Propagating Java Fern: Everything You Need To Know

Java Fern Aquarist's Guide on Caring, Planting, Growing & Propagation
Java Fern Aquarist's Guide on Caring, Planting, Growing & Propagation from


Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) is a gorgeous and low-maintenance aquatic plant that has been a staple in aquariums since the 1800s. It is native to Southeast Asia, and it is prized for its easy-to-care-for nature and its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. Java Fern is a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists because it is hardy, resilient and easy to propagate. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of propagating Java Fern, so you can get started with this beautiful aquatic plant.

What You'll Need

Propagating Java Fern is easy, but you will need a few supplies to get started. Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

  • A pair of scissors or tweezers
  • Small aquarium
  • Gravel or sand
  • Java Fern
  • Aquarium heater
  • Air pump
  • Aquarium water conditioner
  • pH test kit

Preparing Your Aquarium

Before you can begin propagating Java Fern, you need to prepare your aquarium. Begin by adding the gravel or sand to the bottom of the tank. Use enough gravel to cover the bottom of the tank, but not so much that it’s difficult to move the plant around. Once the gravel is in place, fill the tank with dechlorinated water. The temperature of the water should be between 70 and 80°F (21 and 27°C). Next, you’ll need to adjust the pH level of the water to between 6.5 and 7.5. You can use a pH test kit to test the water and make any necessary adjustments.

Propagating Java Fern

Once your tank is set up, it’s time to propagate your Java Fern. Begin by taking your Java Fern and cutting off a piece from the plant. The piece should be at least 2-3 inches long. Make sure to use sharp scissors or tweezers when cutting the plant. Once the piece is cut, you can place it in the tank. Java Fern does best when attached to a piece of driftwood or rocks. If you don’t have driftwood or rocks in your tank, you can use fishing line or thread to attach the piece of Java Fern to the gravel. Once the piece is secured, you’ll need to wait for the roots to start growing. This can take several weeks.

Caring for Java Fern

Once the roots of the Java Fern have started to grow, you can begin to care for the plant. Java Fern is a low-maintenance plant, but it does require some basic care. Make sure to keep the tank temperature between 70 and 80°F (21 and 27°C). Java Fern also needs to be in a tank that has medium to low lighting. Too much light can cause the plant to become stressed and develop algae. Java Fern does not require fertilizers, but it does need to be pruned every few weeks. Pruning will help keep the plant healthy and encourage new growth.


Propagating Java Fern is easy and can be a great way to add a beautiful aquatic plant to your tank. With the right supplies and a bit of patience, you can easily propagate your own Java Fern. Just follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to having a thriving aquatic garden. Good luck and happy propagating!

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