Plants that look like ferns are gaining a ton of popularity in recent years because of how they look and how well they can amp up any given space.

Eye catching Greens with a Similar Look

If you enjoy the look of ferns but haven’t been able to grow one yet, we have the ideal list for you.

Learn all about these eight popular plant varieties that look just like ferns.

List of Plants Similar Looking To Ferns 

1. Blue Jacaranda

The jacaranda tree is the tree that is known as the Jacaranda mimosifolia. This is one of the trees that is a lovely tropical one bearing clusters of scented purple blossoms in panicles. Arched jacaranda branches create a canopy that resembles an open umbrella. 

The Dainty Mexican Fleabane

– Features

The jacaranda tree’s fern-like leaves, which can reach 20 inches, make it a great shade to your home or can even look great as a street tree. In a tropical setting, it is a tree that grows quickly, acquiring roughly ten feet each year during the first few years of its life. 

Wherever it is produced, its growth rate fluctuates, slowing to a moderate rate outside its optimal tropical habitat. This tree also best resembles the Japanese painted fern variety. 

The jacaranda tree is often planted between late fall and early spring and, depending on its native environment, is either semi-evergreen or deciduous. Only mature one of these trees, which must be at least eight years old, and then they will start to bloom. 

However, you should know that they do so in late spring or early summer, even though in warmer areas, the tree can flower at any time. It is an invasive species that is native to South America but has spread throughout the world.

– Care Requirements

Similar to Japanese painted ferns, Jacaranda trees thrive in warm climes, USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, and are often a suitable option for big outdoor spaces. They can tolerate some drought and are pest- and disease-resistant though they require watering during extended dry periods.

Growing grass beneath the tree is usually possible due to the fern-like foliage’s ability to let diffuse light through. But be careful that the tree may have large surface roots that could affect surrounding structures or sidewalks. The leaves and especially the blooms of this tree have a tendency to scatter a lot of debris when they fall.

What you must do is to place this tree in an area, where it should have access to at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day for the best blooming. If necessary, smaller jacaranda trees may take some light shade, although inadequate sunlight can reduce the quantity and brilliance of their blossoms. 

The optimal soil for the trees is well-draining, slightly sandy, and acidic in pH. Water your tree when the top three to four inches of soil feel dry to the touch, as a general guideline. These trees require constant rainfall throughout the year, and they frequently need extra irrigation during times of extreme heat or drought. 

2. Royal Poinciana 

The flame tree, often known as the royal poinciana, and it is a swiftly growing evergreen tree with a profusion of crimson blooms. This African native is a favorite in many tropical and subtropical climates, but to fit its extensive root system, it needs a sizable place away from buildings.

The Vibrant Meadow Hawkweed

– Features

This species’ leaves are bipinnately compound, which means that each leaf has up to 25 pairs of leaflets that are each further divided into up to 25 further pairs of leaflets. Moreover, when you the tree, you should know that it is well-known across the world for its profusion of gorgeous red flower clusters that cover the tree in the hot summer months. The five petals are reddish-orange or scarlet in color.

– Care Requirements

Place a flame tree where it will have ample room to flourish. This particular species of tree can grow as high as 40 feet and as wide as between 40 and 70 feet. If not planted in the right spot, it may cause harm. 

Keep the plant apart from any paved surfaces, walls, or other objects that it might trample. After planting, add a two-inch layer of mulch to the soil surrounding the tree, leaving a small area without any mulch near the trunk.

The optimal location for these trees is one that should get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. The flame tree is famous for its beautiful red-orange blossoms, which may not be visible without enough light. 

As long as there is adequate drainage, a flame tree can flourish in a range of soil types. Following planting, give the tree frequent spring, summer, and early fall watering sessions. Till the roots take hold, keep the soil wet but never saturated.

3. Mimosa 

Mimosa pudica, a creeping shrub or short-lived perennial that is native to the tropics of Central and South America, is known as a “sensitive plant” because of a fascinating leaf movement that takes place when it is touched. 

A Versatile and Adaptable Plant

– Features

A sensitive plant has tiny hairs along its leaves that are very responsive to touch, temperature, and motion. When triggered, these hairs fold inward, but what is more significant is how the plant covers its leaves at night, as it would close. 

This plant’s inherent defense mechanism includes this reaction to different types of stimuli. The sensitive plant features light purple flowers that resemble tiny pom-poms and delicate, lady fern-like leaves. The upward growth of young plants is swiftly followed by an outward creeping tendency. 

– Care Requirements

Although this plant may be grown outdoors in zones seven through thirteen, it is more commonly grown as a superb low-maintenance houseplant. It should be grown outdoors with caution because it can easily stray and turn natural, as it has in various states in the south of the United States.

Although mimosa plants may be grown outdoors in zones seven through thirteen, it is more commonly grown as a superb low-maintenance houseplant. It should be grown outdoors with caution because it can easily stray and turn natural, as it has in various states in the south of the United States. The rich, wet, permeable soil is found in lush forests and meadows.

4. Japanese Fern Tree

While the name may confuse you, this tree is not actually a fern. Even the smallest garden spaces will have intrigue and depth of field thanks to the Japanese Fern Tree’s profusion and year-round attractiveness. 

The Radiant Yellow Loosestrife

– Features

This evergreen has a modest growth rate, is naturally compact, and has gorgeously big leaves that resemble an asparagus fern. It is an excellent choice for giving privacy and shade to your garden because of its low-branching, bushy growth, and this would be something you should value, due to the fact that in summer, your yard won’t get too warm as it is protected.

These relatively small trees, also known as Thika palms, are native to parts of Southern India and Sri Lanka and hardly ever bear fruit elsewhere. And although they do bloom in the late spring, the flowers are modest and unassuming. Their magnificent fronds are the main draw in this area.

– Care Requirements

The Thika Palm favors humid subtropical regions over tropical ones, and this is the kind of environment that it would thrive in, which means that the best zones are 10 and 11. To elaborate the latter, they won’t withstand a decline in humidity, don’t plant in areas with temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit

Although they may fight some partial shade in sweltering and humid conditions, Japanese fern trees need eight hours per day of direct sunlight. Best grown in alkaline, clay soil that ranges in pH from five to eight. Make sure the soil has good drainage, and stay away from highly arid soil conditions.

5. Fern-Leave Wattle Tree 

If you live near the seaside or have a landscape with a slope or bank, this tree with fern-like leaves is guaranteed to bring drama and year-round appeal to your garden. This tree is indigenous to coastal areas of eastern Australia and is known by the botanical name Acacia Filicifolia. An Herb with a Rich History

– Features

It produces stunningly delicate and gently fragrant yellow flowers in a spectacular display from October through to spring, in addition to its beautiful evergreen fern-like fronds. Many gardeners substitute them for ostrich ferns.

This evergreen will naturally reach a height of 50 feet and a spread of 19 feet. It will grow into a huge shrub or tree with a more modest size of between 10 and 15 feet elsewhere and under the appropriate growing circumstances.

– Care Requirements

The best-growing zones for this gorgeous blooming plant would be nine to 11. Although it can take a bit of a lower temperature, it still needs protection from even the slightest frost. Ideal for a position with direct sunlight, especially a garden in the Mediterranean style. 

Moreover, remember that you should be providing a soil pH range of neutral to acidic, where moisture levels can be kept without becoming soggy, because if it becomes watered excessively, then the tree would be prone to have root rot. 

6. Honey Locust Trees 

Since ancient times, people have appreciated honey locust trees or the Gleditsia triacanthos, scientifically. Yet the native species possess thorns and seed pods that pose significant cleanup challenges, which reduces its appeal to homeowners.

Medicinal Herb with Bright Blooms

– Features 

In botany, there has been developed a variety of thornless, pondless honey locust cultivars that are considerably better suited for usage in landscapes. They resemble the look of a nest fern. 

Commonly referred to by its registered trademark name, Sunburst is one such well-behaved variety. The thornless variant of the native species, Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Suncole,’ was selectively altered to provide the official cultivar name. ‘Suncole’ has a pyramidal shape and grows to a height of roughly 40 feet as opposed to the native species’ 80 feet. 

Because commercially available trees are primarily male varieties, they are seedless and without pods. These hardy, quick-growing trees can withstand harsh urban circumstances like heat, alkaline soils, salt pollution, drought, and compacted soil.

– Care Requirements

There aren’t many limitations on how to grow this tree; the only environment where it struggles is intense shadow. It is the perfect tree to put in areas where you prefer filtered shade to the thick shade that many other landscape trees produce. 

Which makes it an excellent option for a lawn tree since it lets in lots of filtered light, allowing grass to flourish below it. What you must do is to locate the tree in such a spot that receives direct sunshine for at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. 

On the other hand, different kinds of soil can support the growth of honey locusts. Although loam is preferred, the trees can readily tolerate some sand or clay. 

Additionally, this tree can tolerate salty soils, although it has a moderate tolerance for drought, flooding, and other unfavorable conditions exists in honey locusts. Both damp and dry soil are favorable for them. 

But what you should know is that as soon as they are planted, trees need to be watered, followed by weekly watering for the first year. A new tree can survive with a one-hour trickle that progressively soaks the roots. Depending on the local rainfall totals, adjust the irrigation. 

7. Hummingbird Tree

The Red Hummingbird Tree is sure to become a firm favorite in your tree collection, regardless of whether you live in a hot, humid region where it can develop to its full potential. However, if you are located in less sunny climes where it may be planted as a smaller, more manageable potted type.

Yellow Bladderwort Baffles

– Features

Given the correct circumstances, the pinnate oval-shaped leaves of this deciduous ornamental will provide a loose, willowy canopy of dappled shadow. Regardless of the location where it is cultivated, this is an impressively prolific bloomer with beautifully vibrant red flowers that are like clutches of hummingbirds.

– Care Requirements

A quick-growing plant that, when fully grown, can reach heights of 40 feet if grown in hot and muggy conditions. The optimal growth for this tree will be substantially less when grown in containers and in cooler climates, and it can be further controlled with routine pruning. 

This species grows best in zones four to eleven and should be brought indoors in lower temperatures of below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for patio trees. Moreover, remember that whn you are planting, the ideal zones are from nine to eleven, which experience consistently high temperatures and high humidity, are suitable for growing outdoors.

Like the staghorn fern, hummingbird trees require a protected location away from high winds and six to eight hours of pure light each day. Grows best in soil that is fertile, well-draining, and has a pH range of five to eight. 

Note that once established, it can withstand a wide range of soil varieties, including sandy, loamy, and clay. Which means that are you begin to plant, your hummingbird tree it has the ability to withstand drought, but it likes moist soil. 

While your tree is growing and once it has established itself, water it frequently. For Hummingbird Trees grown in containers, water more frequently, making sure the soil is evenly moist. 

8. Velvet Mesquite Tree

Spiny tree with a short, forked trunk, an open, spreading canopy of crooked branches, and leaves, twigs, and pods that are either finely hairy or velvety. When conditions are right, it can reach heights of up to 30 feet, but in drier regions, it grows as a spreading shrub with deep, thick roots that people occasionally dig up for fuel.

The Sundews Sweetness Trap

– Features

Alternate, deciduous leaves have long stalks and 12 to 20 leaflets that are each about two inches long and one-fourth inch wide. These leaflets are further divided into smaller leaflets. All are linear, smooth, and dark green. 

Honeybees appear to favor the multiple cream-colored blossoms that are found on the flower stem, which is three inches long or longer. The numerous, long, white stamens mature to a yellow color. 

The Velvet Mesquite, a medium-sized tree mesquite native to central and southern Arizona, grows to a bigger size than similar species. The wood is one of the best in the desert for fuel; even the enormous, deep taproots are scraped away for that purpose, as much as it is important this is used for fence posts and novelty items. 

– Care Requirements

Just like how ferns grow, rain provides all of the moisture that velvet mesquite requires outside; only prolonged dry weather necessitates watering. 

The soil should be moist but not waterlogged during the spring and fall growing seasons, and the Mesquite will flourish in an environment that alternates between dry and moist soil conditions. Remember that when you excessively water it, the roots will start to weaken and develop root rot or other types of fungi this would start damaging the plant’s ability to grow and bloom.


These fern lookalikes are the ideal plants to grow inside and outdoors. But before you choose any one of the ferns from this list, keep in mind:

  • Jacarandas are ideal plants for those of you looking to grow drought-tolerant plants.
  • Hummingbird trees will be the perfect plant to add color and vibrancy to your gardens. Plant it for beautiful red leaves.
  • Japanese fern trees will enjoy a good amount of sunlight, so make sure to plant them only if you are able to provide this.

Now, which of these fern lookalikes will you grow? Knowing that they they various colors of blooms that will show in spring, and also, they will give your house a beautiful shade protecting you from the heat.  


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