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  • Green Lady Gardens

Rabbit's Foot Fern Care

Davallia fejeenis, also known as rabbit's foot fern, is an epiphytic “footed” fern. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants or trees in a non-parasitic manner and take in nutrients and water from the air (i.e. humidity), rain, and loose debris rather than through the soil. Footed ferns are ferns with rhizomes (modified stems) that grow horizontally under the soil surface and put out lateral shoots. The rhizomes are used to cling to trees and other objects as well increase the spread of the plant. In a pot, the rhizomes will crawl over the side and can sometimes engulf a pot. They will typically put out lateral shoots to create a cascading leaf effect. If this does not happen, try regularly misting the rhizomes.

Other footed ferns include blue star and kangaroo paw fern.


Rabbit foot has small roots. Most water & nutrients are absorbed through the rhizomes (or “feet”) above the soil. Water when topsoil is dry to the touch. Keep damp, not soggy.  Overwatering = Leaves yellow & wilt. Underwatering = Leaves & rhizomes brown & crisp. Misting rhizomes regularly will help ensure plant is “watered” in hot temps or very low humidity.


Lower needs than most ferns. Average household is fine but higher humidity will increase health & growth rate. Not enough humidity = Yellowing leaves w/ brown tips, rhizomes dry up. In lower humidity, mist rhizomes regularly.


Bright, indirect. An E or N windowsill is ideal. Avoid direct sunlight. Too much sun = Leaves burn & rhizomes brown.


Prefers 60° - 75°F. 55°F minimum. Avoid temperature fluctuations. .

Soil & Repotting

Use a well-draining but moisture-retaining soil, such as a peat moss based mixture with perlite. Rarely needs repotting. Consider repotting only when there is not enough soil to retain water. Either repot the whole plant or divide the rhizomes. Keep rhizomes above the soil.


Can be done by division or with spores or rhizome cuttings. (You’ll need to research these methods.)


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