Macho Fern Care & Growing Guide

The Macho Fern is a nice plant to grow for those who don’t have much gardening experience.

This plant can be grown fairly easily indoors or outside. If you are looking for a good looking plant to start with, this is a great option for multiple reasons.

Macho Fern Care & Growing Guide

1. Light Requirement

If you are going to keep your macho fern inside, you’ll want to give it a medium amount of light. This means that it should not be placed in direct sunlight. If you are going to plant it outside, it should have a good amount of shade.

When you put this type of fern outside, you should try to pick a spot under a tall tree so it gets a decent amount of shade throughout each day. Indoor macho ferns need plenty of light, but it must be filtered. It is best to keep this plant three or four feet from a window with a thin curtain in front of it.

2. Water

You don’t want the soil that your macho fern is in to become totally dry. Prolonged drought will inevitably lead to irreversible damage. The best thing you can do is to keep the soil consistently damp.

If you keep one of these plants in a pot, you’ll need to make sure it has a minimum of one drainage hole. Make sure that the pot drains completely once you are done watering. You should mist this plant on a regular basis every single day.

3. Climate

The macho fern is a pretty durable plant, so it can survive in a variety of climates. These plants tend to do best in warmer climates that aren’t too humid. They are commonly grown in Alabama, which has a climate to match their needs perfectly.

4. Soil

You can grow a macho fern in just about any kind of soil, so it doesn’t really matter. These plants tend to thrive in rocky soils. Make sure that you use a decent amount of compost material for the top layer of the soil. 

  Croton Mammy: Plant Care & Growing Guide

You should also distribute an inch or two of organic material underneath the plant. It is important that your plant gets these nutrients to stay healthy and stave off disease.

macho fern leafs

5. Temperature

Macho ferns are capable of surviving extremely cold temperatures of up to negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit. While these plants are semi-dormant in the winter, they require more attention. It is best to take these plants inside as winter approaches.

If you want to make the transition from outdoors to indoors easy, you should plant your fern in the ground while it is potted. This will make taking it inside very simple without any complications whatsoever.

6. Repotting

You should repot your macho fern once every year in a container that is one size larger than what the plant is currently in. Some people can get away with doing this every couple of years. It all depends on the conditions that your plant is in. In ideal growing conditions, repotting is necessary at least every year.

When you transfer your fern into the new pot, make sure that it is filled with semi-acidic soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. This will allow for ideal growth over the short and long term.

8. Speed of Growth

Macho ferns grow quite quickly, so you have to be prepared for that. It is easy for the rapid growth rate of this plant to cause issues for novices. As we mentioned above, repotting is typically necessary on an annual basis.

9. Height and Spread

Most macho ferns grow to be about six feet tall by six feet wide. This means that you will need to put yours in an area where there is a considerable amount of space. It is recommended that you grow one of these plants outside or in a greenhouse. A lot of people grow these plants along their porch; it could add a nice flare to the look of your home’s exterior.

10. Flowers

The red and purple colored flowers that macho ferns produce are quite beautiful. Keep in mind that these plants do not produce a lot of flowers, but they are vibrant.

  Blue Star Fern: Plant Care & Growing Guide

11. Trimming

While you don’t need to prune macho ferns very often, it is a good idea to occasionally cut off old fronds.

macho fern

Is the Macho Fern Poisonous?

While it is not a particularly good idea to eat this plant, it isn’t especially toxic or poisonous to humans or most animals. You shouldn’t have to worry about your kids or pets getting sick from eating a little bit of this plant.

Can Macho Ferns Grow in Water?

You cannot grow a macho fern in water. These plants need semi-damp soil to survive.

How to Get Macho Ferns to Flower

The best way to get a macho fern to flower is to keep it in a green house where the environment is completely controlled. Keep in mind that there is still no guarantee this will happen.

Common Macho Fern Diseases

The macho fern is susceptible to a few different diseases, including leaf tip burn. This is caused by over-fertilization and presents as brown frond tips.

There is also a disease called nematodes, which causes the foliage of the plant to wilt and die. It also causes root rot.


  • The Macho Fern plant only needs a moderate amount of light.
  • If you keep this plant outside, make sure it is kept in a shady area. If you keep it indoors, keep it three or four feet from a lightly curtained window.
  • It doesn’t really matter which type of soil you choose to put this plant in. It does well with rocky and sandy soil.
  • It’s a good idea to have a top layer of organic material on top of your plant’s soil as well as underneath it.
  • You will need to keep the soil this plant is in damp but not too wet on a consistent basis each day.
  • These plants can grow up to six feet tall by six feet wide, so they are best grown outside or in a decent size greenhouse.
  • You won’t need to trim this plant very often, but you should remove old fronts when necessary.