accommodate that.
The good news is that yes you can propagate you Watermelon Peperomia in water and not only that, you can also propagate it in soil. So whichever method you prefer you should be able to choose with no issues.
Propagating a Watermelon Peperomia is easy. Simply choose a healthy leaf and take a cutting. Be sure to leave some of the stem as this is where new roots will grow from.
When you have you cutting place it in water and watch it grow. Make sure you change the water regularly for the best results and check on your plant for signs of root rot.
When propagating in soil there are two options you can choose from. We’ll talk you through each of them and you can decide which one you would like to try out for yourself.
Our recommendation would be to try out all of the different techniques and see which is your favourite for yourself.
Propagating in soil isn’t too much different. There are two techniques you can use.
Firstly you can propagate in a similar way to how you did so in water. Take a cutting from your plant with the stem intact and plant it in soil.
Or there is another option and this is our favourite. take a healthy leaf from your Watermelon Peperomia and cut it in half horizontally across the leaves.
Then take your leaf half and place them into soil, cut side facing down. You want to place the leaf a couple of cms deep into the soil to keep it supported.
Next water the soil thoroughly so that it is moist through but make sure you allow your plant to drain so its not sitting in water.
Your Watermelon Peperomia doesn’t need direct sunlight so pick a bright spot for it to sit in that isn’t under direct rays from the sun.
Next you want to think about humidity. Your plant will need more humidity while its in this growing stage, more than it would get from just misting so you may want to consider placing a half cut plastic cup on top of your plant to create a tiny humid atmosphere for your growing plant.
When doing a propagation make sure you take more than one cutting. Not all of the cuttings you take will grow so if you’re relying on one you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Instead take a few cuttings and hopefully you will see some growth!
When deciding what light your plant needs the best thing to do is look at its natural environment. A watermelon peperomia usually grows in places that receive a lot of sunlight but is often hidden under other foliage so sits in the shade.
So with this in mind you want to place your Peperomia in a bright room in your home near a light source but in a shaded spot. If you don’t have any shaded spots near your windows then you can create one using other plants.
Try finding plants that enjoy receiving lots of sunlight and put them in direct line of the sun, then place your watermelon Peperomia behind or under them so that it is within the bright light area but being protected from the sun.
You can also create protection from the sun by adding a sheer curtain to an area of your home that receives strong light.
If you’re not sure about your placement you can try your Peperomia in one spot, monitor it and then move it accordingly. Below are the signs to watch out for that indicate its either receiving too much or too little light.
Signs to watch out for that your plant may be receiving too much light reside in the foliage. You may find that the deep green lines on your leaves start to dim to a duller green if its receiving too much sunlight.
If this happens then don’t panic! Your plant isn’t dying, just move it further from the light source or find something that can add a shaded element to your plant display.
Too little light can be just as damaging for your Peperomia as too much light. You can tell if your plant is receiving too little light as the foliage may become a darker green. If this is the case just move it a bit closer to a light source and your plant should right itself in no time.
Plants are often more resilient than you think and a little bit of mistreatment isn’t going to kill them. Just make sure you keep an eye on them to prevent that from becoming a lot of mistreatment.
Important! One important thing to note is that when we say your Peperomia needs to be placed in the shade that doesn’t mean it should have no access to light. Make sure its in the shade in a brightly lit area. All plants need light to survive and this one is no different.
Now you’ve found out how much light your Watermelon Peperomia needs, its time to look at how often you water a Watermelon Peperomia.
Follow these tips and look at our overall Watermelon Peperomia care guide and you should be good to go.