Onychium japonicum

Onychium japonicum

Carrot fern

  • Botanical name: Onychium japonicum
  • Common name: Carrot fern
  • Family: Pteridaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Foliage colour:


Carrot fern, Onychium japonicum, is an attractive, clump-forming fern with wiry black stems bearing arching dark green, feathery fronds that resemble carrot foliage. It’s perfect for using as tall ground cover in semi shade, and looks great alongside other ferns. It provides the perfect foil for flowering plants, both in the border and the vase. 


Not fully hardy, Onychium japonicum is best grown in moist but well-drained soil that doesn’t become too wet in winter. In colder and wetter regions, mulch around the base of the plant in autumn or pot it up and bring indoors until spring. 

How to grow Onychium japonicum

  • Plant size

    45cm height

    45cm spread

  • Aspect

    East facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, partial shade
  • Shade type: Dry
  • Hardiness: Half hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Onychium japonicum and wildlife

Onychium japonicum has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Onychium japonicum poisonous?

Onychium japonicum has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Onychium japonicum