Pellaea rotundifolia: button fern care

Pellaea rotundifolia is a hardy fern

Image - Wikimedia / Michal Klajban

La Pellaea rotundifolia It is a fern that attracts attention due to the color of its fronds (leaves) and its hanging and beautiful appearance. It is known by the common name of button fern, and it is originally from New Zealand, and I must confess that I did not know it ... until I bought a specimen in the town market.

And what to say? It is a plant that I love, and that I am sure you will also like. She is, indeed, very strong and grateful, able to adapt to living indoors without problems. Do you want to know how to care for it?

How to care for the button fern?

The button fern is a plant that can be grown in warm gardens

Image - Wikimedia / Kembangraps

La Pellaea rotundifolia a fern that looks great indoors. It does not take up much space since it is only about 25 centimeters high by 30-35 centimeters wide, and it also weighs little. I tell you the latter in case you are thinking of having a plant in a hanging pot, since our protagonist may be the one you are looking for. And it is also that it has fronds (leaves) long enough to "hang", a feature that only increases its decorative value.

But of course, once we have it at home, What do we have to do with it? Where to put it? When to water it? We are going to talk about all this below:


It is a plant that has to be put in a place where there is a lot of light, for this reason if it is grown indoors it is important that it is placed in a room that has windows through which a lot of light enters. Likewise, it should not be near air conditioning, fans or passageways, since the air currents would dry its fronds.

If you choose to grow it outdoors, it must be kept in the shade. For example, under tree branches or in a covered patio. Also, you have to take into account that it is sensitive to cold, so if the temperatures drop below 10 degrees in the place where you live, we recommend that you always keep it in a pot. So you can put it at home as soon as it starts to cool.


The button fern thrives in soils rich in nutrients, and well drained. It fears excess water at its roots, so in heavy soils it will be difficult for it to grow at its normal rate.

Therefore, When it is going to be planted in a pot, it is advisable to fill it with a quality universal substrate, such as the Flower brands (for sale here!), Boom Nutrients (for sale here!), or Fertiberia (for sale here!). And it is important that it is light, that it weighs little and that it contains some type of substrate, such as perlite (for sale here!), coconut fiber (for sale here!) or vermiculite (for sale here!), which favors the exit of the water.

And if it is planted in the garden, if the soil meets the characteristics mentioned before, perfect; otherwise, we will make a 50 x 50 centimeter hole, and we will fill it with some substrate that we just said.


Pellaea rotundifolia is a rhizomatous plant

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

La Pellaea rotundifolia it is a fern that It must be watered regularly with rainwater, or if it is not possible to obtain it, with water suitable for consumption. In general, during the summer it will be watered between 2 and 4 times a week, depending on whether it is indoors or outdoors, and taking into account that if it is outside, its water demand will be greater since the land dries more Quick.

The rest of the year, especially in autumn-winter, not only is it cooler or colder, but our beloved plant will grow more slowly. To this we must add that the soil takes longer to dry, so we will water very little: more or less once a week.


It has to be paid during its growing season, that is, in spring and summer. For it we recommend using fertilizers authorized for organic farming, such as guano, worm castings (for sale here!), or manure from herbivorous animals.

But yes, It is highly, highly recommended that if we have it in a pot we use liquid fertilizers. This way you will be able to absorb the nutrients better. And, of course, we must follow the instructions for use that we will find on the packaging to prevent the fern from spoiling.


Although it is a relatively small plant, If we are going to always have it in a pot, we will have to look every 2-3 years if roots grow out of the holes in it., or if you have already occupied it all. In that case, we will plant it in a larger one in spring.

And, also in that season, we can plant it in the garden if the climate is right for it.


Pellaea rotundifolia is a small fern

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

La Pellaea rotundifolia resists up to 10ºC, although it is preferable that the thermometer does not drop below 15ºC. As for heat, it holds up to 30-35ºC if it does not lack water.

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What did you think of the button fern? It is a plant that can undoubtedly give a lot to talk about, since, as we have seen, its care is not complicated.

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