Discover the unique and captivating Huperzia Squarrosa, also known as the tassel fern. Learn about its characteristics, care, and maintenance in this comprehensive guide. Bring this exotic beauty into your indoor garden and enjoy its trailing foliage and needle-like leaves.


If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating house plant to add to your collection, look no further than Huperzia squarrosa, also known as the tassel fern. This rare tropical plant has small, needle-like leaves that resemble a trailing fir tree. Native to tropical regions of Africa, Polynesia, Australia, and Asia, the Huperzia squarrosa plant grows hanging from rainforest tree limbs, forming beautiful curtains of fern-like foliage. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, care, and maintenance of this extraordinary plant.

Overview of Huperzia Squarrosa

Huperzia squarrosa, scientifically known as Phlegmariurus squarrosus or Lycopodium squarrosum, is a member of the club moss family. Despite its resemblance to a fern, it is not actually a fern but an ancient plant related to mosses. This epiphytic plant can reach lengths of up to 2.5 meters, with its green, needle-like leaves reaching around 1.3 cm in length. It comes in a 12 cm plastic nursery pot when purchased and can eventually grow up to 45 cm in length.

Care and Maintenance

Light Requirements

Huperzia squarrosa thrives in bright indirect light. It should be placed in a location where it receives a few hours of filtered shade or indirect sunlight daily. Avoid placing it in areas with heavy dark shade, as it may affect its growth.

Humidity and Temperature

One of the key factors in successfully caring for Huperzia squarrosa is providing it with the right humidity level. This fern requires relatively high humidity levels to thrive. If your home is not naturally humid, you can increase the humidity by misting the plant regularly or placing it in a room with a humidifier. It is important to note that Huperzia squarrosa is intolerant of temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to keep it away from cold drafts or excessively cold environments.


Proper watering is crucial for the health of Huperzia squarrosa. It is important to keep the roots consistently moist but not wet. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other problems. It is always a good practice to provide proper drainage to prevent waterlogging.


Huperzia squarrosa has a relatively slow growth rate and requires minimal fertilization. However, it benefits from regular feeding with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the packaging, and be sure to dilute it to half or quarter strength to avoid burning the plant’s delicate roots.


Propagation of Huperzia squarrosa is possible but can be challenging. The plant can only be propagated via spores, not cuttings. It is important to note that it can take over a year for successful propagation. If you are interested in propagating Huperzia squarrosa, it is recommended to refer to specific guides or seek advice from experts to ensure the best chances of success.


It is important to mention that Huperzia squarrosa is toxic to animals when ingested. If you have pets or small children, it is advisable to keep the plant out of their reach.


Huperzia squarrosa, the tassel fern, is a unique and captivating house plant that will add a touch of exotic beauty to your indoor garden. With its trailing foliage and needle-like leaves, it is sure to be a standout feature in any home. Remember to provide it with bright indirect light, high humidity, and regular watering to keep it flourishing. While it may require some extra care, the beauty and elegance of Huperzia squarrosa fern make it well worth the effort.

Now that you have a better understanding of the characteristics and care requirements of Huperzia squarrosa, you can confidently bring this extraordinary house plant into your home. Enjoy the beauty and tranquility that this unique fern brings to your living space.


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