Plant Library


Moss Fern

Selaginella pallescens

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Moss Fern (Selaginella pallescens) at Pesche's Garden Center

Moss Fern foliage

Moss Fern foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Moss Fern (Selaginella pallescens) at Pesche's Garden Center

Moss Fern

Moss Fern

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 inches

Spacing:  10 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Pale Spikemoss, Arborvitae Fern, Clubmoss


A very attractive selection that produces upright clumps of semi-evergreen, conifer-like leaves that are bright green; creates a ferny carpet that is perfect for indoor dish gardens or terrariums; provide a humid environment

Features & Attributes

Moss Fern's attractive ferny leaves remain light green in color with showy chartreuse variegation throughout the year. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

This is a dense herbaceous evergreen houseplant with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its extremely fine and delicate texture is quite ornamental and should be used to full effect. This plant should not require much pruning, except when necessary to keep it looking its best.

Planting & Growing

When grown indoors, Moss Fern can be expected to grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. This houseplant performs well in both bright or indirect sunlight and strong artificial light, and can therefore be situated in almost any well-lit room or location. It prefers to grow in average to moist soil. The surface of the soil shouldn't be allowed to dry out completely, and so you should expect to water this plant once and possibly even twice each week. Be aware that your particular watering schedule may vary depending on its location in the room, the pot size, plant size and other conditions; if in doubt, ask one of our experts in the store for advice. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soil. Contact the store for specific recommendations on pre-mixed potting soil for this plant.

There are many factors that will affect the ultimate height, spread and overall performance of a plant when grown indoors; among them, the size of the pot it's growing in, the amount of light it receives, watering frequency, the pruning regimen and repotting schedule. Use the information described here as a guideline only; individual performance can and will vary. Please contact the store to speak with one of our experts if you are interested in further details concerning recommendations on pot size, watering, pruning, repotting, etc.


Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Foliage Color  Texture  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features