Asplenium antiquum

Japanese Birds Nest Fern, ō-tani-watari

(1 customer review)


Within the group of ferns known commonly as ‘Bird’s Nest Ferns’, Asplenium antiquum is an attractive and easy to look after indoor fern that will brighten any indoor space.

Renowned for its fresh green and glossy foliage, it can be distinguished from Asplenium nidus by its smaller size and more spear shaped lanceolate blades.


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Origin: China to temperate East Asia
Genus: Asplenium
Species / Cultivar: antiquum
Common Name: Japanese Birds Nest Fern, ō-tani-watari

Plant Biography

Native to Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, Asplenium antiquum in the wild is often found on cliffs and tree trunks in forests, as it’s an epiphytic fern. In the wild it roots itself to tree crevices, hence the source of its common name.

The shape of its spectacular leaf-rosette is crucial to its survival in the wild as, without being rooted in soil, it is used to collect both water and organic matter.

Despite its origins this fern can also thrive as a terrestrial plant, and thus makes for an elegant potted indoor plant in the British climate.

Asplenium antiquum
Light: Medium
This plant likes a spot further away from bright windows, but still lit by natural light.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: >13°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Final Size: Medium
Final size will be suitable for a table, plant stand, or large strong shelf.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water when soil surface is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: High
Provide moist air via daily misting or trays of wet grit. Keep away from drafts and heaters.
Maintenance: A little
Easy to care for, just keep an eye on any extra environmental needs such as humidity.

Expert Tip

This fern works particularly well in a bathroom or kitchen, as they tend to have higher humidity. It can survive in average humidity rooms but for it to really thrive, with larger and shinier fronds, it will need the extra humidity.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Aspleniun antiquum thrives in a humid spot in your home, away from bright direct sunlight.

Water into the soil when it the surface has slightly dried out, avoiding watering into the centre of the rosette as this can cause rot.

Any damaged or dead fronds may be carefully removed as needed. Rotate to ensure even growth and form, and improve humidity if the edges of the leaves are going brown.

1 customer review for Asplenium antiquum

Absolutely gorgeous fern

Andres (verified owner)