Flora: Resurrection Fern

(Pleopeltis Polypodiodes)
Epiphytic Plant
Lighting – Partial Shade
Water – Moderate/Frequent
Humidity – Prefers high humidity
Native to: Southeastern United States, South Africa

This is such a cool plant! Dry, crumbly, and dead looking when dormant, “resurrecting” to a lush, perky fern when watered – the Resurrection Fern adds a fascinatingly dynamic element to a vivarium or terrarium.

Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides) is an epiphytic fern that is native to the southeastern US, as well as southern Africa. As an epiphyte, it is often found growing on the trunks and shaded limbs of trees, or within the crevices of moist, mossy rocks.


Ferns love humidity – and when the air and/or watering is not quite right, this fern will quickly dry and curl up to show its discontent. Researchers have estimated that this fern can survive for up to 100 years in this dry, dormant state. The fern will return to its lush, vibrant green state within 24 hours of rainfall or watering.

I picked up a bulk pack of Resurrection Fern from The Bio Dude. They’re advertised as logs, but I’d call it more of a stick. No complaints here, though, as the fern adds quite a bit of depth once revived.

I’ve found the fern does best when kept very moist. To achieve this, I have the stick lying directly on the soil, and even then, the ends may dry out if I don’t push more soil against all sides. If you can keep moss alive in your enclosure, the fern would be quite happy growing with it. I am hoping to eventually transfer some spores to other nearby logs and cork bark within my chameleons’ enclosures.

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