Japanese Holly Fern

As low as $49.99
Availability: In stock

Unique-shaped and glossy fronds, the Japanese Holly Fern (Cyrtomium fortunei) has a beautiful and distinctive shape with a few dramatic fronds forming a vase-like crown. The fronds are four to seven inches wide and mature to a beautiful, glossy dark green with four to ten pairs of leaves per pinnae.

The individual pinnae are leathery, serrated with sharp points, and have a remarkable resemblance to Holly leaves - thus the common name. Older plants may have a widespread, creating a fantastic display in the shade garden! The undersides of each mature leaf form green sori that turn brown for a unique speckled appearance.

A hardy perennial Fern, these shade-garden standards add an elegant yet primordial presence throughout USDA planting zones 5 to 10, handling heat and humidity with ease, as well as chilly winter temperatures. These Ferns can remain semi to fully evergreen in mild winter climates.

Planting and Application:

This Fern can take more sun than most, so you can use it in pots or in beds as a border where you normally couldn't put other Ferns. Just ensure they receive some shade from the afternoon sun for them to do their best. Plant at the edges of the understory, the woodland garden, or beneath the canopy of large trees to fill bare round in lush greenery.

An excellent spreading and politely creeping groundcover, these add a dramatic edging along the fronts of your garden beds and borders, adding pretty texture along pathways and shaded sidewalks. Encircle a gazebo, porch, or covered seating area with some glossy green fringe as a finishing touch! These are wonderful facer plants, hiding bare leggy branches of larger trees and shrubs all while basking in their welcome shade.

Holly Fern looks fantastic as a potted container specimen plant and adds high-impact texture to your mixed planters as well! Any protected porch, patio, balcony, or back deck benefits from their cooling presence.

This groundcover Fern is very striking when planted in large groups and allowed to naturalize freely en masse. Fill those bare areas where little else grows because of the shade with unique texture and glossy greenery! The high preference for moisture makes Holly Ferns the obvious choice for Rain Gardens, along the edges of ponds, streams, and water features! Plant around where shady gutters drain or plant around your HVAC drainage area to soak up the extra moisture.

  • Dark Green Glossy Leathery Fronds
  • Holly-Like, Pointed Pinnae
  • Forms Vase-Shaped Clumps
  • Handles A Bit More Shade Than Other Ferns
  • Can Remain Evergreen/Semi-Evergreen in Mild Winters
  • Borders & Edging, Specimen Containers, & Shade Garden Accents

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Japanese Holly Ferns are easy to grow and prefer partial sun to full shade and need soil that is moist, humus-rich, and with good drainage. However, it must be kept out of strong afternoon sun in warmer climates. Any well-drained soil type that remains moist all growing season is suitable for this plant.

Divide plants in the early spring before new growth emerges. In spring before new growth begins, tidy up the mounds by removing or gently raking away any old, dead debris. Top-dress with compost and 3-4 inches of arborist mulch to keep the roots cool, hold moisture, and block weed competition.

Rabbit and deer-resistant this Fern will be safe to plant in the out-of-the-way wooded areas and edges of your property without worry of damage.

  • Full Shade & Part Sun
  • Impressively Heat & Humidity Tolerant
  • Any Well-Drained Rich Soil
  • Moderate to High Moisture
  • Deer & Rabbit-Resistant Easy-Care & Low-Maintenance

A unique Fern with a distinctive shape! Overall, this is one tough Fern with unique features that would be a great addition to any partly shaded-yard or patio! Buy your own Japanese Holly Fern from NatureHills.com today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Japanese Holly Fern Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-10
Growing Zones 5-10
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Cyrtomium fortunei
Type Perennial
Mature Height 18 - 24 inches
Mature Spread 18 - 24 inches
Sun Exposure Full Shade, Partial Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate to High
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Green
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Early Spring