/Java Fern: How To Caring, Planting, Growing java fern Guide
Java Fern

Java Fern: How To Caring, Planting, Growing java fern Guide

The scientific name of java fern is  Microsorum Pteropus .it is a member of the Polypodiaceae family. It has more than sixty different genera. It is a very famous and versatile aquarium plant. This elegant looking plant adds beauty to aquariums. It is the super and easiest plant to grow. It consists of two parts; rhizome and leaves. It is a native plant in SouthEast Asia and known as java fern after the name of java island of Indonesia. It is also found in Malaysia and Thailand with a lot of different varieties that differ in the size of leaf and shape. Its maximum size is 6-13” i.e. 35 cm.

 Java fern leaves

Java Fern Leaves

Java ferns have different shapes of leaves depending on their varieties. They have needle-like leaves, narrow leaves, branched leaves, etc

The leaves are hard and leathery. Black points are present on the leaves. Tiny holes are also present on the leaves and their leaves are green in color. Sometimes brown or black spots appear on the underside of leaves. If black or brown spots appear on the leaves then don’t worry! These spots are the places where new plantlets will sprout. If black spots do not develop into new plants, then it can be a sign of deficiency of nitrogen. Some spots also indicate the burning of leaves. If the intensity of light is too high, it can burn the java fern leaves.

Windelov Java Fern

Windelov Java Fern is a common name and its scientific name is Microsorum Pteropus. It is a special variant of Java fern. It can grow better in low light conditions. Its leaf tips are finely branched which give it a beautiful bushy look. It mostly grows up to 8 inches. It is a slow-growing plant and requires low to moderate light and an adequate amount of nutrients in the water, to grow well.

Trident Java Fern

java fern

Trident fern is one of the uncommon Java fern variants. Its growth rate is slow. It needs low light and low carbon dioxide to grow. Their leaves are feathery and lobbed with 2 to 3 lobes present on each side of leaves. It grows quickly but its leaves are shorter than narrow leaves. Its maximum height is 15 inches.

Narrow Leaf Java Fern

java fern

Like other java ferns, it does not need any special conditions to grow. It is also very easy to grow. Narrow-leaf java fern is a basic low light plant. It gives a bushy look in the aquarium. This fern can grow up to 12 inches and the maximum length of its leaves is 4-8 inches.

Java Fern Propagation

This is the process in which new plants grow by the germination of seeds or by cutting of rhizomes or bulbs.Java fern is the best choice to grow for someone new to plants. It is available in a large range of forms and morphs. Ferns are the easiest plants to propagate. Once you notice that plantlets start growing on the tips of leaves, wait until complete formation of leaves and roots.

Then separate them from their parent plants and fix them or tie them with the substrate. They will start growing themselves without much effort. Or separate a rhizome with few leaves on it. Every piece of rhizome you separate will grow into a new plant. You can fix them with any substrate in the tank.

How to Plant Java fern?

java fern in water

Planting java fern is very easy and does not need any specialized conditions. You can grow it in a normal basic setup. It can be added in a straightway. If you just add it to the water, it will start growing. Unlike many other plants, it does not need any specialized substrate. It can grow well on almost all types of substrates. Anything like stones, wooden boxes, lava rock, or driftwood will work perfectly as a substrate. Attach the plantlets to wooden blocks or rock with the help of a thread or any binding material.

How to attach java fern to rock?

It is very simple and easy to attach to rock. Java fern can be attached to rocks either through binding with rubber band/thread or super glue gel. The best and simple way to plant java fern is to simply attach it with glue gel.

Take a fern and attach it to the substrate with the help of glue gel. Grasp them against glue gel for almost thirty seconds and then let it air dry for a few minutes. When it is completely dry, place it in the aquarium. If you want to watch out for the best growth of java ferns, then we have already mentioned that never bury the rhizome. The rhizome should be exposed to the water so that it can grow properly.

Java fern care

Java Fern Care

Just like fishes, this plant grows well where the aquarium matches its natural environment as nearly as possible. In natural climate, this plant grows alongside rivers, streams and often found at those places where water is moving. It is suitable for almost any size of aquarium.

The minimum size of the aquarium should be 10 gallons to grow this plant. The best thing about this plant is that it does need strict conditions. It can thrive well in a normal basic setup. Java fern is a very easy plant to grow. It does need special conditions to grow well. It does not need much light to grow and it can do well in low light levels.

A normal basic lighting setup would be fine for such plants. It is low light to the mid-light plant. Never expose this plant to high light because high light can melt or burn this plant. Its leaves start turning brown in high exposure of light i.e. they start dying. This plant can increase in size, even without the addition of carbon dioxide. Java Fern keeps growing and does not need any fertilizers.

The optimum temperature for the java fern plant is between 72 to 82 F or 15 to 28 C. Optimum Ph. is between 6 and 7.5. Water should be soft to moderately hard I.e. The recommended hardness of water is between 3-8 dGH.

Java Fern in Gravel

java fern

This plant can grow well even if it is added in a straightway. While growing java fern plants Its rhizome should not be buried under gravel. If it is buried under gravel or substrate, it will die or its growth will retard. The great thing about this plant is that it can grow even without substrate. That’s why it is the best choice for bare bottom aquariums also.

Java Fern Fertilizers


It is a  plant who keep growing and do not need fertilizers. But, this plant grows more quickly if you add fertilizers in it. Mostly liquid fertilizers are given to fulfill the deficiency of nutrients. Potassium fertilizers are also used for this plant to grow well. Fertilizers provide all essential nutrients in an adequate amount and plants grow healthier and more quickly. Applying fertilizers two times a week is sufficient.

Java Fern Melt

java fern brown

Sometimes in java fern, many leaves can turn yellow or brown and eventually die. You will face this problem commonly when it is added to a new aquarium. The old leaves do not easily adjust to new water conditions. It is a difficult time for old leaves to adjust to new water, especially if they were grown from tissue culture. It’s better to remove old leaves or browning leaves while shifting to new water.

Though java fern does not need any fertilizers while growing but sometimes, this problem can be faced because of deficiency of some nutrients. So, whenever you face this problem, start dosing the right amount of recommended fertilizers.

Last but not least, you can also face this problem when rhizomes are buried under the substrate or any gravel. So, make sure not to bury the rhizome under the substrate, because this plant starts dying when rhizomes are not exposed to the water.

Java Fern Spores

Like all other ferns, in java ferns also spores are produced. They look hard and brown. These spores appear on older java leaves. They seem like spore pods of terrestrial ferns. You will notice rows of spores under the edges of their old leaves.

Java Fern Reproduction

java fern

Reproduction in java fern takes place through a process called apomixis. In java, fern seeds are not produced for fertilization, but cloning takes place in them. Beneath the leaves of adult plant baby plants called plantlets to start to produce. Tiny plants develop roots and many leaves.

Java Fern for sale

java fern sale

As we know that it is one of the great aquarium plants to grow and it is also best for fishes. So, if you want to buy this plant you can get it from different native aquarium plant stores. They are also available on different online stores like Amazon, eBay, etc.

Related Topic

Java Moss: A complete Guide of Aquarium Plant Profile

Do Fishes Love Java Fern?


Fish love to play and hide in the leaves of this fern. It is also good for goldfish. They generally do not like the taste of this plant so they do not eat it but Goldies dig them up and tear up the leaves and then they will laugh at you, as you have to replant them. Generally other aquarium fish never seem to bother with this plant but it is not well with larger cichlids and many herbivore fishes.

Recommended Reading

Top Seven Low Light Aquarium Plants – [Essentials Guide 2020]

Hornwort – A Beginner-Friendly Freshwater Aquarium Plant