What is a Tassel Fern?

What is a Tassel fern and is it hard to care for?

Hi Richard,

Tassel ferns are really relatives of the plants we know of as ferns today and love warm damp places. The Tassel ferns are in the  Lycopodium genus along with the Coral fern and Club Moss.

Long green fern fronds with tassels at the end
Tassel Fern
Long green fronds with tasselas at the ends
Tassel fern

Here are a few care tips: bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., high humidity, moist soil (never allow the plant to dry out), and only use plant foods that contain no chemicals such as fish emulsion. Feed your Tassel Fern in the Spring and summer only and always dilute the fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. to 1/2 the recommended strength.


Tassel Ferns derive their name due to the often tassel like appendages which bear spores at the end of the leafy branches.