Holiday Decorating with Frosty Fern

Nov 27, 2016 | Projects/Crafts

With a botanical name like Selaginella kraussiana variegatus, it’s no wonder that this plant has been given the common name of frosty fern. But although the foliage is rather fern-like, it’s actually a spike moss not a fern at all. Although many websites list this plant as being hardy in Zone 6, I’ve never had it live through the winter and I live in a warm Zone 6, so I’d take that with a grain of salt…and perhaps a good does of regular moisture because that’s what this spike moss needs.

No matter that you may not be able to use this quickly spreading plant for a ground cover…fortunately someone saw the potential here for a holiday plant and that’s how this Selaginella is now sold in much of the country. Frosty fern is extremely fresh looking and the bright green and white foliage mixes beautifully with red Poinsetta plants or pink Cyclamen. For modern holiday decorating, this plant is perfect on it’s own.

Just don’t let frosty fern dry out. Since this Selaginella prefers constantly wet feet it’s the perfect plant to place in a decorative container without a drainage hole! In a house with central heating, you might want to water your frosty fern every three or four days. Since this plant likes bright light but not direct sun it’s the perfect plant to use for creating holiday vignettes on tables, mantles and kitchen counters. Here are a few ideas:

Here is how your plant will look when it comes from the garden center.

Here is how your plant will look when it comes from the garden center.

Pop the plant into some vintage milk glass or other container that's made for a 4" pot.

Pop the plant into some vintage milk glass or other container that’s made for a 4″ pot.

Place two plants in something from the kitchen. Here I've used a colorful bread pan and ribbon to hold two plants.

Place plants in something from the kitchen. Here I’ve used a colorful bread pan and ribbon to hold two plants.

A tin can with a Bah Humbug ribbon makes a funny gift for a holiday curmudgeon, or a centerpiece that will make your guests do a double-take!

A tin can with a Bah Humbug ribbon makes a funny gift for a holiday curmudgeon, or a centerpiece that will make your guests do a double-take!

And finally, my personal favorite, a frosty fern is popped into a vintage aluminum coffee pot and ornamented with a classic black and white check ribbon.

And finally, my personal favorite, a frosty fern is popped into a vintage aluminum coffee pot and ornamented with a classic black and white check ribbon.

 

Note: these photos were originally posted on one of my older blogs, Coffee For Roses. Recycle!

3 Comments

  1. Pat Anderson

    I love the “humbug” ribbon–great idea! I also greatly appreciate your gardening show. You are so informative and enjoyable! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  2. Shelly L Broeckx

    I have one of these plants and I didn’t water it enough and its kind of crisp. Is it dead?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      It might be dead – these do not tolerate drying up. Cut off the crispy parts and continue to water well for three or four weeks – if you don’t see any new growth from this treatment, it’s probably gone.

      Reply

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