48+ Types Of Ferns (Indoor, Outdoor, Aquarium) With Photos

Ferns are those leafy vascular plants both in the wild and at home setting. Young fern plant will grow to up to 1–1.2 cm tall whereas large tree Fern 10 to 25 meters in tallness. (britannika.com)

In this article, we have identified the pot planted ferns, garden plants, and aquarium ferns.

We will show you how to fun up your garden or room.

How many varieties of ferns are there?

There are over 9000 species of these non-flowering plants with fully developed roots/stem/complex leaves and spores for reproduction. (Wikipedia).

Below are similarities/differences/facts about ferns!

The obvious similarity between various plants:

Regardless of all distinguishing factors that we will handle next, all conifers, flowering, and fern plants have veins. Vascular system, just like in the ‘human body’, transports water and nutrients to the entire plant organs. (Thoughtco.com).

The ferns have stood out for generations;

  • Ferns need water for reproduction, like ‘humans need air to breath’.

Therefore, can only tolerate dry/hostile conditions, of which it may risk extinction.

  • Defying all odds, ferns don’t have seeds or flowers, rather they reproduce through spores on their fronds. Fertile fronds-fronds with spores. (Wikipedia)
  • Fronds hold the pinnae, with some pinnae, having the spores.

Enough with the characteristics,

We now look at the fern facts below.

‘Fern-facts ‘-fun facts!

  • You may regard them aliens, but don’t judge this book yet! They are the simplest plants.
  • Ferns reproduce both sexual and asexual.
  • Spores come in green/yellow/black/brown/orange/red colors. Contain DNA for a newborn fern.
  • Sporangia in the visible dark-brown structure on the bottom of fronds, covering the spores.
  • During fertilization, a sperm will swim through water to reach the egg and fertilize it.
  • Ferns love damp shaded areas because this is where water for fertilization is.

The most intriguing fact is that-

  • ‘After fertilization, the egg develops into spore which produces new fern.

This new plant will depend on the parent plant until it becomes mature/independent enough. After which the parent plant dies.’(Thoughco.com)

How do I identify my fern?

You are probably wondering how to pick out your favorite fern for the garden or bathroom. This is common as most of the species will get you confused at first. But come to think of it, it’s easier to identify your fern if you narrow your focus to the various zones of growth;

Key factors towards identifying your fern:

  • How is the stem? Various ferns have different stem structure.
  • How is leaf-shaped? Some have triangular-shaped leaves, others flat, etcetera.
  • What is the leaf arrangement? You may notice that some are arranged side by side along the stems and others contrary.
  • Where is the spore located? Some ferns have spores for reproduction, but are all the spores all located at the bottom of the leaves? Find out this in the seek to identify your fern.

Some of the most popular species are:

  • Staghorn
  • Maidenhair
  • Boston
  • Holly
  • Bird’s Nest
  • Cinnamon
  • Asparagus
  • Australian

14 Types of Indoor Ferns:

We present these types of ferns that would thrive better in shaded areas-partial/full shade.

If you are a gardener looking to replenish your garden, then below outdoor types of ferns are your perfect companion.

1. Himalayan maidenhair fern (Adiantum venustum):

Himalayan maidenhair fern (Adiantum venustum)

Have you considered adding these types of ferns in your garden? The scientific name also is Adiantum venustum-so don’t be confused!

How to identify types of ferns:

  • Delicate light green fronds.
  • 22-38 cm tall. (Gardeners’ World.com).
  • Evergreen leaves.

Tip: Always protect these types of ferns from strong winds.

2. Hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium):

Hart's-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

How about these British types of ferns? They naturally inhabit the ‘wild’, but as your pet at home, you can take this plant in your garden.

How to identify types of ferns:

  • Always green-evergreen plants.
  • 45-60 cm tall. (Gardeners’ World.com).
  • Have glossy and strong fronds.

Tip: when going for these types of ferns for your garden, you have to dedicate time to groom a lot during spring.

3. Asplenium scolopendrium (Crispum group):

Scientists have categorized these types of ferns as crispum group, so please don’t wonder if we mixed up here. We’ll promptly move to the interesting part though.

How to Identify types of ferns:

  • Evergreen plants.
  • Young plants have unique wavy edges.
  • 30-60 cm tall.

Tip: crinkle edges on the leaves and wavy appearance makes the types of ferns so attractive to add on your garden décor.

4. Deciduous painted Japanese fern (Athyrium niponicum):

Deciduous painted Japanese fern (Athyrium niponicum)

Types of ferns also called Athyrium niponicum. Let’s move to the fun part now.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • Delicate silver and burgundy fronds.
  • Prostrate growth- never upright.
  • 30-38cm tall.

Tips: There silver fronds are the attractive, therefore better choice for you. If you settle on these types of ferns today, then ensure the plant gets plenty of moisture for better growth. (Gardeners’ World.com).

5. Autumn Fern/Dryopteris erythrosora:

Autumn Fern/Dryopteris erythrosora

Love Autumn, spring or winter? Well, these types of ferns will blow your imagination with their bronze-colored fronds in autumn.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • Have red new growth in the spring season- turns bronze and lastly green with time.
  • Evergreen plant.
  • Maximum -60cm tall.

Tip: types of ferns need a little grooming in early spring.

6. The alpine wood fern (Dryopteris wallichiana):

Types of ferns that are deciduous- What do we mean? Unfurls fronds in spring.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • Tall fronds- up to 90 cm high.

Tip: If you opt for these types of ferns, you need enough spacing for their tall fronds. Besides, plant them in groups on your compound.

7. The Shuttlecock fern/Ostrich fern/Matteuccia struthiopteris:

These British-native types of ferns are a better replenishment for your yard/garden.
How to Identify the type of fern:

  • Bright green fronds.
  • 1 to 1.5m tall.

Tips: in early spring, these types of ferns will charm your garden being- ‘handsome plants ‘in spring. You need high humid conditions-moist soil. (Gardeners’ World.com).

8. Carrot top fern/Onychium japonicum:

Are you a gardener in Japan/Thailand/India? You may consider these delicate types of ferns-native to these areas.

The name made up due to carrot top look alike foliage of the plant.

How to Identify fern type:

  • Finer fronds.
  • 10-45 cm tall.

Tips: place these types of ferns in the unheated greenhouse during winter-for better growth.

9. Royal Fern/Osmunda regalis:

We all love some stature at home. These types of ferns have that ‘stately look’, making them a better choice for adding stature on your compound.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • Deciduous fern.
  • In autumn, foliage changes into bronze.
  • Pale green fronds.
  • 1.5m tall.

Tip: you have to provide a high humidity-damp condition for the types of ferns grow well at home. Add that stately look on your yard.

10. Japanese tassel fern/Polystichum polyblepharum:

Also called golden tassel fern- types of ferns with golden-tipped fronds.

  • 45-60 cm tall.
  • Evergreen and easy to grow in your garden.

11. Adiantum:

For your outdoor garden decorating, you must trust these types of ferns, to do exactly that.

They are easily recognizable with-

  • Uniquely short shaped stature compared to other outdoor ferns.
  • Use spores for reproduction like the others.

12. Whisk Fern/Psilotum nudum:

For Japanese gardeners, this type of fern is the most popular garden plant.it is also popular for those in tropical Africa /South and North America all the way to Spain.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • Unique thin stems.
  • Stems look like chicken feet.
  • Lack of vascular organs like the other ferns-distinguishing factor.

13. Licorice fern/Polypodium glycyrrhiza:

We present this fern type from North America, which gets its name from the ‘licorice tasty stems’.
The stems of this fern taste like licorice. Apart from that, it’s great for your regular garden.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • The stem is chewed and acts as a medicine for coughs and sore throat.
  • Naturally, live in rocks/wood surfaces.
  • Stem also is for brewing tea-licorice flavored.

Tip: You need to provide it mild temperature at home.

14. Eagle fern/Pteridium aquilinum:

Light spores make it grows anyway as can easily adapt to any conditions. Making it perfect for you.

How to Identify fern type:

  • unique triangular stems.
  • Invasive species and promptly adapt to conditions.
  • Stir-fried and dried fern are food ingredients.

Tips: Grow well in subtropical/temperate places with poor conditions.

15. Chinese Ladder Brake/Pteris vittata:

Not only native to China but also tropical Africa, Australia to southern Europe. You put this as a garden plant at home.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • Triangle leaves.
  • You will find them on limestone or between brick walls.

16. Giant fern/Angiopteris evecta:

You a gardener, well we hope you’ll love this fern type from native Indonesia. It is popular with gardeners because it’s highly adaptive.

It uniquely boasts 30ft. grown fronds. Rare to find.


  • You give it a warmer place, moist soil and small shade, and let it grow up.
  • Its an invasive species-highly adapted to several conditions.
  • It depends entirely on human conservation-spores and is not dependent on their growth.

17. Man fern/Dicksonia antarctica:

From native Australia, it’s a type of tree fern good for landscaping your garden.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • Trunk-compose decayed remains of previous grown parts.
  • 15-16 ft. High- largest tree can go to 49 ft.
  • Do well in dry /alkaline/acidic soils.

18. Silver fern/Cyathea dealbata:

We bring you this next fascination with New Zealand. It gets its name from the silvery shades on the bottom of their leaves.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • You’ll find them in subcanopy forests- with wet/dry conditions.

Tip: The silvery leaves in the forest are used as tracks at night-to mark the way. You could replicate the same idea for your garden.

19. West Indian tree/Cyathea arborea:

From the Caribbean-Puerto Rico forest, we bring you this type of fern for your outdoor décor.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • 27 ft. Tall.
  • Hard Trunk is 3-5 inches thick-soft on the inside.
  • Rolled trunk for the young plant.

Types of Indoor Ferns:

You have a pot at home with enough space or maybe just want to replenish your bathroom with that natural green look?

These types of ferns- houseplants are a better choice for you. Growing in bright light, and away from direct sun, we’ve got the number one contender for your bathroom or office window displays.

1. Austral Gem Birds Nest fern:

Asplenium nidus is an organic type of ferns, placed anywhere at home or the office when young.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • Spear shaped fronds.
  • Brown and wavy fronds.
  • 2ft.Long leaves.
  • Naturally rooted to trees on warm climate areas-for moisture and shade.


  • Mature plant larger and needs more spacing.
  • Larger leaflets make a visible attraction to your yard or office.
  • When taming these wild types of ferns, provide high humidity/enough light/temperatures-13- 24 degrees Celsius. (House Plants Expert.com).
  • If you’re pet fanatic-love this fern because it’s non-toxic to your pets.

2. Boston fern:

Do you want the most popular easy to maintain plant? we have one for you. These types of ferns are renowned and easily adaptable anywhere. Besides, the large featherlike appearance of the fronds makes great décor for you. There you know!

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • 3ft.Long fronds.
  • Tough leaf stalks long enough-holds lots of leaves arranged side-ways.
  • Pinnate leaflets.
  • Grow in temperatures between-13 to 24 degrees Celsius.
  • Like birds nest fern, your pets are safe with these types of ferns at home. In case your dog/cat eats it accidentally, no effect.


  • Display in hanging basket-allow long leaves hang family. When mature, put in a pot.
  • You may place a young plant next to a window opening in a pot.
  • Nothing lasts right, but make these fronds greener is made easier. We recommend you add Epsom salts to the plant when the frond-color starts to fade.
  • You may place in bathroom-for high humid conditions.

3. Cretan brake fern/Pteris cretica:

If you need ‘variegated table fern’- originating from Europe/Africa and other parts of Asia.
Is your home more humid? If yes, go for these types of ferns, don’t worry about warm seasons because you can always take it out to your balcony.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • 1 to 2.5 ft. Tall.
  • Temperature areas of 13-24 degrees Celsius.
  • Come in different shapes and color-fronds.
  • Have broad/slim green leaflets with a pale center.


  • Always prune to save plant health- cut any dying fronds.
  • If the young plant matures, become larger! Repot-move to a larger pot.

4. Delta Maidenhair ferns/Adiantum raddianum:

Well, suit for your bathroom-high humid room.
This type of ferns from South America is cool for indoor or conservatory spaces.

How to Identify the type of fern:

  • 1.5 ft. Tall.
  • Very Delicate species-desire consistent watering.
  • Fronds are triangular- shaped.
  • Light green small pinnate leaves.
  • Black wiry stalks-steady upright plant appearance.
  • Grow in temperatures- 13 to 24 degrees Celsius.

Tips: Repot the type of ferns as it matures.

5. Rabbit’s foot fern/Davallia fejeensis:

You want these types of ferns (from Fiji), to hang on a basket or pot and display those creepy rhizomes at home.
The name is because of these’ creepy rhizomes’- on the tip of the plants.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • 1-2 ft. Tall
  • Temperatures of 15-24 degrees Celsius.
  • Small, upright fronds fit on wiry stalks.
  • Lace-like leaflets.
  • Grow on trees or rock crevices.

Tip: You use a well-drained pot soil (enough humid) and regularly repot during spring.

6. Asparagus Fern:

You will love this ornamental plant with cladodes stemming from your home.

How to identify the type of fern:

  • Grows in plenty of humid areas/rooms.


  • Put in a pebble tray.
  • Looks good in a basket hanging over your window.
  • Remember to water the plant regularly and love the replenishment at home.

7. Horsetail fern:

We have yet another fuzzy, type of fern, from genus-Equisetum.

It consists of over 25 species.

  • Grow well in swampy places.

8. Cloverleaf fern:

These types of ferns have a complete body with fully developed- roots/stem/fronds.

  • Each plant has 4 leaves.

If you take a walk in your garden, you may come across this type of fern.

  • They are found naturally under rocks/on the lawn or within your garden.

9. Ancient fern:

Have you heard of ‘Rhynia sp’? it has 10-13 species remaining today, making it one of the oldest types today.

How to identify the Type of fern:

  • Photosynthesis occurs in the stems.
  • No leaves on their stems. Instead, have tiny leaves-microphyll.

10. Wire fern/lycophyte:

It’s easy to identify these types of ferns, with

  • Roots and stems that are fork-shaped.

Look at your fork at home, and picture this plant.

11. Holly Ferns:

You’ll have a 3-4 inch’ dark green leafy plant in your home.

It’s easy to plant for any gardener out there. All you need is fair heat/light and water-tolerant plants and never worry what-ifs.

12. Staghorn ferns:

Grow on the bark of trees in Asia/Africa/Australia. Great home plant for you.

How to Identify fern type:

  • You’ll have two types of fronds;

Green fronds- 4ft. long/fertile/have spores.
Brown fronds- shorter/infertile fronds.

A general guide to caring for ferns indoors:

Caring for these houseplants isn’t rock science per se. Like a newborn, handle with care and sharpen the edges as they grow up.
You need to focus on three things;

  • water
  • Temperature
  • light.

Water- ensure you drain your pot adequately. Water the young fern regularly and effectively. Most fern will need high humid areas, that’s the reason some thrive well in the bathroom(near your shower).

Temperature- a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius cool is not that bad for an indoor fern owner.

Lighting- we can’t emphasize enough on lighting. All plants need light and ferns are no different. However, they may be scorched if exposed to direct sunlight.

Beware of that!

Aquarium Fern Types:

1. Java fern/Microsorum pteropus:

It may feel cool having this most popular type of fern (aquarium plant) in your aquarium.
You’ll find a variety of Java ferns to choose from when you visit the store.
Narrow-leaf java fern:
Needle leaf java fern:
Trident Java fern:
Windelov java fern:

How to Identify fern type:

  • Tough leaf helps you and the plant prevent your fish from eating your plant.
  • They naturally grow on rocks/tree trucks/tropical rainforest.
  • Green aquarium plant has rhizomes and leaves.
  • Rhyzomes are hairy, dark brown-attach to the water tank.
  • Leaves are very hard/leather textured/bushy/spike-shaped/medium/dark green colored.
  • The plant grows to 13.5 inches tall and 6-8inches wide.
  • The young plant is 3-5 inches long.
  • Displayed in community tanks or show water tanks.
  • Some will grow fully submerged in water while others, as you’ll see, are partially submerged.

You buy a small plant; it comes with attached driftwood for putting into a water tank at home.


Tanks require;

Filtered water-imitate natural moving water for enough oxygen.
Acidic waters-6 to 7 pHs.
Low lighting- you could use fluorescent bulbs in the water tanks.


  • The plant may stop growth for the first few weeks you bring it home with you, but never panic! Just use fertilizers to boost their growth.
    Use a freshwater aquarium for ease in maintenance.


There are over 9000 species of these non-flowering plants with fully developed roots/stem/complex leaves and spores for reproduction. Identifying your fern from this large pool may be hectic enough.

Therefore, Key factors to consider when identifying your fern are the stem/leaf shape and leaf arrangement. Some fronds don’t have spores while others are well fertile with spores distributed evenly below the fronds.

Above, we have presented the types of ferns that would thrive better in partial or shaded areas-partial. If you are a gardener looking to decorate your garden, then above outdoor types of ferns are your perfect friend.

On the other hand, Houseplants/indoor ferns are for you who have a pot at home with enough space or maybe just want to decor your bathroom with that natural green look.

These types of ferns are better grown in bright light but away from direct sunlight that may scorch them.

We’ve listed several popular choices for you -any’ fanatic’ who thinks it’s time to ‘fern’ things up at home, office or wherever.
Caring for these houseplants isn’t rock science per se. Like a newborn, handle with care and hope that it will grow upright.

In a nutshell, Ensure you drain your pot adequately. water the young fern regularly and effectively. Most fern will need high humid areas, that’s the reason some thrive well in the bathroom.

A room- 70 degrees Celsius is not that bad for indoor fern growth.

Whether it’s the indoor/outdoor/aquarium fern, you must choose wisely. the pool is countless and the result speechless. It’s evident that ferns are not just your ordinary plant, they bring the magic both in the house and in the yard.

If purchased well, kept well and bread best, the outcome is attractive for both your family and guests at home.it won’t hurt to pass through the list we’ve compiled and grasp two or three about your favorite fern.
If missing on the list! You can always try new things.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here