Pyrrosia Lingua Plant Care: How To Grow Tongue Fern

Pyrrosia Lingua [Py-ROH-see-uh LIN-gwa] is an epiphytic fern from the Polypodiaceae family.

These ferns typically grow in the wild over rocks or tree trunks.

It’s native to Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, India, Taiwan, China, and Japan.

Pyrrosia Lingua Care

Size & Growth

The Tongue Fern has shallow, slow-growing, creeping rhizomes.

It sprouts upright fronds growing up to 12” inches wide and 18” inches tall.

The fronds have a tapered base and are olive green in color with a slightly twisted margin showing off this plant’s felted tan underside.

Flowering and Fragrance

This plant doesn’t flower.

Light & Temperature

Pyrrosia Lingua is a cold-hardy plant and tolerates temperatures 0° degrees Fahrenheit (-18° C) and lower.

However, room temperature is recommended for optimal growth and it prefers partial shade.

Place this fern underneath trees or indoors, in an area where it’s protected from direct sunlight.

Watering and Feeding

Tongue Fern does best in well-drained moist soil but avoid overwatering it.

The fern reacts to drought by becoming a paler, lighter shade of green, but will return to its normal color once watered.

It prefers humidity so misting is recommended in dry environmental conditions.

If you have used soil rich in organic matter then this plant won’t need a lot of extra fertilizer.

When feeding, use fertilizers high in nitrogen.

The ideal time for fertilization is during the warmer months.

Soil & Transplanting

Pyrrosia Lingua grows best in well-drained soil under indirect bright light.

The best medium for this fern is rich organic matter such as compost or peat.

It requires airy soil, which is why it’s best to lay the rhizome on the surface when repotting.

Burying the rhizome too deep will cause rotting.

Grooming and Maintenance

This fern doesn’t require much maintenance, but it’s essential to keep a close watch on it during the growing stage.

Make sure you regularly water it in the first week but avoid doing so during sunny afternoons as this could lead to the loss of moisture.

If the plant is growing in a pot, regularly check the top layer of the soil by gently touching it to check if it’s dry.

If the surface seems too dry, water immediately.

Regularly remove old and wilting leaves and trip the top when needed.

This helps maintain the attractive appearance of this plant.

How to Propagate Tongue Fern

This plant is often propagated using spores.

Take the spores and sow them on peat pellets following the usual propagation process of ferns.

It will also propagate by dividing the rhizomes and planting them in small sections.

  • Take the roots and bury them an inch or so to create flush foliage.
  • Make sure you properly pack and fill all around the plant to prevent air pockets.
  • Once the fern is planted water abundantly.

When planting Pyrrosia Lingua in a pot, be sure to utilize a pot with a volume corresponding to the plant or else you would have to water the plant a lot.

Utilize gravel under the compost and soil mixture, or compost for enhanced drainage.

The ideal time to propagate Pyrrosia Lingua is between September and November or March and April, particularly during the formation of winter reserves and when the temperature doesn’t drop too low.

Tongue Fern Pest or Disease Problems

This is usually a trouble-free plant, but be on the lookout for scale bugs, whiteflies, mites, and mealybugs.

Keep in mind certain mites are minute and aren’t visible to the human eye.

Suggested Pyrrosia Lingua Uses

Pyrrosia Lingua looks good planted on rocks, nurse logs, tree trunks, or indoor containers.

Use them in your garden in well-drained loose soil or an area with a steep slope.

They look great as pot plants, and when used in a wire basket, but make sure to add in a fiber lining for adequate drainage.

Chop up or break off dry ferns and utilize them as mulch for various plants as a protection against the cold or to provide shade to young seedlings.

However, avoid including ferns in compost as they are rather slow in decomposing.